Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Magruder’s First Peninsula Defensive Line
— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —
The mill located behind you is one of the few remaining tide mills on the Peninsula. In the woods across the private road to your left are several redoubts and rifle pits. These fortifications are all that remain of the Confederate 1st Peninsula Defensive Line.
Since the Colonial era, Deep Creek has had a dam and a pond here with a mill. The dam provided an important crossing over Deep Creek for the Great Warwick Road, a dirt roadway that connected Hampton, Newport News Point, and Warwick Court House with Williamsburg. This mill was built in the 1820s by local landowners, the Youngs, who owned nearby Denbigh Plantation.
Following the June 10, 1861, Battle of Big Bethel, Confederate Commander John Bankhead Magruder decided to establish three defensive lines across the Peninsula. Young’s Mill became the western strong point of the 1st Defensive Line, which stretched eastward to Harwood’s Mill and followed the Poquoson River to Ship’s Point. The fortifications constructed near the mill became the Confederate forward base for operations against the Federal forces at Camp Butler.
When the Union forces began their advance
Keyes’ troops moved through the Confederate entrenchments at Young’s Mill encountering little resistance, as Union Private Wilbur Fisk recounted, “We drove the enemy from a position they had fortified and that night occupied the place ourselves. Te rebels left quite a village of huts or barracks, and from appearances, they had enjoyed much more comfortable quarters during the winter than we had ourselves.”
The Union army had made good progress on April 4, and from Young’s Mill, Gen. Keyes expected to be able to reach the Half-Way House on the morrow.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1773.
Location. 37° 6.37′ N, 76° 30.832′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Old Grist Mill Lane and Warwick Blvd (U.S. 60), Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13055 Warwick Blvd, Newport News VA 23602, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mathews Mill (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Young’s Mill (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Young’s Mill (a few steps from this marker); First Peninsula Defense Line (within shouting distance of this marker); Providence Mennonite Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Denbigh Parish (approx. ¼ mile away); Two USCT Heroes (approx. 1.1 miles away); Warwick County Confederate Monument (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
More about this marker. The left of the marker contains a sketch by Larkin Mead of “Vermont Boys Taking Possession of Rebel Fortifications and Barracks at Young’s Mill,” courtesy of Vermont Historical Society.
The right of the marker features a map of Confederate Defenses on the Lower Peninsula, indicating troop movements of Sumner’s II Corps and Heintzelman’s III Corps.
Also see . . .
1. The Peninsula Campaign. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
2. Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,785 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.