Near Chester in Chesterfield County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Dutch Gap Canal
— Bermuda Hundred Campaign —
In August 1864, Union Gen. Benjamin Butler began excavations at Dutch Gap. When completed, his canal would bypass nearly five miles of the James River. Several powerful Confederate artillery batteries menaced that stretch of water. The Dutch Gap Canal would neutralize them.
Although the project neared completion in late 1864, Butler’s engineers never succeeded in opening the canal for warships. The Dutch Gap shortcut only came into use after the Civil War. It is now the primary James River channel.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is August 1864.
Location. 37° 22.592′ N, 77° 21.617′ W. Marker is near Chester, Virginia, in Chesterfield County. Marker can be reached Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester VA 23836, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. USCTs At Dutch Gap (here, next to this marker); The Bermuda Hundred Campaign (here, next to this marker); The James River...Floating Through The Centuries (a few steps from this marker); Dutch Gap (a few steps from this marker); The Tides (within shouting distance of this marker); Mount Malady (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lightkeeper’s House (within shouting distance of this marker); Henricopolis (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chester.
More about this marker. In the center is a photo of “Union soldiers at work on the canal in 1864.”
On the right is a map detailing the river defenses at Dutch Gap. The smaller inset map shows the position of Dutch Gap relative to the modern interstate highways, I-95 and I-295. The map carries the caption, “The two loops of the James River appear tantalizingly close together on a map, but building the canal to unite them proved too difficult a task for General Butler’s army.”
Also see . . . Henricus Historical Park. (Submitted on February 11, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 11, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,887 times since then and 123 times this year. Last updated on February 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on February 11, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 8. submitted on February 13, 2009. 9, 10. submitted on June 27, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.