Bermuda Hundred Sesquicentennial: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign

Mark F. Jenkins

Member of the Year
Mar 31, 2012
Central Ohio
On this date, 150 years ago, freshly-minted Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant put a stop to further land and combined operations against Charleston SC. The basic reason was that he wanted to use Major General Quincy A. Gillmore's troops for a different operation, one aimed directly at Richmond's jugular vein. Gillmore's troops, added to a corps under William Farrar "Baldy" Smith and a cavalry division under August V. Kautz, became part of the new "Army of the James," under controversial political general Major General Benjamin F. Butler.

In the next few days and weeks, I hope to cover this interesting and little-known campaign, which is most famous for its failure and the image of "Bottled-up" Ben Butler. While its ultimate failure is indisputable, the campaign was in position to succeed in more ways than it really had a right to, and did accomplish some limited objectives towards a Union victory; the whys and wherefores of the failures and missed opportunities, many coming down to simple miscommunication and distrust among the Union top commanders, make this campaign worthy of more attention than it usually gets. (It's said that failure can often be more instructive than success. In that case, this should be quite an instructive exercise...)

For a start, here's a map; part B of Plate 77 in the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records:


Mark F. Jenkins

Member of the Year
Mar 31, 2012
Central Ohio
Dramatis Personae: Union Officers

Adelbert Ames, divisional commander, X Corps:

William T. H. Brooks, divisional commander, XVIII Corps:

Hiram Burnham, brigade commander:

Benjamin Franklin Butler, commander, Army of the James:

Quincy A. Gillmore, corps commander, XVIII Corps:

Charles K. Graham, “Naval Brigade” commander:

Joseph R. Hawley, brigade commander:

Charles A. Heckman, brigade commander:

Edward W. Hinks, divisional commander, XVIII Corps:

Joshua B. Howell, brigade commander:

August V. Kautz, cavalry division commander:

S. Phillips Lee, commander, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:

Gilman Marston, brigade commander:

Harris M. Plaisted, brigade commander:

Edward W. Serrell, chief engineer, X Corps, and later Army of the James:

William F. “Baldy” Smith, corps commander, X Corps:

Alfred H. Terry, divisional commander, XVIII Corps:

John W. Turner, chief of staff, then divisional commander, X Corps:

Godfrey Weitzel, chief engineer, Army of the James:

Isaac J. Wistar, brigade commander:
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Mark F. Jenkins

Member of the Year
Mar 31, 2012
Central Ohio
Dramatis Personae: Confederate Officers

Seth M. Barton, brigade commander:

P.G.T. Beauregard, departmental commander:

Thomas L. Clingman, brigade commander:

Alfred H. Colquitt, brigade commander:

Montgomery D. Corse, brigade commander:

James Dearing, cavalry brigade commander:

Archibald Gracie, brigade commander:

Johnson Hagood, brigade commander:

Daniel H. Hill, senior staff officer:

Robert F. Hoke, divisional commander:

Bushrod R. Johnson, brigade and then divisional commander:

William G. Lewis, brigade commander:

James G. Martin, brigade commander:

George E. Pickett, divisional commander:

Matthew W. Ransom, brigade commander:

Robert Ransom, divisional commander:

William R. Terry, brigade commander:

William H. C. Whiting, divisional commander:

Henry A. Wise, brigade commander:

Mark F. Jenkins

Member of the Year
Mar 31, 2012
Central Ohio
There are a few that either don't have Wikipedia articles* or that I haven't added yet. Work in progress. (But I added Serrell.) :wink:

* What? Wikipedia's not 100% reliable? :D

Mike Serpa

Jan 24, 2013
"Bottled-up" Ben Butler

  • Title: "As if he had been in a bottle strongly corked" / W.H.T.
  • Creator(s): Tevis, William H., copyright claimant
  • Date Created/Published: 1865.
  • Medium: 1 photographic print on carte de visite mount: albumen ; 10.1 x 6.2 cm (mount)
  • Summary: Photographic reproduction of drawing shows caricature of Brigadier General Benjamin Franklin Butler inside a corked bottle referring to a quotation about Butler by U.S. Grant: "... as completely shut off from further operations directly against Richmond as if it had been in a bottle strongly corked."
  • Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-34863 (digital file from original item)


