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The Peninsula Between The York And James Rivers

The Peninsula Between The York And James Rivers image
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The península between tbc ïork and James K vers in Virginia is just bow a point of especial interest, and vvu therofore publisli the idlowing desoription of it wliicli wc fin! in tlui Chicago Terne: No pi, ilion ctf the American continent is ricker ia historie interest tlian the narï'ow strip of land between the York and Jemes liivors. The first Ecgliib soUlements in Auiorica were made hore, and it is the seene of tbc adventurea of those fint American pionoors who fought Iudiaus and roughed it us backwoodamen, within sight of the sult water. The portiou of' tho poninsulu n:ar tho mouths of the two riven which form it is ïuostly low and üat, but furthcr back towaids. Kicbiuond tbs; country becoines rolling We shoald jndge it to bü vury favorable to military openúioiis on tho largo scalo likely to tiiur.jmo. It 3 cut up by uumorons CfcekH, mnniug iuto the lrork and Janna Kivei',but the Chickahomany is the only stream of impoitance. A GlAXUE Al' THE SEVEKAL C0ÜXT1E3 OF IHB". rr.xixsuL.i.. Comtneneing at tho soutliwcstcrn point of the península, we have Elizabetb. City county, one of the original countieg into which Virginia was divided in 1634, ut uow dwarfcd, by suecessive changes in its bouudarii'S, to rery inaignificant proportions. Ilaiupton, Fortress Monroe, Old Point Comfort,' and I3ig Bethel, in this couuty, ara names which the civil war has made familiar to us all. Big Bethel - nothing but a large brick church, with ' earthwork embankinents thrown up by the rebels - ie on the turnpike road from Hampton to Ycrktown, and is about ten miles distant from e;ich placa, lt was here that the gallant Theodore Winthrop and Lieutenant Grebal feil victima to the bluudering of' a Massachusetts militia General. Hampton, which contaioed, 1,600 inhabitants wheu the war broke out, is now a deserted villagc; and its site is only marked by the ruins of antiquated houses. Adjoining Elizaboth City county are the couuties of Waiwick and York. - Newport News, in the first named, is now a most important point, and judgingfrom tho rebel papers, is the rendezvous for the Federal expedition concentrating in that viciuity, It is on James Rivcr, two miles from Fortress Monroe, and in a placo of much historical fa me in the early historj7 of Virginia. Turupiko roads lead from here to Yorktown. York county, adjoining Warwick on the nortli, ia no doubt destined to be the seene of a conflict very soon between the Union and rebel annies. The county is very small, comprising but seventy square miles, and is situated on the south sido of York Rivcr, aud at its éntranos into Chesapeako Bay. At Yo-ktown, the sbiretown of the county, tho rebels, under Gen. Magrudcr, have beea long preparing for an attaok ; and, it is said, nearly all the buildings in the village have been removed, to make way for fortiQcations. Batteries have been planted all aloog '..'je York River, to prevent vessels attempting to reach Richmond by this route, whieh is one of the very best, as far as it goes, to the rebel capital. - York Kiver, from its mouth to West Poiut, whcre the gtream divides iuto the Mattapony and the Pamunkey, is broad, straight and deep. At West Point, a railroad connects with liiohmond, distant about thirty miles. The historie interest that clusters about Yorktowu is familiar to every school boy, It was horo the Brhish made their lust stand, in 1781, in their insane attempt to coerco tho colo nies iüto snbinissiou to tho authorUy of George III. aud his Parliameut. From Yorktown, there are numerous turupike roads running through the península, to Williamsbiirg, Richmoud, etc. Adjoiuiug York county, on the west and south, we have James City county, on the north side of James River, and extending across to the York River. - Williainsburg, its capital, ie but 58 miles from Riuhinond. It was at oue time the scat of the colonial governmeut, and in ante-revolutionary times was oue of the most important places in the colony. Charles City and parts of New Kent and Benrioo couuties occupy the remainder of the peninsula. The first naimd is on the York River, which forms it on the cast and north. This county has given birth to two Presideat- -Harrison aud Tyler. Henrico is the county in which Richmond is situated. New Keut is a small county, and contains uo important jilace, except West Point the terminus of the railroad running from Kichmoud to the head of York River. roruLATioN. Tha population of these counties aceordinjr to the eensus of 18G0, compared with that of 18E0, is asfollows: 18C0. 1850. Büzabetb City, 5,798 4,580 Warwiok, 1,740 1,540 York, 4,91(5 4,020 James City, 5,708 4,020 Charles City, 5,609 5,200 New Kent, 5,884 C.0G4 Hcnrico (Richmond) C1.61G 4S.S72


Old News
Michigan Argus