On Saturday, April 18th, Petersburg resident Dr. Jim Ryan will lead a bus tour of important Revolutionary War sites throughout the City of Petersburg. There is no charge for the bus tour, but seats are limited to the first 24 registrants. The one-hour program will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Battersea Mansion and is sponsored […]
On Saturday, April 18th, Petersburg resident Dr. Jim Ryan will lead a bus tour of important Revolutionary War sites throughout the City of Petersburg. There is no charge for the bus tour, but seats are limited to the first 24 registrants. The one-hour program will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Battersea Mansion and is sponsored by the Historic Petersburg Foundation, Inc. (HPF) and the City of Petersburg’s Department of Tourism. At the conclusion of the bus tour, participants can enjoy lunch supplied from the vendors on the grounds, tour Battersea Mansion and watch the battle reenactment at 1:30 p.m., all part of the annual Battersea Revolutionary War encampment and commemorative reenactment of the battle fought at the site on April 25, 1781.
Battersea is located at the west end of Washington Street in Petersburg, 1.7 miles from the I-95 Washington Street Exit.
Bus tour participants can also enjoy a free authentic period dinner of roasted pig with all of the trimmings at 6 p.m. on the grounds. Reservations for dinner must be made at the same time reservations are made for the bus tour. Last minute dinner guests will not be accepted.
Dr. Ryan has published several books on the history of Southside Virginia. He is a past president of HPF, Rotary Club of Petersburg, Petersburg Area Art League and West Point Society of Richmond, as well as the current chairman of Congressman Forbes’ Service Academy Selection Committee.
The two-day Battersea commemorative reenactment draws many authentically recreated American, British, German, French, Native American and Spanish units that document their lineage to actual service in the American Revolution. Throughout the weekend, there are continuing military camp-life and battlefield demonstrations conducted for the education of both participants and the visiting public. These demonstrations feature infantry, cavalry, artillery, a field hospital, various crafts, camp cooking, and a range of sutlers selling 18th-century wares.
Battersea was the home of Colonel John Banister, Petersburg’s first Mayor, in the 1700s and has been under restoration for several years. There are 35 acres for encampment and tactical demonstrations on the actual site that Lord Charles Cornwallis’ troops occupied in May 1781.
HPF is a non-profit organization dedicated to leading the preservation and restoration of Petersburg’s historic architecture and neighborhoods and to tell their story.
For more information on the tour, call HPF at (804) 732-2096 or the Petersburg Visitor Center at (804) 733-2400.