Here in 1864 on the Bermuda Hundred peninsula between the James and Appomattox Rivers, the Union Army of the James, commanded by Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, was "bottled up" by Confederate Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard, defender of Petersburg. The cautious Butler had begun constructing earthworks across the peninsula about a mile east in May, shortly after he occupied the peninsula, to protect against attack from the west. The Confederates built parallel earthworks (the Howlett Line) about half a mile east of here to "bottle up" the Federals. In Sept., however, Butler's army easily crossed the James River to attack the Richmond fortifications.
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