This image, entitled “Balloon View of the Attack on Fort Darling, in the James River, by Commander Roger’s Gun-Bloat Flotilla,” was published in Harper’s Weekly on May 31st, 1862. Does that bend in the river look familiar?
Hidden in that large cloud of smoke is Wilton. Fighting surrounded the plantation, but the house miraculously survived intact. This print documents a major naval battle featuring the USS Monitor. The Monitor and four additional ships attacked Fort Darling, better known as Drewry's Bluff. During the war Wilton was used as a Confederate headquarters, an evacuation route, and eventually as a prisoner of war camp after the fall of Richmond.
Although the home is restored to its 18th century glory and largely reflects the Randolph period, Wilton has a rich and interesting Civil War history. Join us to learn more about Richmond in the Civil War at our December lecture, Nightingales of the South.
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