The Bermuda Hundred Campaign-Federal Leaders

The Bermuda Hundred Campaign-Federal Leaders (HM1EKV)

Location: Chester, VA 23836 Chesterfield County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 19.31', W 77° 21.33'

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The Bermuda Hundred Campaign

In April of 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant met with Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler and approved his plan for attacking Richmond by moving an army up the James River. Grant decided that while the Army of the Potomac moved against Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, Butler would land his Army of the James in Bermuda Hundred and move against Richmond. Knowing Butler lacked significant combat experience, Grant brought two West Point trained combat officers, William F. "Baldy" Smith and Maj. Gen. Quincy Gillmore to serve as Butler's Corps Commanders. This arrangement led to one of the most contentious commands of the war. From the opening days of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign, Butler and his subordinates quarreled openly to the detriment of the operation and the good order and discipline of the army they commanded.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler
Butler was a lawyer and Massachusetts Congressman prior to the war. In May of 1862 he commanded the troops that entered New Orleans after that city surrendered to the Federal navy. While success on the battlefield eluded him, he was widely regarded as a brilliant administrator. By 1864 he had become a strong supporter of the use of African-American soldiers to put down the rebellion and had more regiments of United States Colored Troops under his command than any other general.

Gen. William F. Smith
William F. "Baldy" Smith graduated near the top of his class at West Point in 1845. He was one of several generals who had fallen out of favor in Washington after the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862. In 1863 he was assigned to duty as chief engineer in the Army of The Cumberland where his skills impressed Grant. Smith came east with Grant in 1864 with the thought that he was going to command the Army of the James. Smith's subordination to Butler when he expected higher command created problems between them.

Maj Gen. Quincy Gillmore
Maj. General Quincy Gillmore graduated from West Point in 1849 at the head of his class. He had spent most of 1863 in South Carolina laying siege to Charleston. When he was assigned to Butler he moved his 10th Corps very slowly to Virginia. This perceived "foot dragging" did not win him any favors with Butler. They began to feud almost immediately.

Ulysses S. Grant Commander of all Federal Forces (Library of Congress)
This sign was sponsored by Sandra Brown, Peabody, MA
Year Placed2014
Placed ByChesterfield County and the Blue & Gray Education Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 10:45am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 291287 N 4133177
Decimal Degrees37.32183333, -77.35550000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 19.31', W 77° 21.33'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 19' 18.60" N, 77° 21' 19.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 201 Enon Church Rd, Chester VA 23836, US
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