The Cattle (Beefsteak) Raid Virginia historical marker S48 commemorates the raid made by Confederate Major General Wade Hampton and 3,000 cavalry on September 14-17, 1864. It is a few feet from the White Oak Road S52 Virginia historical marker.

The raid left Confederate defenses here and swept 50 miles south and east around the Union lines before turning back north into the rear of the Union army near City Point. They returned by a similar route with 2,500 head of cattle and 300 prisoners.

There was no fodder to feed the captured cattle so they had to be slaughtered immediately (resulting in 2 million pounds of beef), and with no way to preserve the meat it had to be eaten right away before it spoiled. But for a few days the Confederate defenders of Petersburg ate steak.

The Beefsteak Raid Virginia historical marker outside Petersburg, Virginia

S48
Cattle
(Beefsteak) Raid

Leaving from a point along the Confederate
right flank on Boydon Plank Road on 14 Sept.
1864, Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton took about 3,000
Confederate cavalrymen and rode more than
100 miles around the rear of the Union army.
Reaching Coggins’ Point on the James River on
the 16 Sept., the raiders successfully captured
almost 2,500 head of cattle from the Federals
and returned to their lines relatively unmolested.
The next day the cattle were penned in the
field east of the Boydton Plank Road until being
slaughtered for the Confederate troops in the
Petersburg trenches.

Department of Historic Resources 2005

Location of the marker

The marker is at the corner of Boydton Plank Road (US 1) and White Oak Road (Virginia 613) about six miles southwest of Petersburg, Virginia. (37°08’55.0″N 77°31’10.4″W)