In late October 1775, the Virginia Committee of Safety ordered Colonel William Woodford and his 2nd Virginia Regiment, along with five companies of Culpeper Minutemen, to march towards Norfolk and protect “…all friends to the American . . . — — Map (db m54946) HM
In this vicinity, in 1775, was the southern end of a causeway, with bridges, by which the swamp and stream were crossed. Here William Woodford's Virginia riflemen defended the passage. When Lord Dunmore's British regulars attempted to cross the . . . — — Map (db m29926) HM
This monument honors
Patriots who assembled
at this site in the Cause of
American Freedom in 1775
at the Battle
Second Virginia Regiment
Colonel William Woodford,
of . . . — — Map (db m48940) HM
marks the Battlefield of
Dec 9 1775
was moved to this location
December 9, 1964
on the 189th anniversary of
the Battle of Great Bridge.
The site of . . . — — Map (db m113670) HM WM
His courage “amid a shower of bullets” helped achieve victory at the Battle of Great Bridge.
Private William (Billy) Flora was a free black from the Portsmouth area and a member of the Norfolk County Militia who served as a . . . — — Map (db m54952) HM
1600s: Woodlands, Marshes and the Great Bridge
The rich forests and fields south of the Elizabeth River and in northeastern North Carolina gave the early settlers in the late 1600s bountiful yields of shingles, naval stores, lumber, grain . . . — — Map (db m48957) HM
Some areas of the marsh were high enough to allow crossing on a corduroy road made of logs. Lower areas of the marsh required a stronger infrastructure, like the one seen here. This exhibit illustrates how five or six timbers, each ranging from 15 . . . — — Map (db m54950) HM
“There is great want of a bridge for horse and man over the swamp at the head of the Southern Branch of Elizabeth River…” Norfolk County Deed Book 5, part 2, Orders. page 4, 1686
In the mid-1600s, as the early settlers began to . . . — — Map (db m54948) HM
This 7,900-pound anchor was manufactured in 1861 by the Naval Yard Foundry in Washington, D.C., and most likely belonged to the USS Hartford, a Union warship immortalized at the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, when Admiral David Glasgow . . . — — Map (db m54957) HM
Just north is the birthplace of Commodore Richard Dale (6 Nov 1756 - 26 Feb 1826). He served on the United States brigantine Lexington. The British captured and wounded him several times during the Revolutionary War. Captain John Paul Jones . . . — — Map (db m40678) HM
Before you is the Dismal Swamp Canal, a much sought after prize of war during the Civil War. The Confederates made good use of the canal facilities during the initial stages of the conflict. A large volume of supplies passed through in both . . . — — Map (db m114523) HM
(main legend, lower right corner) The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, a former section of Virginia State Route 17, is now a multi-purpose, linear, nature trail and park traversing some of the most uniquely historic and ecologically significant . . . — — Map (db m114520) HM
Marshall Parks, Sr.
The Dismal Swamp Canal, located about six miles west of here, officially opened in 1805. Dug completely by hand, its shallow depth limited navigation to flat boats and lighters manually poled or towed from . . . — — Map (db m54956) HM
At daybreak on the morning of December 9, 1775, the British rolled two four-pounder cannon field pieces across the bridge under the cover of smoke from burning buildings and piles of shingles located on the south island. The fires were set by . . . — — Map (db m54947) HM
By the summer of 1775, British control over the Colony of Virginia was in peril and Dunmore looked to Norfolk, the most heavily populated town in Virginia and the largest seaport between New York and Charleston. The occupation of Norfolk and Hampton . . . — — Map (db m54941) HM
The walking path you are standing on right now has quite a history.
In 1804, it was a tow road on the eastern bank of the canal, where laborers, using long wooden poles, ropes or mules, pushed loaded barges full of shingles, lumber, corn . . . — — Map (db m114518) HM
“Glencoe,” the plantation home of Capt. William Wallace of the Jackson Grays, was located approximately one-half mile northeast of this site. William C. Wallace was born at Wallaceton, Norfolk County, Virginia, on March 23, 1842, and . . . — — Map (db m22446) HM
Fauquier County, Virginia
Officers of the Culpeper Minute Battalion
At the Battle of Great Bridge
Major Thomas Marshall (1730-1802)
Member, 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Virginia Conventions
Colonel, 3rd Virginia Regiment
Colonel, Virginia . . . — — Map (db m54953) HM
In 1906, Norfolk County built a four room brick school house, “The Great Bridge School”, to educate elementary and high school students. Graduating its first class in 1911, the name was changed to Great Bridge High and Grammar School . . . — — Map (db m113684) HM
Across the canal lies the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
The Great Dismal Swamp was once a vast ecosystem that covered as much as one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern . . . — — Map (db m114525) HM
Herring Ditch was one of many ditches that connected with the Dismal Swamp Canal. Ditches were used to transport goods to the canal, allow access to swamp timber, and provide drainage. Walter Herron, a Dismal Swamp Canal Company stockholder, began . . . — — Map (db m114521) HM
Justin Holland was a 19th-century pioneer African American of the classical guitar, community leader, and abolitionist. Born in Norfolk County about 1819, he left for Massachusetts in 1833. There he took music lessons and learned to play the guitar. . . . — — Map (db m76794) HM
“…to reduce this colony to a proper sense of their duty…to His Majesty’s crown and dignity…”
On November 15, 1775, the day after his success in routing the rebels at Kemp’s Landing, Lord Dunmore issued a proclamation declaring . . . — — Map (db m54942) HM
The Canal Becomes a Federal Government Waterway
Competition from the railways and the re-structured Dismal Swamp Canal Company signaled the downfall of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Company in 1910. By 1913, Congress, recognizing the . . . — — Map (db m48964) HM
During the colonial period, the established church cared for the poor as in Great Britain. Beginning in the late 18th century, local governments began to appoint overseers of the poor instead to support indigents with donated funds or house them in . . . — — Map (db m37940) HM
Approved by the Virginia General Assembly in 1818, the North West Canal was constructed by the Dismal Swamp Canal Company between 1828 and 1830. The canal was intended for carrying timber and farm products between the Dismal Swamp Canal and the . . . — — Map (db m114524) HM
A direct outgrowth of the New Mill Creek Society organized in 1772 by the Rev. Joseph Pilmoor, the first official Methodist missionary to America. Methodist meetings were held as early as 1770 in the Cutherell home, a regular preaching place for . . . — — Map (db m48923) HM
Between 1793 and 1814, the grueling, brutal job of digging this twenty-three mile canal was done by slave labor.
