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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

City Point

One of the World's Busiest Seaports

 

— Four Centuries: City Point, Virginia, 1613 A.D. —

 
City Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 8, 2020
1. City Point Marker
Inscription.  
City Point had been a port for more than 250 years before the Union army arrived. On June 15, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant established his headquarters at City Point just eight miles behind the front lines at Petersburg. Located at the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers, City Point had been connected by a railroad to Petersburg prior to the war. The town's strategic position adjacent to a railroad bed and the rivers offered Grant easy access to points along the front as well as convenient transportation and communications with Fort Monroe and Washington D.C.

City Point became the largest logistical operation in the field during the Civil War. A large supply base was established here for the Union army fighting at Petersburg. From the waterfront Grant supplied more than 100,000 troops and 65,000 animals. Horses, mules and cattle consumed more than 600 tons of fodder daily.

As many as 150-225 vessels were seen in the rivers on the average day. Ships and barges transported food, clothing, ammunition, and other supplies from northern ports to City Point. The immense quantities of materials were unloaded
City Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 8, 2020
2. City Point Marker
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at eight wharves which extended along the shoreline. Warehouses were constructed on the wharves for temporary storage of supplies. Goods were loaded into waiting trains or wagons and then carried to the front. The Quartermaster Department operations at City Point were instrumental in defeating General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

[Captions:]
Loading Supply-Wagons from Transports for Grant's Army – City Point, 1864. Each day an average of seventy-five sailing vessels, forty steamboats, and one hundred bargest brought in supplies brought in supplies and materials from northern ports. In one instance, a fleet of ninety vessels arrived carrying twenty-six locomotives and 275 boxcars.

The essence of the City Point Depot is epitomized by barrels of supplies stacked four deep on the commissary wharf. The army required a staggering amount of supplies. Warehouses held thirty days' rations in addition to the clothing, shoes, camp equipment, and other items needed to maintain 100,000 soldiers. City Point was the culmination of the organizational skills gained by the Quartermaster Department in four years of war.

Large quantities of lumber were required to build City Point's wharves. Captain Elisha E. Camp, an assistant quartermaster, was in charge of the supply depot. He, and other assistant quartermasters, were under
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Brigadier General Rufus Ingalls. When completed, Captain Camp's wharf was the largest of the eight wharves, measuring 113,980 square feet and occupying 530 feet of waterfront.

 
Erected 2013 by City of Hopewell, Commonwealth of Virginia.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is June 15, 1864.
 
Location. 37° 18.985′ N, 77° 16.412′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker is on Pecan Avenue, 0.1 miles east of Prince Henry Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1199 Pecan Ave, Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named City Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Virginia Indians near City Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Quartermaster Repair Shops (within shouting distance of this marker); Clearing the Way (within shouting distance of this marker); A Busy Port (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Historic City Point (about 500 feet away); One Soldier, One Family, One War (about 600 feet away); Taverns (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hopewell.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 51 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Oct. 20, 2021