Battle of Swift Creek
On May 9, 1864, the Battle of Swift Creek (also known as the Battle of Arrowfield Church) took place when Federal Major General Benjamin F. Butler moved to attack the Richmond-Petersburg lines of communications south of the James River. Even though his forces faced little opposition, his men's advance moved slowly. Some of the many different locations that fighting is known to have occurred at include Branders Bridge, Fort Clifton, Ware Bottom Church, and Swift Cree Arrowfield Church. After a great deal of confusion, Butler did not choose to pursue the broken Confederate ranks. As a result, the Battle of Swift Creek did not a great deal to impact either side and was termed as inconclusive in terms of who was victor.
Backstory and Context
In correlation with the march by Butler to Swift Creek, an infantry division of U.S. Colored Troops marched on Fort Clifton. Meanwhile, five Federal gunboats worked their way up the Appomattox River to begin bombardment on Fort Clifton. However, the assualt did not work as the infantry assault quickly ceased and the gunboats were repelled by Confederate forces with little difficulty. In addition, the Confederate railroad lines were quickly repaired as well.