Southside Revolutionary Virginia 1775 Tour – October 12, 2019

From our friends at the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond 

Tour Leader –  Dr. Patrick H. (Pat) Hannum, Professor, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Lt Col USMC (Ret)

Great Bridge
Great Bridge Battlefield (courtesy of Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation)

This tour will visit three critically important Revolutionary War sites, in the modern Cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, in order to help inform the important events and explain how the Whig Government ousted the Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, and British military forces from the State of Virginia. These events largely unfolded in the fall of 1775 and culminated with the destruction of the City of Norfolk in early 1776. Strategically important, these events led to near uncontested Whig control of the State of Virginia for three and one-half years. The British defeat at Yorktown in October 1781 traces its roots to the critical decisions and decisive actions of the Whig Governments of Virginia and North Carolina in the fall of 1775.  We will visit:

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Norfolk: Saint Paul’s is the only structure in the city that survived the destruction in early 1776. Here a docent will allow us to visit the church and our leader will frame the conditions, circumstances and facts surrounding the destruction of the city. The true story of the destruction is well documented, but the popular view promulgated by most historians is blatantly false. We will discuss the strategic impact surrounding the destruction of Norfolk.

Kemp’s Landing, Virginia Beach: Kemp’s Landing was a thriving commercial center in then the largely rural and agrarian Princess Anne County with homes, businesses and warehouses located at the head of the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River. Because of its importance to the Whigs, it was the site of at least two military actions by Lord Dunmore in October and November 1775 to crush the Whig military resistance in the region and embolden Loyalist support.

Great Bridge, Chesapeake: The site of the Battle of Great Bridge is preserved by the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation and an interpretive trail tells the story of this strategic location. A new multi-million-dollar facility houses a museum scheduled to open in September. Here we will examine the details associated with the site and events centered there.  Great Bridge Docent & Period Interpreter: Mr. Jon Stull, Professor, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University (Ret), & Col USMC (Ret).

We will depart from the Lowes parking lot on Brook Road (at Parham Road, near exit 83 on Rt. 95) at 8 AM sharp and return at about 5 PM.  Please plan to arrive by 7:45 AM.  You can also meet the bus at 201 St Paul’s Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23510.  The parking lot is accessed off City Hall Avenue that runs east & west on the south side of the church.  Please arrive at that location by 9:15 AM.  Parking is available in that lot.

Lunch will be at the Great Bridge Museum picnic area.  We will provide water and drinks.  PLEASE NOTE – THERE IS NO FOOD SERVICE AVAILABLE.  BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH AND SNACKS.  The bus will have a bathroom.  There will be a minimum amount of walking.  The trip goes, rain or shine.

To register, please send a check for $45, payable to ARRT-Richmond, to Bill Welsch, 10708 Rocket Drive, Glen Allen, VA 23060.  Please include your email address, cell phone number, and at which pick up location you will meet the bus.

ARRT-Richmond members will be given first registration priority until August 1.  Remaining seats will then be opened to all others.

Direct questions to before the tour.  On that Saturday morning, you can contact us at 804-349-8840 with any concerns.  We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, October 12 to explore the Southside in the Revolution!

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