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May 15, 1862: The Battle of Drewry’s Bluff

On May 15, 1862, the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff, also known as the Battle of Fort Darling, was fought between Union and Confederate forces at a sharp bend on the James River near Richmond, Virginia. Union forces were stationed aboard warships in the river and Confederate forces were high on a fortified bluff.

Richmond was the Confederate capital and vulnerable to attack by the Union Army on land, and by the Union Navy through the navigable James River. In March 1862, Confederate Captain Augustus H. Drewry ordered the construction of fortifications and the installation of large guns on his property, which was on a 90-foot bluff above the James River, and just seven miles from Richmond.

C.S.S. Virginia

Early in May, Norfolk fell to Union forces and the Confederate ship C.S.S. Virginia, took refuge to avoid capture. This left the James River at Hampton Roads exposed and open to Union warships. At Drewry’s Bluff, Confederate forces filled the river with underwater obstructions including debris, sunken steamers, and pilings to prevent Union ships from reaching Richmond. Then they took up defensive positions in the fort and along the banks.

A detachment of Naval vessels took advantage of the open waterway and made a push for Richmond. The USS Monitor and USS Galena, and gunboats Aroostook, Port Royal, and Naugatuck steamed up the James River. As they approached the bend at Drewry’s Bluff, they encountered the obstacles and anchored just below the fort. The Galena opened fire and the Confederates responded. Armor piercing shots penetrated the Galena causing extensive damage. The Monitor’s armor was much thicker, allowing for the shots to ricochet off, but her rotating guns were not able to raise at an angle high enough to fire on the fort. The gunboats encountered problems too. The Port Royal was hit below the water line and the Naugatuck’s gun burst. For more than three hours of intense fire, the Galena took the brunt of the attack.

USS Monitor

U.S. Marine John F. Mackie was aboard the Galena and watched as one by one, the naval gun crew was either wounded or killed. Mackie commanded a dozen Marines on the gun deck and led his men to take over operation of the guns. For his “gallant conduct and services,” President Abraham Lincoln later bestowed the Medal of Honor upon Mackie. He is the first marine to receive that honor.

With Galena’s ammunition running low, the Union fleet eventually retreated. Union troops counted 27 casualties, including 14 dead. Confederate casualties were 15, with seven dead. The Confederates successfully prevented the Union Navy from reaching Richmond. To learn more about the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff and other Civil War battles, search Fold3 today!

74 Comments

  1. The photo titled as USS Monitor is incorrect. That might be the USS Galena, but it is certainly NOT the USS Monitor.

  2. Interesting that the Confederate KIA are linked but not the Union. In Ed Bearrs book about actions on the James River, I found a pretty detailed description of the Drewry’s Bluff engagement and description of the action of the ironclad USS Galena. Summarizing Bearrs’ report: The Galena was in the lead in the attack and was pretty well shot up. Armor was not very heavy. During the action, 13 (or perhaps 14) Galena sailors were killed. After the action, 13 bodies were placed in coffins and transferred to the gunboat Port Royal. The Port Royal and another smaller gunboat, the Stevens Battery [later renamed Naugatuck, sic] traveled to and anchored off of Jamestown Island. After about 24 hours at anchor, the odor from the bodies became “offensive” and the Port Royal’s master ordered them transferred to the Stevens Battery and ferried ashore where the 13 were buried. There is no description of specifically where they were buried.

    It’s interesting that in official records, those killed on the Galena on May 15 are sometimes listed as being on the USS Cincinnati. That ship was rammed and sunk at Fort Pillow on May 10, 1862. It was re-floated but not put back into service until late Fall 1862. Also, depending on which report of casualties I read, there are 14 names cited as killed or mortally wounded on the Galena during the May 15, 1862, battle.
    (Compiled from: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies and Navy Casualty Reports, 1776-1941 on Fold3)
    NAME TITLE
    1. Adams, Richard A. Seaman
    2. Boyd, Robert Ordinary Seaman
    3. Houghton, William H. Ordinary Seaman
    4. Maney (Manney) Michael Landsman
    5. Milbury (Milberry) Martin Landsman
    6. Patterson, David Landsman
    7. Quigg, John Landsman
    8. Reddy (Ready), Thomas Seaman
    9. Russell, John Landsman
    10. Smith, John 4th Ordinary Seaman
    11. Webber, James H. 3rd Class Boy
    12. Dougherty, Owen** Coal Heaver
    13. Johnson, Joseph Private Marine
    14. Boorom, Jared D.*** Gunner

