On May 9th 1864 Major General Benjamin F. Butler withdrew his army of 30,000 men to the defenses at Bermuda Hundred Virginia following his defeat at the battles of Swift Creek and Fort Clifton. Confederate General P.G.T Beauregard managed to patch together an force of roughly 18,000 men to confront Butler. On May 12th, Butler moved his army north against the main Confederate line occupying Drewry's Bluff but assumed a tentative posture when his movement was not supported by Federal gunboats. The next day, one of Butler's columns moved forward against the Confederate right flank near the Wooldridge house that resulted in the capture a line of Confederate defensive works. However, Butler again remained cautious and did not push the victory to his advantage which thus allowed Beauregard time to bring up reinforcements and concentrate his men. At dawn on May 16th, Confederate Major General Robert Ransom moved his division forward in the dense fog and fiercely struck Butler's right flank, routing many Federal regiments. As the battle erupted and grew in intensity, many units lost their direction in the fog which further added to the plight of the demoralized Federals. After hours of severe and confused fighting Butler extricated his force from the battle and withdrew once again to his line at Bermuda Hundred. The battle of Proctor's Creek resulted in an estimated 6,660 casualties on both sides and a halting of Butler's offensive movements against Richmond.
March 19th, 2017
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