In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale, according to a method he had learned while campaigning in Holland, cut a ditch across a portion of land behind town. It became known as "Dale's Dutch Gap". It was a way to protect the rear of the town from possible attack and shorten the distance upriver, which resulted from the broad, meandering stretches of the James River between Drewry's Bluff, where the river turns east into the coastal plain, and the confluence of the Appomattox River with the James below Bermuda Hundred.
During the American Civil War, Union troops tried to build a canal at Dutch Gap late in 1864. Among their workers were paid African-American laborers from the Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony, who were pressed into service away from their base in North Carolina. By that time, some freedmen were serving in the United States Colored Troops, and they took part in the military action at Dutch Gap (see photo). The Union Army intended to cut off the large curl of the James threatened by Confederate forts, such as Battery Dantzler. They could not complete the expansion of the canal during the war, but it was completed later. It has become the main channel of the James River in that area.
The Dutch Gap Conservation Area includes the archaeological site of Henricus. In addition, an electricity-generating facility of Dominion Virginia Power Company is located nearby on the south shore of the James River. The Henricus Historical Park is located north of Dutch Gap in Chesterfield County (it was subdivided from Henrico County in 1749).
Other articles related to "dutch gap":
... along the James River, which resulted in Dutch Gap ... silted-up, forming what is now the 810-acre (3.3 km2) Dutch Gap Conservation Area ... has not been found (due to the creation of Dutch Gap and other disturbances nearby), a reconstruction based on historical evidence of the settlement has been created nearby as a living history museum ...
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