previous next

The River approach: defending Richmond.

To hold at bay the Federal navy, waxing strong on the rivers as it was practically supreme on the sea-coast, taxed the Confederates in 1864 especially. The James River eniptying into Chesapeake Bay offered the invaders a tempting means of approach. So at every point of advantage in its sinuous course through the bottom lands of Virginia, a Confederate battery was placed to sweep a reach of the river. The big guns, cast and bored in Richmond, were mounted along the river in her defense. So skilfully was this work conducted that the Federal gunboats never reached Richmond until after Lee retreated from Petersburg. The banks of the James often reechoed to the thunder of the naval guns during the last year of the war. Battery after battery was silenced, yet Drewry's and Chaffin's Bluffs herd firm, while the torpedoes and obstructions in the river made it impossible to navigate. On this page appear two of the Confederate guns that frowned above Dutch Gap. The lower one is in Battery Brooke, whence the deadly fire interfered with Butler's Canal, and is a homemade naval gun. The upper one was a Columbiad with reinforced breech. Both of them are mounted on old style wooden carriages.

Union monitors held at bay December, 1864.

Confederate guns along the James river defending Richmond

Confederate guns along the James river defending Richmond


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert E. Lee (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December, 1864 AD (1)
1864 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: