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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Williamsburg in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Redoubt 12

Hancock the Superb

 

—1862 Peninsula Campaign —

 
Redoubt 12 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 10./2008
1. Redoubt 12 Marker
Inscription. You are near the northern end of the Confederate defensive line built in 1861 to protect the eastern approach to Richmond. The “Williamsburg Line” stretched between the James and York rivers and consisted of fourteen forts, commonly called redoubts. This was the third Confederate line encountered by Federal troops under Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan during the Peninsula Campaign.

The road entering the park is part of the original Queen’s Creek Road. Four redoubts were built along this road. To the east, across the Colonial Parkway, the old road trace is still visible, as is Redoubt 11. During the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862, Redoubt 11 was the site of a fierce engagement between forces under Union Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock and Confederate generals Daniel Harvey Hill and Jubal Early. Hancock’s force consisted of troops from New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Maine. On the afternoon of the battle, Hancock “the Superb,” so named for his actions on this day, found Redoubt 11 unmanned and took “quiet possession.” Confederate troops from Virginia and the Carolinas made a heroic but disjointed charge to dislodge the Union troops. Hancock ordered a counterattack using bayonets. A colonel of the 6th Maine later wrote “When we reached the fort my command was in perfect order
Marker in Newquarter Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 10, 2008
2. Marker in Newquarter Park


and as my men faced about I read in their faces the stern determination to suffer death in any form rather than give up an inch of ground.”


As the road proceeds west through the park, the old road trace forks to the north, following its original track toward Queen’s Creek and passing directly in front of Redoubt 12. A chevron-shaped fort, Redoubt 13, is a half mile north of Redoubt 12. It faces along Cub Dam Creek and anchored the extreme northern end of the Confederate line. These two redoubts were also unmanned during the Battle of Williamsburg. Their silent presence affords a forgotten vestige of America’s Civil War.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 16.978′ N, 76° 39.04′ W. Marker is near Williamsburg, Virginia, in York County. Marker is on Lakeshead Drive, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is near the entrance to Newquarter Park. Marker is in this post office area: Williamsburg VA 23185, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Union Advance (approx. half a mile away); Vineyard Tract (approx. 1.5 miles away); Fort Magruder
Redoubt 12 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 10, 2008
3. Redoubt 12 Marker
(approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Magruder (approx. 1.6 miles away); Magruder’s Defenses (approx. 2 miles away); Battle of Williamsburg (approx. 2 miles away); Quarterpath Road (approx. 2 miles away); Peninsula Campaign (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Williamsburg.
 
More about this marker. The top left of the marker contains a watercolor by Lt. Robert Sneden of “The Battle of Williamsburg” – Copyright Virginia Historical Society, 1997. The bottom right of the marker features an engraving of “The Battle of Williamsburg” from Harper’s Weekly.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Williamsburg, 5 May 1862. (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.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Newquarter Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 10, 2008
4. Newquarter Park
Marker is located near the entrance to Newquarter Park in Williamsburg.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,953 times since then and 91 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 17, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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