Tidewater Virginia

Ajacán | Axacan | Fort at Ball's Point | Big Bethel Redoubt | Black Creek Redoubt
Broaddus Flats Site | Fort Brown | Buck Site | Camp Byron | Chiskiack Fort | Chisman's Fort
Clifts Plantation Fort | Coleman's Fort | Fort Connecticut | Fort Corcoran | Cricket Hill Fort
Fort Dix | Fort Dutton (1) | Gloucester Fort | Gwynn's Island Camp | Fort Halleck
Hallowes' Fort | Fort Hill (2) | Hill's Point Fort/Battery | Camp Huger | Fort Huger (1)
Fort James (2) | Fort James (3) | Fort Jericho | Knob Hill Battery | Lambs Creek Site
Camp Lee (2) | Fort Lowry | Fort McClellan | Fort Magruder (1) | Fort Mahixon
Manskin Indian Fort | Mathias Point Battery | Fort Mattapony (1) | Fort Mattapony (2)
Fort Matuxon | Mundy's Point Battery | Nandsamund | Nansemond Fort (1)(3)
Fort Nansemond (4) | Fort Nonsense | Norfleet Point Battery | Pamamomeck | Fort Peck
Pigeon Hill Redoubt | Providence Forge Camp | Camp Randolph | Rappahannock Indian Fort
Red Redoubt | Rickahock Fort | Camp Riddick | Fort Rosecrans | Fort Royall
Seaford Defenses | Fort Seward | Ship's Point Battery | Fort Stevens (1) | Suffolk Defenses
Tyndall's Fort | Tyndall's Point Fort | Fort Union (1) | White Redoubt | Camp Winder (2)
Windmill Point Battery | Wormeley's Platform | Yeocomico Fort | Fort York
Yorktown Defenses

Northern Virginia - page 1 | Northern Virginia II - page 2 | Central Virginia I - page 3
Central Virginia II - page 4 | Richmond Area - page 5 | James River Area - page 7
Hampton Roads - page 8 | Northwestern Virginia - page 9 | Southwestern Virginia - page 10
Eastern Shore - page 11


Last Update: 09/MARCH/2024
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2024 American Forts Network

Mathias Point Battery
(1861), near Dahlgren
A partial earthwork battery that was constructed by the Union Navy to prevent the Confederates from fortifying this point on the Potomac River, but were driven off before construction was complete. The site was not used thereafter by the Confederates, due to constant shelling by the Navy.

Lambs Creek Archaeological Site
(1300 - 1500), near Popcastle
A Late Woodland Period palisaded Indian town located on Lamb's Creek at the Rappahannock River. Site excavated in 1965. This site may correspond with the minor Rappahannock Indian village Sockobeck which was noted on John Smith's map of 1608.

Camp Winder (2)
(1862 - 1863), Moss Neck
A CSA winter encampment (until April 1863) for elements of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Camp Lee (2)
(1862 - 1863), Port Royal
A CSA winter encampment (until April 1863) for elements of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Clifts Plantation Fort
(Stratford Hall Plantation)
(1658 - 1685 ?), Stratford
A palisaded settlers' compound, with two bastions, built by Nathaniel Pope. Probably palisaded for defense in 1675-76 just before or during Bacon's Rebellion. Site excavated in the 1970's, located near Stratford Hall's restored grist mill. Thomas Lee purchased the property in 1717. Stratford Hall was built nearby in 1725.

John Hallowes' Fort
(1647 - 1666 ?), near Currioman Landing
A fortified settlers' compound, about 50 feet by 20 feet, with two corner bastions for defense, most likely fortified as a result of Richard Ingle's Rebellion in Maryland (an English Civil War side-show in America), which Hallowes had participated in and had just recently fled, fearing reprisal from loyalists of the 2nd Lord Baltimore (Cecil Calvert) and Leonard Calvert, Maryland's re-installed governor. Hallowes died in 1657, but the defensive bastions were probably kept up at least until his widow (second wife) and her new husband left the property in 1666. Site excavated in 1968 before residential development of Stratford Harbour began, located near the mouth of Currioman Bay, northwest of the present community of Currioman Landing.

