Civil War Trip Day 3
Today we traveled down the Peninsula. We first visited Fort Monroe on an island off the tip of the peninsula. We were unsure about this stop. It has just become a National Park and the army and the park service are swapping out duties. The old fort is pretty amazing to see. It’s in great shape and the fort’s history spans Jamestown to the present. So every war has some history at the fort. There is also a museum in the old casemates (the areas that contained the old fort guns). The museum was nice and well taken care of they did have the actual cell that Jefferson Davis was kept in after the war. On our way out we got to see an aircraft carrier coming into Norfolk. It was the George Bush and it was huge. As we ate lunch we watched it make its way to the naval base.
After the fort we traveled to Newport News and visited the Virginia Maritime Museum. It had a lot of nice things that again spanned the whole history of Jamestown it the present age. The main attraction was the USS Monitor. It was the first Union Ironclad. The Monitor battled just off shore with its confederate counterpart and so made all other wooden navies obsolete. There was a large section dedicated to the artifacts from the wrecked Monitor and it even had the turret and some of the cannons. They had many examples of what ship life was like. Very worth the trip.
Our final stop was Yorktown , both a Revolutionary war site and a civil war site. Of course it’s best known for its role in the revolution. But it was also sieged during the Civil War by McClellan. McClellan bungled the whole thing. The confederate commander put on a good show and has men march around in circles and it tricked McClellan into thinking a larger force was present and so he delayed his attack. There is a small cemetery that was built just after the war and it had a nice house that had a civil war display. Tomorrow we hope to get up to Fredericksburg,Spotsylvania, and the Wilderness.