City Point National Cemetery is located in the historical district of Hopewell, Virginia. The cemetery received its name from the town City Point which was in Prince George County before being annexed by the City of Hopewell in 1923. At the confluence of the James and Appomattox rivers, City Point was a vital transportation center for railroads such as the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad, and was a well-established inland port on the James River and Kanawha Canal at the onset of the Civil War. City Point's transportation advantages and proximity to Richmond, the longest-enduring capital of the Confederacy, led Union General Ulysses S. Grant to establish a supply depot for his army here.
In the last year of the Civil War, Union troops, artillery and all manner of supplies were amassed at City Point in preparation for Grant's final assaults to capture Petersburg-another key communications center-and Richmond. From June 1864 until April 1865, the relentless Union advances and the Confederate's stubborn and often-desperate defense tactics resulted in many wounded and dead who were transported to City Point and other regional hospitals. Seven hospitals in City Point administered most of the care for the injured and mortally wounded.
Casualties were originally interred in burial grounds near the hospitals, and later they were reinterred at City Point National Cemetery. Through the years, additional burial sites from various Civil War battles have been discovered as local construction projects, such as subdivision development and road widening were made near the cemetery. Many of these remains-both Union and Confederate-were reinterred at City Point National Cemetery. Unlike other Civil War-era national cemeteries in the Richmond area, here the number of known interments exceeds unknowns. Reinterments include remains from another City Point burial ground, Point of Rocks cemetery (Chesterfield County), and Harrison's Landing (Charles City County). City Point National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
According to an 1871 report, the superintendent's lodge at that time was a "small wooden cottage, in poor condition" and the cemetery lot was enclosed by a wooden picket fence. Sometime afterward, City Point became one of many early national cemeteries with sturdy Victorian superintendent lodges constructed according to a design by U.S. Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs.
In 1922, four late-19th century buildings stood on the cemetery grounds: the superintendent's lodge; a four-room brick outbuilding that served as a wagon shed, coalhouse, stable, and workshop; a well house; and a public restroom. During 1928, the original Meigs lodge and all other structures were demolished. By December 1928, construction of a new Dutch Colonial style superintendent's lodge and service outbuilding had been completed. The cemetery is enclosed by a 19th century uncoursed fieldstone wall and wrought-iron gates. City Point National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
Monuments and Memorials
The Army of the James Monument is a large, 20-foot high white marble memorial erected in memory of the dead of the Army of the James. The monument was constructed under the direction of Major General B.F. Butler, commander of the Army of the James from April 1864 to January 1865.