On 5 May 1864, leading elements of Union Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler's Army of the James disembarked off transports at Bermuda Hundred, located to the north of here. The next day this army began severing telegraph lines and nearby portions of the Richmond & Petersburg Railroad, a rail line that carried troops, supplies, and food to Richmond from other junctions. Over the next five days, Butler's troops focused on destroying portions of the railroad and fought a number of skirmishes with Confederate troops. The Confederate army countered the Federal attacks, protected the railroad, and eventually reestablished the rail line.
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