Archive for the '1800s' Category

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Cavalry Affairs N-5

Historical Marker Text
Near here Wade Hampton with a small cavalry force surprised and captured 5 officers and 87 men of the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry, November 28, 1862. At that time Burnside was moving toward Fredericksburg. On February 25, 1863, Fitz Lee, on a reconnaissance, attacked Union cavalry here, driving it back on Falmouth where the Union army was encamped. [1931]

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Gen. Hooker’s Headquarters N-34

Historical Marker Text
Just northeast, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, commander of the Union Army of the Potomac, kept his headquarters, Jan.-June 1863, amid a vast city of tents and camps. It was here he rehabilitated the Union army after its catastrophic defeat in the First Battle of Fredericksburg in Dec. 1862 and its subsequent “Winter of Discontent.” From here he designed a campaign to defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Chancellorsville–a brilliant plan that failed in May 1863 because of his hesitancy and Lee’s aggressiveness. President Abraham Lincoln twice visited Hooker, here in April 1863 and again in May, after the defeat.

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Road to Guinea Station E-36

Historical Marker Text
On 4 May 1863, the ambulance bearing wounded Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson from the Chancellorsville battlefield turned east here en route to Guinea Station, where he died on 10 May. A year later, Union troops of the Army of the Potomac followed the same route when marching from the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield south to Totopotomoy Creek in Hanover County. During this march, Union generals Grant and Meade stopped briefly at Massaponax Baptist Church, located two-thirds of a mile north of here. [1993]

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Third Spotsylvania County Courthouse E-128

Historical Marker Text
Bypass Rte. 208, at third courthouse site. This site was the location of the third Spotsylvania courthouse. In 1722 the first county court session was held at Germanna (now in Orange County) and a courthouse was built soon after. The court was relocated to Fredericksburg in 1732. In 1778 the General Assembly permitted the county to move the courthouse again to a more central location. The first court session was held here in 1781. The County’s courthouse, jail, pillory, stocks, and gallows were built, and a clerk’s office and tavern were erected thereafter. A second courthouse, built in 1800, replaced the original. In 1837 it burned to the ground, and a replacement was built nearby at the present site of the Spotsylvania courthouse.

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Hartwood Presbyterian Church E-126

Historical Marker Text
Organized in June 1825 by the Winchester Presbytery as Yellow Chapel Church, the brick church was constructed between 1857 and 1859. It became Hartwood Presbyterian Church in 1868. During the Civil War an engagement took place here on 25 Feb. 1863. Confederate Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, commanding detachments of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Virginia Cavalry Regiments, defeated a Union force and captured 150 men. The interior wooden elements and furnishings of the church suffered considerable damage during the war, but were replaced. The building was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and it is an American Presbyterian Reformed Historical Site. [2004]

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Historic Aquia Creek E-123

Historical Marker Research
The first known permanent English Roman Catholic settlers in Virginia, Giles Brent, his sister Margaret, and other family members, emigrated here from Maryland by 1650. In May 1861, Confederates built artillery batteries on the bluffs overlooking Aquia Landing at the creek’s mouth on the Potomac River. An early clash between U.S. Naval vessels and Confederate land batteries took place here, 30 May and 1 June 1861. After the Confederates withdrew in March 1862, the U.S. Army established a huge supply depot there. The Federals burned and abandoned it on 7 June 1863. The landing again served as a Union depot in 1864. [2003]

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Lee’s Position E-43

Historical Marker Text
From this hill (now called Lee’s Hill) a little to the east, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee watched the First Battle of Fredericksburg. As the armies prepared for combat, Lee commented that “It is well that war is so terrible–we should grow too fond of it.” On 13 Dec. 1862, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside ordered an assault against the Confederate position. The Confederates withstood the attack, which lasted until dark, and slaughtered the Federals with artillery and small-arms fire. Two days later the defeated Union army retreated across the Rappahannock River. [2000]

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Gold Mining in Stafford County E-17

Historical Marker Text
Near here are located ten of the nineteenth-century gold mines of Stafford County. The best-known were the Eagle, Rattlesnake (Horse Pen), Lee, New Hope, and Monroe mines. The Eagle Gold Mining Company, Rappahannock Gold Mine Company of New York, Rapidan Mining and Milling Company of Pennsylvania, United States Mining Company, and Stafford Mining Company operated here between the 1830s and the early twentieth century. Mining activities gradually ceased because of declining profits. [1990]

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Massaponax Baptist Church E-78

Historical Marker Text
Massaponax Baptist Church, built in 1859, served a congregation founded in 1788. On 21 May 1864 Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his commanders conferred on pews in the churchyard as the Union army marched from the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield to the North Anna River. Photographer Timothy O’Sullivan hauled his heavy stereo camera to the balcony of the church and recorded this conference in a unique series of candid images showing a war council in progress. [1991]

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Aquia Landing J-92

Historical Marker Text
The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad was extended to its terminus here at Aquia Landing in 1846. By steamboat and railroad, travelers from Washington, D.C., to Richmond could complete in 9 hours a journey that took 38 hours by stagecoach. In May-June 1861, Confederate batteries at Aquia Landing exchanged fire with Union gunboats. The first use of nautical mines (“torpedoes”) in the war occurred here on 7 July 1861 against the U.S.S. Pawnee. After the Confederates abandoned the site in 1862, the Union army built new wharves and storage buildings for supplies. The army burned them in 1863, when it pursued the Confederate army into Pennsylvania. The railroad was extended across Aquia Creek in 1872. [1994]
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Aquia Episcopal Church E-90

