As an acknowledgement of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War the “Endview Plantation” in Newport News, Virginia will be hosting a battle reenactment as well as two sessions of a “Children’s Civil War Camp.”
What follows is a brief history of the plantation as well as details on the special events scheduled there for 2011.
Brief Plantation History
Once the residence of the Harwood family, this circa 1769 stately, modified Georgian style home has a direct connection to the American Civil War as a field hospital.
The Harwood family patriarch was Captain Thomas Harwood, who served as “Speaker of the Virginia House of Burgesses” in the 1600’s. In 1858 Dr. Humphrey Harwood Curtis purchased the plantation from Captain Harwood’s direct descendants and began practicing medicine there.
Doctor Curtis and his family did not get to enjoy their plantation home for long. As the threat of Civil War loomed large, Doctor Curtis resigned himself to his patriotism and formed the “Warwick Beauregards” volunteer infantry.
The “Warwick Beauregards” eventually became known as “Company H” within the “32nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.”
During Doctor Curtis’s service he used his pastoral plantation as a makeshift, Confederate Field Hospital until early May 1862 when the veracity of battle got a little too close to home. At that time the family fled the plantation in lieu of safer ground.
Afterward, the plantation came under the control of Union forces until the end of the war at which time it was seized by the Federal government.
As was often the case during reconstruction, the Curtis home was given by the Federal government to seven African American families.
The African American families however, did not have the plantation for long. Doctor Curtis and his family returned to the home and took it back into their possession.
The Curtis family retained the plantation for several years thereafter. The home was eventually sold and subsequently came into the possession of the City of Newport News and its associates.
Special events currently scheduled to take place at the “Endview Plantation” during the 2011 season include the following; “Battle of Big Bethel” Reenactment April 2nd and 3rd as well as a “Civil War Children’s Camp” from June 28th through July 1st and again from July 26 through July 29th.
Civil War Children’s Camp
The “Civil War Children’s Camp” held at the “Endview Plantation” is designed for children between the ages of 8 through 13.
As part of the Civil War camp, there will be a special “Sharpshooter’s Squadron” for children between the ages of 11 through 13.
During the four day camp, participants will get to experience life as a Civil War soldier during the “Petersburg Campaign” by participating in such activities as military exercises.
To participate in the camp, advance reservations and a $160 payment per child are required. Space tends to fill up quickly so those interested are encouraged to reserve as soon as possible. Reservations may be made online via the plantation’s website as early as January 11th, 2011.
The “Endview Plantation” has two school programs presently available that range in price from $3.50 per child for a classroom outreach program up to $5.25 per child for a program at the plantation itself. Details of the two programs are available on the plantation’s website.
Hours of Operation and Admission
As of January 2011 the “Endview Plantation” is open Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and on Sunday from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm.
Admission is generally $6 per adult and $4 per child between the ages of 7 through 14. However, April 2nd and 3rd admission to the plantation will be $3 per person due to the “Battle of Big Bethel” reenactment being held on those days from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Admission into the “Battle of Big Bethel” is an additional $7 per person.
As hours of operation and admission prices are subject to change without advance notice, would-be visitors should contact the plantation staff directly to confirm all details prior to departure.
Those that would like more information on the plantation as well as other Civil War attractions in the Newport News area should log onto the “Newport News Tourism Development Office’s” website.
362 Yorktown Road
Newport News, VA 23603
Social Studies for Kids, “The House of Burgesses” Social Studies for Kids
City of Newport News, “History Endview Plantation” Endview Plantation
Roots Web Community “James City County Burgesses 1619 – 1693” Ancestry.com