Yorktown Waterfront

Yorktown Waterfront (HM6Q1)

Location: Yorktown, VA 23690 York County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 14.169', W 76° 30.361'

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Union Port and Supply Depot

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

In spring 1862, the Confederate heavy artillery batteries on the bluffs at Yorktown, as well as those positioned along the waterfront on both sides of the York River, effectively blocked the U.S. Navy's attempts to bypass Magruder's 2nd Peninsula Defensive Line. The waterfront fortifications were built by Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder's Army of the Peninsula and Confederate naval personnel. The earthworks on Yorktown's inland perimeter were mostly constructed atop the British defenses from the 1781 siege.

On the night of May 3-4, 1862, the Confederate army abandoned the 2nd Defensive Line. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, CSA, believed that the Confederate positions could not withstand Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's, USA, elaborately prepared bombardment with heavy siege guns. The Confederate army was prevented from evacuating its heavy equipment and artillery via the York River because McClellan's Siege Battery Number 1, comprised of 100- and 200-pound Parrott siege cannon, had already bombarded the waterfront.

The Confederate evacuation suddenly changed Yorktown into a busy port supporting the Union advance on Richmond. Members of the 1st Connecticut Heavy artillery retrieved the ordinance from the siege batteries around the town, and troops assembled at Yorktown to be transported up river to the Federal base at White House on the Pamunkey River, a tributary of the York River. As the Peninsula Campaign continued, casualties from battles around Richmond were transported to Yorktown, which became a major hospital area.

Following the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, Yorktown became a Union garrison and headquarters for a federally held district which also included Williamsburg and Gloucester Point. Its waterfront area was an active port for Union forces until the summer of 1864, when the Union army established a supply base at City Point on the James River during the Petersburg Campaign.
HM NumberHM6Q1
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 7:26am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 366411 N 4122132
Decimal Degrees37.23615000, -76.50601667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 14.169', W 76° 30.361'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 14' 10.14" N, 76° 30' 21.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 600-630 Water St, Yorktown VA 23690, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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