City Point Defenses

City Point Defenses (HM1XQ)

Location: Hopewell, VA 23860
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 18.572', W 77° 16.756'

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Securing the Union Position

The fort behind you is all that remains of the inner defense line built by the Union army in 1864 to protect its base headquarters at City point. With a powerful fleet of ironclads and gunboats controlling the James River and a numerically superior army, the Federals believed their position at City Point secure.

Then, in September 1864, just one month after the unexplained explosion of the ordnance wharf at City Point, Confederate Gen. Wade Hampton led his cavalry around Union forces to Coggin's Point, only six miles east of here. His raiders captured 2,486 head of cattle and returned safely to Confederate territory. Hampton's daring foray into Union lines became known as the "Beefsteak Raid."

Abruptly aware of his headquarters' vulnerability, Gen. U.S. Grant directed that a new line of earthworks "be speedily thrown up," belatedly recognizing that "[u]ntil they are done this place is in danger of a cavalry raid." By the end of October 1864, the outer line of defenses, composed of eight forts, stretched nearly four miles and enclosed the entire headquarters and supply area.

(Sidebar Quote): "From the reports of your scouts I judge that the enemy is very open to attack at City Point?"
- Gen. Wade Hampton, Sept. 3, 1864.
HM NumberHM1XQ
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 3:10pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 298010 N 4131646
Decimal Degrees37.30953333, -77.27926667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 18.572', W 77° 16.756'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 18' 34.32" N, 77° 16' 45.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 700-798 Appomattox St, Hopewell VA 23860, US
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