    • Actually, these numbers appear to be incorrect low. According to Naval records, the body of Jared D Boorum was shipped home and 17 bodies were buried on Jamestown Island before the ships returned to Hampton Rhodes. To date, I can substantiate 32 killed or wounded Union personnel.

  3. I’ve tried to find information on the confederate injuries during this battle. My husband’s several great grandfather, Daniel Long, was supposedly blinded during this battle and one of the few paid for his injuries. There was a write up online about this, I think on findagrave, but I would like a little more documentation. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Ms. Butler, Do you have his full name (first middle last) and dates of birth and death? It will be very useful if you have the name of the unit he was serving in during the Civil War and in what state (Virginia, perhaps?) the unit was organized.
      Here are places you could search for more information:
      > The Library of Virginia (http://www.lva.virginia.gov/) has records of pensions and disability support given to Virginia’s Confederate veterans of the Civil War that are accessible on-line.
      >Also try the National Park Service Soldier and Sailor data base (www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers.htm)

    • My great Grandmothers first husband was killed there also.
      He was wounded and died a few days later.
      He was on the confederate army and buried at Arlington. I found his marker and is has him listed as Noah Farmer.
      His marker says Nora Farmer.
      I called them and they said they would correct it but I have not been back to see if they did.

    • Sorry it took a while for me to get back to this. I finally found his records. The article was written in The Danbury Reporter, about him being blinded. Daniel Long was a private, K Company with the 31st infantry from North Carolina. He was blinded, BUT it happened during the second Battle at Drewry Bluff! When I found his records I was momentarily confused because the year was listed as 1864 not 1862. I’m still interested in more places to find information on these battles. My husband and I had a few relatives that fought on the Confederate side and it is difficult to locate information. Thank you to RW Elsass for the link to the Virginia Library. I will definitely join and see what they have.

  4. Thank you one and all for the history lesson. Would you believe up to now, I knew nothing about “gunboats “ being used in the American civil war, I thought all the battles fought were on land. It’s amazing I never heard or read about these gunboat stories, and I am nearly 73 years old.

    • Look up USS Carondelet an Eads gunboat that served on the Mississippi. My great grandfather served in her. There are a number of books about the war on the Mississippi.

    • Check out the book “Joseph Brown and his Civil War Ironclads” the USS Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia”, by Myron J. Smith, Jr. The book tells the story of the building of, and action in, the Mississippi Flotilla. My Great-Great-Grandfather, Theodore E. Underwood, was Pilot 1st Class of the USS Chillocothe, and was wounded at the Battle of Fort Pemberton.

    • In addition to Cairo, Carondelet and Cincinnati, I must include USS Pittsburgh
      as well as those mentioned above. the river battles on the Mississippi are often neglected in Civil war history but were vital in severing Confederate supplies. Also in one of the battles( was it Fort Donelson?) Confederate troops massacred Union Afro-American troops after they had surrendered

    • Charlie,

      I recommend reading up on the Confederacy and their submarines. They weren’t called submarines but there was active research, testing and building of them more than just the H.L. (for Horace Lawson) Hunley.

    • The USS Cairo was sunk in the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg, MS by a mine. It was salvaged from the river in the early 1960’s. It has been reconstructed and is on display at the Vicksburg Military Park. And many artifacts from the Cairo are on display at the museum. It’s very interesting.

  5. I grew up in Chesterfield County, VA, and wish to thank Jenny Ashcraft for this information. Beyond the VA Highway Markers, not much was ever told in school (back in the era of 1950) about the battle, except the Confederate forces kept the union army away from Richmond, for the time being.

    • I dont like to think about what is, or what isn’t, being taught in public schools today about the war. Im sure if history is offensive, its either rewritten differently or simply not taught at all as so future generations will be doctrinated as to believe the whole war was about maintaining slavery. (B.S.)..