Dense underbrush, insects, venomous snakes and bears made the Great Dismal Swamp an "awesome and terrible place." . . . — — Map (db m114519) HM
The Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal did not exist at the time of the Battle of Great Bridge…
...but plans for a canal at Great Bridge were in place more than three years before the battle. In 1772, the need for trade and commerce with North . . . — — Map (db m54955) HM
This is the former site of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. The monument to the "Jackson Greys" honors the regiment that was formed on the grounds of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church by Capt. (later Lieutenant Colonel) William H. Stewart who lived . . . — — Map (db m45788) HM
Nearby were the homes of three Afro-Virginians who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) during the Civil War. Sgt. March Corprew, Co. I, 2nd USCT Cavalry, and his brother Pvt. Daniel Corprew, Co. D, 1st USCT Cavalry, lived on a . . . — — Map (db m48918) HM
The Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal changed the landscape of this area.
Constructed between 1855 and 1859, the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal cut through the causeway and marsh lying between the south island and the village of Great Bridge. The . . . — — Map (db m54949) HM
Southern Branch Chapel
A Chapel of ease of the Anglican Church
Elizabeth River Parish 1701 - 1761
St. Brides Parish 1761 - 1845
Encampment area for American Patriots
Battle of Great Bridge
December 1775 . . . — — Map (db m48944) HM
At this point stood St. Bride's Church. The parish church of St. Bride's Parish which was established in 1761. The church, sometimes known as Northwest Church, was built in 1762 and survived until 1853. — — Map (db m46530) HM
In 1908, the first long-term Polish settlement in Virginia was established in Norfolk County, now Chesapeake. The Piast colony, named for Poland’s first royal dynasty, was called Sunray after the Virginia Railway Company depot that opened here in . . . — — Map (db m76793) HM
In the early morning of December 9, 1775, two opposing forces faced each other across the Great
Bridge, the British on the north end and the patriots to the south. The battle lasted about thirty minutes...but its outcome will last as long as . . . — — Map (db m48958) HM
Thirteen African American veterans of the Civil War are interred nearby at the Cuffeytown Historic Cemetery. They served in the 5th, 10th, and 36th United States Colored Troops infantry regiments organized in 1863 and 1864, after the Emancipation . . . — — Map (db m48917) HM
I then saw the horrors of war in perfection, worse than can be imagined; 10 and 12 bullets thro’ many; limbs broke in 2 or 3 places…Good God, what a sight! Captain Richard Kidder Meade, Southampton District, 2nd Virginia Regiment . . . — — Map (db m54951) HM
The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Gains Steam
By 1850, larger steam driven commercial carriers needed a faster, deeper and wider passage to market than the hand dug Dismal Swamp Canal, a few miles west of here. Digging the Dismal Swamp . . . — — Map (db m48963) HM
The Thomas Marshall family lived in the backwoods of the Virginia frontier.
Thomas Marshall of Fauquier County served as a vestryman, High Sheriff, and member of the House of Burgesses. He was a close boyhood friend of George Washington, . . . — — Map (db m54954) HM
Both the Confederacy and the Union recognized the strategic importance of the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal…and both sides fought for control.
The Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal (A&C) provided the Confederacy the means to avoid the coastal . . . — — Map (db m54959) HM
This memorial is the first and only memorial of its kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia dedicated to honor Afro-Union patriot heroes. It is located in the northeast section of the Sgt. March Corprew Family Memorial Cemetery.
Sgt. March . . . — — Map (db m76533) HM
Before you is the Deep Creek Lock of the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. The canal was an important thoroughfare, connecting the North Carolina Sounds with Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay. The Dismal Swamp Canal is the oldest operating artificial . . . — — Map (db m4773) HM
The village of Great Bridge was located at a strategic crossing of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal. This canal, along with the Dismal Swamp Canal, was recognized as being a strategically important corridor by both the Union and Confederate . . . — — Map (db m48919) HM
The Battle of Great Bridge, in 1775, influenced everything you see today. Location, lives and legends are all here.
A. Great Bridge Lock Park
Enjoy a boat ramp, playground, picnic shelters and the many inviting vistas. Walk the . . . — — Map (db m48955) HM
Why doe the Canal Need a Lock?
The Great Bridge Lock is unique, because it is a guard lock—it guards water quality. Fresh water flows into the lock on your left from Currituck Sound in North Carolina. Salty water flows into the lock . . . — — Map (db m48960) HM
A Safer, Faster Route was Needed
Prior to the Revolutionary War, the most direct routes to transport goods to Norfolk and points north from North Carolina were, either the very slow overland route through the village of Great Bridge, or the . . . — — Map (db m48962) HM