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November 3, 2018
Annual Meeting & Tour
Saturday 10:00 am
Second Deep Bottom Battlefield - Closing the Gap
[2018 Annual Meeting & Tour]

Richmond Battlefields Association will hold its annual meeting at our newly preserved site near Fussell's Mill. Our tour will highlight newly-acquired rifle pits and earthworks from the Bailey Creek defensive line, scene of the pivotal Union breakthrough and Confederate counterattack on August 16th, 1864. This section of the Confederate line has never before been open to the public. With this latest acquisition RBA approaches its long-held goal of consolidating the core battlefield at Fussell's Mill. Hikers should wear appropriate footwear and clothing for the season. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Our annual business meeting will follow the tour.

History: On the night of August 13, 1864, two Federal infantry corps and a division of cavalry left the lines in front of Petersburg and slipped by ruse and nighttime marches to positions on the north side of the James River east of Richmond. Their mission was to find a weak spot in the thinned Confederate defenses, to attack and break through the lines and threaten the Confederate capital. In two major engagements over three days of suffocating dust and heat, 44,000 men went at each other in feverish combat. In hand-to-hand fighting Federal troops succeeded in penetrating the Confederate lines and throwing the defenders into confusion, until Confederate reinforcements—and the ever deadly heat—withered the operation to another infuriating stalemate. The cost in lives was heavy, and the situation on the ground remained virtually unchanged. The Federals fell back across the James on the 20th, maintaining their bridgehead at Deep Bottom.

April 2018
Victory! 3 Critical Acres Saved
Second Deep Bottom Battlefield
[Saved Land Map] [Fussell's Mill]

The Richmond Battlefields Association is pleased to announce the preservation of a key 3-acre property at Second Deep Bottom. The heaviest fighting of the campaign occurred here on August 16th, 1864. Some 5,000 Union troops, commanded by Union Gen. Alfred Terry, broke the Confederate defensive line commanded by newly promoted Gen. Victor Jean Baptiste Girardey. Confederate field commnader, Gen. Charles Field, remembered that moment as one of the most appalling sights of his life. Unless he could rally his men the road to Richmond lay open.

We have saved a section of surviving Confederate earthworks & rifle pits defended by Gen. C.C. Sanders’ Alabama brigade. His troops arrived the evening before after a grueling march from the Petersburg defenses. Throughout the morning hours of the 16th Union brigades under Gen. Robert Foster, Col. Francis Pond and Col. Calvin Craig assaulted Sanders’ position and each time the Alabamians held. Union Col. Craig later died from wounds received that day. The timely arrival of Confederate reinforcements, emboldened by the presence of Gen. Robert E. Lee, counterattacked and drove the Federals from their captured works. That night the armies returned to the same positions they had occupied prior to the battle.

Importantly, this acquisition brings us one step closer to closing the gap between our southern and northern Second Deep Bottom Battlefield properties.

2017 Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund
Second Deep Bottom Battlefield

The Richmond Battlefields Association has been awarded a matching funds grant from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to purchase targeted battlefield land at Second Deep Bottom. The award letter cited RBA's "continuing dedication and commitment in protecting important Civil War Battlefields for the future of Virginia and the nation."

2017 Edwin C. Bearss Preservation Award

The Richmond Battlefields Association was one of two recipients of the 2017 Edwin C. Bearss Preservation Award. The award was presented by the Civil War Round Table of Chicago, the oldest such organization in the country. RBA appreciates the recognition of such a fine group, and is grateful for their generous support our battlefield preservation effort.

RBA Store & Online Donations
Support us by donating online or purchasing RBA gear!
[RBA Online Store] [Donate to RBA Online]

Support RBA by purchasing men's or women's apparel, hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, water bottles, etc. at our new online store. A portion of the proceeds from all sales goes to fund our battlefield preservation efforts. Also, donate to RBA online through GiveRichmond.org. Get in the fight now!

