Monday, September 11, 2017

Invading Virginia

America Invaded Van
Norfolk VA
At the open of the Virginia chapter of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil we noted...

"Virginia is a state with a proud military tradition and an enduring military presence. From its founding, the Commonwealth was pretty much baptized in the blood of multiple invasions."

We also discussed the leadership of Virginia's George Washington in the American Revolution...

George Washington
Boston Common
"On February 22, 1732, George Washington was born in Westmoreland County. He was an excellent horseman who surveyed land throughout the colony and on the western frontier. During the Seven Year’s War, he would rise to become a colonel of the Virginia Regiment, fighting in numerous engagements, although he was disappointed not to receive a commission in the British Army. In 1754, he inherited Mount Vernon from his older half-brother Lawrence, who had served under Admiral Edward Vernon at the 1741 assault on Cartagena during the War of Jenkins’ Ear.  e Second Continental Congress selected Washington to be commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775.
George Washington bust
Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, PA

Washington was an imperfect military commander—he lost more battles than he won. He was, however, a tremendous motivator of men, who endured their hardships while on campaign at Valley Forge and elsewhere. He was a paragon of integrity. Moreover, he won the really important battles of the war. Washington became the “indispensable man” of the American Revolution.

The colony of Virginia was by far the richest and most populous of any of the thirteen colonies at the start of the American Revolution."  This made Virginia a key target for the British during the American Revolution.

St. Paul's Church
Norfolk, VA

On January 1, 1776 the Royal Navy bombarded the town of Norfolk.  A cannonball, perhaps fired by the HMS Liverpool, struck a church.

British Cannonball
Fired by Lord Dunmore
Jan 1, 1776

A visitor to Norfolk today will find this same cannonball embedded in a corner of St' Paul's Episcopal church in downtown Norfolk.   One does not have to venture far for proof that Virginia was fought over many times.

Virginia would see fighting in the War of 1812 as well...

"The War of 1812 was initiated by Virginian James Madison. During this war, the British imposed a naval blockade on Virginia ports and attacked many American vessels.  The Chesapeake Bay was a vital strategic area. British landing parties also launched a large number of raids on Virginia territory. Some of these resulted in serious fighting. In June 1813, thousands of British troops attacked Craney Island with the intention of seizing Norfolk, but they were repulsed. A few days later, they seized Hampton and sacked it, but eventually withdrew, having suffered significant casualties. In April 1814, they seized and occupied Tangier Island. And then in August, a British fleet captured and plundered Alexandria."

During the US Civil War Virginia again became a major battleground.  Two battles were fought at Bull Run or Manassas.  The bloodiest war in American history was concluded at Appomatox Courthouse.

Douglas MacArthur
Norfolk, VA
Douglas MacArthur is buried in him mother's home town of Norfolk, Virginia.  His Memorial rotunda is a short distance from St. Paul's church.

Finally, the USS Wisconsin (BB-64), an Iowa class battleship, is a popular tourist attraction in Norfolk (  She is a sister ship to the USS Missouri on which MacArthur signed the documents ending World War II in Tokyo harbor on September 2, 1945.

Signed copies of America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil can now be found

Regular copies may be purchased from

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