Composed of The Department of Northern Virginia and North Carolina Infantry Regiments of Infantry Artillery and Cavalry, The Army of The James was created in 1864 as a component of The Union Army. It served during the last year of The American Civil War. It's name was taken from The James River, which is a 350-mile expanse of water that runs through The State of Virginia, - from which The Army was headquartered and operated from. Numbering around 30,000 effectives, The Army of The James was commanded by the infamous General Benjamin Butler. It was Butler who won fame for The Union Army in his occupation of Confederate held New Orleans, Louisiana and imposed a series of harsh military regulations on the populace of that City. As such, Residents nicknamed him ''Beast Butler''.
Butler's military mission was to take The City of Petersburg, Virginia and to move in support of General US Grant's move on the Capital of The Confederacy, Richmond (Virginia). These measures were seen as a way to end The War. Butler's moves were a failure, despite some minor victories in surrounding skirmishes and engagements. A disappointed General Grant relived Butler and replaced him with General Edward Ord. A far better Commander, Ord was successful in his support of Grant, despite a loss of nearly 3,000 Officers and Men at the bloody Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia (1861). His screening of Grant;s Main Body of The Army of The Potomac, helped Grant take Richmond in late 1864. The Army of The James was the first Union Army to enter the burnt and destroyed ex-Rebel Capital. The Army would also be present when General Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House in 1865. The Army would be mustered out of Federal service in mid-1865.