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Past Events

October 2017
Annual Meeting & Tour
Point of Rocks Civil War Site
[2017 Tour Photos]

Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at Point of Rocks Civil War Site in Chesterfield County. Participants enjoyed a beautiful Fall morning walking in the footsteps of Gen. Benjamin "Beast" Butler, Clara Barton, President & Mrs. Lincoln, and Gen. & Mrs. Grant. Our expert guides, Scott Williams and George Fickett, explored the unique history of this Union foothold on the north bank of the Appomattox River. This site of "brown water" naval battles, a Union headquarters, hospital, burial ground and post-war freedmans' village is a true preservation gem!

October 2016
Annual Meeting & Tour
Gaines' Mill Battlefield - Deed Transfer Ceremony
[2016 Tour Photos]

Once again, the Richmond Battlefields Association's annual meeting featured a special Deed Transfer Ceremony with the National Park Service. RBA celebrated the transfer of 3 acres at Gaines' Mill to the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Board member Mike Andrus led guest on a walking tour of the site made famous by Hood's Texas Brigade on June 27, 1862. In one of the largest assualts of the war, Confederate Gen Robert E. Lee's troops attacked across Boatswain's Creek, breaking the Union position here. Lee's first major victory resulted in over 15,000 casualties and convinced Union Gen. George B. McClellan to abandon his "On to Richmond" campaign. That night, the Federals began a long and costly retreat to the James River. This was the first battlefield preservation success at Gaines' Mill in more than 80 years. This addition to the Park's holdings ensures that this hallowed ground is now preserved for all time.

November 2015
Cold Harbor Battlefield - Beulah Church Land Dedication
Richmond National Battlefield Park
[2015 Cold Harbor Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association celebrated a battlefield preservation success at the Cold Harbor. The Richmond National Battlefield Park be formally opened the new Beulah Church site to the public. Following a short ceremony and the unveiling of several new interpretive markers, historian R.E.L. Krick led a walking tour of the grounds. This site saw fighting on May 31 & June 1, 1864. For the first time the park will be able to tell this neglected part of the Cold Harbor story.

October 2015
Annual Meeting & Tour
Second Deep Bottom Battlefield - Return to Fussell's Mill
[2015 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at Fussell's Mill. Board members Ben Brockenbrough and Mike Andrus led an extensive tour of the 1864 Second Deep Bottom Campaign. Our tour group enjoyed a fine Fall morning traversing our new 25-acre Darbytown Road battlefield, scene of intense fighting on August 16th. We were joined by a special guest, historian Jimmy Price, who provided insightful accounts of United States Colored Troops (USCT) participation in the battle.

November 2014
Annual Meeting & Tour
Cold Harbor Battlefield - Deed Transfer Ceremony
[2014 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association's annual meeting was especially meaningful this year. It featured a Deed Transfer Ceremony with the National Park Service celebrating the transfer of 18 acres at Beulah Church to the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Mike Andrus and Ben Brockenbrough led guest on a unique tour of the battlefield exploring the actions of June 1&3, 1864. The Union 18th Corps attacked across these fields, resulting in one of the costliest and most infamous repulses of the entire war. This addition to the Park's holdings ensures that this hallowed ground is now preserved for all time.

September 2014
CWT Campaign To Save 665 Acres At North Anna
Partners in Preservation: An Interview with Ben Brockenbrough & Robert Freis
[CWT Interview]

Earlier this year, the Civil War Trust launched a fundraising campaign to save 665 crucial acres on the North Anna Battlefield - the entirety of the Jericho Mill portion of the site. The Richmond Battlefields Association (RBA) is contributing $5,000 to the effort, matching a $5,000 contribution from the Grand Army of the Cussewago (GAC). The Civil War Trust recently had the opportunity to connect with RBA president Ben Brockenbrough and GAC historian Robert Freis regarding the groups' donations.

