Chester in Chesterfield County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Siege of Petersburg
The Battle of Trent's Reach
On the night of 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. Recent ﬂoods had partially washed away the Union obstructions at Trent's Reach. Also, most of the Union warships in the James River had been sent to North Carolina to attack 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 and reached the obstructions at Trent's Reach by 10:30 P.M. The Fredericksburg and gunboat Hampton managed to pass through the barrier. The Virginia II and Richmond ran aground in the shoals of Trent's Reach. 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.
When the sun rose on the 24th, Union cannon in Battery Parsons opened ﬁre on the Drewry. The third shot caused the Drewry to explode. The shock from the blast dislodged the Scorpion
By 10:45 A.M., the Virginia II and Richmond ﬂoated free as the double-turreted U.S.S. Onondaga came upriver. From a half mile the ship's 15-inch guns delivered several direct hits to the Virginia II before the ironclad could get out of range. The Confederates found shelter in a bend of the river just opposite Battery Dantzler. The next day, they retired upriver to Chafﬁn's Bluff. The threat to Grant's supply base was over.
This sign was sponsored by David, Patricia, Henry, Audrey and Ava DuBose, Jacksonville, FL
(upper right) The Battle of Trent's Reach
(lower right) Wreckage of the CSS Drewry after the Battle of Trent's Reach; USS Onondaga on the James River (Photographs from Library of Congress)
Erected by The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia. (Marker Number 30.)
Location. 37° 21.548′ N, 77° 23.166′ W. Marker is in Chester, Virginia, in Chesterfield County. Marker can be reached from Henricus Park Road 1.3 miles east of Coxendale Road. Click for map. Located on the Dog Leg Point
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dutch Gap Conservation Area (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Trentís Reach (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battery Dantzler (approx. 0.3 miles away); Olin Miller Dantzler (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battery Dantzler (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battery Dantzler (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Howlett Line (approx. 0.7 miles away); Boy Company (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chester.
Also see . . .
1. Dutch Gap Conservation Area. Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation (Submitted on August 29, 2015.)
2. Desperate Ironclad Assault at Trent's Reach. September 1995 issue of America's Civil War magazine. (Submitted on August 29, 2015.)
3. The Richmond Ironclads at Trent's Reach, James River (slide show). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. (Submitted on August 29, 2015.)
Categories. • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 162 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.