Posts Tagged ‘Yorktown’

Vineyard Tract W-46

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Inscription:

Here was an experimental farm for the culture of grapes was established by the government in 1769.  On this tract stood a hospital for the French-American army, 1781.

 

 

 

Further Research

Grapes

Growing grapes in Virginia was an extremely popular idea in the formative years of the United States of America.  In fact, in 1619, growing grapes was even once required by law when the House of Commons passed the “12th Acte” that mandated male colonists plant at least ten grapevines each year until they were considered proficients (Carter).  Unfortunately, grapevines ultimately failed to grow in Virginia.  This fact was also proven in 1769 when the grapes were all destroyed by pests, disease, and the Revolutionary War (Carter).  During the Revolutionary War, the French-American army built a hospital to service their wounded.

Further Reading

Carter, Rusty. “Vineyard Tract.” The Virginia Gazette Roadside History, September 2010. http://issuu.com/llake/docs/roadside_history_final/37?mode=a_p (accessed April 1, 2012).

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “Vineyard Tract W-46,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“Grapes,” Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com (accessed May 2, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources

Martin’s Hundred Church W-52

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Inscription:

The first Martin’s Hundred Parish church was probably built at Wolstenholme Town, an early 17th-century settlement that was located a mile southeast of here. None of the structures excavated there have been identified as a church; it may have been in a portion of the town that has been lost to erosion. A second parish church was built about 1630. Martin’s Hundred Parish was incorporated into Yorkhampton Parish in York County in 1712, and the Martin’s Hundred Church may have been abanodned then. The cemetery there probably continued in use for some time afterward.


Further Research

York-Hampton Parish

Martin’s Hundred Parish was the local church for the collection of people who were known as the Society of Martin’s Hundred. It was a small church which was established after the reallocation of land from plantations into counties in 1634 (Archaeology at the Atkinson Site). The parish would remain until 1713, when it was taken in by the York-Hampton Parish (Historic Jamestowne). One of the gravestones were stumbled upon by George Meade and Richard Randolph. It was the tomb of Samuel Pond, who died in 1694 (Meade, 242).

Further Reading


“Martin’s Hundred.” Archaeology at the Atkinson Site. http://research.history.org/Archaeological_Research/MHPage/MH.htm (Accessed March 12, 2012).

“Martin’s Hundred Sites.” Historic Jamestowne. http://apva.org/rediscovery/page.php?page_id=404 (Accessed March 12, 2012).

Meade, William. Ministers and Families of Virginia. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippencott and Company, 1861.

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “Martin’s Hundred Church W-52,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“York-Hampton Parish,” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov (accessed May 2, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources

Goodwin Neck NP-12

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Inscription:

This area, locally known as Dandy, was part of the land granted to John Chew July 6, 1636, and was sold by his heirs to James Goodwin, a member of the House of Burgesses from Jamestown, August 27, 1668. The area was strategically important both to British General Charles Cornwallis and to Confederate General John B. Magruder, who erected earth redoubts at the heads of several creeks on Goodwin Neck.

Further Research

Lord Cornwallis

A strategically important area, Goodwin Neck was instrumental to the British army of Cornwallis in the Revolutionary War, and to the Confederate General John B. Magruder during the Civil War. The “Neck” aspect of it’s name signifies the various creek basins, that come to a head on this part of Virginia’s peninsula.

On July 6th, of 1781, the Battle of Green Spring was fought around this location. General Cornwallis fought the heavily outnumbered Colonial Army of General Lafayette, and there was no clear outcome. Though fought to a stalemate, the Colonial Army was able to maintain its composure thanks to a fearsome bayonet charge led by “Mad” Anthony Wayne.

John Magruder

During the Civil War, the defensive lines of General John B. Magruder ran through Goodwin Neck. There were a total of three defensive lines, which were meant to deceive Union General George McClellan. These fortifications were successful, as they delayed the massive Union army’s progress, until Confederate General Joe Johnson was able to gather a force large enough to defeat them. Unfortunately, General Magruder’s drunkenness was his true downfall, as Robert E. Lee assigned him elsewhere soon after this campaign.

Further Reading

Cadorph, Paul D. Prince John Magruder: His Life and Campaigns. New York: John Wiley & sons, 1996.

Cutrer, Thomas W. “Magruder, John Bankhead.” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fma15 (accessed March 10, 2012).

Johnston, Henry Phelps. The Yorktown Campaign and the Surrender of Cornwallis, 1781. Harper & Brothers, 1881.

