Our Saturday, April 2, 2016 tour, “Benedict Arnold Raids Richmond,” will be led by John Maass and Mark Lender. John has already led two great tours for us, and Mark’s Arnold presentation in August was well received by the many in attendance. Here’s a brief description:
“After appearing in the Chesapeake in late December, 1780, British General Benedict Arnold landed a force of about one thousand men at Westover, on the James River. Arnold’s men marched to Richmond on 5 January. Here and at Westham, the British destroyed small arms, canvass, rope, hemp,fuses, shot, tobacco, cannon, and “a foundry for casting iron cannon,” along with private property. They faced little opposition from Patriot forces.
“The raiders left Richmond around noon on January 6, marched southeast and camped at Four Mile Creek along the New Market Road, north of Deep Bottom. Arnold then proceeded to Berkeley Plantation on the James River, freed some of the slaves there and, on January 10, boarded his ships to sail downstream. Although almost four thousand militiamen gathered to defend the Tidewater area against Arnold’s excursion, they were divided between Fredericksburg, Williamsburg and Cabin Point, on the south side of the James. Virginia’s response was slow and hesitant, for which Gov. Thomas Jefferson received much of the blame."
The April bus tour will include key sites associated with the British raid, including Westover and Berkeley Plantations, Charles City Court House, Four Mile Creek, Church Hill, and the site of the Westham Foundry.
We’ll leave the University of Richmond and spend the entire day in the field. The cost will be $35. All details will be available shortly. But mark your calendars now. We will gladly accept registrations at the January 20 meeting. The tour will be opened to others after our members have priority access.