On June 26, 1862, the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek, sometimes called the Battle of Mechanicsville or the Battle of Ellerson's Mill, began when Confederate Gen. A.P. Hill, impatient for the arrival of a late Stonewall Jackson, attacked without orders the 2-mile Union front east of Beaver Dam Creek near Ellerson's Mill. The Union pushed back the Confederates, but later retreated upon the arrival of Stonewall Jackson and his army. This second battle of the Seven Days' Battles commenced the rise of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia.

Visiting the Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield

Your best bet to visit Beaver Dam Creek is to start at the Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield at Richmond National Battlefield Park located near Mechanicsville northeast of Richmond. Here Richmond National Battlefield Park owns and protects 365 acres of battlefield lands. There is a foot bridge and a short trail that takes you from the Confederate side to the Union side of the battlefield and the site of the heaviest fighting.

Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield Trail

A short trail leads to the site of the heaviest fighting of the battle at Beaver Dam Creek.

Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield Park is small, but it is located quite close - within 15 minutes - to the next battlefield in the Seven Days' Campaign, Gaines Mill. You may want to combine a visit to Beaver Dam Creek with a visit to Gaines Mill where there is a 1-1/2 mile hiking trail through fields and forest, an artillery display, and the historic Watt farm.

Pictured at the very top: Beaver Dam Creek Battlefield features a foot bridge that takes you over the creek from the Confederate side to the Union side.

Historical Photo

Beaver Dam Creek Ellersons Mill

Ellerson's Mill. Battle-field of Mechanicsville, Va. (Library of Congress)

Visit National Park Service for battle details and information about the preservation of this battlefield.