Battle of Eltham's Landing

Battle of Eltham's Landing (HMBGD)

Location: Barhamsville, VA 23011 New Kent County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 30.759', W 76° 49.183'

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A vast array of equipment and thousands of troops

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

By May 4, 1862, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army was retreating west toward Richmond from Yorktown as Union Gen. George B. McClellan's army followed. McClellan, to accelerate the Federal advance on the Confederate capital and intercept Johnston, shipped half his force up the York River to West Point, the terminus of the Richmond and York Railroad at the junction of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers. Just east of here at Brickhouse Point on the York River, Gen. William B. Franklin's division began disembarking on May 6 as Confederate cavalry scouts watched from the hills to the south.

By dawn on May 7, a vast array of equipment and thousands of troops had poured into the open fields. The cavalrymen reported the landing to Johnston at Barhamsville, three miles southwest of here. Johnston assigned Gen. Gustavus W. Smith to block the Federal advance, and Smith sent Gen. W.H.C. Whiting's division forward. As Franklin's division began moving south toward Barhamsville, Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood led his Texas brigade north with Col. Wade Hampton's Legion on his right. Together they drove Franklin's skirmish line back toward the river. Whiting soon discovered, however, that his men were within range of Federal gunboats in the York River but that the vessels were out of range of Confederate cannons. About 2 p.m., he disengaged and withdrew to Johnston's main force. The Confederate army and its supply trains continued the retreat to Richmond. Whiting's division had succeeded in delaying Franklin sufficiently for them to escape.

In April 1862, Union forces under Gen. George B. McClellan began a major campaign to capture Richmond, marching west from Fort Monroe up the Peninsula between the York and James rivers towards the Confederate capital. A Confederate army half their size opposed them. Slowly but inevitably, the Federal juggernaut overcame three Southern defensive lines and was soon camped in Richmond's eastern suburbs. New commander Robert E. Lee, however, led a Confederate offensive that drove the Union army away during the Seven Day's Battles at the end of June.

New Kent County is working with its citizens to preserve and interpret other parts of the Eltham's Landing Battlefield. Please visit for updated information.
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 6:40am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 339175 N 4153300
Decimal Degrees37.51265000, -76.81971667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 30.759', W 76° 49.183'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 30' 45.54" N, 76° 49' 10.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 7401 Farmers Dr, Barhamsville VA 23011, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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