Schools offer tours to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff

Chesterfield County’s Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Committee, in partnership with the National Park Service and the U.S. Marine Corps, will present a week-long series of events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff.

This action took place on May 15, 1862, when a federal flotilla led by the Union ironclads USS Monitor and USS Galena attempted to approach Richmond on the James River. The only thing standing between the Union ships and the Confederate capitol was the fortification under construction at Drewry’s Bluff. During the battle, Marine Cpl. John Mackie took charge of one of the Galena’s guns when crew members were wounded. He became the first U.S. Marine to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.

There will be two great opportunities for school tours, one at Central Library and the other at Drewry’s Bluff. Tours will be scheduled on Wednesday, May 9, Thursday, May 10, and Friday, May 11 at Central Library; and on Monday, May 14 at Drewry’s Bluff. The Central Library tours, which include the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile, will take approximately two hours. The deadline to register for tours is Friday, May 4, at noon.

Wednesday-Friday, May 9-11 - The Civil War 150th HistoryMobile
Chesterfield County Central Library, 9501 Lori Road, Chesterfield.. Times: 9 a.m.-11 a.m., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1p.m.-3 p.m.   
History is on the move in a “museum on wheels” as the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile rolls into Chesterfield County for a four-day visit. The exhibit, an initiative of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, will be located at Central Library. In addition to the HistoryMobile, other programs include a Drewry’s Bluff Scavenger Hunt, Civil War film, All the Past We Leave Behind, which tells the story of Civil War battles fought around Richmond, an interactive traveling-trunk exhibit and a scanning event of Civil War documents. Groups will rotate around the five history stations, with a limit of 125 students for each two-hour tour. Teachers will be given a map and instructions upon arrival. To schedule a tour, contact: Chris Ruth, 804-768-7498 or

Monday, May 14 - Drewry’s Bluff Education Day

Drewry’s Bluff site, 7600 Fort Darling Rd, Chesterfield. Times: 9 a.m.-11 a.m., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1 p.m.-3 p.m.   
Visit stations manned by the USMC Historical Company, NPS Rangers and living history units, explore the fort and learn about the battle of Drewry’s Bluff. Meet Marines and understand the role of Marines then and today. Learn about the Navy and the role it played at Drewry’s Bluff. Also, see a demonstration of the use of small arms, talk to an engineer to learn about science, technology and his duties, watch a demonstration about the use of artillery, and learn how the National Park Service is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Groups will rotate through six history stations. Teachers will be given a map and instructions upon arrival. To schedule a tour, contact:  Ranger Pat Ferrell, 804-771-2018 or


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