Drewry's Bluff, VA

Date(s): May 15, 1862

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Drewrys Bluff, Chesterfield, Virginia, United States

Campaign(s): Peninsula Campaign [March-September 1862]

Battles in Campaign:



  • Union: Cdr. John Rodgers

  • Confederate: Cdr. E. Farrand, Brig. Gen. William Mahone, Capt. S. S. Lee, and
    Lt. John Taylor Wood  

Principal Forces:

  • Union: 5 gunboats

  • Confederate: battery garrison


  • After the fall of Yorktown, the Confederate ironclad Virginia at Norfolk was scuttled to prevent her capture.

  • This opened the James River to Federal gunboats.

  • On May 15th, five gunboats, including the ironclads Monitor and Galena, steamed up the James to test the Richmond defenses.

  • They encountered submerged obstacles and deadly accurate fire from the batteries at Drewry’s Bluff, which inflicted severe damage on the Galena.

  • The Federal Navy was turned back.

Slide Presentation: None

Classification2: B

Casualties3: 41 total

  • Union:

  • Confederate:

Results: Confederate Victory

Battlefield Websites: 

Lodging and Restaurants: Virginia Tourism

Recommended Resources:

1 National Park Service summary.

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 04/06/2013