    • John Smith I agree with you. I sit down with my children often when it comes to the War of Northern Aggression. Slavery was an afterthought and was used by the North to recruit when they were loosing. They over taxed the South. We warned them 30 years before the first shot to stop creating laws that harmed the South or we will succeed. The worst thing covered, barely, that history says the North did was Sherman’s March. How about the fact that they sent their military to the South first, or General Butler’s order 28? Sorry for the rant but I’m over the South being painted as the bad guy.

    • George – There is a long history of Moore Family in Chesterfield County.
      Is George Hunt Moore (1770-1835) one of your ancestors?

    • Donna, Thanks for your comment. No, I am not related to George Hunt Moore. I know that there were Moore’s living in the S/W part of the county, somewhere in the general area of Winterpark and the Appomattox River. My family was David (abt 1808-1850), Austin E. (1831-1915), George Wills Sr. (1862-1931), and George W, Jr (1910-2000). All lived in the area of Midlothian and at 9801 Midlothian Pike. I would like to exchange any information that you may have as it relates to David’s parents and Austin’s wife’s family (Mary B. Wills abt 831-1890).

  6. Most of the Mississippi gunboats were built in Pittsburgh, PA and were under the command of Admiral Andrew Foote. Tragically, Foote was wounded in the foot(no Joke) and died of sepsis from it, It was doubly tragic for the union as he was a great strategist! Recently, one of the boats, The Carondelet I believe, was found in the mud at Vicksburg and raised and I believe restored!

    • The Carondolets wreck was found in the Ohio river by the noted wreck hunter Clive Cussler (sp). The Cairo was sunk near Vicksburg and raised by the US Park Service. That fine old Marine Ed Bearrs wrote a book about it. She was a sister ship to the Carondelet and can be visited at the Vicksburg Museum.

    • My great grandmother’s brother was the coal heaver on the Carondelet.

  7. The Galena was what was called a :tinclad- from the way the tin was laid over the hull, It was supposedly a new advance in design but was not very affective and bullets rather penetrated armour rather than bounce off. For further info refer to :The Civil War at Sea. by the great grandson of the commander of the Virginia, Admiral Buchanon

  8. One of my ancestors, Henry (Heinrich) Ernst, b. 1835, Bavaria, Germany, was a ‘Man-at-Arms’ on the USS Weehawken, an ironclad monitor in the US Navy. In 1864 he is on the Register of Patients in the US Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Va. His injury is described as
    ‘In line of duty’. I would like to know where to find more information about his services on board the Weehawken. His home state would have been New York.

    • You might try checking the US Naval records mentioned in R W Elsass’ second comment at the top of thi comment section. The Library of Virginia has the series of books containg these records. You can probably find them on Fold3, also, aswell as elswhere online

    • USS Weehawken had a short career. Launched 5 Nov 1862 at Jersey City, NJ and sunk 6 Dec 1863 off Morris Island, SC. Most notable achievement, in conjunction with USS Nahant, was capture of iron-clad ram CS Atlanta in Warsaw Sound, Georgia 17 Jun 1863. Check Henry’s record, I think it is 1863. Record indicates he was discharged from service.

  9. Have you ever compared the “causes” of the American Revolution and the war for independence to the REAL causes of the War of Northern Aggression?

  10. Corporal Mackie’s Medal of Honor for his gallantry at Drewry’s Bluff was NOT presented by President Lincoln. It was delivered to him by US Mail when he was in charge of the Marine Guard attached to USS Seminole in 1864.

  11. I lived almost in walking distance of this fort and frequently enjoyed the high viewpoint. I do apologize for and regret my ancestors spent $5,000 on Confederate war bonds to perpetuate slavery either as a primary or secondary concern. I repudiate their narrow mindedness and desire to own people. I became a minister and Christian vowing to make up for an ancestral travesty. We should have kept the $5,000. We have all been broke ever since.

    • The narrow mindedness you refer too was sadly perpetuated on both sides and Slavery was still legal in the North before, during and after Lincoln’s death until the Amendment was passed and signed by Johnson.

