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The Battle of Swift Creek
May 9, 1864

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Other Names: Arrowfield Church
Location: Chesterfield County, VA
Campaign: Bermuda Hundred Campaign (May-June 1864)

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

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties: 990 total

Description: On May 9, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler made a thrust toward Petersburg and was met by Bushrod Johnsonís Division at Swift Creek. A premature Confederate attack at Arrowfield Church was driven back with heavy losses, but Union forces did not follow up. After skirmishing, Butler seemed content to tear up the railroad tracks and did not press the defenders. In conjunction with the advance to Swift Creek, five Federal gunboats steamed up the Appomattox River to bombard Fort Clifton, while Hincksís U.S. Colored Troops infantry division struggled through marshy ground from the land side. The gunboats were quickly driven off, and the infantry attack was abandoned.

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


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