Redoubt 12

Redoubt 12 (HM6OL)

Location: Williamsburg, VA 23185
Country: United States of America

N 37° 16.978', W 76° 39.04'

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Hancock the Superb

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

You are near the northern end of the Confederate defensive line built in 1861 to protect the eastern approach to Richmond. The "Williamsburg Line" stretched between the James and York rivers and consisted of fourteen forts, commonly called redoubts. This was the third Confederate line encountered by Federal troops under Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan during the Peninsula Campaign.

The road entering the park is part of the original Queen's Creek Road. Four redoubts were built along this road. To the east, across the Colonial Parkway, the old road trace is still visible, as is Redoubt 11. During the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862, Redoubt 11 was the site of a fierce engagement between forces under Union Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock and Confederate generals Daniel Harvey Hill and Jubal Early. Hancock's force consisted of troops from New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Maine. On the afternoon of the battle, Hancock "the Superb," so named for his actions on this day, found Redoubt 11 unmanned and took "quiet possession." Confederate troops from Virginia and the Carolinas made a heroic but disjointed charge to dislodge the Union troops. Hancock ordered a counterattack using bayonets. A colonel of the 6th Maine later wrote "When we reached the fort my command was in perfect order and as my men faced about I read in their faces the stern determination to suffer death in any form rather than give up an inch of ground."

As the road proceeds west through the park, the old road trace forks to the north, following its original track toward Queen's Creek and passing directly in front of Redoubt 12. A chevron-shaped fort, Redoubt 13, is a half mile north of Redoubt 12. It faces along Cub Dam Creek and anchored the extreme northern end of the Confederate line. These two redoubts were also unmanned during the Battle of Williamsburg. Their silent presence affords a forgotten vestige of America's Civil War.
HM NumberHM6OL
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 7:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 353670 N 4127540
Decimal Degrees37.28296667, -76.65066667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 16.978', W 76° 39.04'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 16' 58.68" N, 76° 39' 2.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 535-583 Lakeshead Dr, Williamsburg VA 23185, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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