Event Summary

Virginia, the Mother of Presidents and Richmond, Capitol of the Confederacy


Join historian Bill Potter of Landmark Events as we visit unique historic sites of the Richmond area. Virginia is the “Mother of Presidents” as well as the “Cradle of the Nation” and many important places are yet redolent with the memories of the Virginia founders. It is unconscionable to tour Richmond and not address the Civil War, so we’ll travel to Chimborazo Hospital, the largest military hospital in the world in the 1860s, as well as three battlefields that provided plenty of work for the hospital staff. (Mr. Potter speaks at the HEAV conference June 11-13.)

Patrick Henry


Chimborazo Medical Museum

Polegreen Church

Samuel Davies

Viginia State Capitol

Thomas Jefferson

Hollywood Cemetery

Fort Pocahontas

Battles of Cold Harbor & Gaines’ Mill

Bill Potter

Great Fellowship

Tour Highlights

Join historian Bill Potter of Landmark Events as we visit historic sites of the Richmond area. Virginia is the “Mother of Presidents” as well as the “Cradle of the Nation” and many important places are yet redolent with the memories of the Virginia founders.

Wednesday we will visit the site of Polegreen Church and hear the stories related to the greatest preacher of colonial Virginia and perhaps in all the history of the Old Dominion, Samuel Davies. In the midst of the greatest spiritual renewal in our history, Davies came to Hanover County with gospel preaching never before heard with such power and effect. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives were transformed and the growth of Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist Churches challenged then overtook the prelatical state church in succeeding generations.

Polegreen Church

Samuel Davies

Patrick Henry is generally considered the greatest political orator of the founding generation, and a man who learned at the feet of the great Davies. Father of seventeen children, delegate to the Continental Congress, and effective governor of the state in the War for Independence, Henry was the chief Virginia architect of rebellion and independence. A renowned defender of political and religious liberty, Henry’s fearlessness and profound leadership resulted in his being known as the trumpet of the Revolution. We will learn why he was a man of foresight as he opposed ratification of the Constitution. We will visit his home known as Scotchtown, where he burnished his reputation for hospitality, raised his family in modest comfort and where his first wife tragically died.

Patrick Henry


Our tour will include a visit to the most beautiful Capitol building in America and designed by polymath and architect, Thomas Jefferson. We will hear the stories of the greatness of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Mason and others of that pantheon of Virginia political and military heroes. The entire history of Virginia and its leaders will be on display as we walk the Capitol grounds and hear their stories.

Virginia State Capitol

Thomas Jefferson

Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond may be the most beautiful and important graveyard in America. We will close out the day with a visit to the gravesites of Generals, Presidents, and other Virginians of renown. We will learn powerful lessons that their lives teach us from the grave. Your visit will be an unforgettable one, whether at the plat of General J.E.B. Stewart or Historian Douglas Southall Freeman or novelist Ellen Glasgow, as we view their lives from a providential and biblical perspective.

Thursday’s tour will begin at a remote and beautiful Civil War fort in Charles City County—Fort Pocahontas. We will get a private tour of this little known battlefield that is only a mile from where military historian Bill Potter lived for eighteen years. The property is owned by Harrison Tyler, grandson of the 11th President of the United States. We will visit the grounds of his estate, Sherwood Forest, a picturesque home replete with the stores and the glories of the past two centuries and find out why John Tyler is Mr. Potter’s favorite President.

Hollywood Cemetery

Fort Pocahontas

Chimborazo Hospital was the largest military hospital in the world in the 1860s. Some 76,000 Confederate wounded and sick passed through the doors of the complex. Almost 8,000 left this life there. The National Park Service has long administered the site where this facility sat, high above the James River, and where we will walk the grounds and hear stories related to the life of hospital matron Phoebe Yates Pember. A place of incredible suffering and healing, Chimborazo’s story will shock and amaze you.

Chimborazo Medical Museum

Chimborazo Medical Museum

Two great battles of the Civil War occurred on the same ground and area, two years apart — Gaines’s Mill and Cold Harbor. The first battle marked Robert E. Lee’s debut as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. The war could have ended then and there had not the Union line been broken late in the day, after a valorous defense by Union General Fitz John Porter’s Corps. The attacks at Cold Harbor earned Ulysses S. Grant the charges of being a butcher. It was the only attack of the war for which he later expressed regret. We will visit both sites and analyze the importance of both battles where more than 32,800 Americans fell, about the same as all the casualties in the six years of the War for Independence.

