The cold rain on Saturday morning not only kept you inside but put a damper on an event called “Last Fight of the Confederate Navy: Battle of Trent’s Reach, 1865,” at Henricus Historical Park in Chester. While attendance was light, those who did come out to see the Civil War interpretations on the park’s nature trail, lectures inside the dry education center and other events throughout the day were part of an entertaining and educational event.
The Battle of Trent’s Reach was one of the final major naval battles of the American Civil War. Just before the end of the war a powerful flotilla of Confederate warships engaged Union Navy ships in an effort to get down the James River and attack City Point at Hopewell. The actual location of the battle between the famous ironclads including the Union’s Onondaga and the Confederate CSS Fredericksburg, CSS Richmond and CSS Virginia II and a number of other wooden gunships was south of Henricus and is no longer part of the main James River channel.
The Confederate boats were unable to break through and were scuttled and remain in the river today.
While Henricus celebrates the initial colonization of the country it is also an important site in the War Between the States. The next event at Henricus will be the “Anniversary of the 1622 Virginia Indian Offensive, March 22, 1622” on Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 5p.m.