James River Area

Bacon's Castle | Berkeley Towne | Blunt Point Blockhouse | Boise's Fort | Fort Boykin
Burwell's Landing Battery | Post at Cabin Point | The Castle | Fort Crafford
Day's Point Battery | Doller's Point Battery | Each's Fort | Camp Eustis | Fort Eustis
Evelynton Plantation | Flowerdew Hundred Fort | Hardin's Point Battery | Harrison's Landing
Harwood's Mill Redoubt | Hog Island Blockhouse | Fort at Hood's Bluff | Fort Hood (1)
Hood's Battery | Howard's Bridge Redoubt | Fort Huger (2) | James' Citie Fort | James' Fort (1)
Jamestown Island Defenses | Jordan's Journey | Kingsmill Wharf Battery | Kittiewan Battery
Land's End Battery | Lee's Mill Redoubt | Fort Magruder (2) | Martin's Hundred Fort
Middle Plantation Fort | Mulberry Point Battery | New Fort | Newport News Defenses
Peirsey's Rail | Fort Pocahontas (1) | Fort Pocahontas (2) | Poquoson River Line
Fort Powhatan | Ragged Island Battery | Fort at Rock Wharf | Fort at the Rocks
Sandys' Fort (2) | Sandys' Plantation Fort (1) | Camp Winfield Scott | Post at Shirley Hundred
Skiffe's Creek Redoubt | J. Smith's Fort | R. Smith's Fort | Smith's Hundred Fort
Swann's Point Battery | Camp Wallace | Fort at Warraskoyack | Warwick Line
Williamsburg Defenses | Wolstenholme Towne | Wrenn's Mill Battery | Wynn's Mill Redoubt
Young's Mill Redoubt

Northern Virginia - page 1 | Northern Virginia II - page 2 | Central Virginia I - page 3
Central Virginia II - page 4 | Richmond Area - page 5 | Tidewater Virginia - page 6
Hampton Roads - page 8 | Northwestern Virginia - page 9 | Southwestern Virginia - page 10
Eastern Shore - page 11




Last Update: 08/NOVEMBER/2009
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2009 American Forts Network

Post at Shirley Hundred
(1647 - unknown), Shirley Plantation
A VA colonial militia post was established here by Capt. Edward Hill. Shirley Plantation, first settled in 1613 as "West and Shirley Hundred", was patented by Hill in 1664. The present manor house was built in 1740.

Berkeley Towne
(1619 - 1622), Berkeley Plantation
A seven-foot high palisade surrounded the 400-acres of the original townsite. Named after Richard Berkeley. Attacked during the 1622 Indian raids. The present manor house was built in 1726.

Harrison's Landing Defenses
(1862), near Berkeley Plantation
An extensive outer line of Union earthworks surrounded Berkeley and Westover Plantations, between Herring Creek and Kimage's Creek, during General McClellan's 1862 Peninsula Campaign against Richmond. An inner line of infantry parapets and two gun batteries (13 guns) protected the actual landing on the James River (Berkeley's Landing). The Berkeley manor house was within the inner line. Traces remain.

Evelynton Plantation
(1862), Evelynton Plantation
Located on Herring Creek, the original manor house (built in 1847 by Edmund Ruffin, Jr.) was surrounded by Confederate breastworks. Remnants still exist. The house was burned during the war, not rebuilt until the 1930's using bricks from the original house.

Kittiewan Battery
(1864), near Weyanoke
An extensive Union earthwork and gun emplacement located at Kittiewan Plantation on the north side of Kittiewan Creek, which protected the rear approach to the pontoon crossing across the James River to Flowerdew Hundred. Built after the Battle of Cold Harbor. Still exists. "Grant's Crossing" state marker located on VA 5 at County Rt. 618.
(thanks to Lyle Browning for providing info)

Fort Pocahontas (2)
(1864 - 1865), Charles City FORT WIKI
A Union redoubt and supply depot built and manned by Negro soldiers, attacked in May 1864. It was given its name after the battle. The works are preserved at Wilson's Wharf, adjacent to Sherwood Forest Plantation (1780). Admission fee.

