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Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lee Hall

Siege Headquarters

 

ó1862 Peninsula Campaign ó

 
Lee Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. Lee Hall Marker
Inscription. The small redoubt in front of you is the only visual evidence of Lee Hallís military occupation by the Confederate army from May 1861 to May 1862. The antebellum mansion to your right served as a headquarters building for both Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder, CSA, and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, CSA, during the Peninsula Campaignís Warwick – Yorktown Siege. Lee Hall was built between 1848 and 1859 by Warwick Countyís leading landowner, Richard Decauter Lee. Lee had risen to prominence by following Edmund Ruffinís concepts of “scientific farming” which had given new life to the tobacco depleted soil and had provided him with the resources to build this avant-garde Italianate style mansion.

When John Bankhead Magruder first came to the Peninsula in May 1861, it was R.D. Lee who showed him the Warwick River and how it could become the Confederate main line of defense. Magruder used Lee Hall as one of his headquarters buildings during his year-long command of the self-styled Army of the Peninsula.

When the Peninsula Campaignís Warwick – Yorktown Siege entered into its second week, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and the main Confederate army was sent down the Peninsula to help block the Union armyís advance. Johnston used Lee Hall as his temporary headquarters on April 12, when he surveyed Magruderís fortifications
Lee Hall Marker and Earthworks image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 11, 2008
2. Lee Hall Marker and Earthworks
The Confederate fortifications are visible in this photo behind the marker.
and once again on April 17, when he returned from a conference in Richmond. During his second day at Lee Hall, Johnston approved Capt. Randolph Bryanís aerial observations of the Federal siege lines. A hot air balloon was sent aloft that day in front of the mansion to test the conceptís feasibility.

Once in command on the Peninsula, Joe Johnston reorganized the Confederate command structure. Magruder was basically demoted from army to divisional commander, in charge of the Confederate right wing from Dam No. 1 to Mulberry Island. Three other generals now outranked him on the Peninsula which was particularly irksome to Prince John Magruder. No longer the lead actor, Magruder began to sulk in his re-established headquarters at Lee Hall, criticizing the design and armament of the very defenses he had developed.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 12.028′ N, 76° 34.447′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is on Yorktown Road (Virginia Route 238), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23603, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this
Marker with Lee Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 11, 2008
3. Marker with Lee Hall
A small skirmish was fought near Lee Hall between retreating Confederates and Union cavalry on May 4, 1862. The site of Lee Hall remained under Union control until the end of the war.
marker. A different marker also named Lee Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); An Earthwork in Front (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Master and Slaves (about 400 feet away); Largest and Most Valuable Estate in the County (about 400 feet away); A Large Brick Kitchen (about 600 feet away); Homestead by the Main Road (about 600 feet away); Lee Hall Village (approx. half a mile away); Lee Hall Depot (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. The marker contains photographs of the two generals who headquartered at Lee Hall, Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder, CSA and Gen. Joseph Eggleston Johnston, CSA – Courtesy of Museum of the Confederacy.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers located at Lee Hall.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lee Hall Mansion. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. The Peninsula Campaign. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
3. Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

4. Lee Hall. (PDF) National Register
Lee Hall Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. Lee Hall Mansion
This mansion is the only large, mid-19th century plantation house remaining on Virginia's lower peninsula.
documentation for Lee Hall. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Earthworks in Front of the Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
5. Earthworks in Front of the Mansion
A Confederate hot-air balloon was launched from these earthworks on April 17, 1862. They are located in front of Lee Hall Mansion.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,720 times since then and 3 times this year. 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.
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