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

The Warwick-Yorktown Line

1862 Peninsula Campaign

 
 
The Warwick-Yorktown Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. The Warwick-Yorktown Line Marker
Inscription. 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
Marker in Lee’s Mill Historic Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Marker in Lee’s Mill Historic Park
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.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 9.852′ N, 76° 33.908′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Rivers Ridge Circle, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located along the walking trail in Lee’s Mill Historic Park, off of Warwick Blvd. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23608, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fortification Design (within shouting distance
The Warwick-Yorktown Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. The Warwick-Yorktown Line Marker
of this marker); The Battle of Lee’s Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Union Occupation (within shouting distance of this marker); Lee’s Mill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Battle of Lee’s Mill (about 300 feet away); The Warwick River (about 500 feet away); Lee’s Mill Earthworks (approx. 0.4 miles away); Glebe Lands (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. A photograph of a Confederate Battery at Yorktown, May 1862, appears on the top of the marker, to the left of the title. Also appearing on the marker are portraits of Col. John Magruder and Capt. Isaac St. John, Courtesy of the U.S. Army Military History Institute.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers along the walking trail in Lee’s Mill Historic Park.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Peninsula Campaign. (Submitted on September 9, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
The Warwick-Yorktown Line image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. The Warwick-Yorktown Line
These earthworks were the Confederate second line of defense on the Peninsula. They are located within sight of the marker.

2. Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on September 9, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
Lee’s Mill Historic Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
5. Lee’s Mill Historic Park
This park contains a trail through the Confederate fortifications on the Warwick River. The marker is on this trail.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,501 times since then and 4 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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