Peninsula Trip - March 2006

 

    Everyone loved our two and a half day trip to follow McClellan's 1862 Peninsula Campaign.  The comradrery, food, and sights were excellent, and we saw many important places that the average tourist wouldn't or couldn't see.  Around thirty of us boarded Sunshine Tours Flight 1220 from Rice Field to Williamsburg PHBW early on a Friday afternoon.  Let's take a look at some of the things we saw that weekend.  Many of these shots are panoramas which are wider than your screen.  Make sure to remember your horizontal scroll bar!  


Friday Afternoon - On the Road Heading East


Colonial Williamsburg was within walking distance of the hotel and was well worth a short visit.

Governor's Palace

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The Capital building flew a rebel flag of a different kind.

 

 

The Webmaster Meets The President - Hey, what's he so happy about?

The President Meets The President

 


 

"Bring More Pie"

During the banquet Friday evening, order was nearly lost when the supply of pecan pie abruptly ran out.  This is Richard Raymond with his finger-gun. 


Our first stop was Fort Monroe.  The flag was prominent blowing in the breeze.

 

From the ramparts, the building that Robert E. Lee occupied while he lived at the fort is visible.  This is the center building.

 

Further down the ramparts, atop an entrance gate, the building Lincoln stayed at when he visited the fort during the Peninsula campaign was visible.

 

 

The Casemate Museum had a number of good exhibits, including this one of one of the fort's gun crew.

 

This is where President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned after the war.


After visiting Fort Monroe, we took a harbor cruise to see where the Monitor and Merrimac fought.  Our guide on the Miss Hampton II was knowledgeable about a variety of things - and enthusiastic too. 


Here is former naval architect Monroe Macpherson at our next stop, the Mariner's Museum. This is a model of the $30 million expansion to accommodate the recovered portion of the Monitor.  We were privileged to see the addition in progress.  

 

This area will be made to look like the deck of the Monitor.  A turret will be mounted on the ring, and a mural will be painted on the wall beyond the glass on the left to resemble the CSS Virginia, better known as the Merrimac.  On the far left of the picture is our very own "General" Phillip Sheridan, who gave the webmaster the idea to take a shot from here. 

 

The Monitor's turret is in the large tank undergoing restoration - removing the salt from the iron so that the artifact can be displayed.  The ship's engine is in one of the tanks on the left.

 

Here is the view of the tank from above.  You can make out the circular shape of the bottom of the turret, which is upside down in the tank.


Our tour guide, Roanoke resident Robert Freis of Civil War Weekend, took us next to Dam Number 1 on the on Warwick River.  We also saw this Great Blue Heron.


Gen. Magruder Played By James Fuqueron

Having spent the day touring along with "General" Phillip Sheridan, at Saturday evening's banquet we were honored by a visit from Gen. "Prince John" Magruder, commander of Confederate forces on the Peninsula.  The General readily admitted to an episode earlier in life when he passed out in a drunken stupor on some packs of mail and was inadvertently mailed to Washington D.C.   He was evasive in discussing the circumstance behind his wife's pre-war move to Rome, Italy.  Mercifully, he was not asked about his later removal from command by Gen. Lee.  It seems that he asked Lee to help him do something about the monkeys flying around inside his tent.


Yorktown

Sunday morning, we visited a Union mortar battery built during the siege of Yorktown.  Although immediately next to the parking lot for the 1781 surrender field, the earthworks are not interpreted by the park service.  Next we stopped at the monument to the 1781 siege for its spectacular view of the York River and its constricted passage between Yorktown and Gloucester Point. 


Across the river, we visited the remains of the Confederate fort at Gloucester Point which protected land approaches to the vital constriction in the York River.


Drewry's Bluff

To finish off the tour, we stopped at Fort Darling at Drewry's Bluff, where Confederate gunners blocked a direct advance on Richmond by the Union navy.  In the lower panorama it appears as though the Preservation Chairman is sighting the big gun right at the Vice President's head!  Let's play nice, boys so we can all go on the upcoming Shiloh tour.


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