Ramsay, David. The History of the American Revolution. Printed and sold by James J. Wilson, 1811.

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “Goodwin Neck NP-12,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“Lord Cornwallis,” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov (accessed May 2, 2012).

“John Magruder,” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov (accessed May 2, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources

Seaford NP-3

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Inscription:

Settlement began here in 1636, when John Chisman patented 600 acres on Crab Neck, a peninsula bounded by Chisman Creek and Back Creek, a tributary of York River. The neck then lay in Charles River Parish in York County, one of the eight original shires created in 1634. A Confederate fortification stood near the narrowest part of the neck in 1862, and during the Civil War Union troops destroyed Zion Methodist Church here. Crab Neck post office was established in 1889; its name was changed to Seaford in 1910.

Further Research

Chief Powhatan

Tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Indians, who were united by Chief Powhatan, thrived in this area before English settlement of their colonies in the seventeenth century. (Gleach) These tribes became known as the Powhatans to the Powhatan Confederacy, with their primary village located near Glouchester, and hundreds of other villages were located throughout the Chesapeake Bay area and the Virginia coastal plain. (Spaar) The area was a prime region for fishing and seafood. (Wiggins)

Map of Southeastern Virginia

The community of Seaford was originally known as Crab Neck, Crab Rock and Calamar, and only 30 families lived there prior to the Civil War. (Quass) General John B. Magruder’s defensive lines also ran through the area, while the Confederate Ship’s Point Battery was nearby on the Poquoson River in 1862. Ship’s Point Battery contained around 16 heavy artillery guns, meant to thwart any advances by Union vessels.

During the Revolutionary War, this area was crucial to General Cornwallis’ defense of Yorktown in 1781. (Payette)

Further Reading

Gleach, Frederic W. Powhatan’s World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures. (Omaha, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 2000).

Payette, Pete. North American Forts. “Seaford Defenses.” Online at http://www.northamericanforts.com/East/vatide.html#seaford (Accessed April 12, 2012).

Quass, B. “Seaford Virginia” Online at http://www.quass.com/seafordvirginia.html (Accessed April 11, 2007).

Spaar, K. “The Potomac Appalachian trail club-short history of the Powhatan Indians”. Online at http://www.patc.net/history/native/ind_hist.html (Accessed April 11, 2007).

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “Seaford NP-3,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“Chief Powhatan,” Find a Grave, www.findagrave.com (accessed May 2, 2012).

“Map of Southeastern Virginia,” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov (accessed May 2, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources

Charles Church NP-1

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Inscription:

About one mile east, on north (lefthand) side of road (see stone marker and old foundations) stood the last colonial church of Charles Parish, built about 1708 and burned a century later, on the site of two earlier churches of the parish, built about 1636 and 1682. The parish was first known as New Poquoson Parish in 1635 and was renamed Charles Parish in 1692.

Further Research

Regarding Charles Parish, the House of Burgesses on Dec. 11thof 1692 ordered that, “upon the peticon of ye pishioners of New Poquoson in ye county of Yorke yt from henceforth forever hereafter ye old pish Church shall be called and named Charles Church. And ye river formerly called New Poquoson river shall from time to time and all times hereafter be called and written, Charles river.” (125) After this proclamation, the parish officially became known as Charles Church. The Register of the Parish has offered a long history of the Church’s reverends, and members. One of the first entries was made in 1687: “Ye Rev. Thomas Finney, rector of this parish, died and was buried in the chancel of New Poquoson Church.” (126)

The next minister, Rev. James Sclater served the parish for 35 years, and died in 1723. After Sclater’s death, it was reported to the Bishop of London that Charles Parish’s leadership was vacant. Rev. James Falconer was then called from Elizabeth City to serve as rector, but died shortly after in 1727. After Falconer’s death, Rev. Theodosius Staige came from Fredericksburg, and then died in 1747. The Register then mentions Rev. Thomas Warrington as the church’s rector, but was called away from the church in 1756. Rev. Samuel Shields is the last name mentioned on the register in 1789. Throughout 140 years of existence, Charles Parish had only six ministers. (127)

"Charles Parish" book

Today, The Register of Charles Parish, York County, Virginia is the oldest surviving database of Colonial Virginia genealogy that exists. It provides the records of the births and deaths of its members from 1648 to 1789.

Further Reading

Bell, Landon C. Charles Parish, York County, Virginia: History and Registers, Births, 1648-1789 and Deaths, 1665-1787. Indexed. Clearfield Co, 1999.

