Tag Archives: history

BATTERY DE RUSSY / unfinished sketch

I don’t know if the paranormal investigators have been there yet but they should go. This place is dripping with spookiness.

Fort Monroe was decommissioned in 2011. It’s one of the oldest forts. They called this spot Point Comfort when the first colonials came to VA. After their long dangerous voyage across the Atlantic they were so happy to find a good place to land.

The fort has so much history I can’t remember half of it, but I’ll give you some info and if it’s not exactly right feel free to tell me.

It was a Union held fort in the Civil War which caused VA some problems because VA. was Confederate. A lot of escaped slaves took refuge there. After the war was over those people started up Hampton University which was the first black university.

This is the side of the battery that faces the water and a tot lot on the far right.

The battery is long. My sketch so far only shows about 1/5 or 1/6 of it.

I heard someone wants to redevelop the fort. The plans aren’t all laid out yet. I wonder if they’ll try to take the batteries out. Can you imagine how much dynamite that would take!? That thing is thick!

This is the view upstream. Hampton Roads tunnel in the distance.

Three rivers flow together here, the James, the Hampton and the Elizabeth. From there they go into the mouth of the Chesapeake not too far down stream.

From here looking that way they could watch the famous battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack, the two first ironclad ships in the Civil War. They bombed each other for hours and neither one sank. They took a break to rearm and do repairs then they went back at it.

What did they learn from that battle? We need bigger guns.

In a Union Trench / charcoal and chalk

Cold Harbor Battlefield in Feb.
Cold Harbor Battlefield in Feb.

People stop and talk to me when I go out to draw and paint in plein air.  One guy reminded me that the Richmond Battlefield National Park at Cold Harbor is only a small part of the  line of battle. They have a great map with lights in the visitor center showing troupe movements. It was complicated.

When I walked the trail through the Union trench one day , I thought the shadows looked good to show the walls of the trench at 2:00.  At noon there’s a shadow going the long way down the trench.

It’s a narrow path through there so I didn’t take my easel in because I didn’t want to block someone else walking through.  Sometimes an artist has to hold the sketchbook in one hand  to draw and not use an easel. You get used to it.