Civil War on the James Tour


Civil War on the James Tour

With Civil War Interpreter, Scott Williams


When:          Civil War Tours are currently booked through private tours only

Cost:            $350 total for up to four people

Location:      Deep Bottom Park, 9525 Deep Bottom Road, Henrico VA 23221

Contact:   Capt. Mike Ostrander

                     Discover the James


Ride aboard the Discovery Barge II, a 24-foot, partially covered pontoon boat on a 2-hour Civil War on the James River Tour. Enjoy the natural beauty of the James River as you trace the Naval actions that took place on the James in the areas of Dutch Gap, Trent's Reach and Jones Neck from 1862-1865.  Listen to stories about Confederate torpedoes, the Dutch Gap Canal, The Bermuda Hundred Campaign, and the James River Squadron's desperate attempt to break out at Trent's Reach.

This stretch of river offers a unique opportunity to visualize these historic events in a landscape that has changed little since the time they took place. The Civil War Tour also offers great opportunities to view wildlife on the river and in the Dutch Gap Conservation Area.  Listen to Scott Williams, a local Civil War interpreter, while Capt. Mike Ostrander guides the Discovery Barge II, with you aboard.

For More Info or to Book a Private Civil War Tour:
Click the following link to see images of the James River during the Civil War
through the Library of Congress' wonderful online library of images.

Top, left photo:  During the Civil War, Union troops started to build a canal at Dutch Gap in 1864 to cut off a large bend in the James River protected by Confederate forts as in Batter Dantzler.  The digging of the canal failed during the war, but was completed in the 1930's and is now the main James River channel.
--Historical photo, Library of Congress
To the left:  After the Dutch Gap Canal was cut, only small vessels, such as this one could navigate through the cut. On January 1, 1865, when the smoke from the final explosion to complete the canal had cleared, much of the dirt from the sides and the last wall fell back into the canal, filling it in. The canal's depth was now shallow and only small vessels such as this one could venture through.  For the full story, hope onboard and we'll share it with you.
--Historical photo, Library of Congress
Below, left:  This is an image of Civil War Tour interpreter, Scott Williams, dressed in his confederate uniform at sunrise.  This image was taken during a cold, snow-covered morning in January.  We waited for the perfect moment ... just as the sun rose over the tree line on the north bank of the James River. The sun is in the position of downtown Richmond and one can't help but think of the fires and how Richmond burned near the end of the Civil War.
-- Photo by Discover the James


What do people have to say about the Civil War on the James Tour?
"I was fortunate to experience the Civil War Tour on the James River with Capt. Mike and his partner, Historian Scott Williams.  As an avid history buff, I must say this was the most interesting and informative experience I have had regarding the Civil War.  And, with the added bonus of wildlife insights and watching Bald Eagle, Osprey and Great Blue Heron in the natural habitat, nothing quite compares.  Thanks to Mike and Scott for a great day on the River James ... don't miss out, it is a mind and eye opener." 
-- Jerry G.