Inscription. On 28 September 1864, elements of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butlerís Army of the James crossed the James River to assault the Confederate Defenses of Richmond. At dawn on 29 September, 6 regiments of U.S. Colored Troops fought with exceptional valor during their attack along New Market Road. Despite heavy casualties, they carried the earthworks there and succeeded in capturing New Market Heights, north of the road. Of the 16 Medals of Honor awarded to “Negro” soldiers during the Civil War, 14 were bestowed for this battle. Butler wrote that “the capacity of the negro race for soldiers had then and there been fully settled forever.”
By Richard E. Miller, circa 1997
|1. Battle of New Market Heights Marker|
Erected 1993 by Va. Dept. of Historic Resources. (Marker Number V 26.)
Location. 37° 25.872′ N, 77° 19.067′ W. Marker is near Varina, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker is at the intersection of New Market Road (Scenic State Highway 5) and Bypass Interstate 295, on the left when traveling east on New Market Road. Click for map. Use I-295 exit 22. The site is east of the Richmond National Battlefield Park, Fort Harrison Unit (a.k.a. Chaffin's Farm) which is west of I-295. (Stopping on the roadside may be hazardous if traffic is heavy on New Market Road.). Marker is in this post office area: Henrico VA 23231, United States of America.
By Richard E. Miller
|2. Unveiling Ceremony, Deep Bottom Park, Varina, 1993.|
|Col. William DeShields (U.S. Army, Ret.), president of the Black Military History Institute of America - the organization responsible for the marker's creation - assists with the unveiling prior to its actual installation on New Market Road.|
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. New Market Road (approx. half a mile away); Action at Osborne's (approx. 0.6 miles away); Varina (approx. 0.6 miles away); Proposed First University in English America (approx. 0.6 miles away); Henrico Town (approx. 0.6 miles away); Pocahontas (approx. 0.6 miles away); George Thorpe (approx. 0.7 miles away); New Market Heights (approx. 0.7 miles away).
More about this marker. The battle of New Market Heights is described in signage with greater detail about three miles to the south in the Deep Bottom County Park where the Army of the James launched its attack on 28 September 1864.
The marker was placed at the initiative of the Black Military History Institute.
Regarding Battle of New Market Heights. In addition to the 16 soldiers mentioned on the marker, eight Black U.S. sailors also received the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. And in 2001, Corporal (later Sergeant) Andrew Jackson Smith of the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment became (albeit very belatedly) the 17th Black soldier so distinguished - for his heroism at the Battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina on November 30, 1864.
s. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
By Richard E. Miller, 1993
|3. Unveiling Ceremony, Deep Bottom Park, Varina, 1993.|
|Color guard includes USCT re-enactors Alvin Baptiste, Kenneth Brown and Richard Miller.|
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for The Battle of Chaffin's Farm. Describes the overall battle of which the assault on New Market Heights was part. (Submitted on January 26, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Battle of New Market Heights. National Parks Service. (Submitted on November 25, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. USCT, Chaffin's Farm, United States Colored Troops, Fort Gilmer, Fort Harrison.
Credits. This page originally submitted on December 4, 2007, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,510 times since then. Last updated on January 28, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1. submitted on December 4, 2007, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2, 3. submitted on January 26, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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