|Today we spent the day looking around the area. We started with the local Welcome Center and loaded up on places to see and things to do. Of course we always find more things to do than we have time for, but you never know when you will run across a gem.
We decided to go to Lee Hall Mansion. Completed in 1859, Lee Hall Mansion was home to affluent planter Richard Decauter Lee, his wife Martha and their children. One of the last remaining antebellum homes on the Virginia Peninsula, Lee Hall Mansion was used as a headquarters by Confederate generals Joseph E. Johnston and John B. Magruder during April and May of 1862. Today, guided tours of this beautifully restored home give a glimpse back into the lives of a wealthy family during the 1860s. Hundreds of artifacts, including a tablecloth from the USS Monitor, are on display in the museum's 1862 Peninsula Campaign Gallery. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the mansion, but it was quite a place and if you are ever in the area, well worth the visit.
After Lee Hall Mansion, we drove a short distance down the road to Endview Plantation. Endview Plantation was built in 1769 by William Harwood. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Endview’s owner, Dr. Humphrey Harwood Curtis, formed the Warwick Beauregards, which became Company H, 32nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry. During the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, Endview served as headquarters for Confederate generals McLaws and Toombs. The site is maintained today as a historic house. We drove in, looked around a bit and decided not to go on the tour of the house. Hmmmm, maybe we missed a gem today!
Next on our list was to go to the Monitor-Merrimack Overlook to see where the historic battle took place. Trust me when I say, "Don't just put 16th Street" in your GPS without an address. It took me to a part of town that didn't look like it would be the friendliest place to have a breakdown. But we found our way to our destination and the closer we got the better the area. Worth the drive? Yea, I guess so. You find a marker by the road with a map of the bay showing approximately where the battle took place. After that experience, we headed back to the Hotel to swim and relax for the evening.