 Colonial Churches in the Original Colony of Virginia: a Series of Sketches by Especially Qualified Writers. Southern Churchman Co., 1908.

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “Charles Church NP-1,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“Charles Parish,” The Virginia Shop at the Library of Virginia, www.thevirginiashop.org (accessed May 2, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources

Patrick Napier, Colonial Surgeon W-41

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Inscription:

Nearby lived “Patrick Napier of Queenes Creek in the County of Yorke Chirurgeon,” one of the earliest surgeons of Scottish descent in Virginia. Born about 1634, and apprenticed to the surgeon general of the Scottish army defeated by Cromwell in 1650, Patrick Napier arrived here before 1655. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of Robert Booth, clerk of the York County Court and a member of the House of Burgesses. By horse and boat, Napier attended the sick, performed surgery, bled his patients, and dispensed various remedies consistent with the practice of medicine in the mid-seventeenth century. He died in 1669. He was the progenitor of most of the Napiers in America.

Further Research

Dr. Patrick Napier comes from a long lineage of Scottish Napiers, most likely a descendent of the clan of Kilmahew Napiers. Dr. Patrick Napier’s father was also a “chirugeon”, and his father worked directly for King Charles I, while he directly apprenticed for the surgeon-general of the Scottish Army, Dr. Alexander Pennycuik.  Dr. Patrick Napier was born sometime around 1610 in Scotland, and after arriving in Virginia sometime around 1650-1655, he married Elizabeth Booth (Woodson, 29).

Tools Used in Surgery

During the early colonial times, many doctors came to Virginia with the prospects of being able to practice medicine freely, with virtually no restrictions.  They provided an important service to the colonists, as the first year in Virginia was always the hardest.  On average, 1 out of every 5 immigrants died due to the “seasoning time” (the time to become adjusted to the climate and natural elements of the land) and Dr. Patrick Napier helped to provide medicine and relief to these colonists to help them (Tyler, 268).

Tool Used for Cleaning Wounds

Dr. Patrick Napier was involved in a legal matter regarding his boat.  In the early days of the settlement, the chief means of transportation were through waterways by boat since barely any roads existed. In 1660, a man named Mr. Strachey borrowed Dr. Napier’s boat without permission and Dr. Napier was unable to attend to his sick patients because of this. In return, Mr. Strachey was fined 350 pounds of tobacco due to his negligence of Dr. Napier’s belongings (Doliante, 3).

Leeches Used for Bloodletting

Dr. Patrick Napier was not the only colonial surgeon that was present in Jamestown during this time, but along with the 5-6 other physicians they are noted for helping to keep the colony alive and practicing the first bits of medicine in the New World.

 

 

 

 

Further Reading

Napier, Charlie. The Napiers of Kilmahewhttp://www.clannapier.org/klmhwnap.htm (Accessed April 12, 2012).

Doliante, Sharon. Maryland and Virginia Colonials: Genealogies of Some Colonial Families : Families of Bacon, Beall, Beasley, Cheney, Duckett, Dunbar, Ellyson, Elmore, Graves, Heydon, Howard, Jacob, Morris, Nuthall, Odell, Peerce, Reeder, Ridgley, Prather, Sprigg, Wesson, Williams, and Collateral Kin. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1991.

Tyler, Long G. Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine-Vol. 1. Richmond: Whittet and Shepperson Printers, 1920.

Woodson, H.M. Historical Genealogy of the Woodsons and their Connections. Memphis: H.M. Woodson, 1915.

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “Patrick Napier, Colonial Surgeon W-41,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“Tools Used in Surgery,” The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, www.history.org (accessed May 1, 2012).

“Tool Used for Cleaning Wounds,” The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, www.history.org (accessed May 1, 2012).

“Leeches Used for Bloodletting,” The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, www.history.org (accessed May 1, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources

York County Z-266

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Inscription:

York County. Area 186 square miles. One of the eight original shires formed in 1634. First called Charles River, which was named for King Charles I. The name was changed in 1643 to York for Yorkshire, England. Cornwallis’s surrender, October 19, 1781, took place at Yorktown.