Yeocomico Fort
(1667 - unknown), near Kinsale (?)
A VA colonial militia fort was built in the area for Indian defense. Six unmounted (buried) guns were reported in 1690.

Mundy's Point Battery
(1814), Mundy's Point
A local militia fort at the mouth of the Yeocomico River. Attacked by the British in August 1814.

Richard Coleman's Fort
(1652 - unknown), Layton
A settlement and trading post was established on Coleman's Creek at the Rappahannock River in Essex County. A church was established here in 1660.

Ralph Wormeley's Platform
(1680's), Urbanna (?)
Five guns and two mortars were recorded here as defense for Wormeley's Plantation on Wormeley's Creek at Nimcock (Urbanna) Creek in a 1690 government document. The town was founded in 1705.

Rappahannock Indian Fort ?
(1676 - 1683), near Indian Neck
A Rappahannock Indian palisaded town/fort built for defense against the Susquehannock Indians from the north, and also against hostile English settlers during Bacon's Rebellion. Located somewhere on the headwaters of Piscataway Creek along the Essex / King and Queen County line. The colonial government and/or militia may have had a hand in its construction and/or defense. The colonial government established a 4000-acre Indian Reservation here in 1682. Seneca Indians from the north attacked and destroyed the poorly defended fort in 1683, ultimately forcing the Rappahannocks to leave and join with the Portobacco Indians at the Portobago Bay Indian Reservation (1684 - 1704). A state marker for the Portobacco Indians is located on US 17 at County Rt. 641. The Mattaponi Indians also lived in this vicinity from 1646 - 1668. A state marker for the Mattaponi Indian Town is located on US 360 at the county line.

Fort Lowry
(1861 - 1864), near Wares Wharf
Located on the Rappahannock River at Lowry's Point. This was an eight-gun water battery built to prevent Union gunboats from proceeding to Fredericksburg. Union forces destroyed it a month after the Confederates abandoned it in March 1862. It was later rebuilt and remained in limited use. Confederate cavalry Camp Byron (1861) was nearby in Dunnsville before the troopers moved to the fort in October 1861 to assist in its defense. The site of the fort was never preserved, and the area is swampy.

Fort at Ball's Point
(Millenbeck Archaeological Site)
(1667 - unknown), Millenbeck
A colonial militia fort, also used during Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 by government forces opposed to Bacon's rebels. Foundational remnants still remain (now buried). Possibly commanded by Capt. William Ball (b. 1641 - d. 1694), son of Col. William Ball (d. 1680) and Hannah Ball. Twenty-four unmounted guns (buried in sand in tidal area) were reported here in 1690.
Nearby is the site of the Hannah Ball homestead "Millenbeck Plantation" (1670's), great-grandmother of George Washington. Site excavated in the 1970's.

Windmill Point Battery
(1813 - 1814), near Westland or Foxwells
A local militia field battery, attacked by the British in April 1814. State marker is on County Rt. 695.

Cricket Hill Fort
(1776), Cricket Hill
A state militia earthwork battery built in June 1776 by General Andrew Lewis to attack a Loyalist stockaded "camp of refuge" on Gwynn's Island (see below). Governor John Murray, Lord Dunmore, was encamped there with his Tory supporters, and referred to the rebels as "swarms of crickets". Remnants of the earthwork are located near a yacht storage facility on Milford Haven.

Gwynn's Island Camp
(1776), Grimstead
The stockaded encampment of Loyalist Governor John Murray, Lord Dunmore, and his Tory supporters. This was their last refuge before being forced from Virginia in July 1776. Murray and the British fleet then sailed north to Maryland before being repulsed there as well (see also Maryland state marker at St. George Island on the Potomac River). Murray would later become the royal governor of the Bahamas colony.