Apr 10, 2013
Warm Springs Virginia
PTB2.jpg PTB1.jpg I shall do all in my power, with my limited means, to hold in check the Enemy in my front, who has nearly double my present force, and, if possible, I will compel him to evacuate his present strong position. I succeeded yesterday, after a severe struggle, in obtaining the shortest defensive [Howlett] line in front of his works, which extend from the James River to the Appomattox. This line is about three miles long, and when properly fortified, will enable me, with a small force, (say about 10,000 men) to hold in check, and neutralize the force of at least 25,000 men, which the Enemy is now reported to have on the Peninsula of Bermuda Hundreds. To drive him from his present position, the best plan would then be to send a force of about 4 or 5,000 men to storm Fort Powhatan, and establish there a Battery of heavy guns to command the navigation of the James River at that point - this could be accomplished in a very few days; then, by putting into the River torpedoes and a rope obstruction, under the protection of the guns of the Fort, no Enemy's repels could pass up or down the River, and he would be compelled to abandon his present position. With regards to reinforcing Gen'l Lee, I shall be most happy to do so, whenever you shall judge proper to order it. The prisoners taken yesterday report no part of Butler's forces as having been yet sent to reinforce Gen'l Grant - they state on the contrary, that a Brigade of 5 or 6,000 men was received day before yesterday by Gen'l Butler - this is rather doubtful in my opinion; Gen'l Gilmore may have received a few Regiments or parts of Regiments from his former Department - but nothing more. I have ordered a close watch to be kept along the James River...of any reinforcements [Butler] may send to Gen'l Grant. I enclose herewith an approximate statement of the effective forces I now have in front of the Enemy...Infantry - 13,000 / Artillery - 850 / Cavalry - 680 / Total - 14,530...[signed] G.T. Beauregard / Gen'l Comdg''
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Mark F. Jenkins

Member of the Year
Mar 31, 2012
Central Ohio
Order of Battle: Union Army

Army of the James: Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler

1st New York Mounted Rifles: Col. Benjamin F. Onderdonk
1st U.S. Colored Cavalry: Maj. Harvey W. Brown
2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry: Col. George W. Cole
13th Company, Massachusetts Heavy Artillery: Capt. John Pickering, Jr.

Naval Brigade: Brig. Gen. Charles K. Graham (manning Army gunboats Samuel L. Brewster, Charles Chamberlain, and General Jesup)
· Company I, New York Heavy Artillery: Capt. Robert W. McLaughlin
· Company K, New York Heavy Artillery: Capt. John S. Gordon
· Company A, Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery: Lt. William G. Rohrman
· Company B, Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery: Lt. Louis A. Grill​

Cavalry Division: Brig. Gen. August V. Kautz
  • First Brigade: Col. Simon H. Mix
    • 1st District of Columbia Cavalry: Lt. Col. Everton J. Conger
    • 3rd New York Cavalry: Lt. Col. George W. Lewis
  • Second Brigade: Col. Samuel P. Spear
    • 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry: Lt. Col. Christopher Kleinz
    • 11th Pennsylvania Cavalry: Lt. Col. George Stetzel
  • Divisional Artillery
    • 8th Battery, New York Light Artillery (section): Lt. Peter Morton

X Corps: Maj. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore

1st New York Engineers (eight companies): Col. Edward W. Serrell
1st Battalion, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry: Capt. Lucius Richmond

1st Division, X Corps: Brig. Gen. Alfred H. Terry
  • First Brigade: Col. Joshua B. Howell
    • 39th Illinois Infantry: Col. Thomas O. Osborn
    • 62nd Ohio Infantry: Col. Francis B. Pond
    • 67th Ohio Infantry: Col. Alvin C. Voris
    • 85th Pennsylvania Infantry: Lt. Col. Edward Campbell
  • Second Brigade: Col. Joseph R. Hawley
    • 6th Connecticut Infantry: Lt. Col. Lorenzo Meeker
    • 7th Connecticut Infantry: Lt. Col. Daniel C. Rodman
    • 3rd New Hampshire Infantry: Josiah I. Plimpton
    • 7th New Hampshire Infantry: Col. Joseph C. Abbott
  • Third Brigade: Col. Harris M. Plaisted
    • 10th Connecticut Infantry: Col. John L. Otis
    • 11th Maine Infantry: Lt. Col. Winslow P. Spofford
    • 24th Massachusetts Infantry: Col. Francis A. Osborn
    • 100th New York Infantry: Col. George B. Dandy
  • Divisional Artillery: Capt. Alfred P. Rockwell
    • 1st Battery, Connecticut Light Artillery: Capt. Alfred P. Rockwell
    • 5th Battery, New Jersey Light Artillery: Capt. Zenas C. Warren
    • Battery M, 1st United States Artillery: Capt. Loomis L. Langdon

