"Drewry's Bluff, at least for the present, is the headquarters of the Corps, and I may consequently reasonably expect to stay here for some time at least."
Henry Lea Graves, 1862
From 1862 to 1865, the training of Confederate Marines took place in the area in front of you - Camp Beall - seen in the background of the photograph here. Three companies of Confederate Marines were permanently stationed here, the largest concentration of Confederate Marines anywhere in the South. After participating in the battle here on May 15, 1862, Confederate Marines immediately began construction of the camp, though it was not until that winter that permanent structures were finalized. The Marines often complained of boredom and inactivity, yet Drewry's Bluff remained an important post that could he attacked at any time. Marines trained here at Camp Beall later transferred to ships of the navy or other posts throughout the Confederacy.
Lloyd J. Beall was an 1830 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, who fought in the Black Hawk, Seminole and Mexican Wars, before rising the rank of major. When the Civil War came, he was appointed commandant the Confederate States Marine Corps in 1861. He served in that capacity until the end of the war. Beall died in Richmond in 1887.
"The corps was composed of enlisted men, many of whom were old soldiers and commissioned officers, a number of whom had seen service before in the U.S. marine corps and elsewhere. The corps was thoroughly trained and disciplined, and in all encounters with the enemy the officers and men were conspicuous for their courage and good conduct."
-Lloyd J. Beall