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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Chester, Virginia
Location of Chester, Virginia
► Chesterfield County (216) ► Amelia County (33) ► Charles City County (65) ► Colonial Heights (22) ► Dinwiddie County (129) ► Goochland County (33) ► Henrico County (310) ► Hopewell (64) ► Petersburg (157) ► Powhatan County (26) ► Prince George County (32) ► Richmond (471)
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|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, . . . — — Map (db m101030) HM|
Dedicated to those
who served in the
Armed Forces of
the United States
This memorial obtained from Dutch Gap at the site where on May 16, 1619 the Virginia Company of London decreed that a college or university should be . . . — — Map (db m133676) WM|
|In 1862, Confederate authorities considered locating the main defensive James River battery here to block the Union navy’s approach to Richmond. They chose Drewry’s Bluff instead because they feared that Union forces would bypass this position by . . . — — Map (db m16058) HM|
|First named Ft. Howlett, the battery was renamed after Col. Olin M. Dantzler, who was killed on June 2, 1864, in an attempt to capture Ft. Dutton. Leading the 22nd South Carolina Inf. the attack failed. Battery Dantzler played a major role in . . . — — Map (db m16066) HM|
|A half-mile northeast stands Battery Dantzler, named for Col. Olin Miller Dantzler, 22d South Carolina Infantry (killed in action nearby on 2 June 1864), and constructed in May-June 1864 to block the Union navy's approach to Richmond. The battery . . . — — Map (db m17113) HM|
|On May 5, 1864, Gen. Benjamin F. Butler’s Union Army of the James landed at Bermuda Hundred to sever direct communication between Richmond and Petersburg. Five days later, desperate to keep the connection open, 2,000 Confederates under Gen. Robert . . . — — Map (db m17090) HM|
|Here, on May 10, 1864, as part of Butler’s Bermuda Hundred Campaign, 3400 Federals and 2000 Confederates fought the Battle of Chester Station. This monument is erected in their memory by the Chester Station Camp #1503. Sons of Confederate . . . — — Map (db m17092) HM|
|Established 1613 by Sir Thomas Dale.
First incorporated Virginia town 1614.
Home of John Rolfe, colony recorder, who married Pocahontas.
Rev. Alexander Whitaker ministered here.
Early port of Richmond.
Erected … 1938 by Bermuda Hundred . . . — — Map (db m17109) HM|
|Before determining to settle at Jamestown, the English sought a safe place to plant their colony further west along the James River. On that trip, John Smith and his fellow Englishmen found an Appamattuck Indian town in the vicinity of Bermuda . . . — — Map (db m17134) HM|
|Union Gen. Benjamin Butler’s 30,000-man Army of the James landed here without opposition on May 5, 1864. Despite his surprise arrival, Butler proved unable to take advantage of the unprepared Confederate defenders below Richmond.
He pushed west . . . — — Map (db m17108) HM|
|This prominent battery in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia often went by its nickname, “The Boy Company.” Although the average battery member was 25 years old, the company had several lads between the ages of 14 and 19. . . . — — Map (db m66324) HM|
| The story of Dutch Gap demonstrates the importance of the river throughout history revealing a partnership of man’s use of land and water. Today, the river’s commercial and recreational activities continue, providing a backdrop to Dutch Gap’s . . . — — Map (db m16159) HM|
|At this station, two miles west, the Union army of the James, turning toward Richmond, fought an action on May 10, 1864 and tore up the railroad. — — Map (db m17097) HM|
On March 22, 1622, the Powhatan chiefdom launched a coordinated offensive against the English settlements along the James River. Sixty-six men, women and children were killed within the Henrico settlements including five dead at Henricus. Over . . . — — Map (db m87591) HM|
|Colonel Thomas Lygon, who came to the Virginia colony in the early 1640s from Worcestershire, England, patented several large parcels of land on the north bank of the Appomattox River in an area known as The Cowpens, near Mount My Lady, which was . . . — — Map (db m17131) HM|
|On 2 June 1864, Confederate Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard sent Maj. Gen. Bushrod Johnson's troops toward nearby Federal pickets to reconnoiter their strength. The Confederate troops initially captured the northern portion of the Federal picket line, but . . . — — Map (db m17122) HM|
Construction of the Howlett Line
The earthworks here were constructed after the Battle of Ware Bottom Church. Prior to that, this area was the advanced picket line for the Army of the James and would have consisted of a series of rifle . . . — — Map (db m73982) HM|
|On a line that here crossed the Richmond–Petersburg turnpike, Confederate troops under command of General G.T. Beauregard attacked the Federal army of Major-General B.F. Butler on May 16, 1864 and forced its withdrawal to the Bermuda Hundred . . . — — Map (db m14275) HM|
|Here, on the second line of the Drewry’s Bluff defences, Confederate troops were concentrated May 12-15, 1864, to take the offensive against a Federal force that had advanced from Bermuda Hundred under command of General B.F. Butler and had cut the . . . — — Map (db m14274) HM|
|1611 Sir Thomas Dale and his men, using a tactic developed in the Dutch Low Country, dug a ditch and erected a fence across the neck of the peninsula for the defense of Henricus.
