October 14, 2007

Westover on the James

On the last day of our Jamestown trip in September, we stopped at Westover and Berkeley Plantations on the James River. They are basically "next door" to each other and both are lovely. Berkeley is more commercialized and offers guided tours. Westover is quiet but gracious, almost magical with its ancient towering trees and hushed gardens.

A few years ago I posted some photos of Westover on my Civil War trips site. The area was used as a base by the Union Army during the Peninsula Campaign. A Civil War Trails sign explains:
"Following the last of the Seven Days' Battles on July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill, Gen. George B. McClellan's Union Army of the Potomac continued its retreat to the James River. McClellan had earlier decided to "change his base" from the Pamunkey River to the James and had chosen the Harrison's Landing (Berkeley Plantation) and Westover area as his new base . From then until final evacuation to Fort Monroe on August 16, the 90,000-man army largely remained within its defensive fortifications, further protected by Union gunboats in the river. At first, elements of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia probed for a weak spot to attack. Finding none, they settled for keeping an eye on the Federals."

Once I got an email asking about using Westover for weddings. All I can advise is that I understand it is used for events and see the contact information at CharlesCity.org.

Westover, Circa 1730

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