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Battle of Fort Harrison Commemoration
Richmond, VA. Richmond National Battlefield Park will commemorate the September 1864 Battle of Fort Harrison on Saturday, September 30. Located just eight miles from the city, Fort Harrison was the largest fort defending the Confederate Capital during the Civil War. On September 29, 1864, Union troops, black and white, assaulted Fort Harrison and other forts outside the city. They captured the fort but failed to advance farther. The next day Confederate counterattacks failed to recapture the fort.
The September battles near Richmond featured large numbers of African American soldiers and their valor was rewarded with fourteen men earning the Medal of Honor. Later that fall, in the November Presidential election, many of these African American soldiers voted for the first time. Fort Harrison was held by United States Army troops until the final advance on Richmond on April 3, 1865.
During the special event visitors may tour the Fort Harrison Visitor Center, with a film and exhibits. Special exhibits will highlight the creation of the park and the Civilian Conservation Corps, which helped create the park in the 1930s. Fort Harrison was the very first Civil War site to be preserved in the Richmond area.
Living Historians will portray Union and Confederate troops, and will discuss camp life, food, uniforms, and equipment. Special programs will highlight the role of African American soldiers, known as United States Colored Troops, who fought in the battles here. There will also be a presentation on voting in the 1864 election.
Living Historians will also present several battle scenarios, in which they will demonstrate how the fort was attacked and defended. These will involve rifle and artillery firing using reproduction weapons.
The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is free of charge. Fort Harrison is located at 8621 Battlefield Park Road, Richmond, VA 23231.
About Richmond National Battlefield Park
The Park is one of 423 national park areas across the United States. Experiencing the park’s 13 historic sites and five visitor centers usually takes a full day. A driving tour of the battlefields is available at any of the park’s facilities. Park visitor centers at Chimborazo and Cold Harbor provide museum exhibits, audio-visual programs and orientation services to help plan a visit to the battlefields.
Additional information is available at www.nps.gov/rich or www.Facebook.com/RichmondNPS.
Last updated: September 22, 2023