Fort Darling

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Fort Darling (1862-1865) - A U.S. Civil War post established as Fort Drewry in 1862 by Confederate forces in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Named for Captain Augustus H. Drewry, Confederate Southside Artillery. Known as Fort Darling by Union Forces. Abandoned in 1865.

James River from Fort Darling Gun Emplacement
Fort Darling Cannon
Fort Darling Interior
Fort Darling Cannon circa 1865
Fort Darling Bombproof & Well circa 1865


Fort Darling Plan

A confederate earthworks fort built at a strategic bend in the James River just below Richmond. The fort was built at the top of Drewry's bluff with a commanding view of the river. Construction began on 17 Mar 1862 by the Confederate Southside Artillery under the command of Captain Augustus H.Drewry. The fort was armed with one 10" Columbiad and two 8" Columbiads behind significant earthworks.

The first attack on the fort came on 15 May 1862 when five Federal gunboats including the USS Monitor attempted to destroy the fort and run upriver toward Richmond. The gunboats were unsuccessful in their attempt to destroy the fort and withdrew after a four hour battle. The USS Monitor proved unable to elevate her guns high enough to hit the fort on the 90' bluff and the other gunboats did not have enough firepower to do the job. Confederate fire from the fort and adjacent batteries rained down on the five gunboats with great accuracy and effect, killing 14 and wounding 13 with the Confederates losing half that number.

The second attack on the fort came from the land side two years later but was repulsed by Confederate infantry before the Union forces actually reached the fort. The fort remained in Confederate hands until the fall of Petersburg in early April 1865 and the garrison evacuated toward Appomattox where they surrendered with General Robert E. Lee.

Current Status

Fort Darling Entrance Sign

Part of Richmond National Battlefield Park, Chesterfield County, Virginia. One mounted replica cannon on a fixed mount overlooking the river. Great view of the river from an elevated platform.

Location: Richmond National Battlefield Park, Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.4217909 Long: -77.4219953



Visited: 29 Mar 2012

Fort Darling Picture Gallery

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