Smith's Hundred Fort
(1618 - 1622), near Tettington
A palisaded settlement located on Dancing Point. It was abandoned after the 1622 Indian massacre. Named after Sir Thomas Smith, treasurer of the Virginia Company. Smith's Hundred was known as Southampton Hundred after the 1620 sale to the Earl of Southampton, Sir Edwin Sandys.

James' Fort (1)
Historic Jamestowne || Colonial National Historical Park - Jamestowne
(1607 - 1625 ?), Jamestown FORT WIKI
The first permanent English settlement in North America. The first fort, a simple triangular log palisade, was burned in 1608 but was rebuilt the same year into a new triangular log and plank palisade roughly 100-by-100-by-140 yards, with three bulwarks, or bastions, and renamed James' Towne. The settlement was almost abandoned in 1610 after a hard winter, but new supplies and settlers arrived that year under Thomas West, Lord De La Warr. The fort was in use until about 1625 or so before it was abandoned for its lumber. The actual fort site, long thought eroded away, was rediscovered in 1996, and archaeological excavations are currently ongoing. The settlement outgrew the fort around 1612. Two blockhouses were built outside of the fort in 1614, one at the isthmus, and the other on the Back River. The settlement area outside the fort developed into New Towne or James' Citie after 1618, which was also palisaded until about 1625. Two small forts were built in 1667 to defend against Dutch raids. One, an earthen fort with four bastions, excavated in 1993 and 1998 (Turf Fort), was located about 1100 feet east of the church along the shoreline. It was abanoned around 1680. The second was abandoned by 1716. Six mounted guns and thirteen unmounted guns (spiked in 1676) were reported here in 1690. The town was the capital of colonial Virginia until 1699. The Memorial Church (1907) stands on the site of the 1617 wood frame and 1639 brick churches. The ruins of the 1647 brick church tower are adjacent. North America's first representative legislative assembly met here in the church in 1619. The first group of Africans in British North America arrived here via the Dutch in 1619. The concrete seawall on the river's edge was built in 1901 by the Army Corps of Engineers. James' Fort is currently being excavated by the APVA. Admission fee.

A full recreation of the 1608 stockade fort, the three English ships, and a representative Powhatan Indian village are located nearby at Jamestown Settlement State Park. Admission fee.

A Patriot two-gun battery (1781) and two Confederate forts and three minor batteries (1861 - 1862) were also built here. The well-preserved CSA Square Redoubt (four guns) is off of the auto loop tour road near the center of the island. (FORT WIKI) CSA six-sided Fort Pocahontas (1) (13-18 guns) is located within and around the original 1607/08 James' Fort site. (FORT WIKI) The earthworks are currently being removed as excavations proceed on James' Fort. One of the minor CSA batteries also still exists, the Bridge Redan (one gun) near the old bridge to the mainland. The other two works were located at Goose Hill (aka Sand Battery) (five guns) and at Black Point (two guns). These works were never fully manned nor armed, and were soon occupied by Union forces.

Middle Plantation Fort
(1633 - unknown), Williamsburg
This was originally a stockaded outpost built to protect Jamestown from Indian attacks. It evolved into the town of Williamsburg and became Virginia's capital in 1699 after Jamestown burned down in 1698. The Magazine and Guardhouse were the arsenal of the colony. The Magazine (1715) is a brick repository of arms and ammunition and survives to this day. The Guardhouse and a high protective wall were added to the Magazine during the French and Indian War. Colonial Williamsburg is a recreation of the old capital city. Admission fee.

A Patriot fort (1781) was located south of town, west of the later Confederate Redoubt #1 (see below). It was still noted on Civil War maps.

