Richmond National Battlefield Park
(left panel)Parker's Battery
A one-quarter-mile walking trail through the site offers a window into the existence of a typical Civil War artillery company on the front lines during the final year of the war. The men depended on the marssive earthen fortifications for daily protection. Elaborately constructed cannon emplacements are reminders of why they were here. A small monument, erected by the survivors of Parker's Battery, emphasizes the importance of this place in their post-Civil War lives.
William Watts Parker, a Richmond physician, raised an artillery company in 1862 and gave it his name. Just weeks before the war's end, Captain Parker received promotion to major and left the battery.
(center panel)Richmond-Petersburg Campaign
The contending armies marched from Cold Harbor towards Petersburg in mid-June 1864 in what became a dramatic high-stakes race. Both sides already held fortified lines here on the Bermuda Hundred peninsula. Grant borrowed troops from this force—Gen. Benjamin F. Butler's Army of the James—to help strengthen his drive towards Petersburg. The balance of his army swept in from the east after a forced march from Cold Harbor and attacked Petersburg on June 15-18.
General P.G.T. Beauregard commanded the Confederate troops at Bermuda Hundred. He made the difficult decision to abandon the peninsula and rush to the aid of Petersburg's defenders. Very briefly, the route to Richmond lay open through Bermuda Hundred. But Lee's Confederate army arrived in time to restore the lines here and to help defends Petersburg. Parker's battery was part of the force that Lee assigned to Bermuda Hundred on June 17.
Bermuda Hundred/Parker's Battery
After Butler's army landed at Bermuda Hundred on May 5, 1864, this area saw continuous operations until April 3, 1865, forcing Confederate leaders to defend this area with veteran troops, like Parker's Battery. Today this site offers a well-preserved window into the conditions along Richmond's defenses in 1864 and 1865. Although most of the adjacent entrenchments and battlefields associated with this campaign are gone forever, Parker's Battery stands as an evocative reminder of how things were in that dramatic era.
The Confederate defenses at Petersburg eventually became complex and extensive. But in June 1864 a badly outnumbered force desperately guarded the primary line of defense against the converging columns of the Union army.
Map represents situation in June 1864
(right panel)Parker's Battery
Visiting Richmond National Battlefield Park
The concentration of Civil War resources found in the Richmond area is unparalleled. The National Park Service manages 13 sites, giving visitors an opportunity to examine the battlefield landscapes, to hear the stories of the combatants and civilian residents, and to understand the complex reasons why Richmond came to symbolize the heart and soul of the Confederacy.
RegulationsThis is a partial list of park regulations. Site is open sunrise to sunset. Report suspicious activities to any park employee or call 804-795-5018. In emergencies call 911.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
All natural and cultural resources are protected by law.
Relic hunting is prohibited. Possession of a metal detector in the park is illegal.
Hunting, trapping, feeding, or otherwise disturbing wildlife is prohibited.
Weapons are prohibited inside all park buildings.
Pets must be on a leash.
Recreation activities like kite-flying, ball-playing, and frisbee throwing are prohibited.
Motor vehicles and bicycles must remain on established roads.