The Siege of Petersburg

The Siege of Petersburg (HM1NDJ)

Location: Chester, VA 23836 Chesterfield County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 21.548', W 77° 23.166'

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The Battle of Trent's Reach

On the night of Jan. 23, 1865, the ironclads Virginia II, Richmond, and Fredericksburg, with five smaller vessels, descended the James River in an effort to attack the Union supply depot at City Point. Recent floods had partially washed away the Union obstructions at Trent's Reach. Also, most of the Union warships in the James River had been sent to North Carolina to attack Fort Fisher near Wilmington. With the obstructions washed out, only the monitor U.S.S. Onondaga and a handful of wooden vessels protected City Point.

The Confederate ships were able to slip past Union guns upriver at Fort Brady and reached the obstructions at Trent's Reach by 10:30 P.M. The Fredericksburg and gunboat Hampton managed to pass through the barrier. The Virginia II and Richmond ran aground in the shoals of Trent's Reach. During the night the torpedo boat Scorpion and the armed tender Drewry also ran aground. The Fredericksburg and Hampton were recalled upriver to protect the other ships.

When the sun rose on the 24th, Union cannon in Battery Parsons opened fire on the Drewry. The third shot caused the Drewry to explode. The shock from the blast dislodged the Scorpion and sent her drifting downstream into Union hands. The Union shore batteries then began to pound the Richmond and Virginia II.

By 10:45 A.M., the Virginia II and Richmond floated free as the double-turreted U.S.S. Onondaga came upriver. From a half mile the ship's 15-inch guns delivered several direct hits to the Virginia II before the ironclad could get out of range. The Confederates found shelter in a bend of the river just opposite Battery Dantzler. The next day, they retired upriver to Chaffin's Bluff. The threat to Grant's supply base was over.

This sign was sponsored by David, Patricia, Henry, Audrey and Ava DuBose, Jacksonville, FL

(upper right) The Battle of Trent's Reach
(lower right) Wreckage of the CSS Drewry after the Battle of Trent's Reach; USS Onondaga on the James River (Photographs from Library of Congress)
Marker Number30
Placed ByThe Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, August 29th, 2015 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 288680 N 4137384
Decimal Degrees37.35913333, -77.38610000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 21.548', W 77° 23.166'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 21' 32.88" N, 77° 23' 9.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 12401 Bermuda Triangle Rd, Chester VA 23836, US
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