Skiffes Creek

Skiffes Creek (HM6OD)

Location: Newport News, VA 23603
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 10.653', W 76° 34.544'

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The Defense of Mulberry Island

— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —

The redoubt before you is one of five earthworks built by the Confederates to help defend the Mulberry Island/James River flank of Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder's 2nd Peninsula Defensive Line. This series of redoubts (of which only two remain) stretched from Lee's Mill on the Warwick River to Skiffes Creek, thereby blocking any Federal flanking movement by way of Mulberry Island or Skiffes Creek.

Until the emergence of the powerful ironclad ram CSS Virginia (Merrimack), Magruder had been concerned about his small force's ability to effectively fortify its James River flank. He wrote Gen. Robert E. Lee in early 1862 that he could "only hope that Yorktown and Mulberry Island will be made impregnable, else the Peninsula and perhaps Virginia overrun."

The fortifications constructed throughout Mulberry Island (actually a peninsula jutting into the James River bounded by the Warwick River and Skiffes Creek) are a good example of Magruder's extensive effort to defend this invasion route to Richmond. Despite being plagued by a lack of troops and artillery, Magruder's troops, supported by as many as 600 to 1,000 slaves a day, built extensive fortifications throughout Mulberry Island. Entrenchments at Land's End and Brick House Creek, as well as batteries at Mulberry Island Point and redoubts near Skiffes Creek, were all supported by Fort Crawford. Fort Crawford was the largest earthwork within the 2nd Defensive Line. The fort covered 8 acres with inner walls almost 20 feet high and armed with 8 heavy cannon.

Magruder considered the fortifications on Mulberry Island capable of withstanding a month-long siege; however, these earthworks did not play a major role in the Warwick River - Yorktown Siege because of the Virginia's (Merrimack) ability to block the James River to Union use. The Mulberry Island and Skiffes Creek fortifications were abandoned on May 3, 1862, when the Confederate army began its retreat towards Richmond.
HM NumberHM6OD
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 2:47am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 360119 N 4115731
Decimal Degrees37.17755000, -76.57573333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 10.653', W 76° 34.544'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 10' 39.18" N, 76° 34' 32.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 254 Enterprise Dr, Newport News VA 23603, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Nearby Markersshow on map
Stanley Hundred
0.01 miles
0.01 miles
Mulberry Point
0.37 miles
Fort Eustis
0.37 miles
Lee's Mill Earthworks
0.85 miles
Glebe Lands
1.01 miles
Battle of Lee's Mill
1.03 miles
Lee's Mill
1.03 miles
Fortification Design
1.07 miles
The Warwick-Yorktown Line
1.09 miles
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