Virginia, the Mother of Presidents and Richmond, Capitol of the Confederacy
oin 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. We will visit a variety of key venues, including Samuel Davies Polegreen church, 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 one of the most distinctive Civil War military parks, Pamplin Park.
Chimborazo Medical Museum
Monday morning we will begin at the site of Polegreen Church to 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.
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 non-aristocratic, frontier family man, Henry drew his neighbors, friends and colony to independence from Britain with his powerful oratory and uncompromising leadership. His home, Scotchtown, reflects practicality, hospitality, and rustic camaraderie. Our visit to the home of the “Trumpet of the Revolution”, a true son of Scottish fortitude, will not soon be forgotten as we talk of Patrick Henry’s bold Christian witness, sacrificial service for independence, and fatherhood of seventeen children and where his first wife tragically died..
The Second Virginia Convention met at St. John’s Church in Richmond, the only venue which could accommodate the House of Burgesses, thus avoiding collision and resistance by the Royal Governor. We will sit in the very seats the representatives did when Patrick Henry made his powerful call of the colony to military preparation and resistance to British tyranny, closing with “Give me Liberty, or give me death!”
Tuesday’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, nestled along the shoreline of the James River
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.
Hollywood Cemetery is one of those historic sites where we step back in time and remember great men and express thanks for God’s providences. We will stand at the graves of Presidents James Monroe, John Tyler, and Jefferson Davis. On our stroll through the beautiful hills, we will visit the “Gettysburg Graveyard” overlooked by the monument to General George Pickett. There are twenty-five Confederate generals buried here, including J.E.B. Stuart and Fitzhugh Lee, as well as Southern heroes like Dr. Hunter McGuire, Stonewall Jackson’s physician and Douglas Southwell Freeman, General Lee’s great biographer. When a man dies, a thousand stories die with him. We will try to resurrect some of those tales as we visit this unforgettable memorial ground.
Chimborazo Medical Museum
The last great campaign of the War Between the States occurred around Richmond in 1864 and 1865. We will travel to the scene of the heroic defense of Petersburg and walk among the trenches, gaining a very different perspective of the Civil War at Pamplin Park. This private, state of the art, interactive battlefield offers the unique Museum to the Common Soldier, the original entrenchments where the Union besieging forces finally broke through General Lee’s thinly stretched lines, and reconstructed forts that show the original look of the lines. We will witness infantry and artillery firing and talk with costumed reenactors — soldiers, civilians, and slaves who interpret the original farm. This is the Civil War historian’s dream historical visit.
The White House of the Confederacy served as the Executive Mansion of the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865, when Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy. The mansion was the official quarters during the Civil War of the only President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. From this house, Davis fled Richmond on April 3 1865, just before the April 9, 1865 surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. The house was the birthplace of his daughter Winnie, “Daughter of the Confederacy,” and where his son Joseph died in a fall from a porch.
Monument Avenue is the nation’s only grand residential boulevard with monuments of its scale surviving almost unaltered to the present day. For many years, the street was Richmond’s ceremonial parade route, taking its name from the series of monumental statues that honor Confederate heroes. Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Matthew Fontaine Murray are have graced monuments dating back as far as 1890. A hotbed of confusion and controversy, tour this historic street and hear the true stories from Mr. Potter.
General Robert E. Lee
Note: Schedule times are subject to change.
|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||St. John’s Church
(2401 E Broad St, Richmond, VA )
|1.5 miles ≈ 10 mins.|
Ticket Pricing Information
Included in This Car Tour
- Admission / Donations to all venues
- All guide and docent fees and 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
- Meals — plenty of places to picnic!
If you have any questions, or if we can be of service in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
* To ease the burden on large families, we created this special rate for families of Five or more members. Register Adults first, then Youth until you total 4 people. Register all remaining members over 6 years old under Additional Family Members.
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History, by Peter Wallenstein