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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Warwick River

1862 Peninsula Campaign

 
 
The Warwick River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. The Warwick River Marker
Inscription. Overlooking one of the James River’s tributaries, Lee’s Mill is a watershed property with a long history of settlement. The Native Americans of the Powhatan Confederation hunted and fished along the banks of the Warwick River. During the 1600s, English settlers established tobacco plantations along the Warwick River and other major waterways. The tobacco harvests were floated down on barges to Hampton Roads for transatlantic shipment. The Warwick River and its marshes teemed with waterfowl, game birds, mammals, fish and shellfish which provided sustenance for the English settlers. Beyond transporting tobacco and providing habitat for game, the Warwick also supplied power for local industry.

The Peninsula switched to grain production after the American Revolution. By 1810, Warwick County farmers no longer cultivated tobacco and focused on truck crops and livestock farming. Truck crops were shipped to Richmond and Norfolk by the James River and its tributaries. Grist mills were established on most of the Peninsula’s waterways to process corn and wheat. By 1860, there were two grist mills and one saw mill on the Warwick. Earlier in 1856, Mr. Richard D. Lee purchased a 30-acre tract along the Warwick River and established a grist mill. In 1860, Lee’s Mill ground 12,000 bushels of corn, reaping a profit of $9,900. The grist mill was
The Warwick River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. The Warwick River Marker
destroyed during the Civil War, and the Warwick River was altered with the creation of the Lee Hall Reservoir in the early twentieth century.

Today, the Lee’s Mill site contains oak, hickory and pine timber. The forest and marshes support white-tailed deer, gray squirrel, opossum, rabbit, raccoon and other small mammals. Canada geese and other waterfowl find habitat along the river and the Lee Hall Reservoir. Moreover, the woods contain several species of owl, hawk and a variety of songbirds. This natural area also contains preserved Civil War fortifications and provides green-space in a rapidly developing area.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 37° 9.865′ N, 76° 33.812′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Rivers Ridge Circle, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located along the walking trail in Lee’s Mill Historic Park, off 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. Union Occupation (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Warwick-Yorktown Line (about 500 feet away); Fortification Design (about 500 feet away);
The Warwick River image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. The Warwick River
The Warwick River marked the second defensive line that the Confederates constructed across the Peninsula. This photo was taken from in front of the marker.
The Battle of Lee’s Mill (about 600 feet away); Lee’s Mill (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Battle of Lee’s Mill (about 600 feet away); Lee’s Mill Earthworks (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mulberry Point (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. A picture of a native catfish appears on the upper left of the marker, next to the title. A photograph of “Wynne’s Mill,” Courtesy of Frederick Boelt is at the bottom left of the marker, next to a sketch of local fishermen working in the Warwick River.
 
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. Peninsula Campaign of 1862. (Submitted on September 10, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on September 10, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraWar, US Civil
 
Lee’s Mill Historic Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
4. 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 was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 10, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,600 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 10, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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