Civil War Wiki
Battle of Swift Creek
Part of American Civil War
Date May 9, 1864
Location Chesterfield County, Virginia
Result Inconclusive
United States of America Confederate States of America
Benjamin Butler P. G. T. Beauregard
14,000 approx. 4,200
Casualties and losses
990 total 990 total

The Battle of Swift Creek was fought on May 9, 1864, between Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Union forces were only partially successful: they inflicted damage on the local railroad, but further advance was halted.


On May 9, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler made a thrust toward Petersburg and was met by Bushrod Johnson's Division at Swift Creek. A premature Confederate attack at Arrowfield Church was driven back with heavy losses, but Union forces did not follow up. After skirmishing, Butler seemed content to tear up the railroad tracks and did not press the defenders. In conjunction with the advance to Swift Creek, five Federal gunboats steamed up the Appomattox River to bombard Fort Clifton, while Hincks's U.S. Colored Troops infantry division struggled through marshy ground from the land side. The gunboats were quickly driven off, and the infantry attack was abandoned.