Town (Gloucester Point)
Although the area is currently
known as Gloucester Point, Tyndall's Point Town was laid out on the site
prior to 1682. A plat from the early 1700s indicates that while the lots
were sold, few were built upon. This may have been the result of the proximity
of Yorktown, a more successful port town, just across the York River from
Tyndall's Point Town.
The chosen site was adjacent
to an area first fortified in 1667 and officially named Fort James in
1671. Extensive fortifications were constructed here by the British in
1781 as part of the siege of Yorktown. General Cornwallis attempted to
escape Yorktown to here but was prevented from doing so. An hour after
Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown British troops, commanded by Colonel
Tarleton surrendered to French and American forces.
In 1861 the Confederate Army
further fortified Gloucester Point. The abandonment of fortifications
at Gloucester Point and Yorktown in 1862 allowed troops under the command
of Union General McClellan to be transported up the York and Pamunkey
Rivers as part of his Peninsula Campaign against Richmond. The fortifications
are still present and are bisected by Route 17 and the Coleman Bridge.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) campus occupies most of
the town site. Today extensive fortifications and some building locations
survive as archeological sites in the area.
Plan of Gloucester
Click to view clip showing Gloucester Point and VIMS Campus (4.7MB).
2. Click to view clip of Civil War fortifications (1.8 MB).
Point Today. Click on any symbol to view clip.