On 20 May 1862, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Union army crossed the Chickahominy River over Bottom's Bridge into Henrico County. Here Maj. Gen Erasmus D. Keyes's Federal corps advanced over the bridge unopposed. As McClellan's army advanced on Richmond,
the bridge served as a link between units deployed on both sides
of the Chicahominy. When McClellan abandoned his supply base at White House on the Pamunkey River on 27-28 June 1862, a herd of cattle as well as some 4,000 wagons loaded with supplies and ammunition moved across Bottom's Bridge in his "change of base" to the Jame River.
Note in the background to the left of the photo, the concrete bridge railing is where the Bottom Bridge once was. All that remains in the area from the time of the Bottom Family is a ruins of a mill on the river, sitting back in the trees and barely accessible.
This picture shared by Dee Godkin email address firstname.lastname@example.org
My friend Dee Godkin and her husband, Ken, made a research trip to Kentucky and Virginia in May 2003. One of her stops along the way was to Bottom's Bridge which used to cross the Chickahominy River between New Kent and Henrico Counties Virginia. This is what she had to say about the visit....
Well folks, this is what remains of the Bottom Bridge. There is a sign on the the interstate that points out the exit for the bridge. Following the signs leads you to here. This picture was taken in May 2003. I spoke with the current owner (he's owned the property the last 47 years) of the original Bottom property and he said that he can't remember when they took the old bridge out, but it's been gone for as long as he can remember, so at least better than 25 years (he thinks). All that remains of that time is the ruins of a sawmill on the Chickahominy River. There was so little left and so hard to get to it wasn't worth photographing. The countryside around the location of the bridge is beautiful. It's easy to see what attracted them to the area.
She also included some family history on the area....
BOTTOMS BRIDGE: this well known crossing over the Chickahominy River has borne the name Bottom's Bridge since the first bridge was built here by the Bottom family soon after 1700. John Bottom's estate was appraised in Henrico County in 1711, and following this, the records show that the Bottom were owners of land contiguous to the bridge in both New Kent and Henrico Counties. In 1743 Edmund Alen was employed by the County for the work entailed with rebuilding the bridge, which, was then in ill repair, and the Court agreed to share the expense of the work entailed with the County of New Kent. Later, Julius Allen was paid forty shillings by the Sheriff of Henrico Co. for repairing Bottom's Bridge. During the Revolution, General Anthony Wayne crossed this bridge on his way to Williamsburg with his army in support of Lafayette. Wayne followed the State Road which passed through New Kent along the ridge to the Courthouse and then swung past Slatersville into Barnhamsville and entered James City a short distance beyond, near Doncastle's Ordinary. In 1814 the Virginia Militia was marched over the bridge and the Richmond Regiment encamped here and reported the ill condition of the camp which they used. In a petition presented by the landowners in 1772 to the General Assembly concerning the line between Hanover and Henrico Counties, there were a number of planters living on both sides of the swamp, who signed, and among them, Thomas Watkins, Sr., who identified himself as living near Bottom's Bridge. This located the home of Thomas Watkins of Chickahominy as the bridge over the Chicahominy River in Henrico County. In 1800 John Clopton had a deed from the Merediths which gave a boundary to the tract, the lines of David Bottom.
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