Siege of Yorktown, Part One: The Navies

Posted on
The Siege of Yorktown, April 1862. Ch. Worret, contributor. Courtesy Library of Congress.
CSS Virginia Enables the 1862 Defense of Yorktown 

In spring 1862, Union general George Brinton McClellan had assembled a very powerful army around Washington, D.C. The Union had already recently achieved several major victories along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, as well as they had captured the North Carolina Sounds. McClellan’s army was poised and ready to strike at the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. General McClellan, often called ‘Young Napoleon’ or ‘Little Mac,’ wanted nothing to do with a march overland toward Richmond. 

This path was blocked by General Joseph E. ‘Joe’ Johnston’s 45,000-strong army defending Manassas. In an effort to flank and isolate Johnston’s army away from Richmond, McClellan conceived the Urbanna Plan to move his army to the Rappahannock River at Urbanna, Virginia, and then strike directly at Richmond. Before the Union general could implement his campaign, Joe Johnston abandoned his Manassas defenses beginning March 6, 1862, and fell back to Fredericksburg. McClellan quickly offered a secondary amphibious operation to strike at Richmond by way of the Virginia Peninsula.   Read more

Way Back Wednesday

Posted on
bf11 11-1998, post restoration (5)

In 1998, we sent our Dutch Tjotter to the Netherlands for restoration work.  This image shows it upon its return.  The boat was built ca 1913 by Van der Werff Brothers in Sneek, Friesland, Netherlands.  It is currently on display in our International Small Craft Center.

This image shows a group of Steiff animals in a Noah’s Ark display in 1970.  We have several Noah’s Ark sets in the collection, from toys to dioramas.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

Posted on
May 1935 Norfolk & Southern Bus Corp. bring guests to museum

This first image was taken in May of 1935 and shows buses from the Norfolk Southern and Bus Corp. bringing guests to the museum.  There isn’t much else going on in these photos, but I do enjoy the older vehicles.

This next image is from 1934 and shows objects that were salvaged from the York River, the most visible being the two large cannons.  We have quite a number of objects that were salvaged from the river, including a collection of over 60 bottles.   Read more