In June 1861, Union Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, in order to clear a route for the capture of Suffolk, sought to neutralize the Confederate battery at Pig Point three miles north on the James River at the mouth of the Nansemond River. At 9:00 A.M. on 5 June, the steamer USS Harriet Lane shelled the battery. The Portsmouth Rifles, manning the guns there, returned fire and struck the vessel twice. One shot hit a tub of musket balls; the flying balls wounded six men. No Confederates were injured in the engagement, which ended after twenty minutes when the Harriet Lane withdrew.
Geographic Location: Suffolk
Physical Description of Location: 5516 W Military Highway (US 460), about 1 miles west of Hampton Roads Executive Airport, Suffolk, VA 23434. Marker is on right when traveling west on US 460.
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