2nd Division, X Corps: Brig. Gen. John W. Turner
  • First Brigade: Col. Samuel M. Alford
    • 40th Massachusetts Infantry: Col. Guy V. Henry
    • 3rd New York Infantry: Lt. Col. Eldridge G. Floyd
    • 89th New York Infantry: Col. Harrison S. Fairchild
    • 117th New York Infantry: Col. Alvin White
    • 142nd New York Infantry: Col. N. Martin Curtis
  • Second Brigade: Col. William B. Barton
    • 47th New York Infantry: Lt. Col. Christopher R. McDonald
    • 48th New York Infantry: Lt. Col. Dudley W. Strickland
    • 115th New York Infantry: Maj. Ezra L. Walrath
    • 76th Pennsylvania Infantry: Col. John C. Campbell
  • Divisional Artillery: Capt. George T. Woodbury
    • 4th Battery, New Jersey Light Artillery: Capt. George T. Woodbury
    • Battery B, 1st United States Artillery: Capt. Samuel S. Elder
    • Battery D, 1st United States Artillery: Lt. John S. Gibbs

3rd Division, X Corps: Brig. Gen. Adalbert Ames
  • First Brigade: Col. Richard White; (5/18/64) Col. Henry R. Guss
    • 8th Maine Infantry: Lt. Col. Henry Boynton
    • 4th New Hampshire Infantry: Col. Lewis Bell
    • 55th Pennsylvania Infantry: Lt. Col. Frank T. Bennett
    • 97th Pennsylvania Infantry: Col. Henry R. Guss
  • Second Brigade: Col. Jeremiah C. Drake
    • 13th Indiana Infantry: Col. Cyrus J. Dobbs
    • 9th Maine Infantry: Col. Sabine Emery
    • 112th New York Infantry: Lt. Col. Elial F. Carpenter
    • 169th New York Infantry: Col. John McConihe
  • Divisional Artillery: Capt. Alger M. Wheeler
    • 33rd Battery, New York Light Artillery: Capt. Alger M. Wheeler
    • Battery C, 3rd Rhode Island Light Artillery: Capt. Martin S. James
    • Battery E, 3rd United States Artillery: Lt. Joseph P. Sanger

XVIII Corps: Maj. Gen. William F. Smith

1st Division, XVIII Corps: Brig. Gen. William T. H. Brooks
  • First Brigade: Col. Gilman Marston
    • 81st New York Infantry: Col. Jacob J. De Forest
    • 96th New York Infantry: Col. Edgar M. Cullen
    • 98th New York Infantry: Col. Frederick F. Wead
    • 139th New York Infantry: Col. Samuel H. Roberts
  • Second Brigade: Col. Hiram Burnham
    • 8th Connecticut Infantry: Col. John E. Ward
    • 10th New Hampshire Infantry: Lt. Col. John Coughlin
    • 13th New Hampshire Infantry: Col. Aaron F. Stevens
    • 118th New York Infantry: Col. Oliver Keese, Jr.
  • Third Brigade: Col. Horace T. Sanders; (5/16/64) Col. Arthur H. Dutton; (5/26/64) Brig, Gen. Charles Devens, Jr.
    • 21st Connecticut Infantry: Col. Arthur H. Dutton; (5/16/64) Maj. Hiram B. Crosby
    • 92nd New York Infantry: Lt. Col. Hiram J. Anderson, Jr.
    • 58th Pennsylvania Infantry: Lt. Col. Montgomery Martin
    • 188th Pennsylvania Infantry: Lt. Col. George K. Bowen
    • 19th Wisconsin Infantry (detached 5/17/64): Lt. Col. Rollin M. Strong
  • Divisional Artillery: Maj. Theodore H. Schenck
    • 4th Battery, Wisconsin Light Artillery: Capt. George B. Easterly
    • Battery L, 4th United States Artillery: Lt. John S. Hunt
    • Battery A, 5th United States Artillery: Lt. Charles P. Muhlenberg

