Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fort Nonsense

Every time a person in Mathews County travels to Gloucester County (home of Wal-Mutant and Starbucks for those who require such places) via Rtes. 14 or 3, they pass a place known as Fort Nonsense--which surprisingly has no traceable relationship to Chesapeake Bay Woman's house.

At the intersection of Rte. 3/Windsor Road, and Route 14 is a patch of woods and a series of embankments and ditches that would otherwise seem unremarkable to the average passerby but which does, in fact, have historical significance.

Rather than enduring Chesapeake Bay Woman's attempts to explain Ft. Nonsense, which would be anything but factual and plenty loaded with nonsense, we turn now to a quote from the Mathews Historical Society's website:

Fort Nonsense

"The Society is committed to restoring and preserving this historic Civil War-era fortification as an educational attraction for residents and visitors.

During the War Between the States, a number of small forts were built at strategic crossroads in Virginia to help in the defense of the Confederate capital. Usually, they were manned by local militia who would be summoned to the ramparts in the event of an emergency. One of these small forts is in Mathews County. It became known as "Fort Nonsense."

Several hundred men and slaves under the supervision of Mr. W. Dawson Soles built Fort Nonsense, which played a minor role in defending Gloucester Point’s Northern flank during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Its design and strategic position between the North and Piankatank Rivers guarded the main roads leading from Mathews County to Gloucester Point in an effort to defend the key Gloucester Point fortifications against any Federal flanking movement via Mathews County. The fort failed to stop Union Brigadier General Issac Wister’s Mathews County Raid in October 1863 when his unit marched against the fort’s rear from Gloucester Courthouse—the very place it was designed to defend. Fort Nonsense never witnessed any actual combat, but its remains offer an extremely well-preserved example of Civil-War earthen fortifications. Mr. Soles, looking at the Fort later after Wister's soldiers had wrecked the fort, remarked, “My! What a piece of nonsense!” —and the fort had a name.

Many of the ramparts still remain and are in excellent condition, according to a representative of the National Park Service who recently mapped the site. These well-preserved treasures lie in a wooded glade at the intersection of Routes 3 and 14 near the Gloucester County line. The property is owned by the Mathews County Historical Society (MCHS).

A MCHS committee, known as the “Fort Nonsense Irregulars” is working with VDOT and the County to make this dream a reality. Anyone interested in “enlisting” in the Irregulars may call 804-725-2135 for more information
. "


For more information on the Mathews County Historical Society's projects click here.

Meantime, I'm off to dial that number.

Any place officially named Nonsense that's recruiting Irregulars is screaming my name.

10 comments:

Ann Marie said...

THAT has to be a stop on the blogfest trip LOL

Mental P Mama said...

Definitely has to be a stop...we may need to expand the dates;)

Grandma J said...

I want to go there too. I love when you quote one of those historical publications...seems so dang official, and of course it is.

Daryl said...

This is a must-do ...

Is this near the Comfort Inn we stayed at when ToonMan and I went to the wedding at Ditchly - I think it was called Ditchly .. whatever ..

WV: Scode. It was scode for me, was it scode for you?

big hair envy said...

If I remember correctly, there is also a Ft. Nonsense in Urbanna. We'll verify this tomorrow...

WV: thson
Thson FINALLY came out today!!! YAY!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I agree- it has blogfest all over it!
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Dorf said...

Greetings, I'm from Yorktown VA, and just happened across a reference to Fort Nonsense. I did a Google search and found your site, but I also found the Mathews History and Statistics Site (http://www.visitmathewsva.com/statistics.html) where it mentions that Fort Nonsense was orginally built during the Revolutionary War not the Civil War. So who's correct?

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed the traffic signs at the corner of 14 and 33 by Fort Nonsense. According to the sign you can turn left on East 14 or turn right on East 3. It is also where the North River runs south. So what a place for Fort Nonsense!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Anonymous, I've never studied those signs before but that sounds about right. There are plenty of things that don't make sense around here, that's for sure...

Ron Pemberton said...

There's nothing there! Lol I've passed nonsense hundreds of times. I live in Middlesex. Which is ten minutes from there. There's fortification remnants but not much else. I'll have to agree with Mr.Soles, it truly was nonsense.