Henricus Historical Park
The James River at Henricus played an important role during the American Civil War. In 1864, Richmond, the Confederate capital, was the focal point of Federal strategy. The fall of Richmond would ensure the end of the war, and the river around Farrar's Island held the key to a safer, shorter route up the James River for Federal naval forces. General Benjamin Butler devised a plan to build a canal at Henricus. Construction began in August 1864. Federal soldiers at Dutch Gap (mostly from black regiments) faced continuous fire from Confederate sharpshooters and artillery.