August 2013
Gov. McDonnell Announces Battlefield Preservation Grants
RBA Awarded Matching Funds for Beaver Dam Creek
[Photo]

Recently, Governor McDonnell announced the 2013 Battlefield Preservation awards at a ceremony at Balls Bluff Regional Park. Richmond Battlefields Association was one of four preservation groups receiving grants this year. RBA will receive matching funds from the Civil War Site Preservation Fund for purchase of the Thomas tract at the Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield.

June 2013
48th Alabama Regiment Monument
Second Deep Bottom Battlefield - Dry Ravine
[Monument Photos] [Monument Inscription]

A monument to the 48th Alabama Regiment was recently installed at the Fussell's Mill "dry ravine" site preserved by RBA. It is here that Col. William C. Oates lost an arm while leading a desperate counter attack on Aug 16, 1864.

June 2013
Annual Meeting & Tour
Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield
[2013 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at our new Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield site. Despite torrential rains from Tropical Storm Andrea, members followed historian Mike Andrus on a tour of the bluff overlooking Beaver Dam Creek and learned of the June 26, 1862 fight that took place there.

June 2012
Annual Meeting & Tour
Gaines' Mill Battlefield - Longstreet's Attack
[2012 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association once again held its annual meeting at our Gaines' Mill battlefield site. Attendees took advantage of a magnificent June morning to follow Longstreet's attack across the adjacent 285-acre McDougle Farm. Board members, Ben Brockenbrough and Mike Andrus, led our tour group across a pristine landscape while providing an outstanding account of the June 27, 1862 action and its aftermath.

May 2012
Dedication of Hood's Texas Brigade Monument
Gaines' Mill Battlefield
[Ceremony Photos] [Monument Inscription]

Flags were flying and bagpipes filled the air at the recent dedication ceremony hosted by RBA. Participants enjoyed beautiful weather as representatives from Hood's Texas Brigade Association Re-activated, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Richmond Battlefields Association unveiled the new monument. In his keynote address, Professor Gary Gallagher stressed the importance of the Battle of Gaines' Mill as a true turning point in the American Civil War. Many descendants of the 4th Texas soldiers were present, as were descendants of James Longstreet, JEB Stuart, and John Bell Hood. Renowned NPS historian R.E.L. Krick led a tour of the battlefield after the ceremony.

April 2012
Spring Tour of Hanover & King William Counties
Funds Raised for Battlefield Preservation
[Tour Photos]

Participants in our Spring tour contributed to RBA's battlefield preservation fund while enjoying the many historical gems along the Pamunkey River. Among the Civil War sites rarely seen were Marlbourne, Westwood, Summer Hill, Hanover Town, Wyoming, and Williamsville. Thank you to all who participated for making RBA's inaugural tour a smashing success!

June 2011
Annual Meeting & Tour
Gaines' Mill Battlefield - Boatswain's Creek
[2011 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at our new Gaines' Mill site. Participants followed in the footsteps of Hood's Texas Brigade, splashing across Boatswain's Creek. NPS historian REL Krick led a walking tour exploring the fighting that took place here on June 27, 1862.

June 2010
Annual Meeting & Tour
Cold Harbor Battlefield - Beulah Church
[2010 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at the Cold Harbor Battlefield. David Lowe, a leading authority on Civil War fortifications, led a walking tour of the battlefield detailing the finer points of field entrenchments. The tour concluded by exploring RBA's latest battlefield preservation site at Beulah Church.

June 2009
Annual Meeting & Tour
Second Deep Bottom Battlefield - Fussell's Mill
[2009 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at Fussell's Mill on the Second Deep Bottom Battlefield. Historians Robert K. Krick, Mike Andrus and REL Krick spoke on the August 1864 combat that took place in the surrounding woods and fields. A walking tour of the battlefield followed.

June 2008
Annual Meeting & Tour
White House Landing on the Pamunkey River
[2008 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at White House Landing on the Pamunkey River. Despite the heat, participants enjoyed a rare opportunity to explore this historic New Kent County site. Historians Robert K. Krick and REL Krick described the significant connections of George Washington and Robert E. Lee to White House Plantation.

