Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

City Point Defenses

Securing the Union Position

 
 
City Point Defenses  -  Securing the Union Position marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
1. City Point Defenses - Securing the Union Position marker
Inscription. The fort behind you is all that remains of the inner defense line built by the Union army in 1864 to protect its base headquarters at City point. With a powerful fleet of ironclads and gunboats controlling the James River and a numerically superior army, the Federals believed their position at City Point secure.

Then, in September 1864, just one month after the unexplained explosion of the ordnance wharf at City Point, Confederate Gen. Wade Hampton led his cavalry around Union forces to Coggin’s Point, only six miles east of here. His raiders captured 2,486 head of cattle and returned safely to Confederate territory. Hampton’s daring foray into Union lines became known as the “Beefsteak Raid.”

Abruptly aware of his headquarters’ vulnerability, Gen. U.S. Grant directed that a new line of earthworks “be speedily thrown up,” belatedly recognizing that “[u]ntil they are done this place is in danger of a cavalry raid.” By the end of October 1864, the outer line of defenses, composed of eight forts, stretched nearly four miles and enclosed the entire headquarters and supply area.

(Sidebar Quote): “From the reports of your scouts I judge that the enemy is very open to attack at City Point…”
- Gen. Wade Hampton, Sept. 3, 1864.
 
Erected by
City Point Defenses Civil War Trails marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
2. City Point Defenses Civil War Trails marker
Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 18.572′ N, 77° 16.756′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Appomattox Street and Cedar Lane, on the right when traveling north on Appomattox Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. U.S. Government Bakery (here, next to this marker); Union Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bull Ring At City Point (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. John’s Episcopal Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Dr. Peter Eppes House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Porter House (approx. 0.4 miles away); City Point, Virginia (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named City Point (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hopewell.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of "Part of the inner line of defense at City Point." A map on the right is captioned:

Named for Union commanders killed in the 1864 Overland Campaign, the City Point forts provided a strong line of defense. According to Provost Marshal Marsena R. Patrick, who rode
Union Fort image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
3. Union Fort
These earthworks are the remnants of a series of forts built to protect the Union headquarters and supply base at City Point.
over the defenses soon after they were completed, “we can, certainly, make a pretty good fight over these breastworks.”
 
Also see . . .  City Point. The Civil War Siege of Petersburg. (Submitted on December 21, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Grant's Cabin image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
4. Grant's Cabin
Lt. Gen U.S. Grant made his headquarters in this cabin at City Point during the seige of Petersburg.
Appomattox Manor at City Point image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
5. Appomattox Manor at City Point
City Point supply hub image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 25, 2007
6. City Point supply hub
City Point, located at the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers, served as the hub for movement of men and supplies during the Petersburg campaign.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 28, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,395 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 28, 2007, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement