Totopotomoy Creek/Bethesda Church, VA

Date(s): May 28-30, 1864

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Hanovertown, Hanover, Virginia, United States

Campaign: Grant’s Overland Campaign [May-June 1864]

Battles in Campaign:


  • Operations along Totopotomoy Creek opened with cavalry combats at the Pamunkey River crossing at Dabney’s Ferry (Hanovertown) and at Crump’s Creek on May 27.

  • During the cavalry fight at Haw’s Shop on May 28, Union and Confederate infantry arrived in the vicinity.

  • The Confederates entrenched behind Totopotomoy Creek.


  • Union: Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. George G. Meade

  • Confederate: Gen. Robert E. Lee

Principal Forces: Corps

  • Union:  

  • Confederate:


  • On the 29th, the Union II, IX, and V Corps probed Lee’s position along Totopotomoy Creek, while the VI Corps felt its way toward Hanover Court House.

  • Early on the 30th, the VI Corps turned south to come in on the far right flank of the Union line (II Corps) but bogged down in swampy Crump’s Creek without getting into position.

  • The II Corps forced a crossing of Totopotomoy Creek in two places, capturing the first line of Confederate trenches, but the advance was stopped at the main line.

  • The IX Corps maneuvered into position on the left of the II Corps, driving back Confederate pickets on the Shady Grove Road. 

  • In the meantime, the V Corps, moving near Bethesda Church on the far left flank of the Union army, was attacked by Early’s corps. 

  • The Federals were driven back to Shady Grove Road after heavy fighting.

Slide Presentation: None

Classification2: B


  • Union: 1,100  

  • Confederate: 1,100

Results: Inconclusive

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 02/22/2012