SHARE:
Sketch of the New Market Heights Battle

New Market Heights

Chaffin's Farm

Henrico County, VA  |  Sep 29 - 30, 1864

In September 1864, in order to draw Gen. Robert E. Lee's attention from a movement against the Southside Railroad west of Petersburg, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered a diversionary attack against the Confederate fortifications around Richmond. During the night of September 28-29, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James crossed the James River to assault the Richmond defenses.  Butler's objective was the south end of the Confederate line anchored on the north bank of the James in an open area near the Chaffin family farm. Butler's right column, the Tenth Corps under Maj. Gen. David Birney, would attack the Confederate positions on the high ground above the New Market Road, while his left under Maj. Gen. Edward O. C. Ord would attack nearby Fort Harrison on the Richmond defensive perimeter. Both columns attacked at dawn on the 29th. After initial Union successes on both fronts, the Confederates rallied and contained the breakthrough. A brigade of U. S. Colored Troops in Birney's corps performed bravely in the attack on New Market Heights. For their actions during the battle, sixteen men were awarded the Medal of Honor, fourteen of whom were USCTs. Lee reinforced his lines north of the James and, on September 30th, counterattacked unsuccessfully. The Federals entrenched, and the Confederates erected a new line of works cutting off the captured forts. As Grant anticipated, Lee shifted 10,000 troops to meet the new threat against Richmond, weakening his lines west of Petersburg.

All battles of the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign

Petersburg
City of Petersburg, VA  |  Jun 15 - 18, 1864
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 11,386
Union: 8,150
Confederate: 3,236
First Battle of Deep Bottom
Henrico County, VA  |  Jul 27 - 29, 1864
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 1,167
Union: 488
Confederate: 679
The Crater
Petersburg, VA  |  Jul 30, 1864
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 5,289
Union: 3,798
Confederate: 1,491
Second Deep Bottom
Henrico County, VA  |  Aug 13 - 20, 1864
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 4,399
Union: 2,899
Confederate: 1,500
Reams Station
Dinwiddie County, VA  |  Aug 25, 1864
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 3,561
Union: 2,747
Confederate: 814
New Market Heights
Henrico County, VA  |  Sep 29 - 30, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 5,900
Union: 4,150
Confederate: 1,750
Fort Harrison
Henrico, Virginia  |  Sep 29 - 30, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Union: 4,150
Confederate: 1,750
Peebles' Farm
Dinwiddie County, VA  |  Sep 30 - Oct 2, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 4,140
Union: 2,900
Confederate: 1,240
Hatcher's Run
Dinwiddie County, VA  |  Feb 5 - 7, 1865
Result: Inconclusive
Est. Casualties: 2,700
Union: 1,539
Confederate: 1,161
Fort Stedman
Petersburg, VA  |  Mar 25, 1865
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 3,850
Union: 950
Confederate: 2,900

Related Battles

Henrico, VA | September 29, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Commanders
Forces Engaged
41,100
Union
26,600
Confed.
14,500
Estimated Casualties
5,900
Union
4,150
Confed.
1,750