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

An Earthwork in Front

 
 
An Earthwork in Front Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. An Earthwork in Front Marker
Inscription. Situated on high ground two miles behind the Warwick-Yorktown line, this redoubt (a four or multiple-sided field fortification) was constructed by the Confederate Army of the Peninsula. It provided a field of fire down the Great Warwick Road toward Lee’s Mill. Moreover, this redoubt marks the site of a skirmish on May 4, 1862.

The Confederates had evacuated the Warwick-Yorktown line on May 3, 1862, after a three-week siege. The next morning the Union Army occupied the Confederate earthworks and pursued their retreating enemy. The Federal IV Corps advanced up the Great Warwick Road from Lee’s Mill toward Lee Hall. Brig. Gen. William “Baldy” Smith’s division led the infantry march screened by Capt. William Chambliss’ squadron of the 5th U.S. Cavalry. Elements of the Jeff Davis Legion of Mississippi, covering the Confederate retreat, awaited the Union advance in this redoubt.

In his report Capt. Chamblis wrote, “At the recent headquarters of General Magruder, situated on a commanding eminence, with an earthwork in front, I again discovered the pickets of the enemy, strongly posted in the work and in the rear of the building.” Here, the 5th U.S. Cavalry fought a brief skirmish with the Jeff Davis Legion. The Union troopers carried only revolvers and sabers while the Confederates were armed with
Marker at Lee's Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Marker at Lee's Hall
Earthworks can be seen behind the marker in this photo.
shotguns and carbines. Faced with heavy fire, Chambliss regrouped his squadron and sent out a flanking party. This prompted the Mississippians to abandon this position and rejoin their other comrades behind Skiffs Creek. Afterwards, Smith’s division marched past Lee Hall toward the cavalry and artillery battle near Williamsburg.
 
Location. 37° 11.984′ N, 76° 34.497′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Yorktown Road (Virginia Route 238), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of Lee Hall Mansion. 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. Largest and Most Valuable Estate in the County (within shouting distance of this marker); A Large Brick Kitchen (within shouting distance of this marker); Master and Slaves (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Homestead by the Main Road (about 300 feet away); Lee Hall (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Lee Hall (about 600 feet away); Lee Hall Village (approx. 0.4 miles away); C&O "Peninsula Extension" (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. The left side of the marker features
Lee Hall Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Lee Hall Mansion
a photograph of a sketch of Confederates “falling back from the Peninsula, May 1862.” Photo courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society. The right of the marker contains a photograph of Capt. William P. Chambliss, courtesy of USAMHI.
 
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 February 28, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. The Peninsula Campaign. (Submitted on February 28, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Earthworks at Lee Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. Earthworks at Lee Hall
Well preserved Confederate earthworks are found just in front on the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 987 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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