The American Revolution: Banastre Tarleton’s Charlottesville Raid, A Field Tour ~ April 8

On April 8, 2017 - 08:30 - 17:00
Led by
  • Activity Level: Easy

In June 1781, the commander of the British forces invading Virginia, Lt. Gen. Charles, Lord Cornwallis, hit upon a plan he thought would help knock Virginia out of the war and cripple Patriot military efforts in the South. While he moved his main army west from the Richmond area to destroy rebel supply depots in the James River Valley, he ordered his young, hard-hitting cavalry commander, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, to make a lightning-quick mounted raid on Charlottesville, where the Virginia legislature was meeting. Tarleton's goal was not only to "disturb the Assembly" and capture the lawmakers, but also to strike Monticello, home of Virginia's governor Thomas Jefferson, and capture him in the process. On this spring-time Saturday tour, we will follow the path of Tarleton and his dragoons from Hanover County, through Louisa and on to Charlottesville as they raced westward to surprise the Virginia government - and will learn how their attack was ultimately foiled by a young rebel captain on a fast horse.


We will assemble on Saturday, April 8 at the Ashland Junction Shopping Center in Ashland, Virginia, located on Route 1 just south of Route 54. Here, in the Food Lion lot, you can safely park your car all day while we are away on tour. At 8:30 AM, we will mount up and head out, and our stops will include Cooks Ford on the North Anna River, Scotchtown, home of Patrick Henry, the Cuckoo Tavern site, the Louisa County Courthouse and a stop at the Louisa Historical Society, Boswell’s Tavern in western Louisa County where we will walk on the grounds and around the house, the Castle Hill area northeast of Charlottesville, where the British raided several plantations, and Tarleton’s Headquarters in Charlottesville.


Led by acclaimed Revolutionary War expert, John Maass, this will be an exciting tour through the Virginia countryside to seldom visited sites that tell the tale of an historic adventure rarely treated. We hope you’ll join us.

John R. Maass

John R. Maass is a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. and an adjunct professor of history at Norwich University. He is the author of North Carolina and the French and Indian War: the Spreading Flames of War (The History Press); Defending a New Nation, 1783-1811 (U.S. Army Center of Military History); and The Road to Yorktown (The History Press). He was an editor of the Journal of Backcountry Studies, and is working on a new book, George Washington's Virginia, due out in early 2017.


Registration Fee, includes lunch - $150.

If You Must Cancel we will refund 100% of your fees paid within 30 days of your notice.

What is included in your registration:

  • the services of an expert historian chosen for his knowledge and experience     
  • transportation to sites as described
  • lunch
  • refreshments and snacks during the tour   
  • information package

Base Location: We will assemble & depart for our tour from the Ashland Junction Shopping Center, Food Lion Parking Lot, 135 Junction Drive, Ashland, Virginia, located off of Route 1 just south of Route 54.   From I-95, Washington, DC area – Follow I-95 South – Exit 92 onto VA Route 54 W to Route 1 to Shopping Center.

Here you can safely park your car all day while we are away on tour.

8:00 AM               Gather at Ashland Junction Shopping Center, Food Lion Lot 

8:30 AM                 Depart for Tour

5:00 PM               Arrive Back at Food Lion Lot