This Week in the Civil War - #928
On Thursday, September 29, 1864 General Ulysses Grant sent the Tenth and Eighteenth Union Corps north of the James River to attack Richmond, Virginia’s outer defenses. Advancing rapidly, 2500 attacking Federals quickly overwhelmed the 200 man, Confederate garrison at Fort Harrison, capturing the strategic position on the James River at Chaffin’s Bluffs. Given Union success against Fort Harrison, Robert E. Lee realized the potential threat to Richmond and ordered a counterattack on September 30. The attack failed, forcing Lee to realign his Confederate defenses farther west between Fort Harrison and Richmond. Fort Harrison, renamed by the North as Fort Burnham to honor Union General Hiram Burnham who died during the Union’s seizure of the earthworks, remained in Union hands until Richmond’s capitulation near the end of the war.