The boundaries or battlefield area of the Battle of Williamsburg stretched from Jamestown to Yorktown. The apex of the battlefield would be Fort Magruder in Williamsburg. This would be the South’s position that they would have to hold in the Williamsburg Conflict.
How The Battle Of Williamsburg Boundaries Formed
The Battle of Williamsburg boundaries form as the Union, centered around Fort Monroe, threaten to move up the Virignia Peninsula. This would start in Hampton and move progressively West through the Peninsula towns of Newport News, Yorktown, and subsequently, Williamsburg.
From The Peninsula To Richmond..
With Richmond, the current confederate capital in 1862, only 51 miles away, the need to block this advance was critical. Thus, the Battle of Williamsburg would be a key conflict point between the two armies.
Battle of Williamsburg: Key Point In The Peninsula Campaign
The Peninsula Campaign is the bigger picture in this Williamsburg Civil War clash. The Battle of Williamsburg marks a key clash in the Union’s advance towards Richmond. The Union goal was to come up the Eastern Peninsula to get to the Confederate Capital in Richmond. The Confederates slowed this advance by clashing in Wiliamsburg. The Union pursued them but was unable to foil their tactical retreat back up the Peninsula. Other battles would ensue but ultimately the Union would come up short in their quest of a Richmond conquest and Confederate defeat in 1862.
Looking for more information on the Battle of Williamsburg?
Check out our tour, Richmond Was A Hard Road To Travel for an in depth, on site look at this often forgotten key to the Peninsula Campaign. Also check out this article on the Battle of Williamsburg for a quick strategic overview of the strategic impact of this Virginia Civil War conflict.
Williamsburg Walking Tours Is Offering A New Civil War Tour. The Name of the tour is Richmond Is A Hard Road To Travel.
The Civil War Comes To Williamsburg
It is based upon a song written during the war The song is…”Richmond is a Hard Road to Travel.” There are many versions each slightly different but one famous rendition is the from the 97th Regimental Strings. The 97Th Regimental String Band sings songs of the Civil War Era, which can often show a different perspective of what the actual solider really felt about the events occurring around them.
You can see the song and hear the lyrics at this Youtube clip
Tour The Civil War In Williamsburg
Come explore The Battle Of Williamsburg Tour. Come explore new insights in a tour where you see events that lead to a greater escalation of the war.
Around midnight on August 7,1861 General Magruder and 500 Confederate soldiers entered the city of Hampton and set fire to the buildings. It was estimated that Hampton had around 500 buildings, by sunrise on August 8 only seven or eight remained standing. The reason for this was so the Union troops would have no place to live.
The Civil War Peninsula Campaign: New Tactics In A Long War
In March 1862, seeking to avoid an overland route to Richmond,( the Battle of Manasses did not work out well) the Union Army transported 130,000 troops,15,000 horses, 1,100 wagons and 44 artillery batteries down the Chesapeake Bay to Fort Monroe.
The goal of the Union army was to take Richmond by going up the Peninsula. After Hampton was burned the only city close to Richmond (from the south) was Williamsburg. Refugees from Hampton fled to Williamsburg.
After the Battle of Williamsburg, May 5,1862, Williamsburg became a Union occupied town until the end of the war.
Tour Williamsburg’s Civil War History From A Human Perspective
The Civil war was known as brother versus brother. But it was also schoolmate versus schoolmate, friend versus friend, and solider versus officer. The soldiers, including enlisted and officer alike had served in ONE United States Army. They had fought together in Mexico and served all over the United States as colleagues and friends. Now they were pitted against one another in a civil war death struggle. As time passed generations forget how human this war really was. And among those many stories you may not know..George Armstrong Custer.
Learn About Lieutenant Armstrong Custer And The Battle Of Williamsburg
In researching the history one story can change the way you see those men and women, who in old photographs appear as statuesque soldiers stoically posed for the camera. Among them Lt. Armstrong Custer (Union) found a confederate friend on the battlefield and made sure he was taken to a private house to recover. This friend ended up marrying the daughter of the house and Lt. Custer was invited and attended the wedding.
And It All Culminates At The Battle Of Williamsburg
The Battle Of Williamsburg is often overlooked due to the tidal size carnage that followed in battles like Antietam and Gettysburg. These battles certainly lived up to their reputation but the Williamsburg tour has significance as well. Some of the things to consider are:
Turning Point For Civil War Strategy?
The battle marks some key changes in the civil war. The Union changes it’s strategy from a Northern assault to Richmond after the disasters at Bull Run. The Union Army shows their resolve by using their strengths in logistics and maneuvere by traversing the wet,muddy marshy flatlands of the Virginia Eastern Peninsula. The Confederate strategy changes as well. The South realizes that unchecked, the Union army will eventually power there way to Richmond. A strategy of all out assaults on the North would follow in years to come at places like Antietam and Gettysburg. And the groundwork for this can be traced back to events transpiring out of the Battle Of Willamsburg.
The Confederates Are Forced To Respond
Only hours from Richmond, Williamsburg Virginia is a strategic vantage point to assault Richmond. A Union intrusion to this flank position forces the Confederates to bolster their Eastern Defense. It also draws the Confederates to battle…forcing them to use energy to conform to Union plans. But what happens next?
Learn What Happens.. Experiencing It For Yourself
Join us for a Civil War Tour In Williamsburg and experience parts of America’s Second Revolution in the same place as it’s first!