      See below the book I recommend reading. It’s long and at times way too dry reading but the best one on the subject I’ve ever read.

    • My cousin in Mississippi says that our Barnes family were destitute after the Civil War. He said that they wore Southern tennis shoes (went barefooted).

  12. John,

    As someone who grew up in Seattle and a member of the ‘Son’s of Confederate Veteran’s’ it’s amazing to me how bad history has been taught.
    I try all the time to get people to read the book; “Complicity” How the North Prolonged, Promoted & Profited From Slavery published in 2005 with few folks willing to do so. If you haven’t read it then I highly recommend it.
    The three writers were employees of the ‘Hartford Courant’ of Hartford, Ct.a paper started in 1765 before we were the U.S. One of the most informative books on the subject that I’ve ever read and should in my opinion be mandatory reading for history teachers and talking heads who seem determined to vilify the South.

    • Shawn, The Hartford Courant is the longest continuously published newspaper in the USA. The Connecticut River valley was an onion farming area and crops were shipped around the world. Ships that were “retired” were taken apart and used to build buildings, such as churches. One such church in Rocky Hill, CT contained a special “room” next to the choir for the slaves to hear the sermons. The slaves were locked in this room during the church service because the parishioners were deathly afraid that the slaves would rebel. All of this is in the Church Minutes. And yes, the New England “Yankee” ship captains profited greatly from the slave trade.

    • Thanks George!

      Have you by chance read the aforementioned book? Having read many books on the subject of “Slavery” I personally found this book the most informative and well researched of the ones I’ve read.

      The first Governor of Ohio was my relative and one of his homes was bought from Charles Washington and can be found as an Irish Pub in Charles Town, W.V. Some of his relatives stayed in the North while others migrated to the South including the States of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama later found in Mississippi and Arkansas before ending up in the Pacific N.W.

    • Thank you, Shawn for the recommendation. I just purchased the Kindle version, and I’m looking forward to the information the book has to offer!

  13. Sounds like a bunch of revisionist struggling to explain away the treachery and treasonous acts of a despicable and misguided group who just cannot understand that we’re all sisters and brothers under the skin.

    • By the way it’s well done and extremely well researched along with an extensive forward done by a Black woman educator. To me it seems you’d rather comment on something such as a book you’ve never read instead of taking the time to read it and then make a comment.

  14. I had four relatives killed by a maul and thier house burned down on them in 1861 in Hawkins county,tennessee, so many people fought for the c.s.a. For many reasons ,but not all were for slavery, many thought the northern politician were passing laws that were detrimental to the south,I had family who fought on both sides.

    • I too had relatives on both sides. The reasons mistakes are doomed to be repeated is when a country, family, individuals don’t realize the root causes of their problems.

      I truly believe our history is told in sound bites and told in such a simplified manner that causes leading up to the War and the years following have kept our country from facing her deep rooted problems. It’s always been easier to blame the Southerner for Slavery, the War and Segregation all the while the North has been equally guilty for those three charges.

  15. Remember this wisdom people
    A house divided within itself cannot stand.

    Either the American people get their act together as true brothers and sisters or we will be relegated to has beens and could have’s. We cannot undo the mistakes of the past but we sure as hell shouldn’t drag all that into our futures and revisit the travails already experienced. Live learn and move on for a better future not one that tries to have us relive the strife and heartaches already suffered again..

    • Well spoken E. J. Cox!

    • In many instances I’d agree about not dragging up the past but more often than not the study of History has been put on the back burner so to speak. When it has been studied at the elementary thru H.S. level it generally has included the supposed high points with little regard to the meat and potato causes. In my opinion the over simplification of the root causes has done little to help put the past to bed.

      If we look at the ongoing societal problems in this country could they be problematic because the root causes were rarely understood? Do you think that’s the case in other countries where there’s ongoing strife?

  16. Interesting article and commentary. I, too have ancestors who fought on both sides of the Civil war. There was slavery in both North and South. Today we know it is not only wrong but evil. But it is very easy for us to put 21st century sensibilities upon people of earlier generations.

