Richmond Region Civil War Battle Sites
The history of the Civil War is written in blood – American blood spilled on battlefields all across the Richmond Region. One-fourth of the Civil War’s battles and 60 percent of its casualties occurred within a 75-mile radius of the Richmond-Petersburg Region. When you visit Richmond Region battle sites, you’ll learn chilling details about the terrible human cost of the war and you’ll stand on the very ground where thousands died to create the re-birth of a nation.
James E. Hanger
Eighteen-year-old James E. Hanger had been a Confederate soldier for only one day when a cannon ball tore apart his leg at the battle of Philippi, (West) Virginia. Although Hanger's life was saved by federal surgeons, his leg could not be, and he became the war's first amputee. During his recovery, Hanger designed and manufactured an improved prosthetic leg with a hinged knee and foot. Other amputees soon demanded the realistic "Hanger limb."
After the war, J.E. Hanger, Inc. received a U.S. patent, and today Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, Inc. manages more than 600 patient care centers in forty-five states. Hanger is the leading American manufacturer of artificial limbs worn by the casualties of America's twenty-first century wars.
The Battle of New Market Heights
On September 28, 1864, Major General Benjamin F. Butler’s Army of the James began an assault against the Confederate defenses of Richmond. At dawn on September 29, six regiments of African-American troops (USCT) from the X and XVIII Corps fought with exceptional valor and bravery along New Market Road. Despite heavy casualties, they succeeded in capturing the defensive earthworks at New Market Heights. One of the commanding officers noted; “It was a deadly hailstorm of bullets sweeping down men as hail stones sweep the leaves from trees.” Sergeant Powhatan Beatty received the Medal of Honor for his part in the battle. Of the 16 Medals of Honor awarded to African-American soldiers during the American Civil War, 14 were bestowed for this battle.