1864 Federal forces under General Benjamin Butler began . . . — — Map (db m87885) HM|
|With the opposing armies locked in a protracted struggle around Petersburg and Bermuda Hundred, the James and Appomattox Rivers assumed added importance. In August 1864, Union Gen. Benjamin Butler began excavations at Dutch Gap. When completed, . . . — — Map (db m16150) HM|
The trail at Dutch Gap traces the old channel of the James River. Before the river was rerouted, there was a ferry landing on the opposite shore called Osborne’s Landing. This may have been the location of the enigmatic Port Cotage referenced by . . . — — Map (db m87594) HM|
|Enon Baptist Church was organized on 8 October 1849. The church was built here on a one-acre tract given by the founder, John Alexander Strachan. In May 1864, during the Civil War, Union army troops under Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler dismantled Enon . . . — — Map (db m24990) HM|
|In 1611, Farrar's Island was the site of the "Citie of Henrico," one of Virginia's first four primary settlement areas under the Virginia Company of London. Later, it was part of a 2,000-acre land patent issued posthumously to William Farrar in . . . — — Map (db m16018) HM|
|In 1867, the African American members of
nearby Salem Baptist Church separated and
founded Salem African Baptist Church. The
new congregation held worship services under
a brush arbor before constructing a building
here on a one-acre tract . . . — — Map (db m107773) HM|
|Dedicated to the memory of the men of the First Virginia Infantry Regiment. Army of Northern Virginia. Killed near this place on 16 May 1864.
Alphonzo A. Figner, Company I
Archibald D. Govan, Company D
Jerry Toomey, Company B
James A. . . . — — Map (db m25012) HM|
Civil War Sites
Army of the James — — Map (db m17135) HM|
|After African American patrons campaigned for a new high school, the Chesterfield County School Board opened the consolidated George Washington Carver High School here in 1948. Carver, which replaced the old Hickory Hill and Daniel Webster Davis . . . — — Map (db m149856) HM|
|This old inn was the headquarters of Major-General B. F. Butler's Union Army of the James during the Battle of Drewery's Bluff, May 16, 1864. The inn was so named because of its location about midway between Richmond and Petersburg. — — Map (db m16043) HM|
|As Grant grappled with Lee in the Wilderness and near Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864, Union Gen. Benjamin Butler landed with 30,000 troops at Bermuda Hundred, eight miles east of here. Butler’s objective was to open another front and to . . . — — Map (db m16041) HM|
|The Colonial Dames
Of America in the
State of Virginia
Erect this monument on the site
Of the Town of Henricopolis
To commemorate the college
And university which on
May 26, 1619.
