Civil War Williamsburg


2013 Signature Conference: "The American Civil War at Home"
April 20, 2013 at the College of William & Mary (William & Mary Hall)

This Signature Conference -- the fifth in an annual series -- brings together noted Civil War historians to consider how the Civil War Changed Virginia and the nation 150 years ago in the year of the war's turning point, 1863.  More Info

The narrow peninsula of land lying in between the mighty James River and its sister, York River, witnessed the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in the New World - Jamestowne in 1607.

By 1781, this same ground saw the birth of a new nation with its own identity, constitution and heroes.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other patriots throughout the colonies helped forge a Republic like no other.  But before the next 100 years could pass, this land felt the same nation nearly crumble in a devastating struggle to keep it whole. 

The American Civil War arrived early along the shores of the James and York Rivers.  A mere two months after the Constitution of the Confederates States of America was adopted, tearing asunder this still young nation, cannon fire was overheard.  Just off Sewell's Point, where the James River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, two Union gunboats dueled with Confederate batteries in an attempt to enforce the Union blockade of Hampton Roads.  Over the next four years this peninsula, this tiny strip of land, witnessed many of the war's major battles, all within 50 miles of its epicenter - Williamsburg.

Today you can visit those sites; come to know the famous, and not-so-famous names and events that occurred here; leaving with a better understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices suffered by all Americans; Blue, Gray - and Black. 

Make Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle your "Civil War Headquarters" as you journey though the way from its early soundings to its final close. 

This website offers:

- A Calendar of Events for Civil War tours, lectures, exhibits, concerts and more.

- Immerse yourself in the Stories of the Civil War on local places of interest, people, folklore and more.

- A list of local and national Resources on the Civil War, including books and website.

- Find out where the key Civil War spots are in the Historic Triangle as well as local tour information under Trails & Programs.

- View a timeline of the actual History & Records of the War.

- In the Multimedia section, view interviews and pictures.

- Guide to Finding Civil War Photographs

We encourage you to check back for additional information on events, special programs and trails, videos and more. In the meantime, you can connect with us on Facebook.