Historical Marker Text
Here is Aquia Church, the church of Overwharton Parish, formed before 1680 by the division of Potomac Parish. It was built in 1757, on the site of an earlier church, in the rectorship of Reverend John Moncure, who was the parish minister from 1738 to 1764. The communion silver was given the parish in 1739 and was buried in three successive wars, 1776, 1812 and 1861. [1932]

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Fredericksburg Campaign N-4 and Battles of Fredericksburg E-44

Historical Marker Text

Fredericksburg Campaign N-4
Frustrated by the Army of the Potomac’s lack of progress, President Abraham Lincoln replaced army commander Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan with Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, who assumed command on 9 Nov. 1862. Within a week, he had the army marching from its camps near Warrenton toward Fredericksburg along this road. Burnside hoped to cross the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg by pontoon bridges and march on Richmond, but a delay in the arrival of the pontoons thwarted his plan. By the time the bridges arrived, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army blocked his path. Burnside forced a crossing of the river on 11 Dec. but was defeated two days later at the Battle of Fredericksburg. [2002]

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The Mud March N-6

Historical Marker Text
In Jan. 1863, after the Federal defeat at the First Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 Dec., Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside sought to restore the army’s morale by crossing the Rappahannock River at Banks’s Ford two miles south and attacking the rear of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army. The march began on 19 Jan.; that night a warm front thawed the frozen roads with 48 hours of pouring rain. Confederates across the river taunted the sodden Federals with large signs: “This Way to Richmond” and “Burnside Stuck in the Mud.” Burnside canceled the march on 23 Jan., and two days later President Abraham Lincoln replaced him with Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.

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Chatham J-60

Historical Marker Text
Here is Chatham, built about 1750 by William Fitzhugh. Here Robert E. Lee came to court his wife. In the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, the house was occupied by General Sumner. It was General Hooker’s headquarters for a time, 1863. [1928] Continue reading ‘Chatham J-60’

Start of Sheridan’s Raid E-39 and Turn in Sheridan’s Raid E-30

Historical Marker Text
Start of Sheridan’s Raid

Here Sheridan, moving from camp, came into the Telegraph Road on his raid to Richmond, May 9, 1864, while Lee and Grant were fighting at Spotsylvania. The 10,000 Union cavalry filled the road for several miles. Turning from the road ten miles south, Sheridan came into it again at Yellow Tavern near Richmond May 11, 1864. [1930]

Turn in Sheridan’s Raid
At this point in his Richmond raid, Gen. Sheridan, after a fight with Confederate cavalry commanded by General Willians [sic] C. Wickham, turned off the Telegraph Road to Beaver Dam, May 9, 1864. This change of route caused Sheridan to approach Richmond from the northwest instead of the north. [1932]

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Historic Falmouth E-47

Historical Marker Text
Historic Falmouth E-47 Founded in 1727 as a trading center for the Northern Neck. Hunter’s iron works here were an objective in the Virginia campaign of 1781. The Army of the Potomac camped here from November 1862 to June 1863 and moved hence to Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. [1927]

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The Chancellorsville Campaign E-118/Battle of Chancellorsville J-40

Chancellorsville

Historical Marker Text
The Chancellorsville Campaign E-118
While General Robert E. Lee engaged the Union army at Chancellorsville, Confederate Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early confronted a smaller Union force led by Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick at Fredericksburg. On 3 May 1863, Sedgwick overran Early’s lines at Marye’s Heights, compelling Early to fall back to this point. When Sedgwick moved toward Chancellorsville, Early slipped in behind him, retaking Marye’s Heights. Early and other Confederate troops then attacked Sedgwick on 4 May, forcing the Union general to retreat across the Rappahannock River at Scott’s Ford. [2002]

Battle of Chancellorsville J-40
Hooker reached this point, April 30, 1863; next day he entrenched, with his left wing on the river and his right wing on this road several miles west. That wing was surprised by Jackson and driven back here, May 2. The Confederates stormed the position here, May 3. The Union army withdrew northward, May 5-6, 1863. [1930]

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The Gallant Pelham N-3

Historical Marker Text
Here Major John Pelham, commanding Stuart’s Horse Artillery, executed a stunning flank attack on advancing Union troops during the Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 December 1862. Reduced to one cannon, the 24-year-old Pelham halted the Federals for almost two hours by employing the flying artillery tactics that he had perfected. Observing from a nearby hilltop, Lee exclaimed, “It is glorious to see such courage in one so young!” Lee’s battle report commended the “gallant Pelham.” The Alabamian was fatally wounded three months later at Kelly’s Ford on the upper Rappahannock River. (1992)

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Jackson’s Amputation J-37

Historical Marker Text
Near here stood the hospital tent to which the wounded “Stonewall” Jackson was brought during the Battle of Chancellorsville. In that tent his left arm was amputated on May 3, 1863. He died seven days later at Guinea. [1983]

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The Wounding of Jackson J-39

Historical Marker Text
Just 1.7 miles west, on this road (then the Orange Plank Road), Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was wounded by “friendly fire” about 9:30 P.M. on 2 May 1863 during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Having brilliantly executed a flanking maneuver against the Federals, Jackson, with eight aides, was returning from a reconnaissance between the lines. When skirmishing erupted, they were mistaken for Federals in the darkness and fired on by the 18th N.C. Infantry, killing four and wounding Jackson. After a battlefield amputation of his left arm, Jackson was taken 17 miles southeast to Guinea Station, where he died on 10 May from infection. Department of Historic Resources, 1997. [1997]

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