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

A Bomb Proof Church ?

The Bermuda Hundred Campaign

A Bomb Proof Church ? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 25, 2017
1. A Bomb Proof Church ? Marker
Inscription. A Bomb Proof Church ?

The purpose of this structure remains a mystery. It may be the remains of one of the "Bomb Proof” churches that were built in this part of the Howlett Line. One such church was built by men of the 17th Virginia, the 15th Virginia and Parker's Battery behind the section of the Howlett Line they were defending. Parker's Battery is located just 2,500 feet north of here. This may be the remnant of the church they constructed.

The church was described as being dug into the ground about four to five feet. The earth from the hole was piled up on all sides. A roof of tree branches was then placed on a pole frame. The finished church stood no more than 4 or 6 feet above the ground.

The church was completed on October 30th, 1864, and was at once put into use for daily prayer meetings. Visiting ministers also conducted services at the church. One member of the 17th Virginia wrote. "On December 12th Bishop Johns visited our Brigade and held regular service in the new chapel: sixteen soldiers were confirmed by him." As the church was built so close to the line, a well placed shell from the enemy would have been an unwelcome visitor.

Bomb Proofs

Bomb proofs were earthen structures designed to protect troops from enemy artillery
A Bomb Proof Church ? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 25, 2017
2. A Bomb Proof Church ? Marker
fire. They were generally constructed by creating a chamber with walls and a roof made of heavy timbers. This chamber would then have several feet of dirt or sand bags placed on the sides and top. As can be seen in these photos, bomb proofs came in many shapes and sizes. The Bomb Proof Church had fortified walls, but only had a light roof made of tree branches.

Confederate bomb proof at Battery Dantzler in Chesterfield County
A Sutler's bomb proof at Petersburg
A Union bomb proof dug into the hillside at Dutch Gap in Chesterfield County

This sign was sponsored by Chester Station Camp 1503, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Erected 2014 by Chesterfield County and the Blue & Gray Education Society.
Location. 37° 20.594′ N, 77° 23.36′ W. Marker is in Chester, Virginia, in Chesterfield County. Marker can be reached from Old Bermuda Hundred Road east of Ramblewood Drive, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located in Ware Bottom Church Battlefield Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1600 Old Bermuda Hundred Rd, Chester VA 23831, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Battle of Ware Bottom Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Construction of the Howlett Line (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Howlett Line Gun Position (approx. 0.2 miles away); Parker's Battery (approx. half a mile away); Remembrance (approx. half a mile away); Howlett Line (approx. half a mile away); Boy Company (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Parker’s Battery (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chester.
Categories. Churches & ReligionForts, CastlesWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 26, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 265 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 26, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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