Totopotomoy Battle

Totopotomoy Creek

Bethesda Church

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Operations along Totopotomoy Creek northeast of Richmond opened with cavalry combat at the Pamunkey River crossing at Dabney’s Ferry (near Hanovertown) and at Crump’s Creek on May 27th. During the cavalry fight at Haw’s Shop on May 28th, Union and Confederate infantry arrived in the vicinity and the Confederates entrenched behind Totopotomoy Creek. On the 29th, the Union army Second, Ninth, and Fifth Corps probed Lee’s position along the creek, while the Sixth Corps felt its way toward Hanover Court House. Early on the 30th, the Sixth Corps turned south to come in on the far right flank of the Union line but bogged down in swampy Crump’s Creek without getting into position. The Second Corps forced a crossing of Totopotomoy Creek near the Rural Plains estate, capturing the first line of Confederate trenches, but the advance was stopped at the main line. The Ninth Corps maneuvered into position on the left of the Second Corps, driving back Confederate pickets on the Shady Grove Road. In the meantime, the Fifth Corps, moving near Bethesda Church on the far left flank of the Union army, was attacked by Maj. Gen. Jubal Early’s corps.  The Federals were driven back to Shady Grove Road after heavy fighting. Confederate Brig. Gen. George Doles was killed by a sharpshooter near Bethesda Church on June 2nd.

Battle Facts


Forces Engaged
80,000 est.


50,000 est.


30,000 est.
Total Estimated Casualties