Redoubt 1

Redoubt 1 (HM1H97)

Location: Williamsburg, VA 23185
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 15.258', W 76° 41.15'

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Engineers Debate the Williamsburg Line

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

Because Lt. Col. Benjamin S. Ewell had made little progress on the Williamsburg defenses by late June 1861, Gen. John B. Magruder, commanding the Army of the Peninsula, replaced him with Gen. Lafayette McLaws. Capt. Alfred L. Rives, acting chief of the Engineer Bureau in Richmond and an 1848 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, disliked Ewell concept of a defense based on interlocking redoubts (detached fortifications linked by rifle pits) but gave in. He later wrote that when "one redoubt is carried ? the troops cease to have confidence in the whole line and the defense ? is most defective." He also found Ewell proposed line, which ran north from College Creek through Williamsburg, would have required leveling part of the town to clear fields of fire. Rives suggested a line east of town to take advantage of terrain features. Ewell thought it too long, requiring too many men to defend it. Magruder, a West Point trained engineer like Ewell and McLaws, agreed with Rives choice of location and ordered McLaws to begin work on July 9, 1861.

Soldiers and impressed slaves constructed the line, beginning here with Redoubt 1 and continuing four miles across the Peninsula to Redoubt 14 at Cub Run Creek. The redoubts stood 600 to 800 yards apart, with the largest, Fort Magruder (Redoubt 6), in the center guarding the Williamsburg Road. Cleared fields of fire, rifle pits and abatis (felled trees with sharpened branches pointing toward the enemy) fronted each redoubt. Redoubt 1, one of the largest fortifications, mounted three artillery pieces behind a mile-long ravine overlooking Tutter Mill Pond, a tributary of College Creek, and Quarterpath Road. The line was unfinished when the Federals began marching up the Peninsula on April 4, 1862.
HM NumberHM1H97
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 8:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 350496 N 4124414
Decimal Degrees37.25430000, -76.68583333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 15.258', W 76° 41.15'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 15' 15.48" N, 76° 41' 9" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757, 202
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 513-537 State Rte 637, Williamsburg VA 23185, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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