    • We know it’s wrong but in this country for over 150 years we only blame Southerners for Slavery and Segregation all the while there was legal Slavery in the North during the War, de-facto Segregation has taken place throughout the country. Growing up in the Pacific N.W. in the 50’s & 60’s where most schools had a level of segregation because the cities were segregated. In Seattle there was Real Estate agreements that had to be signed agreeing not to sell to people of color in the future. That was officially made illegal in 1968.
      It’s not P.C. to discuss who sold Slaves into Slavery or that Slavery exists in Africa today like we have Sex Slaves in this country. My point nothing can be corrected if we don’t face the true causes rather than the ongoing sugar coating of past issues.

  17. In my youth we learned that the U.S.S. Virginia was sunk, and raised and rebuilt as an ironclad and named the Merrimack. Has that story changed?

  18. In my youth we learned that the U.S.S. Virginia was sunk, and raised and rebuilt as an ironclad and named the Merrimack. Has that story changed?

    • Just the opposite- the USS Merrimack was sunk at Newport News and resurrected and rebuilt as the CSA Virginia. Later it was burnt to avoid capture by advancing Union Troops. I stayed on the No Mistake Plantation in Mississippi where lumber from the plantation was used to build the CSA Yazoo City- a sister ship to the Virginia- built in same design!

  19. Ms. Butler , The South was the bad guy. Started to leave the union because Lincoln was elected. Fired the first shot at Fort Sumter. (Southern aggression). The war was all about and always was about ending slavery. The deaths and tragedy enabled Lincoln to move the timetable up to emancipation, instead of just limiting it’s expansion as a first step.
    Sherman’s march probably saved lives. Before Grant and Sherman and the South was being coddled. The mistake the Union made was to fight “with “one hand tied behind it’s back. It could have been over sooner but the North didn’t want to release their full fury against their one time countryman. The South could have gotten much worse
    and deserved it for defending an institution that supports slavery. You should thank Sherman and Grant for ending your embarrasment and evil life style. I think more restitution is called for even now.

    • What a simplistic approach to the War and no complete understanding of the Slavery issue. Explain why Slavery wasn’t outlawed in all of the North & why the Proclamation only involved the States of Rebellion?

      Many historians not just Southern ones still discuss the possibility the Southern States had a legal right to succeed. If succession was wrong why the breaking up of Virginia was allowed to breakup during the War.

      Please go to the library & checkout the book, “Complicity” with sub title “How the North Promoted, Prolonged & Profited from Slavery.” Then comeback & discuss your vitriol. How about explaining why the Mayor of New York advocated sucessation with the South? How about a Northern ship captain being hung for bringing slaves on his ship? Please explain Northern ship captains bringing slaves long after it was illegal & why N. Y. City got wealthy off Slave Trade? Please explain why it took after Lincoln’s death to pass the Amendment outlawing Slavery?

      Why were Blacks not allowed in a number of Northern States or couldn’t own property? Try reading the very enlightening book named above written only by Northerners. If it doesn’t blow your mind then I promise I’ll not bring it up again.

    • Some times people can’t see the other side of an argument and just try to pick a fight. You can’t help them because they refuse to see it. I looked up the book you mentioned and will order it. I can’t wait. There is also a letter, online, on The Citadel website. It is a letter written by a cadet that was there when the first shot was fired at the Star of the West. It is amazing to see the emotion and see how much it was seen as an invasion and act of war to stock a Fort, in state waters. Thank you Shawn for being a gentleman.

    • Lucinda,

      You’re welcome. I was a History Major & my books go back to 1856. I’ve been to 36 Battlefields, museums too numerous to mention, cemeteries, etc.

      The book I mentioned was as eye opening as I’ve ever read & not by Southerners so no slant or bias.

  20. I drive through Yazoo City every time I leave my residence to visit my many relatives in Mississippi. My mother and her siblings and my many cousins were born in Yazoo County, MS. I have visited the Vicksburg National Park museum and have walked on the deck of the resurrected Cairo. I highly recommend this tour to everyone. Take the children! Visit the museum, see the films shown. Young ones will benefit from this up-close personal education–and can pass along the true facts of the siege and battle down to the next generation–they will never forget this treasured piece of history! I would be interested in further information on the CSA Yazoo City, should anyone know more of its background. Many thanks.

