Battery Dantzler

 

A 7 inch rifled Brooke gun, at Battery Dantzler overlooking Trent’s Reach.  As much as it galls me to see a Union soldier standing inside the Battery instead of the men who served there, I know of no pictures of Battery Dantzler before it fell into Union hands.  If anybody knows of some, please let me know!

Battery Dantzler, named for Col. Olin Miller Dantzler, 22d South Carolina Infantry (killed in action nearby on 2 June 1864) was built in May 1864 to prevent the Federal army from using the James river to approach Richmond. Battery Dantzler was abandoned 2 April 1865 and it’s naval garrison marched west with Lee towards Appomattox.

Battery Dantzler held 6 guns; two seven inch Brooke rifles, two ten-inch Columbiads, and two siege mortars.  I have been unable to find a plan or blueprint of Battery Dantzler, but I have visited the site and mapped out what is visible among the earthworks that remain.

This is a seven inch rifled Brooke gun.  The gun is located at a sharp turn in the meandering river overlooking Trent’s Reach, and can fire to the right, down the river, and can swing to the left, to fire up the river.  In the distance, you can see the white line of the river turning back to the right again just above the hurdle revetment and going to the far right of the picture, where it turns left again and goes off out of view toward the left side of the picture, upstream towards Richmond.  The part of the river you see on the right in the near distance today is no longer open water – click here

The Dutch Gap (a narrow neck of land) is in the distance on the right, just out of the picture, a point where the river loops almost touch each other, and where General Butler attempted to dig a canal across so that Federal gunboats could bypass these batteries, but the canal was not completed until after the war had ended.

Plus, the Sons of Confederate Veterans have done some hurricane damage clean up there as well.  This is excellent local support.  They have some winter pictures of the site, and I’m thrilled to see that the river is visible – in the summer the overgrowth completely blocks the view of the river, and in my opinion needs to be cut back regularly.

Battery Dantzler, named for Col. Olin Miller Dantzler, 22d South Carolina Infantry (killed in action nearby on 2 June 1864) was built in May 1864 to prevent the Federal army from using the James river to approach Richmond. Battery Dantzler was abandoned 2 April 1865 and it’s naval garrison marched west with Lee towards Appomattox.

Battery Dantzler held 6 guns; two seven inch Brooke rifles, two ten-inch Columbiads, and two siege mortars.  I have been unable to find a plan or blueprint of Battery Dantzler, but I have visited the site and mapped out what is visible among the earthworks that remain.

This is a seven inch rifled Brooke gun.  The gun is located at a sharp turn in the meandering river overlooking Trent’s Reach, and can fire to the right, down the river, and can swing to the left, to fire up the river.  In the distance, you can see the white line of the river turning back to the right again just above the hurdle revetment and going to the far right of the picture, where it turns left again and goes off out of view toward the left side of the picture, upstream towards Richmond.  The part of the river you see on the right in the near distance today is no longer open water – click here

The Dutch Gap (a narrow neck of land) is in the distance on the right, just out of the picture, a point where the river loops almost touch each other, and where General Butler attempted to dig a canal across so that Federal gunboats could bypass these batteries, but the canal was not completed until after the war had ended.

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