 

Further Research

Captain John Smith's Map showing Kiskiack

A fort site was originally constructed on the Charles [York] River, and this site was selected by Captain Martinau and was subsequently named York.  “The Fort at Yorke” occupied a point on the river at the mouth of Wormley Creek, named for the first settler in that section, Colonel Christopher Wormley, and lies about two miles down the river from the present site of Yorktown (Trudell, 38).  In 1633, due to the safety of the fort, a settlement was built and York was selected as a crucial receiving point for goods.  A store was soon built to serve shipping and receiving needs of the settlers of both Yorke and Kiskiack, another settlement a few miles up the river that had preceeded the York settlement by about two years.

The Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown

In 1634, Virginia was divided by legislature into 8 counties, subsequently placing the fort at York in Charles County.  In 1642, the names of the river and county were changed from Charles to York in order to honor the Duke of York and Yorkshire.  As a result, Williamsburg came to be located partially in both James City County and York County, respectively (Trudell, 38).  The surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown proved the town to be immortal.  Through all of the battles fought between 1781 and 1862, the majority of the town was destroyed.  The Deneuvile Cottage is the only original colonial structure that still exists today.

Further Reading

Trudell, Clyde F. Colonial Yorktown. Richmond: The Dietz Press, 1938.

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “York County Z-266,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“Captain John Smith’s Map showing Kiskiack,” The Spanish in the Chesapeake Bay, www.virginiaplaces.org (accessed April 30, 2012).

“The Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown,” Architect of the Capitol, www.aoc.gov (accessed April 30, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources

Community of Grove WT-4: not erected

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Inscription:

After the Civil War, the Freedman’s Bureau confiscated land for refugees and free African Americans in the area that became the community of Grove. In 1967, the seized land was restored to the previous owners. Some of the African Americans settled on lands to the west. In 1918, many descendants of the first refugees returned to Grove after the U.S. government forced their removal to make way for the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station and Cheatham Annex. These immigrants formed the nucleus of Grove, which was enlarged when further removals during World War II displaced friends and family from the nearby community of Magruder.

Further Research:

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was created by Congress in March 1865 to assist for one year in the transition from slavery to freedom in the South.

 

During the American Civil War, there was a mass emancipation of slaves and despite Virginia’s secession from the Union, the U.S. Army retained control of Fort Monroe, which had become a destination for slaves who sought freedom.  After the War, many of the freed African Americans settled inland of the Peninsula as landowners or tenant farmers and many freedmen moved to the area that would soon become the Community of Grove (Walsh).

Present Day Aerial View: The oldest structure onboard the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station is the Lee House, built around 1649, where many generations of the family lived out their lives before the property was acquired by the U.S. government.

The community was named after a nearby creek and a plantation where many of the African Americans had worked as slaves and it remained a relatively small community until the mid-twentieth century.  During World War I, many members of the community returned when they were displaced because of the construction of the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station (Walsh).  Also, during World War II, the U.S. Navy took over the small town of Magruder and more descendants were forced to relocate to Grove.

Further Reading:

Walsh, Lorena S. From Calabar to Carter’s Grove: The History of A Virginia Slave Community. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997.

Photo Credits

“The Freedman’s Bureau,” PBS: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, www.pbs.org (accessed May 2, 2012).

“Aerial View,” CNIC: Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, www.cnic.navy.mil (accessed May 2, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources link not available.

Battle of Williamsburg W-43

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Inscription:

To the east of the road here, centering at Fort Magruder, was fought the battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862. The Union General McClellan was pursuing General Johnston’s retiring army. The rearguard of which was commanded by General Longstreet. Johnston ordered Longstreet to hold off McClellan’s attacking forces until the confederate wagon trains, bogged down in mud, were out of danger. This mission was accomplished and Johnston continued his retirement.

Further Research

The Battle of Williamsburg Map

The Battle of Williamsburg, also known as the Battle of Fort Magruder, was one of the largest battlefield encounters between Union and Confederate forces during McClellan’s famous Peninsula Campaign.  After having been delayed for around a month at the Yorktown defenses, General McClellan moved his troops in hot pursuit of Johnston and his fellow Confederate soldiers, who had started to retreat for more defensible positions closer to Richmond (Rickard).  At Williamsburg, Confederate soldiers aimed to hold up parts of the defense line simply to hinder the Union forces advancement into Richmond.

The Battle of Williamsburg

Confederate forces had positioned themselves in front of For Magruder, which served as their key point during the battle.  Because of muddy conditions, the Confederate retreat was hindered and thus James Longstreet had to hold the line at Williamsburg while fellow forces moved towards Etham’s landing.  General Sumner and General William F. Smith launched the first assault on Confederate lines on May 4th; but this had to be abandoned because of the woodland between the two forces that hindered them.  The next day, however, General Hooker started the battle facing Fort Magruder, which continued most of the day (civalwar).  The fighting was tremendous and eventually General Winfield S. Hancock was able to push back the Confederate forces with heavy losses.