    • Hi Nina
      Check out book “The Civil War at Sea” for full detail of the Yazoo City- – an armoured tinclad, she saw limited action. Mrs Ethel Smith, pwmer of the No Mistake Plantation, was a close personal friend. The plantation housed the headquarters of 1 of Grants generals during the war!

    • Hi, Len, thank you very much for the title of the book, I will find it and learn all I can, expanding one’s knowledge is always a good thing! An interesting aside–a contingency of Union officers also headquartered in a lovely pre-Civil War home in my hometown of Canton, MS, and some Confederates were held in a makeshift “jail” in the cellar of that home. Your story of the plantation and its owner is fascinating…likewise I know at least two generations of family who’ve lived in the Canton house down through the decades–friends and fellow members of my family church. There is so much history to be learned, it takes a lot of reading, and understanding, all around. I, like some others, have ancestors on both sides–a complex situation, at best! I will enjoy the book–I’m grateful to you for all the information.

    • Hi
      Mrs. Smith told me that her plantation was started by her husband’s ancestors in the early 1800’s and the family consisted of 3 brothers. The youngest asked his older brothers if the land the plantation sits on was okay for purchase. The brothers replied you will make no mistake in buying that land. Hence the name of the plantation, The plantation consists of 10,000 acres and Mrs Smith was awarded state farmer of the year in the 1970s. Ms. Smith has since died and her only remaining heir, a nephew in Kentucky sold the estate- it is now a bed and breakfast

    • Hi,
      The No Mistake Plantation–that is an interesting story…make no mistake! lol…My drive back home when I drive takes me on shortcuts through the Delta, and I cross the MS River at Greenville, and over through Yazoo City and then to Canton from there. But can you tell me just where the plantation is located? If I get back to MS one day I’d love to stop by there, perhaps I could make a night of it sometime. Sounds lovely!

    • Yes0 it was in a small town southeast of Yazoo City with a funny Indian Sounding name beginning with an s – name meant and Indian gourd or something

    • Hi, there’s a great web site with a photo of No Mistake plantation house and history, Sartartia, MS on HWY 3. I copied a few sentences:
      “No Mistake Plantation, originally a 10,000 acre cotton plantation near Satartia, was established in 1833 by James and Nathaniel Dick, wealthy and prominent New Orleans merchants. James Dick wrote his brother Nathaniel about the land, and his brother advised that “we would make no mistake buying that land.” John Monroe Dick acted as the overseer of the plantation before the Civil War. This house was originally the overseer’s home and is a one-and-a-half story cottage with a sloping dormered roof supported by eight columns on the broad veranda. After becoming manager of the farm, Francis Pleasant Smith purchased the property from the earlier owners in 1888. Later this farm, under the ownership of William Henry (Billy) Smith and later his wife, Ethel Barfield Smith, became known for its beautiful gardens.
      In the 1990s, No Mistake Plantation became a bed and breakfast establishment, and for several years was the home of Emmaus Retreat Center, with several added cottages and a Celtic chapel on the hill close to where the original plantation home is thought to have stood.”
      Fascinating story, thanks again, Len.

    • Thanks
      I stayed at the plantation many times when attending Mrs Smiths daylily conventions. I member my first stay and being rudely awakened by a loud “Yelp, yelp, yelp” sound. We thought someone was being attacked. Mrs. Smith yelled up- go back to sleep- its only the damn peafowl on the roof!- I never forgot that trip( she had 39 peafowl in the flock)

    • Len…hahahah, love your stories, laughing so much at the peahen on the roof! A count of 39 in all, that must have been quite a racket! Today I’m going to research for the book Civil War At Sea. I have in my life studied many accounts of war In the Pacific during the 1940s, as my uncle (from Vaughan, MS) was killed on the USS HANCOCK in April of 1945. I have yet to read accounts of the Civil War battles at sea but I am honored to own two large ‘grape shot’ my late uncle found on the battlefield…back before the park became a Federal preserve. There is a larger than life bronze statue of my ancestor General E.O.C. Ord, near the end of the battlefield tour. I know a little bit about the Cairo, and in fact toured her and the museum a few years ago when I traveled back down to Vicksburg. I’ve enjoyed your No Mistake Plantation memories. Will get to that research now, thanks again for sharing!

