Enlarge On to Richmond Panel
This panel details the 1862 Peninsula Campaign formulated by Union Gen.
George B McClellan. Just across the river McClellan's forces were facing
off against Confederates under command of John Bankhead Magruder in the
trenches around Yorktown. It was absolutely essential for the Union plan
to have access to the York River, so this strategic point had to be taken
by Northern forces at all cost.
Enlarge On to Richmond Panel and
The following information is taken from the National Park Service 150th
anniversary card available at the Colonial National Historical Park
"Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder, Born May 1,1807 in Port Royal, Virginia, Died
February 19, 1871 in Houston, Texas.
In 1830 graduate of West Point, Magruder left the U.S. Army in 1861 to
assume command of the Confederate Army of the Peninsula, where he
reinforced and extended Yorktown's Revolutionary War earthworks for the
area's defense. Encouraging his men to re-enlist in 1862, he wrote that "
these frowning battlements... of York are turned in this second war of
liberty against the enemies of our country."
From this panel it's possible to see the earthworks of the fort and
hopefully the viewer will get an impression of just how high and thick
earthworks still remain.
Enlarge Parts of Parrott Rifle
Along the walking trail inside the fort there are parts of a Parrott
rifle. Look closely below the sign to see some parts.
Enlarge Trail thru Fort
Use the size of the interpretive panel as a guide to imagine the enormous
earthworks which still remain at this site. The trail winds in such a way
as to make the path only moderately steep and easy to traverse.
Enlarge Union Occupies
Gloucester Point Interpretive Panel
The Union 4th Delaware Infantry Regiment occupied this 15 acre position.
The panel has a picture of Lieut. (later Capt.) S. Rodman Smith of Co.
"I", later Co. "C" 4th Delaware Infantry Regiment and some of his
observations. Pvt Stephen T. Buckson's of the 4th Delaware Infantry
Regiment is also quoted on the panel. The Union forces named this large
earthwork "Fort Keyes" and held it till the end of the war. Although
beyond a doubt Gloucester point was extremely strategic, action here
became a sideshow to the big show. The routine of camp life was punctuated
only rarely with forays of unexpected sharp combat.
Enlarge Defender of York
Interpretive Panel Close-up
On June 29, 2013, this panel was not in the best of condition so this scan
has been modified to improve visibility. The panel basically talks about
how everyone from the time of the English colonists forward recognized
this chokepoint is a strategic location. Although not in the scope of the
CWA website, this point was also the scene of very important activity
during the Revolutionary War. There are other panels at the park devoted
activities during the Revolutionary War. When visiting the visitor center
at the Yorktown Battlefield we saw an electric map presentation which
highlighted activities in this region and motivated our visit.