Fort Harrison was an important component of the Confederate defenses of Richmond during the American Civil War. Named after Lieutenant William Harrison, a Confederate engineer, it was the largest in the series of fortifications that extended from New Market Road to the James River that also included Forts Hoke, Johnson, Gregg, and Gilmer. These earthworks were designed to protect the strategically important Chaffin's Bluff on the James.
On September 29, 1864, 2,500 Union soldiers from Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler's Army of the James overran Major Richard Cornelius Taylor's 200-man Confederate garrison and captured the fort in the Battle of Chaffin's Farm. Brig. Gen. Hiram Burnham, a native of Maine and a brigade commander in XVIII Corps, was killed in the assault, and the Union-held fort was renamed Fort Burnham in his honor.
Although the attacks of September 29 had succeeded in capturing only Fort Harrison, General Robert E. Lee saw the potential threat to Richmond and ordered a counterattack on September 30. The attack failed, but Brig. Gen. George J. Stannard lost an arm while resisting Lee's assault. This failure forced the Confederates to realign their defenses farther west. Fort Burnham remained in Union hands until the end of the war.
In 1930, members of the Richmond Parks Corporation, a local preservation society, constructed a log cabin on the site to serve as their headquarters. Today, this building serves as the Fort Harrison visitor center, part of Richmond National Battlefield Park.
Other articles related to "fort harrison, fort, harrison":
... First was to attack the opposite end of Lee's line to relieve pressure on Fort Harrison, which Butler's forces had captured and were holding against counterattacks ... of the units Lee had removed from his right to retake Fort Harrison ... On September 30, the same day Lee was attempting to retake Fort Harrison, Warren and Gregg began marching along the Poplar Springs Road toward the Squirrel Level line in the area of Peebles's Farm and Poplar Springs ...
... Following the relief army to Fort Harrison was a party of thirteen soldiers under Lieutenant Fairbanks of the Seventh Infantry escorting a supply wagon loaded with flour and meat ... Edward Perdue – managed to escape back to Fort Knox alive, although Perdue was discharged due to the severe wounds he received ... Major McGary discovered the bodies a few days later, and proceeded to Fort Harrison to inform Colonel Russell of the attacks and – more importantly ...
... Fort Harrison was opened in 1906 by United States President Theodore Roosevelt, honoring former President Benjamin Harrison, who came from Indianapolis ... The idea came from Lieutenant Colonel Russell Harrison, son of recently deceased Benjamin Harrison, who wanted to keep a military facility in Indianapolis due to the legacy of such Indianapolis ... The fort was finished in 1908, after the construction of brick barracks, headquarters, officer's houses, and hospital ...
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