James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 7.01'
Flow: 12400 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 9:00am
Low Tide: 3:48am

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Civil War tours on the James

August 15, 2012 9:19am

I wanted to bring some attention to an opportunity to see a facet of Richmond’s history as few have. Friends Mike Ostrander and Scott Williams have a few spots left on this Saturday’s Civil War Tour of the tidal James River. Scott is the Chairman of the Military History Committee for the Chesterfield Historical Society. He was the mapmaker and a contributing author for the recently published Bermuda Hundred Campaign Tour Guide. Scott is also an active Civil War re-enactor for numerous events staged throughout the Commonwealth annually. Capt. Mike is recognized as one of the leading river guides on the James and has been offering a variety of fishing, historical and wildlife tours for over ten years.

U.S.S. Casco, a light-draft monitor, on the James River.

The Civil War on the James Tour offers the natural beauty of the James River as you trace the Naval actions that took place in the area of Dutch Gap 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. The stretch of river featured during the tour offers a unique opportunity to visualize these and other historic events in a landscape that has changed little since the time they took place almost one hundred and fifty years ago. The Civil War Tour also offers great opportunities to view wildlife on the river and in the Dutch Gap Conservation Area. Listen to storyteller Scott Williams, our leading Civil War interpreter, while Capt. Mike Ostrander guides the Discovery Barge II, a 24-foot covered pontoon boat, along the historic James River.

 There are two tours Aug. 19, one from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. and another from 10:30 to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $50 per person.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?