The Beefsteak Raid

The Beefsteak Raid (HM9LB)

Location: Prince George, VA 23875 Prince George County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 14.477', W 77° 14.84'

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Wade Hampton's Cattle Raid

As the summer of 1864 ended with Union Gen. U.S. Grant's army still laying siege to Petersburg, Southern sources learned of a large herd of cattle being held at nearby Coggin's Point on the James River. The cattle were grazing at "Beechwood," the plantation of secessionist leader Edmund Ruffin. Knowing that this beef was to be issued to Northern soldiers, Confederate cavalry commander Gen. Wade Hampton received permission to capture them. Leaving their camps on Sept. 14, about 3,000 Southern cavalry and four artillery pieces began the ride of more than 100 miles around the Union lines.

Successfully reaching their destination two days later, the Confederates overwhelmed the guards and rounded up 2,500 head of cattle. To the south and at Sycamore Church, another contingent of Southern cavalry skirmished with a Federal outpost, capturing most of the command.

After recrossing the Blackwater Swamp, Hampton's horsemen sent the captured herd on a more southerly route across the Jerusalem Plank Road at Hawkinsville, heading toward Freeman's Ford on the Nottoway River. To the northwest, near Belsches Mill at Ebenezer Church, Confederate cavalry fought a delaying action while attempting to hold back Union Gen. Henry E. Davies' troopers from retaking the passing cattle. They were successful. Davies fell back to Petersburg that evening.

By the morning of Sept. 17, Hampton was back in his lines with the fresh beef for Lee's commissary. His men had captured more than 300 Union prisoners and 2,486 steers (about 2 million pounds of beef). Confederate losses during the foray were 10 killed, 47 wounded and four missing.

Shortly after the raid, Grant was having dinner when one of the officers who attempted to stop Hampton said, "General, how long will it take to starve out Lee and take Richmond?"   The commanding general replied, ? "Forever, General, if you keep feeding Lee's army with beef."
HM NumberHM9LB
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 10:46am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 300660 N 4124005
Decimal Degrees37.24128333, -77.24733333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 14.477', W 77° 14.84'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 14' 28.62" N, 77° 14' 50.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5201-5221 Ruffin Rd, Prince George VA 23875, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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