Battle of Williamsburg--Gen. Hancock's charge, May 5, 1862

McClellan decided that Hancock’s actions were “brilliant” and that this battle was a superior victory for the Union forces – while this fact may be slightly skewed.  Both sides had gained something from this battle in that the Union perceived it as having pushed the Confederates from a defensive line with seriously outnumbered odds.  The Confederates saw the battle as a success because it was seen that General Longstreet had successfully held off Union attack and allowed for the Confederates to withdraw with precious supplies (Rickard).

Further Reading

Civil War Trust. The Battle of Willamsburg. http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/williamsburg.html (accessed March 9, 2012)

Rickard, J. Battle of Williamsburg, 5 May 1862. http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_williamsburg.html (accessed March 9, 2012)

Salmon, John S. The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. Harrisburg: Stackpole Books, 2001.

Sears, Stephen W. To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “Battle of Williamsburg W-43,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“Battle of Williamsburg Map,” Civil War Trust: Maps of Williamsburg, Virginia, www.civilwar.org (accessed May 2, 2012).

“The Battle of Williamsburg,” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov (accessed May 2, 2012).

“Battle of Williamsburg- Gen. Hancock’s Charge,” Library of Congress, www.loc.goc (accessed May 2, 2012).

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Department of Historic Resources

Trebell’s Landing W-49

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Inscription:

 At Trebell’s Landing on the James River, a mile southwest of here, the artillery and stores of the American and French armies were landed in September 1781. They were then conveyed overland some six miles to the siege lines at Yorktown. The troops disembarked at landings near Williamsburg. During the next few weeks, the allied armies under Gen. George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau besieged the British army commanded by Gen. Charles Cornwallis until he surrendered on 19 Oct. 1781, effectively ending the Revolutionary War.

Further Research

The Siege at Yorktown

Trebell’s landing was an important place during the Revolutionary War as it served as the grouping place for all of the artillery and stores of the American and French armies in 1781 (Greene).  The convenient location allowed for General George Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau to overcome General Cornwallis’ army easily during the siege of Yorktown.

George Washington

Early in September, Lafayette moved his forces to Williamsburg in order to block movements and advances of General Cornwallis.  It was not long before General Washington joined Lafayette and thus combined French and American forces (Yorktown National Battlefield).  By late September, there were landing operations, which brought much of the army’s artillery at the shore of Trebell’s Landing.  This movement gave General Washington command of well over 18,000 combined troops (Lengal, 337).  The location allowed for Washington’s artillery to readily and newly be resupplied and thus allowed for heavy fire upon the British.  The combined forces constantly slammed Cornwallis’ troops until October 17th.  On October 17th, Cornwallis officially surrendered (Lengal, 342).

Lord Cornwallis

After a long and arduous battle, the siege of Yorktown officially ended October 19, 1781 after two days of negotiation.  Furthermore, this battle is considered a decisive victory of a combined effort of American and French forces.  It is also considered to be the last major land battle of the Revolutionary War in that this battle and Cornwallis’ ultimate surrender eventually yielded to the end of the war because it initiated the negotiations between the United States and Great Britain.

Further Reading

Forbes, Allan. “Marches and Camp Sites of the French Army: Beyond New England during the Revolutionary War.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts’s Historical Society, Third Series 67 (October., 1941 – May, 1944). http://www.jstor.org/stable/25080352 (accessed March 4, 2012).

Greene, Jerome. The Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781. New York: Savas Beatie LLC, 2005.

Hatch, Charles. Yorktown and the Siege of 1781. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1954. http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/hh/14/index.htm (accessed March 4, 2012).

Lengal, Edward. General George Washington. New York: Random House Paperbacks, 2005.

Russell, David Lee. The American Revolution in Southern Colonies. Jefferson: McFarland & Co., 2000.

Photo Credits

Historical Marker “Trebell’s Landing W-49,” courtesy of Lindsey Smith, 2012.

“The Siege at Yorktown,” The American Revolution: The Battle of Yorktown, 1781, www.britishbattles.com (accessed May 2, 2012).

“George Washington,” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov (accessed May 2, 2012).

“Lord Cornwallis,” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov (accessed May 2, 2012).

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Department of Historical Resources