General Robert E. Lee

Battle of Cold Harbor

Event Speakers

Historian Bill Potter

Historian Bill Potter

An experienced historian and avid bibliophile, Bill Potter combines a lifelong study of American history with an uncommon ability to captivate audiences of all ages as he traces the providential acts of God throughout the ages. Mr. Potter has taught history in high schools and colleges, has led many tours of American and European historical sites and brings to each event a wealth of experience and knowledge. An experienced researcher and writer, Mr. Potter possesses a practical knowledge of antiquarian books, documents, and artifacts and has published several short books and has penned many articles and book reviews for publication. Bill has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man gifted in communicating the story of God’s providential hand in American history. As a father of eight children, he appreciates the necessity of passing on to the succeeding generations the richness of both our regional and national history. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in Georgia where Bill serves as an elder at Chalcedon Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Event Schedule

Note: Schedule times are subject to change.

Wednesday, June 10
9:00am   Historic Polegreen Church (Samuel Davies)
(6411 Heatherwood Drive Mechanicsville, Virginia 23116)
    26 miles ≈ 40 mins.
11:45am   Scotchtown, Home of Patrick Henry
(16120 Chiswell Lane, Beaverdam, VA 23015)
    32 miles ≈ 45 mins.
2:45pm   The State Capitol Building and Monuments
(Capitol Square, Richmond, VA)
    1.5 miles ≈ 10 mins.
4:15pm   Hollywood Cemetery (Presidents Tyler, Monroe, Davis)
(412 South Cherry Street, Richmond, VA 23220)
Thursday, June 11
9:00am   Fort Pocahontas
(13500 Sturgeon Point Road, Charles City, VA 23030)
    35 miles ≈ 50 mins.
12:30pm   Chimborazo Medical Museum
(3215 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23223)
    10 miles ≈ 20 mins.
2:00pm   Cold Harbor Battlefield Visitors Center
(5515 Anderson-Wright Dr., 5 miles SE of Mechanicsville on route 156)
3:00pm   Tour Ends

Note: Following the tour, Bill Potter will be speaking at the HEAV homeschool convention. Those desiring to attend will need to register separately through the HEAV web site.


For those attending the HEAV convention at the Richmond Convention Center, convention rates are available through HEAV. If you are coming just for the tour, there is a wide variety of accommodations throughout the Richmond area.

Ticket Pricing Information

Included in This Car Tour

  • Admission to all venues
  • All guide and docent fees and gratuities throughout the tour
  • Electronic headset receiver for ease of hearing guides
  • Biblical/providential interpretation from Bill Potter
  • Rich fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ
  • Landmark Events’ signature service throughout the tour.

Not Included in This Tour

  • Transportation, tolls and parking fees
  • Accommodations
  • Meals — plenty of places to picnic!

Ticket Information


Full Tour:$49 $29
Wednesday Only:$30 $20
Thursday Only:$30 $20


Full Tour:$59 $40
Wednesday Only:$35 $25
Thursday Only:$35 $25

(Please see below*)

Full Tour:$249 $199
Wednesday Only:$149 $125
Thursday Only:$149 $125

* Unlimited immediate family members of the same household, please.

If you have any questions, or if we can be of service in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Study Preparation

Key People

  • Pastor Samuel Davies
  • Governor Patrick Henry
  • General George Washington
  • Governor and President Thomas Jefferson
  • General Fitzhugh Lee
  • General Fitz John Porter
  • Phoebe Yates Pember
  • General Robert E. Lee
  • General Stonewall Jackson


  • General J.E.B. Stuart
  • General Ulysses S. Grant
  • General George Pickett
  • President John Tyler
  • President James Monroe
  • President Jefferson Davis
  • Historian Douglas Southall Freeman
  • Novelist Ellen Glasgow

Key Events

  • The Great Awakening
  • The Second Virginia Convention
  • The War for American Independence
  • The Battle of Ft. Pocahontas
  • The Battle of Gaines Mill
  • The Battle of Cold Harbor
  • The Ratification of the Constitution
  • The War Between the States

Bibliography/Suggested Reading

  • A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic, by Henry Mayer
  • Living On the Borders of Eternity, by Robert Bluford, Jr. (Samuel Davies)
  • Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles, by Brian K. Burton
  • Not War, But Murder: The Battle of Cold Harbor, 1864, by Ernest Furgurson
  • Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History, by Peter Wallenstein

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