    • The name of the town is Satartia

    • Thanks, Len, I just saw your other post with the name Satartia, I had Googled it by then. Sadly, the No Mistake is up for sale, is not in operation, and the property is closed to the public. I was disappointed to see this, but perhaps some day something good will come of it. We for now can cherish its history, and the nice people who came before us who did their best to keep the ‘spirits’ alive. We have our memories of the past, and sometimes that may be all a good many of us have. I know there are many sites in MS where battles were fought, lives were everlastingly affected, and all ancestors of our past who did their best, for country and family and community, must be remembered with honor and reverence.

  21. Shawn, I have read it. It’s interesting but as explained it only proves that men can be greedy and petty.
    I have a fairly complete understanding of the issues in most areas.
    I don’t contend that the North or the rest of the world was or is guiltless. The South has no monopoly on greedy or evil men. The Southerners were just moral cowards that instead of agreeing to work to end slavery they chose to try and destroy the union and resorted to violence. The south fired the first shots in the name of what they thought was a new country. That started the war.
    As for leaving the union, the argument wasn’t settled legally or in any other way until the war was won. Turns out you can’t break our country up because it might hurt your lifestyle. Turns out all men are created equal.
    Greed… What a sad and evil reason considering it would mean the expansion of slavery. In fact the union can’t be dissolved no matter what the reason.
    The South lost and sadly continues to be the capitol of bigotry and ignorance and that makes them the bad guy. Jim crow’s bigotry and ignorance is everywhere but parts of the south still lead the offenders. Even worse some still try to change the basic truth that the South was wrong and that makes them an embarrassment to the rest of the US and the world. Still flying the battle flag of the war, that might as well be the Nazi swastika flag of WWII. The South was wrong and trying to continue the evil and they should apologize to the Northern States and most of all to our African Americans. Further restitution is certainly called for. You lost rich, greedy white people of the south, learn from it.

  22. Regarding my May 5 inquiry about an ancestor on the ironclad monitor USS Weehawken, thank you, Joe Neagle, for your helpful response on May 6.

  23. The conversations on this thread are better than the article!

  24. I know what brigade and infantry my great great grandfather was in but how do I get more information on battles and such. You all seem to have good

    • There is a wealth of information because of all the unit histories that were written. If you post the name of his unit, than someone should be able to identify a book that will answer your questions.

  25. Is there a list of the soldiers who were stationed there? I’m still searching for my great grandfather.

    • Finding who was there on the Confederate side is quite difficult. It is known that two Virginia Infantry units were there as well as CS Marines, members of the destroyed CSS Virginia, and a lot of different local artillery units. I have been researching this nearly every day for two years, ever since Bob Krick walked me over the battlefield and we exchanged information. My wife’s second great uncle, Ansalem Clements, died there according to his wife Angelina’s approved Confederate pension.
      What was your great grandfather’s name and unit he served in?

    • JR. My Great Grandfather was John W Mann (1844-1926) There are just too many named John W and JW Mann in Virginia!

      I have the following information from his application to the Confederate Soldier’s Home, Richmond, Virginia. I have no way of knowing that the information on the application is True. It indicates that he served with Major Drewry’s Company at the bluff. But no date.

      Another document I found on Ancestry is his widow’s application for Civil War Pension. On that document it also shows that he served “Artillery, Drewrys’ Bluff – July 1862 + ______ Light Artillery 1864.”

  26. JR. Sorry I meant to include the info that John W Mann was from Chesterfield County. I have located his gravesite in the historic Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA.

    • Donna, I found your records and have more information.
      Your great great grandfather may have been dismissed from service following the battle when the Confederate Congress passed the first conscription act in June, 1862. Anyone under 18 or over 35 was dismissed from service. If you’ll look up my research tree “1st Drewry’s Bluff family tree” on Ancestry, you can contact me through Ancestry. I found your GGGF in Pegram’s Artillery for 1864-5.

    • Thank you. I will try to find that family tree on Ancestry.com