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May 4, 1864
Ulysses S. Grant crossed the Rapidan and began his duel with Robert E. Lee. At the same time Ben Butler's Army of the James moved on Lee's forces. Black division in Grant's army did not play a prominent role in Wilderness Campaign, but Ben Butler gave his Black infantrymen and his eighteen hundred Black cavalrymen important assignments. Black troops of the Army of the James were the first Union Soldiers to take possession of James River (at Wilson's Wharf Landing, Fort Powhatan and City Point).
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