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Fort Interior

Soldiers and their tents at Fort Harrison during the war.

When Union troops arrived at Wilson's Wharf, General Wild and his staff made use of existing buildings at the Wilson farmstead (est. 1835) to establish their headquarters. Personal accounts report the use of Dr. Wilson's house and office for lodging and a barn as a military hospital. Guests from New York, visiting Fort Pocahontas during the war, described the Wilson house as built about one hundred and fifty years ago, of wood, steep roof, dormer windows in front, a large hall in the center, with rooms corresponding on each side.

The Binford House is of similar age and construction as the original Wilson house. The structure was relocated from Southhampton County into the interior of the fort to house the artifacts uncovered by the William and Mary archeologists and as a site for special events.

The Binford House, built about 1740, was moved from Southampton County to the fort interior in September 2000. A typical 18th century Tidewater farmhouse, the structure was brought to this site because of its similarity to the Kennon House at Fort Pocahontas, which burned in 1876. The house is currently under renovation as a museum and features artifacts uncovered through annual archaeological projects conducted The College of William and Mary.

The age of the many artifacts found indicate that this was also the location of the 18th century Kennon plantation house. The remains of several structures have been uncovered in this area. Military artifacts, along with those dating to the colonial period and the Wilson occupation, indicate that this was the headquarters for General Wild and later commanders of troops at Fort Pocahontas.

The remains of combination earth, wood and brick structures similar to this structure manned by USCT troops at Fort Brady are found throughout the interior of Fort Pocahontas.

This is an original hand drawing of the fort interior and a scene of the cypress trees along the riverbank by Edward Lamson Henry in October/November of 1864. (from the New York State Museum Collection - NYSM 40.17.1789).

Edward Lamson Henry was a young artist who served as a captain's clerk on a Union Quartermaster's supply transport on the James River. He completed a series of drawings of the forts and many of the occupied plantations along the James River in the fall of 1864. You can see his drawing at the New York State Museum Collection.

Scenes of new USCT troops and details of their dress by Edward Lamson Henry (from the New York State Museum Collection - NYSM 40.17.1801).

Another sketch of the USCT troops by Edward Lamson Henry (from the New York State Museum Collection - NYSM 40.17.1804).

 

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