Fort Pocahontas: The Culmination of a Week of History and Celebration
Throughout the week of June 11-16, the Jamestown Quadricentennial will be hosting exciting events for the family in the historic triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, Virginia. But the four hundredth birthday celebration will culminate on Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 at the beautiful site of Fort Pocahontas, just outside of Jamestown.
Fort Pocahontas: Where We Honor Our Fathers and Cast a Vision for the Next One Hundred Years
For the grand culmination of our Jamestown Quadricentennial: A Celebration of America’s Providential History, participants will not only learn history, but they will help to make history as thousands gather with descendants of the Jamestown colonists, students, families from around the nation, and noted teachers and preachers to lay monuments and place time capsules, to enjoy reenactments, visionary orations, period music, hot-air balloon rides, to enjoy antiquarian books, military drills and firearms, and the conclusion of the Jamestown 400: Our National Treasure Hunt, conducted by our sponsor, The Vision Forum, Inc. As we remember the past and honor our forefathers, our speakers will be casting a vision of hope for the next one hundred years.
Fort Pocahontas: The Site of a Historic Battle
Fort Pocahontas is the location of a historic Civil War battle. The official Fort Pocahontas site describes the significance of the battle:
Fort Pocahontas was an earthen fort built and manned by hundreds of United States Colored Troops under the direct command of Brigadier General Edward Augustus Wild. The May 24, 1864, action resulted in a victory for the USCTs against an attack led by Major General Fitzhugh Lee, Robert E. Lee’s nephew.
Harrison Ruffin Tyler, grandson of 10th President John Tyler and the resident owner of Sherwood Forest, purchased the well-preserved earthen fort site known as Wilson’s Wharf in 1996. Virtually untouched for over 130 years, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources views Fort Pocahontas as “one of the best preserved fort sites.” It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This battle secured the Union outpost and demonstrated that African Americans could fight with equal bravery. Construction was completed after the battle and the fort was named Fort Pocahontas. General Wild and his troops were later replaced with Ohio Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York troops until the fort was abandoned in June 1865.
Getting to Fort Pocahontas
Fort Pocahontas is located 16 miles west of Williamsburg and 37 miles east of Richmond on Virginia Route 5. It is 5 miles east of the Charles City County Courthouse and 2.5 miles east of Sherwood Forest Plantation.
From downtown Richmond, follow Main Street East (Rt. 5 East). Proceed approx. 32 miles (approximately 47 minutes). Look for the signs located on Rt. 5 for Sherwood Forest Plantation. Go past Sherwood Forest Plantation approximately 2 miles. Take the second right after passing Sherwood Forest, which is Rt. 614 (Sturgeon Point Road.) Stay on Rt. 614 (Sturgeon Point Road) until you come to the entrance gate for Fort Pocahontas.
From I-95 South from Washington, follow the signs to I-295 South and take Exit 22A (Route 5, Charles City.) Look for the signs located on Rt. 5 for Sherwood Forest Plantation. Go past Sherwood Forest Plantation approximately 2 miles. Take the second right after passing Sherwood Forest, which is Rt. 614 (Sturgeon Point Road). Stay on Rt. 614 (Sturgeon Point Road) until you come to the entrance gate for Fort Pocahontas.
From I-64 West from Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads, exit 242B (Jamestown/Rt. 199 East) to Rt. 5 (John Tyler Memorial Highway). Turn left onto Rt. 5 West (John Tyler Hwy) for 16 miles (approximately 30 minutes). Turn left onto Rt. 614* (Sturgeon Point Road). Stay on Rt. 614 (Sturgeon Point Road) until you come to the entrance gate for Fort Pocahontas.
* Please Note: There are two Route 614’s, the first one is located in James City County — this is NOT the correct 614. Please be sure to cross the Chickahominy River into Charles City County before turning onto Route 614.