Fort Nonsense (Historical Park)
(1862 - 1863), Fort Nonsense
An unnamed Confederate earthwork defense located at the head of the North River on the east bank of Burke Mill Stream, at the present-day VA 3/ VA 14 bridge, built to protect the only road (at the time) between Mathews County and Gloucester County, and the backdoor approach to the important Gloucester Point fortifications. Overrun by a Union raid in October 1863, after which it received its present moniker by the local population. The well-preserved earthworks still exist in a small county park.

Fort Mattapony (2) ?
(1677 - 1678 ?), near Milford
A VA colonial militia defense in Caroline County, probably used for the protection of the local tribes against hostile tribes from the north. Abandoned or destroyed after its brief use.

Fort Mattapony (1) (Archaeological Site)
(1657 - 1677, 1679 - 1683), Locust Grove
A VA colonial militia fort, located southeast of Walkerton on the Mattaponi River. It was laid out by Edward Digges (who later became governor) and was commanded by Major (later Colonel) Thomas Walker. Built for the protection of the Mattaponi Indians against hostile tribes from the north. The original 1657 fort may have been torn down in 1677 and its garrison relocated (see above). The second 1679 fort may have been a rebuild of the 1657 fort or a new work on a new site, and was garrisoned by Mattaponi warriors for their own defense. Seneca Indians from the northwest attacked in 1683. It is unclear if the designated archaeological site includes one or the other, or both, fort sites.

Fort Matuxon ?
(1676 - 1678), King William County
A VA colonial militia fort located on the Pamunkey River at Mehixen Creek. Also spelled Mahixon. Built for the protection of the Pamunkey Indians against hostile tribes from the north. Probably garrisoned only by Pamunkey warriors. This was near the site of the earlier minor Youghtanund Indian village Washasatiack (c. 1600) as noted on John Smith's map of 1608.

Manskin Indian Fort
(1644 - 1645), King William County
A palisaded Indian stronghold built by Opechancanough (the late Chief Powhatan's brother and now paramount chief of the Powhatan Indians), used as his base during the 1644 massacre of the English settlers. Located on the Pamunkey River opposite the mouth of Totopotomoy (Manskind) Creek (upstream from the US 360 bridge), which was upstream from Menmend (aka Askecocack), the Powhatan/Pamunkey capital town (1622 - 1645) at the mouth of Moncuin Creek ("The Island"). The English attacked the stronghold in July or August 1645 and captured the almost 90-year old leader, who died soon after (1646) in captivity in Jamestown. The rest of the surviving warriors were shipped off to Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay.
See also Manskin Cartographic Temporal Memory by William Tyler

Fort Royall
(1645 - 1649), King William County
Also known as Rickahock Fort, a VA colonial militia fort garrisoned by ten men under Capt. Roger Marshall. Located on the Pamunkey River, it was built after the capture and destruction of the Manskin Fort (see above). Site is probably the same.

Broaddus Flats Archaeological Site
(1690's ?), Hanover County
A possible palisaded homestead located on the Pamunkey River near the US 360 crossing, below Totopotomoy Creek. Ongoing site excavations since 1992.
See also The Broaddus Flats Site and Virginia Frontier Forts in the Seventeenth Century by Elizabeth Barnett

(1649 - 1676 ?), near Elsing Green
The Powhatan/Pamunkey capital town/fort under leader Totopotomoy, second successor to Opechancanough. Totopotomoy was killed in battle in 1656 against the Monacan Indians, and was succeeded by his wife Cockacoeske (Queen of the Pamunkey). She was forced out of the town during Bacon's Rebellion. Located on the Pamunkey River just east of the mouth of Jacks Creek. This may have been the site of the earlier minor Pamunkey village Opawunkack (c. 1600) as noted on John Smith's map of 1608.

Black Creek Redoubt
(1862), near Tunstall Station
A Union redoubt on the west side of the Black Creek bridge protecting the railroad coming from White House.