Civil War Defenses of Williamsburg
(Williamsburg Battlefield Association)
(1861 - 1865), Williamsburg
Fort Magruder (2) was the main defensive position of the four-mile long CSA Williamsburg Line across the peninsula from Queen's Creek to Kingsmill Neck. Also known as Redoubt #6. Captured by Union forces in May 1862 during the Battle of Williamsburg. It was an elongated pentagonal eight-gun earthwork with walls 15 feet high and nine feet thick, and a dry moat nine feet deep. A small portion still exists with a monument located in a small park on Penniman Road. State markers are located on US 60.

Other CSA works southwest of here behind the ravine of Tutter's Neck were Redoubt #1 (one gun) (extant), Redoubt #2 (two guns with rifle pits) (extant), Redoubt #3 (two guns) (extant), Redoubt #4 (two guns), and Redoubt #5 (two guns). Northeast to Jones' Millpond were Redoubt #7 (one gun), Redoubt #8 (two guns), Redoubt #9 (two guns with rifle pits), Redoubt #10, Redoubt #11, Redoubt #12, Redoubt #13, and Redoubt #14 (three guns). Most of these works were not armed and were ungarrisoned during the Battle of Williamsburg. Many of these, especially Redoubts 11, 12 (marked), and 13, still exist along Penniman Road and the Colonial Parkway. See also Battle of Williamsburg from Civil War Album.com

The College of William and Mary was surrounded by earthworks and ditches by the Union to protect the grounds and buildings from Confederate raids after the town was occupied in 1862 - 65. Doors and windows on the north and west faces were boarded and bricked up, with added loopholes.

Burwell's Landing Batteries
(1781, 1861 - 1865), Kingsmill-on-the-James
Confederate earthworks that were part of the defenses of Williamsburg, also known as the Kingsmill Wharf Batteries (three, at least one still exists). Probably used by the Union when they occupied the town in 1862.

A Patriot earthwork battery, one of two, from the American Revolution still exists at Burwell's Landing, near the later CSA works. It was captured by the British in 1781. State marker located on US 60 at VA 199.

George Sandys' Fort (2)
(1624 ? - 1638 ?), Kingsmill-on-the-James
A fortified colonial compound, with at least three earth-fast structures, two of which were each palisaded. Sandys never actually lived here, only some of his indentured servants. John Wareham and his servants lived here between 1628 - 1638. Site excavated in 1996-98, located near the northwest bank of the mouth of Grove Creek in the present-day Sandys' Fort community. This was once located within the former area of the Army's WWI era Camp Wallace.

Wolstenholme Towne
(1619 - 1622), Carter's Grove
A trapezoidal palisaded fort, about 93 by 130 feet, was located at the main village of Martin's Hundred Plantation (aka Martin's Hundred Fort), named after Richard Martin, attorney for the Virginia Company; and Sir John Wolstenholme, an investor of the company. A watchtower was in the southeast corner, a one-gun bastion in the southwest corner, and a possible bastion in the northwest corner. Most of the settlers were killed in the March 1622 Indian raids along the James River. Excavated from 1976 - 1980, with artifacts at the Winthrop Rockefeller Archaeology Museum. A modern reconstruction on site was operated by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, located on the grounds of Carter's Grove Plantation. (NOTE: Carter's Grove was permanently closed to the public in 2003 and put on the market for private sale. The reconstructed fort was soonafter demolished.)

John Boise's Fort, a palisaded house with a swivel gun, was located about 600 feet downriver from the main fort.

Fort Crafford
(1862), Newport News
A Confederate five-sided 16-gun earthwork fort near Mulberry Point on the modern Fort Eustis military reservation. Built to cover the four-gun water battery built earlier (1861) at the point (Mulberry Island Point Battery (no remains)). It was abandoned to the Union in May 1862, but they did not subsequently use it. Three magazines and two bomb-proofs remain today within the existing earthworks. The foundation of the 1749 Crafford House (demolished 1924) are also within the fort's walls. Another small two-gun battery may have been located at the southern end of the island (Land's End Battery) to cover the mouth of the Warwick River. Public access restricted, inquire at gate.

