May 16, 1864
Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard, CSA, successfully attacks Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, USA, at Fort Darling, or Drewry’s Bluff, VA, forcing Maj Gens. William F. Smith and Quincy A. Gillmore, USA, to retreat to Bermuda Hundred, VA, where Butler is effectively “bottled in” with the James and Appomattox Rivers to the north and south and Gen. Beauregard, CSA, to the east. It is argued that if Butler had been successful (and probably should have) in taking Petersburg, and then marching on to Richmond, VA, the Civil War would have concluded much sooner than what actually occurred. Total casualties approximate 6,700.
Skirmish at Port Walthall Junction, VA, part of the Army of the James’ operations south of the James River.
Note: All “Today In The Petersburg Campaign” blog entries are used with permission from Ronald A. Mosocco’s Chronological Tracking of the American Civil War per the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Order the book HERE.
Copyright © 1993, 1994 by Ronald A. Mosocco
Mentions of This Date at The Siege of Petersburg Online:
- B&L: The Defense of Drewry’s Bluff by P.G.T. Beauregard
- B&L: Butler’s Attack on Drewry’s Bluff by W. M. Farrar Smith
- SHS Papers: Volume 37: Fighting That War Close by Us: One Who Was There Tells About the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff‑‑Many Errors Corrected by John U. Sumter
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