Providence Forge Camp
(1781), Providence Forge
A state militia recruitment and training camp. Continental Army forces under General LaFayette also encamped here in July and August 1781. State marker located on US 60.

Fort James (2)
(1645 - 1649), near Lanexa
A VA colonial militia fort built by Thomas Rolfe after the great Indian massacre of 1644 in which several hundred colonists perished. Located on the Chickahominy River at the site of the earlier minor Chickahominy village Moysonec (c. 1600) as noted on John Smith's map of 1608. State marker located on US 60 near County Rt. 627.

Buck Archaeological Site
(1300 - 1600), Charles City County
A Late Woodland - Early Contact Period palisaded Indian town located on the Chickahominy River. Site was excavated. Location withheld by the county, therefore unable to match with several historically named sites as shown on John Smith's map of 1608.

(1570 - 1571), York County
Also spelled Ajacán. A Powhatan Indian village on the Lower Peninsula, it was the site of the short-lived Spanish Jesuit Mission de Santa María. The group included Fathers Juan Bautista de Segura and Luis de Quirós, seven other missionaries, and a local Indian named Paquinquineo or Don Luís de Velasco (who had been captured by the Spanish on a 1561 raid in present-day North Carolina and spent six or seven years in Spain learning the language and religion). After about five months, Don Luís killed eight of the missionaries, leaving a teenage boy, Alonso de Olmos, as the only survivor. A Spanish supply ship in 1571 found no trace of the mission. The boy was later rescued in 1572 by a Spanish search party, and told his tale. Although the exact site has never been determined, most accounts locate the site on Queen's Creek northeast of Williamsburg, now within the present-day Camp Peary U.S. Naval Reservation.

Before the English arrived in North America in 1585, what we know today as Virginia was known as Ajacán to the Spanish, and the Chesapeake Bay was known as La Bahía de Santa María. The Powhatans knew their homeland as Tsenacomoco. The Spanish first attempted to settle the area in 1566 with an expedition of 30 soldiers, two Dominican friars, and an Indian (the same Don Luís) as a guide. They landed somewhere on the Delmarva Peninsula but were driven off by a storm, ended up on the North Carolina Outer Banks, and then returned directly to Spain.

Chiskiack Fort
(1647 - unknown), York County
A VA colonial militia post commanded by Capt. William Taylor, located on Indian Field Creek on or near the site of the earlier major Indian town Kiskiack (c. 1600) (noted on John Smith's map of 1608), which had been abandoned by 1630. The Indian town site was archaeologically confirmed in 2004, and is now within the boundary of the U.S. Navy's York River Naval Weapons Station.

Fort York
(1702 - 1749, 1755 - 1760's, 1781 ?), Yorktown
A VA colonial militia fort originally built to replace Tyndall's Point Fort. It had 11 guns in 1721. Reported in ruins after 1749, rebuilt in 1755 with 15 guns. Possibly rebuilt by the British in 1781.

Nearby was Fort Hill (2) (1730's) (12 guns).

Yorktown Defenses
(Yorktown Battlefield - Colonial National Historical Park)
(1781, 1861 - 1864), Yorktown FORT WIKI
Eight French/American and twenty-one British earthen redoubts and forts (1781) were located here. Many still remain, although later altered in the Civil War. The old town was surrounded by seven British redoubts and six batteries, and the Horn Work. Three British redoubts, a fort, and a battery provided an outer line. This includes Pigeon Hill Redoubt, the only remaining original 1781 British work that was not later altered in 1861. The French/Americans had two lines of works to the south of town, including an older British redoubt that was captured. The British Fusiler's Redoubt was located where the Yorktown Victory Center is now located. Admission fee. See also John's Military History

Extensive Confederate earthworks and batteries were built on and near several of the old British works beginning in May 1861, extending southwest to Beaverdam Creek to form part of the Warwick Line to Newport News. The first two major works on the line were known as the arrowhead-shaped White Redoubt (aka Fort Magruder (1)) (three guns) and the square-shaped Red Redoubt, located 525 yards west. There were also seven numbered water batteries (23-27 guns) along the York River to block Union naval activity. Most of the CSA fieldworks are still extant, although the NPS, for the most part, interprets them as British works of American Revolution period.

