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Landscape of the Fort

Arial photograph of Fort Pocahontas clearly shows bastions and location on James River.

Construction of Fort Pocahontas began with the arrival of Federal troops on May 5, 1864, but on the afternoon of the May 24 Confederate charge, the fortifications were incomplete. At the time of the attack Union troops were partially defended by a deep natural ravine and fortification ditches measuring eight feet wide and five to six feet deep. Lying outside these ditches were lines of abatis formed by felled trees and sharpened branches. These features only surrounded one-third of the fort but were still successful as a first line of defense against the approaching Confederate troops.

Fortifications often rose 20 feet or more as can be seen in this photograph of the fort at Bermuda Hundred.


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