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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Studley in Hanover County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fighting at the Totopotomoy

Polly Hundley’s Corner

 

—Lee vs. Grant – The 1864 Campaign —

 
Fighting at the Totopotomoy Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, January 31, 2009
1. Fighting at the Totopotomoy Marker
Inscription. This intersection was known as Polly Hundley’s Corner during the Civil War. The roads led to Atlee’s Station, the Pamunkey River, Mechanicsville and Hanover Courthouse. A sign here announced that it was only seven miles to Richmond and just two miles to Polegreen Church.

The fighting along Totopotomoy Creek near this intersection bridged the gap between the battles of North Anna and Cold Harbor. Timely intelligence gathered at the Battle of Enon Church on May 28, 1864, allowed Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to place his army across Union Gen. U.S. Grant’s path. Between May 28-30, the two armies confronted each other from behind powerful entrenchments.

The Federal army passed Enon Church and marched through this intersection on its way to Totopotomoy Creek. Union artillery deployed atop the ridge on both sides of the road. On the opposite bank Gen. John C. Breckinridge’s Confederate division blocked the path of Gen. Winfield S. Hancock’s Union Second Corps. Late on May 30, Grant ordered a strong probe in this area. Gen. Francis C. Barlow’s Union division actually crossed the creek and occupied Breckinridge’s entrenchments, but fell back at dark. Most of that fighting occurred just beyond the Shelton House, one mile southwest of here. The Battle of Totopotomoy Creek featured much entrenching and little fighting. From here
Map of Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, January 31, 2009
2. Map of Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield
the armies moved to Cold Harbor, where there would be plenty of action.

(sidebar):
The Shelton House, “Rural Plains,” was the most prominent landmark on the Totopotomoy Creek battlefield. Patrick Henry was married there in 1754 and Gen. Hancock established his headquarters there 110 years later on May 30, Both cannon and mortars - the latter just beginning to see regular service – were positioned in the yard of the house. A signal station on the roof attracted Confederate artillerists who hit the house at least 50 times. Despite repeated urgings to leave from the Union officers, several members of the Shelton family remained in the house throughout the battle. The Shelton house is a private residence today and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 39.952′ N, 77° 20.323′ W. Marker is near Studley, Virginia, in Hanover County. Marker is on Rural Point Road (County Route 643) 0.1 miles south of Studley Road (County Route 606), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is located in the parking lot of Rural Point Elementary School. Marker is in this post office area: Studley VA 23162, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Polly Hundley's Corner (Studley & Rural Point roads) Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, January 31, 2009
3. Polly Hundley's Corner (Studley & Rural Point roads)
Facing south on Rural Point Road towards the Civil War Trails marker in the school parking lot. Union troops passsed from left to right through this intersection on their march from the Pamunkey River to Totopotomoy Creek.
At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Totopotomoi (approx. half a mile away); Totopotomoy Creek (approx. half a mile away); Rural Plains (approx. half a mile away); Shelton House Under Fire (approx. half a mile away); Pine Slash (approx. 0.6 miles away); Totopotomoy Line (approx. 0.6 miles away); Attacking the High Ground (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Totopotomoy Line (approx. 1.1 miles away).
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of Gen. Hancock with his three division commanders (Barlow, Birney and Gibbon, left to right) in an image taken two weeks after the Battle of Totopotomoy Creek. On the upper right is a map showing the positions of the opposing armies. The map carries the caption The scope of the battlefield of Totopotomoy Creek is illustrated here. Nearly 150,000 men faced each other on a front of approximately six miles.
 
Regarding Fighting at the Totopotomoy. On June 1, 2006 the Totopotomoy Battlefield at Rural Plains Foundation donated the 124 acre Shelton estate to the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Contributors to the cause included the Civil War Preservation Trust, the American Battlefield Protection Program and Hanover County.
 
Also see . . .
Hancock, Gen. W.S. & group (Birney, Barlow, & Gibbons) Photo, Click for full size
Brady-Handy Collection, 1864
4. Hancock, Gen. W.S. & group (Birney, Barlow, & Gibbons)
Library of Congress [LC-BH841-5]

1. CWSAC Battle Summary for Totopotomoy Creek. (Submitted on February 1, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. Civil War Traveler "Lee vs. Grant: The 1864 Overland Campaign Tour". (Submitted on February 1, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
3. The Battle of Totopotomoy Creek, May 29-31, 1864. Richmond National Battlefield Park (Submitted on November 29, 2014.) 

4. Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield at Rural Plains. Richmond National Battlefield Park (Submitted on November 29, 2014.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,513 times since then and 125 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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