2nd Division, XVIII Corps: Brig. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel; (5/20/64) Brig. Gen. John H. Martindale
  • First Brigade: Col. Charles A. Heckman; (5/16/64) Brig. Gen. George J. Stannard
    • 23rd Massachusetts Infantry: Lt. Col. John G. Chambers
    • 25th Massachusetts Infantry: Maj. Cornelius G. Atwood
    • 27th Massachusetts Infantry: Col. Horace C. Lee; (5/16/64) ?
    • 9th New Jersey Infantry: Col. Abram Zabriskie; (5/16/64): Lt. Col. James Stewart, Jr.
  • Second Brigade: Col. Griffin A. Stedman; (5/7/64 – 5/18/64) Col. Isaac J. Wistar
    • 11th Connecticut Infantry: Lt. Col. William C. Moegling
    • 2nd New Hampshire Infantry: Col. Edward L. Bailey
    • 12th New Hampshire Infantry: Maj. John F. Langley
    • 148th New York Infantry: Col. George M. Guion
  • Divisional Artillery: Capt. Frederick M. Follett
    • 7th Battery, New York Light Artillery: Capt. Peter C. Regan
    • Battery E, 3rd New York Light Artillery: Capt. George E. Ashby
    • Battery F, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery: Capt. James Belger
    • Battery D, 4th United States Artillery: Lt. James Thompson

3rd Division, XVIII Corps: Brig. Gen. Edward W. Hinks
  • First Brigade: Brig. Gen. Edward A. Wild
    • 1st U.S. Colored Troops: Col. John H. Holman
    • 10th U.S. Colored Troops: Lt. Col. Edward H. Powell
    • 22nd U.S. Colored Troops: Col. Joseph B. Kiddoo
    • 37th U.S. Colored Troops: Lt. Col. Abiel G. Chamberlain
  • Second Brigade: Col. Samuel A. Duncan
    • 4th U.S. Colored Troops: Lt. Col. Geroge Rogers
    • 5th U.S. Colored Troops: Col. James W. Conine
    • 6th U.S. Colored Troops: Col. John W. Ames
  • Divisional Artillery
    • Battery K, 3rd New York Light Artillery: Capt. James R. Angel
    • Battery M, 3rd New York Light Artillery: Capt. John H. Howell
    • Battery B, 2nd U.S. Colored Light Artillery: Capt. Francis C. Choate
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Mark F. Jenkins

Member of the Year
Mar 31, 2012
Central Ohio
Order of Battle: Confederate Army

Confederate Forces: Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard

Ransom’s Division: Maj. Gen. Robert Ransom, Jr.
  • Gracie’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Archibald Gracie, Jr.
    • 41st Alabama Infantry: Lt. Col. Theodore G. Trimmier
    • 43rd Alabama Infantry: Col. Young M. Moody
    • 59th Alabama Infantry: Lt. Col. John D. McLennan
    • 60th Alabama Infantry: Col. John W. A. Sanford
    • 23rd Alabama Battalion (Sharpshooters): Maj. Nicholas Stallworth
  • Kemper’s Brigade: Col. William R. Terry
    • 1st Virginia Infantry: Maj. George F. Norton
    • 7th Virginia Infantry: Col. Charles C. Floweree
    • 11th Virginia Infantry: Col. Kirkwood Otey
    • 24th Virginia Infantry: Lt. Col. Richard L. Maury
  • Barton’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Seth M. Barton; (5/11/64) Col. Birkett D. Fry
    • 9th Virginia Infantry: Col. James J. Phillips
    • 14th Virginia Infantry: Col. William White
    • 38th Virginia Infantry: Col. Joseph R. Cabell; (5/10/64) Col. George K. Griggs
    • 53rd Virginia Infantry: Col. William R. Aylett
    • 57th Virginia Infantry: Col. Clement R. Fontaine
  • Hoke’s Brigade: Col. Willam G. Lewis
    • 6th North Carolina Infantry: Lt. Col. Samuel M. Tate
    • 21st North Carolina Infantry: Maj. William J. Pfohl
    • 43rd North Carolina Infantry: Col. Thomas S. Kenan
    • 54th North Carolina Infantry: Col. Kenneth Murchinson
    • 57th North Carolina Infantry: Col. Archibald C. Godwin
    • 21st Georgia Infantry: Col. Thomas W. Hooper
  • Artillery
    • Surry (Va) Light Artillery (Hankin’s Battery): Capt. James D. Hankins
    • 2nd Nelson (Va) Artillery (Rive’s Battery): Capt. J. Henry Rives
    • Caroline (Va) Battery (Thornton’s Battery): Capt. Thomas R. Thornton
  • Cavalry
    • 5th South Carolina Cavalry: Col. John Dunovant

