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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Richmond in Henrico County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Defending Richmond

 
 
Defending Richmond Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 26, 2012
1. Defending Richmond Marker
Inscription.  "The fortifications constructed by the Confederate army in this vicinity & about Richmond are miles in extent & I must add that they are as strong, if not the strongestin the world." - Julian Scott, Union Army Veteran May 1865

From the war's beginning, Confederate authorities struggled with the question of how to defend Richmond. It lay vulnerable to approaches from every direction. Engineers eventually devised an integrated series of earthen fortifications. The Exterior Line nearly encircled the city. Portions of that line survive today, here at Chickahominy Bluff, at the Richmond airport, at the park's Fort Harrison unit, and elsewhere on private property. The Interior Line - composed of a series of individual forts - and the Intermediate Line are mostly gone, consumed by Richmond's growth.

The simple artillery positions that stood here in June 1862 evolved over time into the more sophisticated permanent defenses visible today. This stronger position proved valuable in 1864. Before dawn on May 12, Union cavalry in General Philip H. Sheridan's raid against Richmond approached the city near here. Vigilant gunners on this
Drawing of Earthworks image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 26, 2012
2. Drawing of Earthworks
The immense labor of building these entrenchments fell upon slaves and soldiers alike. Thousands of slaves, pressed into duty from all around the state, worked on the city's defenses off and on for four years.
bluff aggressively fired cannon at the raiders in the Chickahominy River valley, forcing them away from Richmond.
 
Erected by Richmond National Battlefield Park - National Park Service - US Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts or CastlesWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 37° 35.092′ N, 77° 23.36′ W. Marker is near Richmond, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker can be reached from Mechanicsville Turnpike (U.S. 360), on the right when traveling north. Located in the Chickahominy Bluff unit of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond VA 23223, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chickahominy Bluff (a few steps from this marker); Seven Days' Battles Begin (within shouting distance of this marker); The Seven Days Begin (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Chickahominy Bluff (about 600 feet away); Outer Fortifications (about 700 feet away); Hanover County / Henrico County (approx. half a mile away); The Chickahominy River & Seven Days' Battles (approx. half a mile away); Richmond Defences (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
 
Map of the Defenses image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 26, 2012
3. Map of the Defenses
Markers in the Chickahominy Bluff Unit image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 26, 2012
4. Markers in the Chickahominy Bluff Unit
Defending Richmond Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 26, 2012
5. Defending Richmond Marker
Preserved Earthworks at Chickahominy Bluff image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 26, 2012
6. Preserved Earthworks at Chickahominy Bluff
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 27, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 585 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 27, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Jul. 10, 2020