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Near Chester in Chesterfield County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Battle of Trentís Reach
 
The Battle of Trentís Reach Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
1. The Battle of Trentís Reach Marker
 
Inscription. On Jan. 23, 1865, the ironclads Virginia II, Richmond, and Fredericksburg, with five smaller vessels, descended the James River in an effort to attack the Union supply depot at City Point. A reliable report indicated that recent floods had washed away the Union obstructions at Trentís Reach. Also, most of the Union vessels that had steamed up the river in May 1864 had been pulled to North Carolina to participate in the attack against Fort Fisher near Wilmington. With the obstructions washed out, only the monitor U.S.S. Onondaga and a handful of wooden vessels protected City Point. The Confederate ships were able to slip past Union guns upriver at Fort Brady. Firing from that fort, however, alerted Union batteries downriver to the movement. By 10:30 P.M. the Confederate flotilla had reached the obstructions at Trentís Reach. The Fredericksburg and gunboat Hampton managed to pass through the southern side of the barrier. The Virginia II, however, ran aground in the treacherous channel. During the night the torpedo boat Scorpion and the armed tender Drewry also ran aground. The Fredericksburg and Hampton were recalled upriver to protect the other ships. As the sun rose, Union cannon in Battery Parsons opened fire on the Drewry. The third shot caused the Drewry
 
Map of the the Battle of Trentís Reach. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
2. Map of the the Battle of Trentís Reach.
 
to explode with such force that it was heard by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at City Point, 18 miles downriver. The shock from the blast dislodged the Scorpion and sent her drifting downstream into Union hands. The Union shore batteries then began to pound the Richmond and Virginia II. By 10:45 A.M., the Virginia II floated free as the double-turreted U.S.S. Onondaga came upriver. From a half mile the shipís 15-inch guns broke through the four inch armor of the Virginia II before the ironclad could get out of range. The Confederates sought shelter in a bend of the river just opposite Battery Dantzler The next day, they retired upriver to Chaffinís Bluff. The threat to Grantís supply base was over.

This sign was sponsored by The Chester Station Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.
 
Erected by Sons of Confederate Veterans and Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans marker series.
 
Location. 37° 21.558′ N, 77° 23.496′ W. Marker is near Chester, Virginia, in Chesterfield County. Marker can be reached from Battery Dantzler Road 0.2 miles east of
 
The Battle of Trentís Reach Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
3. The Battle of Trentís Reach Marker
 
Old Satge Road. Click for map. The marker is located near the bluff overlooking Trent's reach 500 feet north of the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Chester VA 23836, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battery Dantzler (a few steps from this marker); Olin Miller Dantzler (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Battery Dantzler (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Battery Dantzler (approx. half a mile away); The Howlett Line (approx. half a mile away); Parkerís Battery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Boy Company (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Howlett Line (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chester.
 
More about this marker. On the upper right is a map detailing the “Battle of Trentís Reach, January 23-25, 1865.” Map by Mark Moore courtesy of Savas Beatie LLC.

In the center is “An engraving of the Battle of Trentís Reach published in Harperís Weekly February 11, 1865.”

On the lower right is a photo of “USS Onondaga” and a photo of an “1865 view of Trentís Reach.”
 
Also see . . .
 
7-inch Brooke Rifle marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
4. 7-inch Brooke Rifle marker
 

1. Desperate Ironclad Assault at Trent's Reach. September 1995 issue of America's Civil War magazine. (Submitted on July 11, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. The Richmond Ironclads at Trent's Reach, James River (slide show). Virginia Department of Historic resources (Submitted on June 18, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
7-inch Brooke Rifle gun platform Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
5. 7-inch Brooke Rifle gun platform
 
 
7-inch Brooke Rifle Photo, Click for full size
April 1865
6. 7-inch Brooke Rifle
James River, Va. Confederate gun emplacement at Howlett House, Trent's Reach. Library of Congress [LC-B8171-0019]
 
 
Remains of earthworks marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
7. Remains of earthworks marker
 
 
Remains of earthworks Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
8. Remains of earthworks
 
 
Battery Dantzler earthworks Photo, Click for full size
1865
9. Battery Dantzler earthworks
Dutch Gap Canal, James River, Virginia. Confederate fortifications. Library of Congress [LC-B811- 14]
 
 
Trentís Reach Union Gun Positions marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
10. Trentís Reach Union Gun Positions marker
 
 
View of Trentís Reach on the James River Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, February 9, 2009
11. View of Trentís Reach on the James River
 
 
View of Trentís Reach from Battery Dantzler Photo, Click for full size
Apr 1865
12. View of Trentís Reach from Battery Dantzler
Dutch Gap Canal, James River, Virginia (vicinity). View of river from Confederate battery. Library of Congress [LC-B815- 22]
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on February 12, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,677 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 12, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   6. submitted on April 14, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   7, 8. submitted on February 12, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   9. submitted on April 14, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   10, 11. submitted on February 12, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   12. submitted on March 16, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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