Civil War tours set for this weekend

Published 10:11 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Local Civil War forts and battlefields will be featured this weekend in tours by local historian Kermit Hobbs.

Hobbs will lead three tours on Saturday and Sunday featuring the Nansemond River Overlook, Fort Stevens, Fort Rosecrans, Hill’s Point Battery, Fort Connecticut, Deserted House battlefield and the G.W. Smith home site.

Hobbs said the tours, which he conducts annually, always enlighten people to the history nearby that’s hiding in plain sight.

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“We go to a lot of places people don’t even realize are there,” Hobbs said. “They’re well-kept secrets right here in town. Most people who come are pretty surprised and pleased at what we learn.”

At some of the sites, you can still observe where the cannon positions and ammunition dump were, Hobbs said. But it takes a trained eye to point them out to others.

“I went for many years before I even recognized what I was looking at,” Hobbs said.

The weather should be pleasant, and it’s a nice way to shake off the last of the winter blues.

“We always have pleasant temperature and pleasant weather, and it’s just fun to do something outdoors,” Hobbs said. “It’s something I always look forward to and enjoy.”

Saturday will feature a morning tour and an afternoon tour. Each tour will visit some different sites.

The morning tour will leave the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum, 326 N. Main St., at 9:30 a.m. and return around 11:30 a.m. The tour includes the Nansemond River Overlook, Fort Connecticut, Deserted House battlefield and the G.W. Smith home site.

The afternoon tour will leave the railroad museum at 1 p.m. and return at 4 p.m. It includes Nansemond River Overlook, Fort Stevens, Fort Rosecrans and Hill’s Point Battery. The afternoon tour includes walking through woods and up and down hills.

Sunday will feature only an afternoon tour, a duplicate of Saturday’s afternoon tour.

Each tour is $18 per person for Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society members and First Baptist Church members or $20 for non-members. Reserve your space at 539-2781.