Hoke’s Division: Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hoke
  • Corse’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Montgomery Corse
    • 15th Virginia Infantry: Lt. Col. Emmett M. Morrison
    • 17th Virginia Infantry: Lt. Col. Arthur Herbert
    • 18th Virginia Infantry: Maj. George C. Cabell
    • 29th Virginia Infantry: Col. James Giles
    • 30th Virginia Infantry: Col. Archibald T. Harrison
  • Clingman’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Thomas Clingman
    • 8th North Carolina Infantry: Col. Henry M. Shaw
    • 31st North Carolina Infantry: Col. John V. Jordan
    • 51st North Carolina Infantry: Col. Hector McKethan
    • 61st North Carolina Infantry: Col. James D. Radcliffe
  • Johnson’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Bushrod Johnson
    • 17th/23rd Tennessee Infantry: Col. Richard H. Keeble
    • 25th/44th Tennessee Infantry: Col. John S. Fulton
    • 63rd Tennessee Infantry: Col. Abraham Fulkerson
  • Hagood’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Johnson Hagood
    • 11th South Carolina Infantry: Col. F. Hay Gantt
    • 21st South Carolina Infantry: Col. Robert F. Graham
    • 25th South Carolina Infantry: Lt. Col. John G. Pressley
    • 27th South Carolina Infantry: Col. Peter C. Galliard
    • 7th South Carolina Battalion: Maj. James H. Rion
  • Artillery: Lt. Col. Benjamin F. Eshleman
    • 1st Company, Washington Artillery: Capt. Edward Owen
    • 2nd Company, Washington Artillery: Capt. John B. Richardson
    • 3rd Company, Washington Artillery: Capt. Andrew Hero, Jr.
    • 4th Company, Washington Artillery: Capt. Joseph Norcom
    • Payne’s Battery (improvised, manned by Johnson’s Brigade)
  • Cavalry
    • 3rd North Carolina Cavalry: Col. John A. Baker

Colquitt’s Division: Brig. Gen. Alfred H. Colquitt
  • Colquitt’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Alfred H. Colquitt; (5/15/64 – 5/16/64) Col. John T. Lofton
    • 6th Georgia Infantry: Col. John T. Lofton; (5/15/64 – 5/16/64) Lt. Col. William M. Anderson
    • 19th Georgia Infantry: Col. James H. Neal
    • 23rd Georgia Infantry: Col. Marcus R. Ballenger
    • 27th Georgia Infantry (arrived 5/20/64): Lt. Col. James Gardner
    • 28th Georgia Infantry (at Petersburg): Capt. Tully Graybill
  • Ransom’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Matthew W. Ransom; (5/14/64) Col. William J. Clarke; (5/15/64) Col. Henry M. Rutledge
    • 24th North Carolina Infantry: Col. William J. Clarke; (5/14/64) Lt. Col. John L. Harris
    • 25th North Carolina Infantry: Col. Henry M. Rutledge; (5/15/64) Lt. Col. John L. Harris
    • 35th North Carolina Infantry: Col. John G. Jones
    • 49th North Carolina Infantry: Col. Leroy M. McAfee
    • 56th North Carolina Infantry: Col. Paul F. Faison
  • Artillery
    • Richmond Fayette Artillery (Macon’s Battery): Capt. Miles C. Macon
    • Richmond (Va) Battery (Martin’s Battery): Capt. S. Taylor Martin
    • Macon (Ga) Battery (Slaten’s Battery): Capt. C. W. Slaten
  • Cavalry
    • 7th South Carolina Cavalry: Col. William P. Shingler

Whiting’s Division: Maj. Gen. William H. C. Whiting
  • Wise’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Henry A. Wise
    • 26th Virginia Infantry: Col. Powhatan R. Page
    • 34th Virginia Infantry: Col. John T. Goode
    • 46th Virginia Infantry: Col. Randolph Harrison
    • 59th Virginia Infantry: Col. William B. Tabb
  • Martin’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. James G. Martin
    • 17th North Carolina Infantry: Col. William F. Martin
    • 42nd North Carolina Infantry: Col. John E. Brown
    • 66th North Carolina Infantry: Col. Alexander D. Moore

(Working on cavalry and artillery... there seem to be some discrepancies here... will edit/post when I have them straightened out...)

Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
May 31, 2012
Austin Texas
My GGGrandfather was with Co. B, 38th VA, he shows up with a shoulder wound at Chimborazo Hospital on 5/16/64, I believe from the action near Drewry's Bluff. He was back with his unit in July.

Mark F. Jenkins

Member of the Year
Mar 31, 2012
Central Ohio
April 25, 1864: A flurry of messages back and forth between Acting Rear Admiral S. Phillips Lee and Major General Benjamin F. Butler signifies the beginning of interservice coordination for the amphibious move up the James. Ominously, this takes Lee by surprise; particularly insofar as Butler hopes to move on April 30. Seen in the light of later events, this sort of haphazard coordination at the highest levels will become a running theme in the upcoming campaign.