The Virginia Company of
London decreed . . . — — Map (db m16149) HM|
|Near this spot, the Arrohateck Indians greeted John Smith and his compatriots during their May 1607 exploration upriver from Jamestown. Smith’s 1612 Map of Virginia shows Arrohateck towns on both shores of the James below present-day Richmond. . . . — — Map (db m16335) HM|
|These earthworks are part of the Confederate defensive position known as the Howlett Line. It was a string of interconnected redoubts and entrenchments that stretched for eight miles. The line took its name from the Howlett House located at its . . . — — Map (db m66325) HM|
|These earthworks are part of the strong Confederate defensive position known as the “Howlett Line.” Composed of a string of interconnected redoubts and trenches, the line ran eight miles north and south and was named for the Howlett . . . — — Map (db m164337) HM|
|The ground you are standing on would have been a very dangerous place from May of 1864 until the fall of Petersburg in April of 1865. In front of you is one of the many gun positions that the Confederates used to protect the Howlett Line. This . . . — — Map (db m73964) HM|
|The Union Army of the James, retiring across Proctor's Creek in this vicinity after the battle of Drewry's Bluff, May 16, 1864, turned east into the Peninsula between the James and Appomattox Rivers, where it was "Bottled" by Confederate forces. — — Map (db m16045) HM|
John Smith Explores the Chesapeake
Captain John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay in the early 1600s seeking precious metals and a passage to Asia. He traveled the James, Chickahominy, and York rivers in 1607, and led . . . — — Map (db m128321) HM|
|To the east, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee briefly made his headquarters at Clay's house on 17 June 1864. There he received full details of the Union army's attack on Petersburg that began the evening of 15 June 1864. Lee learned that Lt. Gen. . . . — — Map (db m17124) HM|
|Mary Randolph, a native of Chesterfield County and author of the first American regional cookbook, lived nearby at Presquile Plantation during the last two decades of the 18th century after her marriage to David Meade Randolph in 1782. The couple . . . — — Map (db m11678) HM|
|Mt. Malady, the ﬁrst hospital in the American colonies, was built in Coxendale near Henricus in 1612. It had 40 beds for 80 patients! Many colonists arrived in poor health from their long sea voyage. Others acquired diseases, such as . . . — — Map (db m87884) HM|
|Olin Miller Dantzler (1826-1824) was a native of South Carolina. He graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia in 1846. He married Caroline Clover on July 10, 1850, and they had five children. Prior to the war Dantzler served as a South . . . — — Map (db m16060) HM|
|In 1607, Opposunoquonuske, sister of the Appamattuck Indian chief Coquonasum, headed an Appamattuck town on the James River at the mouth of the Appomattox. On 24 May 1607, Opposunoquonuske received a party of Englishmen in a stately fashion, greatly . . . — — Map (db m54254) HM|
|The town of Osbornes was named for Captain Thomas Osborne who settled nearby at Coxendale in 1616. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Osborne's plantation wharf was a tobacco inspection station and local shipping center. Thomas Jefferson, . . . — — Map (db m16019) HM|
A one-quarter-mile walking trail through the site offers a window into the existence of a typical Civil War artillery company on the front lines during the final year of the war. The men depended on the . . . — — Map (db m173570) HM|
| Parker’s Battery
April 1865 — — Map (db m174115) HM|
|Parker’s men improved this earthen redoubt, referred to as a battery, so as to better protect their guns stationed behind its walls. Supporting infantry, from the 15th and 17th Virginia regiments, filled the adjacent trenches and manned the forward . . . — — Map (db m16086) HM|
|Parker’s men improved this earthen redoubt, referred to as a battery, so as to better protect their guns stationed behind its walls. Supporting infantry, from the 15th and 17th Virginia regiments, filled the adjacent trenches and manned the forward . . . — — Map (db m66326) HM|
|To the west of the road here at Proctor's Creek Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler's Union Army of the James attacked the outer line of the Confederates' Drewry Bluff defenses on 13-14 May 1864. On the first day, Union Maj. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore struck . . . — — Map (db m16044) HM|
|Many of the men, like Major Parker and Lieutenant J. Thompson Brown, returned to their homes in Richmond after the war. Brown became a successful local businessman, and in 1888 purchased the ground here in order to preserve the area where the . . . — — Map (db m164550) HM|
|Many of the men, like Major Parker and Lieutenant J. Thompson Brown, returned to their homes in and around Richmond after the war. In 1888, Lieutenant Brown, then a successful local businessman, purchased the ground here in order to preserve the . . . — — Map (db m164551) HM|