Mulberry Point was previously the site of an unnamed Patriot fort (1781) to defend Williamsburg, but did not see action.

Fort Eustis (U.S. Army Reservation)
(Joint Base Langley - Eustis)
(1918 - 1946/present), Newport News FORT WIKI
As Camp Abraham Eustis, it was originally built as a Coast Artillery training range and cantonment when Fort Monroe became overcrowded as a training area. It was also the embarkation center for coast/heavy artillery troops in WWI for the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation (see also). The first Army Balloon School was established here in 1918, but closed a few years later (1922 ?). It was used for training Coast Artillery and Air Service troops in balloon tactics for spotting and observation. Anti-aircraft artillery and railway artillery tactics were pioneered here at Camp Eustis. The post was redesignated in 1923. It became the headquarters of the U.S. Army Transportation Command in 1946 (until 2010). Became part of Joint Base Langley - Eustis in 2010. Current headquarters of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (from Fort Monroe). Located on post in Besson Hall is the U.S. Army Transportation Museum, which is scheduled for future transfer to Fort Lee in Petersburg.

Camp Wallace, established in 1918 as the Upper Firing Range for artillery training, was located near Grove Wharf across Skiffe's Creek in nearby in James City County. It consisted of 30 barracks, six storehouses, and eight mess halls, connected by a rail spur to the main post. Artillery spotting towers were located near the Fort Crafford site (foundations remain) at Mulberry Point.

Langley Field was established in 1917 nearby along the Back River in Hampton, originally known as the Aviation Experimental Station and Proving Ground. Originally operated jointly by the Army Signal Corps and the civilian National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), it became a major training post for the Army Air Service, which later became the Army Air Corps. NACA's successor organization, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), still maintains a large presence here for aerospace research.

Civil War Defenses of Newport News
(1861 - 1862), Newport News
About ten miles of preserved Confederate earthworks from the 1862 Peninsula Campaign are located along the Warwick Line in various city parks. These include Dam #1 Battery (one gun) in Newport News Park on Constitution Way, Lee's Mill Redoubt (three guns) on River's Ridge Circle (Lee's Mill Park) ("Lee's Mill Earthworks" state marker is located on Warwick Blvd. at Lee's Mill Drive), Lee Hall Mansion (built 1858) on Yorktown Road (admission fee), and Skiffe's Creek Redoubt (three guns) at 22 Enterprise Drive. Union works opposing the Dam #1 Battery are also still extant. The Wynn's Mill Redoubt and supporting earthworks on the upper Warwick River in York County (about 3000 yards south of the Red Redoubt in Yorktown) are still extant and well preserved. "Peninsula Campaign - Warwick River" state marker located at the Discovery Center in Newport News Park.

The extant Young's Mill Redoubt (four guns) on Deep Creek, at 13055 Warwick Blvd., near Oyster Point Road, was part of the Poquoson River Line. The Howard's Bridge Redoubt (four guns) and the Harwood's Mill Redoubt (one gun) near Tabb in York County both may no longer exist. The Confederates evacuated this line in April 1862.

Also of interest is Endview Plantation (built 1769) on Yorktown Road (admission fee), and the U.S.S. Monitor Center at the Mariners' Museum on Warwick Blvd. (admission fee).

Camp Winfield Scott
(1862), Newport News
A Union encampment surrounding the old 1810 Warwick County Court House during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. A new courthouse was built in 1884. Located at 1401 Old Courthouse Way at Denbigh Blvd..

Blunt Point Blockhouse
(1623), Newport News
A blockhouse was proposed for this location before a site was chosen across the river at Warraskoyack (see Fort Boykin below). This post may never have actually been built.

