The U.S. Army occupied Fort Monroe during the war to secure the entrance to the James River and Chesapeake Bay.
Nearby occurred the Battle of the Ironclads, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack), on March 9, 1862.
The next month, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac fought its way from Fort Monroe to Richmond.
Although McClellan won virtually every battle, he retreated to the James River and then to Fort Monroe when attacked by Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia.
Follow the trailblazing signs from Fort Monroe to Richmond.