June 2007
Annual Meeting & Tour
Drewry's Bluff/Fort Darling
[2007 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at Drewry's Bluff on the James River. NPS historian REL Krick led a walking tour of the site with special emphasis on subjects and locations not addressed by NPS signage & interpretation.

June 2006
Annual Meeting & Tour
Malvern Hill Battlefield - Poindexter Farm

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at the Malvern Hill Battlefield. NPS historians Frank O'Reilly and REL Krick led a unique walking tour of the Poindexter Farm, property outside the Park. Here Stonewall Jackson deployed artillery and R.E. Lee set up headquarters on July 2, 1862.

June 2005
Annual Meeting & Tour
Cold Harbor Battlefield - Allison Farm
[2005 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at the Cold Harbor Battlefield. Author and historian Gordon Rhea joined REL Krick in leading a unique walking tour of the Allison Farm, private property outside the Park. Here on June 3, 1864 the slaughter of Federal troops established Cold Harbor's reputation as a killing ground.

June 2004
Annual Meeting & Tour
Frayser's Farm/Glendale Battlefield - Whitlock Farm
[2004 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at the Glendale Battlefield. Author William J. Miller and historian REL Krick lead a 2-mile walking tour of the battlefield. The highlight of the tour was a visit to the privately-owned Whitlock Farm, scene of the heavisest fighting on June 30, 1862.

June 2003
Annual Meeting & Tour
Fort Harrison
[2003 Tour Photos]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its annual meeting at the Fort Harrison. Author and historian Dr. Richard J. Sommers described the September 1864 operations around Chaffin's Bluff. Afterwards he joined historian REL Krick to lead a walking tour of the Fort Harrison property saved by RBA.

June 2002
Annual Tour
Gaines' Mill Battlefield

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its first public tour at the Gaines' Mill Battlefield. Renowned historian Edwin C. Bearss regaled a large crowd on the signifigance of the June 27, 1862 battle. Despite the intrusion of a severe thunderstorm, participants enjoyed the opportunity to stand with Ed on the battlefield on 140th anniversary of the battle.

June 2002
Annual Meeting
Fort Harrison
[Log Cabin]

The Richmond Battlefields Association held its first public business meeting at the Old Log Cabin at Fort Harrison. In 1927 Douglas Southall Freeman and others made the first effort to preserve Civil War battlefields around Richmond by purchasing Fort Harrison. The log cabin was the headquarters of the Richmond Battlefields Parks Corporation and served as a most apropriate site for renewing battlefield preservation efforts in the 21st century. Coincidentally, Fort Harrison was the site of RBA's first battlefield preservation success!

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Above: RBA-sponsored tour of historic White House Landing on the Pamunkey River in New Kent County (June 2008).

Our Gaines' Mill Story

for sale

For Sale: In the fall of 2010, the RBA board evaluated the Gaines' Mill site bordering the Richmond National Battlefield Park along Boatswain Creek.

boatswain creek

Negotiation: Over the winter months negotiations with the landowner were successfully concluded.

outbuildings

Restoration: RBA arranged for the removal of non-historic structures.

clearing

Perspiration: RBA board members worked hard to restore the landscape.

cleared site

Preparation: The site was cleared just in time for our annual meeting in June 2011.

rba meeting

Celebration: RBA celebrated our preservation success at Gaines' Mill, the first in 90 years.

rba meeting

Exploration: NPS historian Bob Krick led the first public tour of this historic site.

rba tour

Preservation: This hallowed ground was now protected forever.

Texas monument

Commemoration: In 2012 RBA hosted the dedication of this battlefield monument to Hood's Texas Brigade.

NPS deed transfer

Realization: In 2016 Superintendent Dave Ruth announced the addition of this Gaines' Mill site to the Richmond National Battlefield Park --- the culmination of a six year preservation effort by RBA.