Comments on the Map “Union Monitors Shell the Howlett’s Farm Area, June 19, 1864”
I started with a base map found between pages 632 and 633 (and still represented as folded together at Google Books!) of Volume 11 of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Luckily, a passable but still slightly folded version of the map is available online at the University of North Texas Libraries site, allowing me to snip out the relevant portion at a good resolution. I removed Battery Wood and Battery Brooke on the Confederate side because they were not operational until October 864. I also removed Battery Sawyer on the Union side because it was not completed and operational until about a week after this small affair. In addition, Battery Semmes is located in the wrong place on the Official Records map, and I had to shift the name further north to the James. See this map as just one source I found which places Battery Semmes on the James River near Howlett’s Farm. The linked map places the Union monitors in Trent’s Reach at about 1800 to 2400 yards from Battery Semmes, and by extension the Confederate James River Squadron nearby, on the afternoon of June 19, 1864. Also keep in mind that the Howlett House Battery, later called Battery Dantzler, was not QUITE operational on June 19. So even though you see Battery Dantzler on the western end of Trent’s Reach, know that this battery played no role in this small affair. That battery would play a LARGE role in an action two days later, on June 21, 1864, as soon as its guns were placed.
- Base map: United States. War Department. Map of the James River from Chaffin’s Bluff to City Point, map, 1900; Washington D.C.. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth284650/m1/1/: accessed February 26, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department. Some fortifications and Dutch Gap Canal were removed since they did not yet exist. In addition, ships and labels were created. This new map is copyrighted by Brett Schulte, 2021 and may not be reproduce without his express written consent. All rights reserved. ↩