After the repulse of the Union Navy on May 15, 1862, Drewry's Bluff became famous as a tangible symbol of Confederate resistance. Work crews made up of impressed slave labor continued construction of the fort, eventually completing a four-sided, enclosed earthwork bristling with guns.
This photograph, taken from the wall behind you, shows the section built after May 15. Following the war the bombproofs collapsed leaving deep impressions in the earth. Also note that the ground was completely open, allowing the fort's defenders to see for miles. When orders came to evacuate Richmond, the Confederate garrison abandoned the fort and joined Lee's army during its retreat to Appomattox. For many of them, their active service ended with capture at the Battle of Sailor's Creek, April 6, 1865.
Drewry's Bluff did not remain vacant long. Union troops immediately took possession of the fort that for three years had barred their way to Richmond.
"Drury's Bluff battery is a perfect Gibraltar and can never be taken by gunboats."
Henry L. Graves, 2nd Georgia Battalion