The Warwick-Yorktown Line

The Warwick-Yorktown Line (HM7A0)

Location: Newport News, VA 23608
Country: United States of America

N 37° 9.852', W 76° 33.908'

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1862 Peninsula Campaign

On May 24, 1861, Confederate Col. John Magruder assumed command of the Peninsula's defenses. The Confederate capital at Richmond was only 80 miles from Fort Monroe, and "Prince John" Magruder did not have enough artillery or men to capture the Union stronghold. Instead, he fortified points along the James and York rivers to block any Union advance toward Richmond.

From local reconnaissance, Magruder formulated plans for three lines of fortifications. The first defensive line went from Young's Mill on Deep Creek across the Peninsula to Ship's Point on the Poquoson River. The second line stretched from Mulberry Island, following the swampy Warwick River, to within one mile of Yorktown and linked with the fortifications around the port. The third line consisted of 14 redoubts between College and Queen's creeks. The Warwick-Yorktown Line was the strongest line, its flank anchored by the batteries at Yorktown and Gloucester Point on the York River and Fort Crafford and Fort Boykins along the James River. The Confederates strengthened this 12-mile line by adding three dams to the Warwick, which created an almost impassable barrier. There were already two antebellum grist mill dams at Lee's Mill and Wynne's Mill.

Capt. Isaac St. John and Capt. Alfred Rives (engineers on Magruder's staff) designed the Lee's Mill earthworks built between the summer of 1861 and the spring of 1862. This was a strategically vital point that commanded Lee's Mill dam over which the Great Warwick Road crossed the Warwick. Confederate soldiers and slaves dug rifle pits and redoubts overlooking the river. Col. Antoine de Marigny's 10th Louisiana camped at Lee's Mill during the winter, and Private Edward Seton noted in March 1862: "Appearances here are quite changed all breast-works have been renewed and all the timber cut down."   St. John and Rives had the timber on the bluffs cleared for a good field of fire and prepared the fortifications at this important crossing to repel the coming Union advance.
HM NumberHM7A0
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 14th, 2014 at 4:09pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 361035 N 4114234
Decimal Degrees37.16420000, -76.56513333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 9.852', W 76° 33.908'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 9' 51.12" N, 76° 33' 54.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757, 301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 280 Rivers Ridge Cir, Newport News VA 23608, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Nearby Markersshow on map
Fortification Design
0.02 miles
The Battle of Lee's Mill
0.03 miles
Union Occupation
0.04 miles
Lee's Mill
0.06 miles
Battle of Lee's Mill
0.06 miles
The Warwick River
0.09 miles
Lee's Mill Earthworks
0.38 miles
Glebe Lands
0.77 miles
Mulberry Point
0.81 miles
Fort Eustis
0.81 miles
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