In an area rooted so deeply in history, it’s no surprise that a house used as a former Confederate headquarters sits right down the road from the Inn at Warner Hall, making for a great road trip next time you come visit.
Considered an “architectural gem” on the Lower Peninsula of Virginia, Lee Hall Mansion (est. 1859) was the home of Richard Decauter Lee, an affluent planter of the time, his wife, Martha, and their children.
The family enjoyed the home for just three years, fleeing their home in the wake of the Civil War. The Virginia Peninsula was among the first battlegrounds of the Civil War.
According to the Lee Hall Mansion web site:
Built on high ground, Lee Hall Mansion had a natural and commanding view of the countryside. Consequently, between April and May of 1862, the house was used as a Confederate headquarters by Major General John B. Magruder and General Joseph E. Johnston. From this location, Magruder and Johnston directed the defense of the Peninsula against Major General George B. McClellan’s advancing Union Army, and for three weeks delayed the Union advance.
However, on May 3, 1862, the Confederate Army was ordered to retreat. A small skirmish was fought on the property by the retreating Confederates and Union cavalry on May 4, 1862. The Peninsula remained under Union control until the end of the war. The Lees eventually returned to the house and resided there until 1871. Since then, many different individuals have owned Lee Hall Mansion.
Today, Lee Hall remains the only large, antebellum plantation house remaining on the Lower Virginia Peninsula, and doubles as a historic house museum that documents the Civil War’s 1862 Peninsula Campaign.
The City of Newport News purchased Lee Hall Mansion in 1996 and restored the house to its original antebellum appearance, reflecting its pre-war splendor.
A mere 10 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg, off Exit 247 on Interstate 64, or about 10 minutes south of the Coleman Bridge connecting Gloucester to York County, the mansion museum is located at 163 Yorktown Road in Newport News, Va.
Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children 7 to 18.
The museum is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
For more information, call 757.888.3371.