“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Skiffes Creek

The Defense of Mulberry Island


—1862 Peninsula Campaign —

Skiffes Creek Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. Skiffes Creek Marker
Inscription. The redoubt before you is one of five earthworks built by the Confederates to help defend the Mulberry Island/James River flank of Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder’s 2nd Peninsula Defensive Line. This series of redoubts (of which only two remain) stretched from Lee’s Mill on the Warwick River to Skiffes Creek, thereby blocking any Federal flanking movement by way of Mulberry Island or Skiffes Creek.

Until the emergence of the powerful ironclad ram CSS Virginia (Merrimack), Magruder had been concerned about his small force’s ability to effectively fortify its James River flank. He wrote Gen. Robert E. Lee in early 1862 that he could “only hope that Yorktown and Mulberry Island will be made impregnable, else the Peninsula and perhaps Virginia overrun.”

The fortifications constructed throughout Mulberry Island (actually a peninsula jutting into the James River bounded by the Warwick River and Skiffes Creek) are a good example of Magruder’s extensive effort to defend this invasion route to Richmond. Despite being plagued by a lack of troops and artillery, Magruder’s troops, supported by as many as 600 to 1,000 slaves a day, built extensive fortifications throughout Mulberry Island. Entrenchments at Land’s End and Brick House Creek, as well as batteries at Mulberry Island Point and redoubts near Skiffes
Skiffes Creek Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Skiffes Creek Marker

Creek, were all supported by Fort Crawford. Fort Crawford was the largest earthwork within the 2nd Defensive Line. The fort covered 8 acres with inner walls almost 20 feet high and armed with 8 heavy cannon.

Magruder considered the fortifications on Mulberry Island capable of withstanding a month-long siege; however, these earthworks did not play a major role in the Warwick River – Yorktown Siege because of the Virginia’s (Merrimack) ability to block the James River to Union use. The Mulberry Island and Skiffes Creek fortifications were abandoned on May 3, 1862, when the Confederate army began its retreat towards Richmond.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 10.653′ N, 76° 34.544′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is on Enterprise Drive, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in Skiffes Creek Historic Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 22 Enterprise Drive, Newport News VA 23603, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stanley Hundred (a few steps from this marker); Balthrope (a few steps from this
Markers in Marker is in Skiffes Creek Historic Park Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Markers in Marker is in Skiffes Creek Historic Park
Several markers are found at this location. The Skiffes Creek marker is to the left in the photo.
marker); Mulberry Point (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Eustis (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lee’s Mill Earthworks (approx. 0.9 miles away); Glebe Lands (approx. one mile away); Battle of Lee’s Mill (approx. one mile away); Lee’s Mill (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
Regarding Skiffes Creek. The top of the marker contains a “ Fort Crafford, drawing by Sidney E. King. Courtesy of Fort Eustis Archaeological and Historical Association.”
Also see . . .
1. The Peninsula Campaign. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Skiffes Creek Historic Park Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. Skiffes Creek Historic Park
Skiffes Creek Historic Park preserves part of the Confederate Second Defensive Line on the Peninsula.
Confederate Second Line of Defense Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
5. Confederate Second Line of Defense
This earthwork was part of the Skiffes Creek Line, built to defend the Confederate Mulberry Island-James River flank during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,081 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement
Categories20th CenturyAbolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansAgricultureAir & SpaceAnimalsAntebellum South, USAnthropologyArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicAsian AmericansBridges & ViaductsCemeteries & Burial SitesCharity & Public WorkChurches, Etc.Civil RightsColonial EraCommunicationsDisastersEducationEntertainmentEnvironmentExplorationForts, CastlesFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsGovernmentHeroesHispanic AmericansHorticulture & ForestryIndustry & CommerceLabor UnionsLandmarksMan-Made FeaturesMilitaryNative AmericansNatural FeaturesNatural ResourcesNotable BuildingsNotable EventsNotable PersonsNotable PlacesPaleontologyPatriots & PatriotismPeacePolitical SubdivisionsPoliticsRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & VehiclesScience & MedicineSettlements & SettlersSportsWar of 1812War, 1st Iraq & Desert StormWar, 2nd IraqWar, AfghanistanWar, ColdWar, French and IndianWar, KoreanWar, Mexican-AmericanWar, Spanish-AmericanWar, Texas IndependenceWar, US CivilWar, US RevolutionaryWar, VietnamWar, World IWar, World IIWars, Non-USWars, US IndianWaterways & Vessels
States or ProvincesAlabamaAlaskaAlbertaArizonaArkansasBritish ColumbiaCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineManitobaMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew BrunswickNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNewfoundland and LabradorNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaNova ScotiaOhioOklahomaOntarioOregonPennsylvaniaPrince Edward IslandPuerto RicoQuebecRhode IslandSaskatchewanSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingYukon Territory
CountriesArgentinaAustraliaAustriaBahamasBelgiumBelizeBrazilCanadaChinaCosta RicaCzech RepublicDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEstoniaFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceGrenadaGuatemalaGuyanaHondurasHungaryIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaKiribatiLiechtensteinLuxembourgMalaysiaMexicoNetherlands AntillesNew ZealandNicaraguaPalestinian TerritoriesPhilippinesRussiaSaint LuciaScotland, UKSingaporeSouth AfricaSouth KoreaSwedenSwitzerlandThailandTurkeyTurks and Caicos IslandsU.S Virgin IslandsUkraineUnited KingdomU.S.A.