|McClellan’s Federals attacked in 1862, then Grant in ’64, while Joseph E. Johnston and then Robert E. Lee defended. The two major assaults on the Confederate capital fanned out in a series of battles, skirmishers and marches. Tour the . . . — — Map (db m16076) HM|
|Here in 1864 on the Bermuda Hundred peninsula between the James and Appomattox Rivers, the Union Army of the James, commanded by Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, was "bottled up" by Confederate Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard, defender of Petersburg. The . . . — — Map (db m17118) HM|
|On Jan. 23, 1865, the ironclads Virginia II, Richmond, and Fredericksburg, with five smaller vessels, descended the James River in an effort to attack the Union supply depot at City Point. A reliable report indicated that recent . . . — — Map (db m164327) HM|
|On the evening of May 16, 1864 the Army of the James completed its retreat from The Second Battle of Drewry's Bluff and returned to its earthworks in Bermuda Hundred. Too disorganized to effectively pursue the retreating Federals, the Confederates . . . — — Map (db m164336) HM|
This is a fragment from the breech of a 5.8 inch “Sawyer Gun”. This gun was located at Battery Sawyer, a Federal gun position across the river to your front where the River’s Bend community is today. This gun burst on August 5, 1864 . . . — — Map (db m87592) HM|
|Photograph of the ironclad ram Atlanta. The Atlanta was built by the Confederacy and was captured at Savannah Ga. by Federal forces in 1863. It saw service on the James River in the US Navy. The ship was decommissioned in 1865 and was . . . — — Map (db m87876) HM|
|Photograph of the Union ironclad Saugus taken from near this location in March 1865. The log boom on the bow of the Saugus is a field adaptation to protect it from Confederate mines in the river.
This sign was sponsored by Edwin . . . — — Map (db m87877) HM|
|This photograph of the Dutch Gap Canal was taken from near this location in 1865. It shows the canal with a dredge boat in the background. The canal was dug in an attempt to bypass Confederate gun positions at Battery Dantzler approximately one mile . . . — — Map (db m164325) HM|
|This site seems remote from Richmond, but Confederate defenses extended well beyond the city. From mid-June 1864 a unit of artillerymen called Parker’s Battery manned these earthworks.
Despite the proximity of a large enemy force, this line was . . . — — Map (db m164339) HM|
|Near this spot was built
Anno Domini 1611
The Church of Henricopolis
Under the auspices of
Sir Thomas Dale
High Marshall of Virginia
The Reverend Alexander Whitaker, M.A,
This cross is erected to
Commemorate the . . . — — Map (db m16147) HM|
|The house that stood here, midway between Richmond and Petersburg, was a landmark in the campaign of 1864. East and Southeast were Batteries Brooks, Semmes, Wood and Dantzler which defended the South side of James river from Drewry’s Bluff to the . . . — — Map (db m14277) HM|
|Just east of this point running from the James River to the Appomattox River, was the Confederate defense line known as the Howlett line, named for the Howlett House that stood at the north end of the line. Established in May, 1864, by General . . . — — Map (db m17116) HM|
Native Americans 1500's
These boats were used by the Powhatan Indians to carry furs, food, and other trading items.
First Settlers 1600's
Shallops were wider and sometimes longer than canoes. They were propelled by oars or by . . . — — Map (db m87886) HM|
|Civilization has dramatically transformed the landscape. Before 1930s, the land around you was probably swamp and bottomland forest. From the 1930s to around the 1960s, companies mined the area for sand and gravel. During this time, the large open . . . — — Map (db m87881) HM|
|The foundation is all that remains of the lightkeeper’s house. The lightkeeper had to live on site to maintain the gas-powered lights which were once located on the bluff. Lights were constructed after the first Dutch Gap channel was completed in . . . — — Map (db m16153) HM|
The Battle of Trent's Reach
On the night of Jan. 23, 1865, the ironclads Virginia II, Richmond, and Fredericksburg, with five smaller vessels, descended the James River in an effort to attack the Union supply depot . . . — — Map (db m87879) HM|
|One of the most dramatic changes along the James River is the daily tide. The tides originating in the Atlantic Ocean influence the river all the way to the City of Richmond. Constant sources of freshwater from replenishing rainfalls and streams in . . . — — Map (db m87883) HM|
Early in 1864, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, commander of all Federal armies, ordered advances throughout the Confederacy in the spring. On May 5, Union Gen. Benjamin F. Butler landed his Army of the James on Bermuda Hundred to . . . — — Map (db m164324) HM|