(For Hampton Roads defenses please see page 8)

Ragged Island Battery
(1861 - 1862), near Bartlett
A CSA gun battery on Ragged Island Creek.

Carrollton NIKE Missile Site
(Nike Park)
(1954 - 1961), Carrollton
A NIKE-AJAX missile launch site was located here, designated N-75 for the Norfolk Defense. Site mostly still intact, now used as the Isle of Wight County Parks and Recreation Dept. office. Many buildings still stand including the barracks, mess hall, administration and recreation building, and officer/non-commissioned officer family housing. The radar/control site was located on Jones Creek.
* This entry is listed here for historical interest only. *

Fort Boykin (Historic Park)
(1623 - 1862, intermittent), near Mogarts Beach FORT WIKI
Originally built for protection against Indians and the Spanish and called The Castle or Fort at Warraskoyack. Also known as Roger Smith's Fort. Two palisaded houses were built nearby in 1625, one built by Capt. Samuel Each. This was the previous site of "(Edward) Bennett's Plantation" (not fortified), settled in 1622 but destroyed one month later in the great massacre by the Powhatan Indians. "Bennett's Plantation" state marker located on VA 10 Business at Hardy Elementary School.

Patriots rebuilt the fort during the American Revolution and gave it its present name, also known as Fort at the Rocks. It was rebuilt four times and is now in a seven-pointed star shape. It was also known as Fort at Rock Wharf in 1813. The fort was rebuilt again (with ten guns) in 1861 to protect Richmond during the Civil War. Some CSA records list it as Day's Point Battery. It was abandoned when guns from the Union ships could reach the fort, but the fort's guns could not reach the ships. Union troops landed and destroyed the fort's magazines in May 1862. Some of the earthworks have since eroded off the bluff and into the river. On a clear day, the bluff offers an excellent view of the "Ghost Fleet", a reserve fleet of mothballed U.S. Navy vessels at anchor in the James River.

Located to the west was CSA Wrenn's Mill Battery, on the east side of Wrenn's Millpond. State marker located on VA 10.

Fort Huger (2)
(1861 - 1862), near Rushmere FORT WIKI
A CSA 13-gun earthwork located directly across from Mulberry Point in Newport News. Originally known as Hardin's Point Battery. Also spelled Hardy. Abandoned by the CSA and then taken by Union troops in May 1862. The earthwork still exists. The site was opened as an Isle of Wight county park in December 2007, with nine replica display guns. Archaeological excavations are ongoing. See also Fort Huger Project from Archaeological Consultants of the Carolinas, Inc.

Hog Island Blockhouse
(1609 - 1610 ?), Hog Island
A blockhouse was built here to protect Jamestown's hog pens from the Indians. State marker located on VA 10 at Bacon's Castle.

Bacon's Castle
(1676), Bacon's Castle FORT WIKI
This house was built in 1655 by Arthur Allen. Rebels under Nathaniel Bacon seized and held it for three months in 1676. It was captured by sailors from a ship in the James River who were engaged in putting down "Bacon's Rebellion". Admission fee.

Sandys' Plantation Fort (1)
(1624 ? - 1630's), Cobham Bay
A large palisaded one-gun fort located at Pleasant Point between present-day Chippokes and Cobham Wharf, on land patented by George Sandys in 1624. Also called "The Treasurer's Plantation". Sandys left for England in the summer of 1625. Edward Grendon also lived here (sometime between 1620-24, died in 1628), east of and adjacent to Sandys' tract, and possibly also had a fortified dwelling or storehouse, located on Grendon's Hill.

Doller's Point Battery
(1862), near Cobham Wharf
Three CSA naval six-gun redoubts located at or near either "Wood's Landing" or "Carter's Landing", directly opposite Lower Point on Jamestown Island. In some sources spelled either Duller or Soller.

