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The Battle of Drewry's Bluff
May 12-16, 1864

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Other Names: Proctor's Creek, Fort Darling
Location: Chesterfield County, Virginia
Campaign: Bermuda Hundred Campaign (May-June 1864)

Principal Commanders:
Union: Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler [US]
Confederate: Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard [CS]

Forces Engaged: 48,000 total (US 30,000; CS 18,000)

Estimated Casualties: 6,660 total

Description: After his repulse at Swift Creek and Fort Clifton on May 9, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler withdrew into his entrenchments at Bermuda Hundred. A Confederate army of 18,000 was patched together under command of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard to confront Butlerís 30,000. On May 12, Butler moved north against the Confederate line at Drewryís Bluff but again adopted a defensive posture when his attack was not supported by gunboats. On the 13th a Union column struck the right flank of the Confederate line at the Wooldridge House, carrying a line of works. Butler remained cautious, however, giving Beauregard time to concentrate his forces. On May 16 at dawn, Ransomís Confederate division opened an attack on Butlerís right flank, routing many units. Subsequent attacks lost direction in the fog, but the Federals were disorganized and demoralized. After severe fighting, Butler extricated himself from battle, withdrawing again to his Bermuda Hundred Line. This battle stopped Butlerís offensive against Richmond.

Sources:
National Park Service
The Civil War, American Heritage (Doubleday, 1960)


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