Fifteen numbered Union heavy seige batteries and four lettered redoubts (A - D) were built south and southeast of town on and around the old American/French works in April 1862. Only Battery No. 1 (seven guns), located on the south bank of the mouth of Wormley Creek, was ever fired before the Confederates abandoned the town in May 1862. The Union occupied the town thereafter, and rebuilt most of the CSA works to defend the town from future raids. The sites of Union Battery #1 and Battery #4 (ten mortars) are located on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Supply Center - U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Training Center (no public access) near Marlbank. Most of the rest are located around Wormley Pond on National Park property. Batteries #3 (seven guns), #6 (16 mortars), #7 (six field guns), #8 (12 field guns), #9 (ten mortars), and #11 (four mortars) are mostly still intact. About half of Battery #5 (eight guns) is still extant. Redoubts A, B, and D are still intact. Redoubt C is gone except for a portion of the covered way. Several connecting trenches are still extant.

Tyndall's Point Fort
(Gloucester Point Archaeological District)
(1667 - 1699, 1710 - 1749, 1756 - 1760's, 1781, 1807 - 1815, 1861 - 1864), Gloucester Point
Colonists first built palisaded Fort James (3) at Gloucester Point (then known as Tyndall's Point) in 1667 to defend against the Dutch. It was rebuilt with brick in 1671. Ten mounted and eleven unmounted guns were reported here in 1690. Gloucester Fort (1710) (15 guns) was reported in ruins after 1749 and was rebuilt with 12 guns in 1756. British fortifications also existed here during the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, consisting of a main fort (Tyndall's Fort) and four outer redoubts. The point was refortified again in 1807. The Confederate star-shaped Fort Brown (1861 - 1862) (three guns) is located at what is now Tyndall's Point Park. A small portion is still extant, but well preserved. The Union occupied it in May 1862. A 12-gun CSA water battery was located adjacent to the old colonial wharf (no remains). Other unnamed CSA seacoast batteries were also in the area.

John Chisman's Fort
(1636 ?), near Seaford
A settlers' fortified homestead on Crab Neck. Undetermined location.

Seaford Defenses
(1781, 1861 - 1862), Seaford
British earthworks from the Yorktown Campaign (1781), and Confederate works from the Civil War were located here on Seaford (Crab) Neck, and on Goodwin Neck near Dandy. Some remains of the CSA works are on private property. Nearby is also CSA Ship's Point Battery (16 guns ?) on the Poquoson River near Dare. The CSA works were abandoned in March 1862.

Big Bethel Redoubt
(1861 - 1862), Big Bethel
A CSA one mile-long infantry trench and enclosed artillery redoubt covered the bridge over the Northwest Branch Back River. A short section of the trench is still extant, but the redoubt is gone. Located on the north bank of the river, on military property (Langley AFB), no public access. Two small monuments (1905) are located on the south bank in Bethel Park and the Confederate Cemetery.

(For James River defenses, including Williamsburg, please see page 7)

(For Hampton Roads defenses, including mouth of Nansemond River, please see page 8)

(c. 1600), near Reids Ferry
A major Nansemond Indian town on the Nansemond River above the present-day VA 125 bridge, noted on John Smith's map of 1608. Unknown if palisaded. A possible conjectured site has never been excavated.

Nansemond Fort (1) (3)
(1609, 1676), near Reids Ferry
A short-lived fort located on an island near the mouth of the Nansemond River, established by Capt. John Martin. "Dumpling Island" state marker is on VA 10 about six miles north of downtown.

A colonial militia fort was later located on the river near here in 1676. Six mounted guns and two spiked guns (from 1676) were reported here in 1690.

Hill's Point Fort
(1814), near Red Top
A VA state militia work at the fork of the West Branch - East Branch Nansemond River north of Suffolk. Reoccupied by the Confederates in the Civil War (see below).