John Smith's Fort
(Smith's Fort Plantation)
(1609 - 1614 ?), near Surry FORT WIKI
The fort, also known as New Fort, was built on a bluff above Gray's Creek as a retreat from possible Indian or Spanish attacks at Jamestown. It was never finished. The 18th-century plantation's manor house located here later took the name. A trail leads to the site of the old fort. The small site is protected on three sides by bluffs, and traces of the two-foot high and 120-foot long earthworks protect the land approach. Admission fee. "Smith's Fort Plantation" state marker located at the Surry County Courthouse. "English Settlement on Gray's Creek" state marker located on VA 10 at County Rt. 618.

Swann's Point Battery
(1862 - 1865), Ingersoll
A Union battery located above the mouth of Gray's Creek on the James River, opposite Jamestown Island. No remains. Area is within the Colonial National Historic Park - Jamestowne (NPS) boundary.

Post at Cabin Point
(1780 - 1781), Cabin Point
State militia forces were posted here to protect the tobacco port from British raids. Continental Army troops arrived in January 1781 for further protection when the British occupied Portsmouth.

Fort Powhatan
(1808 - 1864, intermittent), Prince George County FORT WIKI
Fort at Hood's Bluff, or Fort Hood (1), was built in 1781 after the British attack on Richmond, over the site of a local militia two-gun work called Hood's Battery (1779 - 1781). Fort Powhatan, a Second System coastal defense fort, was built beginning in 1808 at Windmill Hill. It was a 13-gun masonry fort with a water battery, barracks, magazines, and a blockhouse. It was still unfinished in 1811, but by 1814 had 22 guns mounted. It was never attacked by the British. It was no longer reported in use by 1830. The brick magazines still exist, as well as the water battery on the river bank. The Confederates built an earthwork battery on top of the bluff in 1862 (still exists), using the same name as the older fort. The Union captured it in 1863, and was unsuccessfully attacked by Confederates in 1864. Located on the James River just downriver from Flowerdew Hundred Plantation, east of the mouth of Flowerdew Hundred Creek. On private property (Fort Powhatan Gun Club). State marker located on VA 10 east of County Rt. 614.

Flowerdew Hundred Fort
(Flowerdew Hundred Archaeological Collection)
(1619 - 1622, 1624 - 1650's), Prince George County
A rectangular palisaded settlement located on the James River, north of the mouth of Flowerdew Hundred Creek. Named by Sir George Yeardley after his wife, Temperance Flowerdieu. It was attacked by Indians in 1622, but was rebuilt. The first windmill in Virginia was built here on Tobacco Point in 1621. The land was sold in 1624 to Abraham Peirsey and renamed "Peirsey's Hundred". The original palisade lasted until at least 1627, if not longer. Located along the western boundary of the settlement was Peirsey's Rail, a large log palisade that enclosed the entire neck of land after 1624. The original settlement was abandoned by 1660. Site excavated from 1971 - 1995. Private property. State marker located on VA 10. (NOTE: Flowerdew Hundred Plantation was permanently closed to the public in October 2007.)
David Harrison Institute Exhibit at University of Virginia Library
2003 Arcaeological Study and Masters Thesis by Charles C. Hodges

A Late Woodland - Early Contact Period (1300 - 1600) palisaded Indian village was located here. Site excavated in the 1980's.

Jordan's Journey
(1620 - 1635 ?), Prince George County
A palisaded settlement located on Jordan Point, established by Samuel Jordan. Withstood the 1622 Indian attack. Jordan died in 1623, but the settlement prospered after 1624. Site now under the old Hopewell Airport and a residential development. Excavated in the 1980's.

Towns: Battery Park in Isle of Wight County

Northern Virginia - page 1 | Northern Virginia II - page 2 | Central Virginia I - page 3
Central Virginia II - page 4 | Richmond Area - page 5 | Tidewater Virginia - page 6
Hampton Roads - page 8 | Northwestern Virginia - page 9 | Southwestern Virginia - page 10
Eastern Shore - page 11

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