This photograph, showing Major Augustus H. Drewry seated and surrounded by unknown family and/or friends, was taken in 1899, shortly before he passed away. It is believed that this photograph was taken at Westover Plantation, Drewry’sfamed home overlooking the James River.
When Drewry, 49, married Mary Harrison, 24, in 1887 it stands to reason that at least Mrs. Harrison would have been in the photo. The family of the 23rd President of the U.S., Benjamin Harrison, lived with his family, including his daughter Mary, adjacent to Westover at Berkley Plantation.
About 25 years before Drewry married Harrison, A farm he owned in the area that has become known as Drewry’s Bluff which played a significant part in the Civil War conflict on the James and Bermuda Hundred Campaign; 7,000 were killed in that battle.
The Battle at Drewry’s Bluff was a naval as much as a ground battle.
According to a description by the Richmond Battlefield Park: “Undefended after the Confederates evacuated Norfolk and blew up their own ironclad the Virginia in early May a Union naval advance on Richmond was blocked only by the defenses at Drewry’s Bluff, sited ninety feet above a turn in the river on the west bank, eight miles below the capital.
“This fort, known to the Federals as Fort Darling, was built on the land of Augustus Drewry. The garrison, commanded by Commander Ebenezer Farrand, included the former crew of the Virginia, the Southside Heavy Artillery (led by CS Captain Augustus Drewry), and other units manning the big guns. The Confederates had sunk several boats in the bed of the river to block access to Richmond.”
A resolution from the Confederate States of America was awarded to Drewry for he and his men for thier brave and engagement on May 15, 1862, which acheived victory over the ironclad gunboats