"Yorktown waterfront" Yorktown Things to Do Tip by leafmcgowan

Yorktown Things to Do: 67 reviews and 162 photos


In Spring 1862, The Confederate heavy artillery batteries on the bluffs of Yorktown, as well as those positioned along the waterfront on both sides of the York River, effectively blocked the US Navy's attempt 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 #1 comprised of 100-200 pound Parrot Siege cannon, had already bombarded the waterfront. The Confederate evacuations suddenly converted 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 the 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 includes WIlliamsburg and Glouchester 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.

Address: Water street

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 31, 2008
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