The Battle of Chester Station was fought on May 10, 1864, between Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The Confederates attacked portions of Benjamin Butler's Union forces.

The Union Forces:

Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. Army, commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina

Gen. Quincy A. Gillimore, U. S. Army, commanding Tenth Army Corps

The expedition was made up of detachments of the 1st and 2nd brigades, 1st division, 10th corps; part of the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 18th corps, and consisted of

Brig. Gen. Alfred H. Terry, U. S. Army, commanding First Division

Col. Alvin C. Voris, Sixty-seventh Ohio Infantry

Capt. Alfred P. Rockwell, First Connecticut Battery

Col. Jeremiah C. Drake, of the One hundred and twelfth New York Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, 18th corps

Col. Cyrus J. Dobbs, Thirteenth Indiana Infantry

Col. John McConihe, One hundred and sixty-ninth New York Infantry

Lieut. John H. George, Fourth New Jersey Battery

Col. Joseph R. Hawley, of the Seventh Connecticut Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, 10th corps

Col. Redfield Duryee, Sixth Connecticut Infantry

Maj. Oliver S. Sanford, Seventh Connecticut Infantry

Lieut. Col. Thomas A. Henderson, Seventh New Hampshire Infantry

George W. Cole, Second U.S. Colored Cavalry (unattached) fought dismounted in this action

The Confederate force consisted of Barton's, and Gracie's brigades of Ransom's division

General G. T. Beauregard, C. S. Army, commanding Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia

Maj. Gen. Robert Ransom, Jr., C. S. Army, commanding Department of Richmond

Brig. Gen. Seth M. Barton, C. S. Army, commanding brigade

Capt. George K. Griggs, was promoted to commander and Colonel after Lt. Col. Joseph R. Cabell was killed in the engagement Thirty-eighth Virginia Infantry

Col. James. J. Phillips, Ninth Virginia Infantry

Col. William White, Fourteenth Virginia Regiment

Col. William R. Aylett Fifty-third Virginia Infantry

Lieut. Col. W.H. Ramsey,Fifty-seventh Virginia Infantry

Brig. Gen. Archibald Gracie, C. S. Army, commanding brigade and was not engaged in the fight which took place on this day except for skirmishing around Ware Bottom Church.

41st Alabama Infantry

43d Alabama Infantry

59th Alabama Infantry

60th Alabama Infantry

Battle of Chester Station Background

The Action at Chester Station was a relatively minor battle of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign and ended indecisively. It started as a Union expedition against the Richmond & Petersburg Railroad. The object was to destroy the railroad in order to cut the line of communication. It was met by a reconnaissance-in-force of two confederate brigades led by Major General Robert Ransom, who attacked south from Drewry's Bluff near the Winfree House. Both sides fought gallantly and fiercely including hand-to-hand.


When the troops reached the vicinity of Chester Station they were divided into two wings. The left wing, commanded by Maj. O. S. Sanford of the 7th Conn. moved up the railroad toward Chester Station, where the 6th Conn. was engaged in tearing up the track, and remained there for about an hour, when orders came to join the other column on the turnpike below. Here the right wing, commanded by Col. C. J. Dobbs of the 13th Ind., had encountered a force of the enemy too large to overcome, and Dobbs sent back for reinforcements. In the meantime he formed line of battle with his own regiment on the left, the 169th N. Y. on the right, one section of the 1st Conn. battery in front, supported by a detachment of the 67th Ohio, and awaited the onset. The enemy, with infantry, cavalry and artillery, advanced, and when they were within easy range Dobbs gave the command to fire. A tremendous volley from his entire line checked the Confederate advance and a second threw them into confusion, compelling them to retire for the purpose of reforming their lines. At this juncture Sanford arrived with the left wing and went into position with the 6th Conn. on the right of the road and the 7th on the left as supports to the advanced lines. Two companies of the 7th were sent forward to support a battery and the remainder of the regiment moved up to the top of the hill and opened fire on the enemy's left, driving them back to the woods. One of the guns of the 4th N. J. battery was abandoned by the men and an effort to capture this piece was thwarted by this regiment, Sanford sending Lieut. Barker with Co. K to bring in the gun, which he did in the face of a galling fire. The 7th N. H. came up and went into position just as the enemy advanced again, having been reinforced, and again they were allowed to come within easy range, when they were greeted with a murderous fire from both artillery and infantry. This settled the contest. After a vain endeavor to rally the shattered ranks the Confederate officers gave up the attempt and sought the cover of the woods. Gen. A. H. Terry, commanding the 1st division, 10th corps, arrived on the field after the action had begun, and during the latter part of the engagement directed the movements of the troops.

"To add to these difficulties the woods were fired early in the action, and the smoke and flames driving into our lines blinded us and deranged the precision of movements." Brig. Gen. Seth Barton C.S.A.

Battle of Chester Station Aftermath

Gen. Terry reported the Union loss as being 280 in killed, wounded and missing, and estimated that of the enemy as at least twice that number, some 50 prisoners remaining in the hands of the Federals.

The return of casualties in Barton's Brigade showed a total of 249 in killed, wounded and missing including the loss of a commanding officer of one of his regiments, Lt. Col. Joseph R. Cabell of the 38th Virginia Infantry.

Two Confederate brigades faced an Ohio regiment, which was pushed back despite arrival of reinforcements from Drake's brigade. Confederate successes, while they had superior numbers, including the capture of one cannon (which was recovered by the Union forces), were halted when Hawley's brigade arrived on the field. The growing Union reinforcements started to outnumber them and they were compelled to retire to Drewry’s Bluff, at the same time the Federals withdrew east to Bermuda Hundred. The result was a draw with neither side having surrendered, been defeated, or gained any ground. The Union forces succeeded in destroying some railroad track and the Confederate forces succeeded in stopping them from doing anymore damage. Maj. Gen. Ransom relieved Brig. Gen. Barton of his command and Col. Voris was brevetted Brigadier General for meritorious service.

Action at Chester Station
Part of the American Civil War
Date May 10, 1864
Location Chester, Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States
Result Inconclusive
United States United States (Union) Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
Quincy Gillimore
Alfred Terry
Robert Ransom, Jr.
Seth Barton
3,400 2,000 (Union estimate 6,000)
Casualties and losses
280 249