Civil War Defenses of Suffolk
(1861 - 1863), Suffolk
Early Confederate defenses of the city included:
Hill's Point Battery (aka Fort Huger (1)) (five guns) located at the fork of the West Branch - East Branch Nansemond River, near Red Top. Originally named Camp Riddick, or "Camp of Destruction" after an incident of bad weather. Attacked and captured by the Union in April 1863. Still exists on the grounds of the Nansemond River Golf Club (17th tee). Artifacts on display in the Clubhouse.
Knob Hill Battery (1863) located across the West Branch Nansemond River from Hill's Point. Possibly still exists (?).
Norfleet Point Battery (1863) (three guns) located north of town on the west side of the East Branch at Norfleet's Farm (near Elephant Fork). Destroyed in 1971.
Camp Huger (1861) a training camp in town.
Camp Randolph (1862) a training camp near town.
Two state markers are located on US 460 and VA 10 at Elephant Fork noting the Confederate seige lines (no remains) and actions of March-May 1863.

Union forces occupied the city in 1862 - 1863 and built a ten mile ring of earthworks around the city (today's downtown). All works were destroyed by the Union as they relocated to Portsmouth in June 1863. They included:
Fort Dix a square redoubt to the south on the east side of the Edenton (Whitemarsh) Road (County Rt. 642).
Fort Union (1) a square redoubt west of the Edenton Road, about halfway between Forts Dix and McClellan.
Fort McClellan a square redoubt to the south on the east side of the Somerton Road (US 13).
Fort Seward north of Fort McClellan.
Fort Nansemond (4) a square redoubt to the southwest of the Somerton Road and south of the Norfolk and Western Railroad.
South Quay Batteries three open works to the west at Kilby's Millpond, covering the South Quay - Franklin Road.
Fort (or Battery) Rosecrans an open work to the west just north of the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad. Still exists near the Pitchkettle Road bridge over the Nansemond River.
Fort Corcoran a large lunette to the northwest.
Fort Peck a small redan covering the drawbridge over the Nansemond River, on the west side of the Chuckatuck Road (VA 32).
Battery Mansfield on the river, possibly the renamed Fort Peck.
Battery Onondaga on the river west of Fort Dutton. Still exists at River Point in the Kingsboro community.
Fort Dutton (1) on the river at Jericho Run (possibly previously known as the "Contraband Camp").
Fort Jericho a square redoubt west of the Jericho Canal on the south side of the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad.
Fort Halleck a square redoubt west of the Jericho Canal on the north side of the Norfolk and Western Railroad.
Battery Kimball (1863) (three guns) north of town on the east side of the East Branch Nansemond River nearly opposite Norfleet Point (near Willowbrook at River Creek Landing) (no remains).
Battery Morris (1863) (three guns) adjacent to (above) Battery Kimball (no remains).
Fort Connecticut (1863) two miles north of town on the east side of the East Branch Nansemond River (near Nansemond).
Fort Stevens (1) (1863) north of town on the east side of the East Branch Nansemond River, nearly opposite Hill's Point. Still exists.
(There is a Fort Street and Battery Ave. downtown, and another Fort Street downtown by the Nansemond River.)

Of interest in town is Riddick's Folly Museum, at 510 North Main Street, with exhibits on the Civil War history of the city. Built in 1837, it served as the Union Headquarters during the occupation of the town. Admission fee.

NEED MORE INFO: Street names: Fort James Court in New Kent County near the Chickahominy River; Battery Circle in York County (Tabb area) on the Poquoson River.

Towns: Battery in Essex County

Northern Virginia - page 1 | Northern Virginia II - page 2 | Central Virginia I - page 3
Central Virginia II - page 4 | Richmond Area - page 5 | James River Area - page 7
Hampton Roads - page 8 | Northwestern Virginia - page 9 | Southwestern Virginia - page 10
Eastern Shore - page 11

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