Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bandy Field and Green's Farm

In 2003, I drew this sketch after a visit to Bandy Field, a small nature park in Richmond, Va. several blocks from my parents' home.  Situated off Three Chopt Road in the West End, the field sits on a low, uneven ridge running south from Glenside Drive along Three Chopt and ending at Cary Street Road near the James River.  Maps from the Civil War era show that Richmond's defenders constructed several detached, irregular earthworks in the vicinity of Bandy Field (see maps below).  These positions formed part of Richmond's outer defenses.  My notes from the sketch read: 

 "2/03, Nearby resident, who owned house adjacent to field, said College Hills development occurred around 1952 and that substantial Confederate earthworks were destroyed to make way for houses at A & B on the map.   Traces of earthworks remain at the triangular shaped parcel on the western edge of Bandy Field as marked by C.  Earthworks are currently unmarked and difficult to distinguish.  Homeowner said earthworks extended north  to A, B, and Z  and were quite substantial before home sites were cleared - apparently it was more than just a trench line.   Resident also mentioned that there is an old African-American cemetery at F.  This cemetery is unmarked and has a Spanish-American veteran buried in it."

Union engineer map of Richmond (Michler, Mitchie), 1862-1865, CW 632.8, LOC

Bandy Field also marks the general location of the fight at "Green's Farm," which occurred on March 1, 1864. During Colonel Ulric Dahlgren's raid on Richmond, a Union cavalry column pushed south along Three Chopt Road and encountered local defense forces in this area.  In the ensuing engagement, Dahlgren's troopers brushed aside members of the Richmond Armory Battalion but eventually were halted at Hick's Farm on the Westham Plank Road (now Cary Street Road). The original house at Green's Farm (also known as "Huntley") remains today and is on the National Register of Historic Places. More about Bandy Field can be found at the Friends of Bandy Field website.

Confederate map found on the body of General John Chambliss in Aug. 1864,  CW 642.5, LOC