Archive for the 'Civil War' Category

Engagement At Harris Farm (Bloomsbury) EM-2

Historical Marker Text
harris_farm_1.jpgOn 19 May 1864 Confederate forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell attacked Brig. Gen. Robert O. Tyler’s heavy artillery division on the Union right flank near the Harris farm, Bloomsbury, about one-quarter mile northwest. Newly arrived from the forts protecting Washington, D.C., the inexperienced “heavies” fought as infantry and stubbornly held their ground. At dark Ewell withdrew, ending the last major engagement of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. The Confederates suffered 900 casualties at the Harris farm, the Federals about 1,500. Two days later, the Union army marched to the North Anna River as Grant maneuvered south toward Richmond. [1993]
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Stanard’s Mill E-35

Historical Marker Text
Unable to defeat the Confederates at Spotsylvania Court House, on 21 May 1864 Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered the Army of the Potomac to march toward Bowling Green. Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s Ninth Corps brought up the rear. Grant ordered Burnside to pursue the Confederates down Telegraph Road (present day U.S. Rte. 1), while the rest of the army struck at Robert E. Lee’s troops from the east. Burnside encountered a small entrenched Confederate force at the Po River here at Stanard’s Mill. Uncertain of the enemy’s strength, he did not attempt to force a crossing, but instead reversed course, following the rest of the army to Guinea Station. [2002]
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Spotsylvania County/Caroline County Z-149 Z-156

Historical Marker Text
Spotsylvania County Z-156
Straddling the fall line, Spotsylvania County was formed from Essex, King William, and King and Queen Counties in 1720. It was named for Alexander Spotswood, lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1710 to 1722. The Civil War battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania were fought in this county. The county seat is Spotsylvania. [2003]

Caroline County Z-156
Caroline County was formed from Essex, King and Queen, and King William Counties in 1728. It was named for Caroline of Anspach, consort of King George II. Revolutionary War General George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) and William Clark (1770-1838) of the Lewis and Clark Expedition lived here in their early youth. The county seat is Bowling Green and the current county courthouse was erected in the 1830s to replace one that previously stood nearby. [2003]

Note: The marker Z-156 has Spotsylvania County on one face and Caroline County on the other. It stands on Rt. 1, near Marye Rd, and is a more recent and updated version of the similar Spotsylvania County/Caroline County marker, Z-149, which is located many miles to the northeast, on Rt. 2, near Rt. 17.
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Mud Tavern E-32

Historical Marker Text
Mud Tavern E-32 Mud Tavern was the old name of this place. Six miles east, at Guinea Station, Stonewall Jackson died, May 10, 1863. In the campaign of 1864, Ewell’s and Longstreet’s corps of Lee’s army, coming from Spotsylvania Courthouse, here turned south, May 21, 1864. Lee fell back to the North Anna River as Grant swung around to the east.
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Jerrell’s Mill E-31

Historical Marker Text
Jerrell’s Mill E-31. Here, on May 9, 1864, Sheridan was attacked by Wickham’s cavalry. Nearby, on May 22, 1864, Warren’s (Fifth) Corps, moving to the North Anna, fought Rosser’s cavalry. [1937]

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Gaspar Tochman JJ-25

Historical Marker Text
A mile south is the unmarked grave of Gaspar Tochman (1797-1880), a major in the Polish army who participated in the failed 1830 revolt against Russia. Exiled, in 1837 he immigrated to the United States, where he practiced law, wrote, and lectured. During the Civil War he recruited the Polish Brigade (14th and 15th Louisiana regiments) of Jackson’s Corps. A colonel in the Confederate army, he sought unsuccessfully the rank of brigadier general. Tochman settled here in 1866 and served as the European agent for the Virginia Board of Immigration. [1992]

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Federal Raid E-33

Historical Marker Text
On 5 Aug. 1862, two detachments of Union troops left Fredericksburg with the intention of damaging the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Brig. Gen. John Gibbon led a brigade of some 2,000 men down Telegraph Road toward Hanover Junction, while Col. Lysander Cutler led a smaller force to Frederick’s Hall via Spotsylvania Court House. Near Thornburg, Gibbon encountered Confederate cavalry and turned back. Cutler avoided the Confederates, however, and destroyed two miles of track before returning to Fredericksburg on 8 Aug. The Confederates quickly repaired the damage. [2002]

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Heth’s Salient Battle Site E-127

Historical Marker Text
After four days of probing attacks, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered a frontal assault against the Confederate lines at Spotsylvania Court House on 12 May 1864. The focal point of the attack was the Muleshoe Salient, an outward bulge in the Confederate line. While the II and IV Corps struck the head of the salient, resulting in the struggle for the “Bloody Angle,” Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s IX Corps assaulted the Muleshoe’s eastern face, known as Heth’s Salient, located nearby. Confederate defenders, ensconced behind log works, repulsed the early morning attacks and at 2 p.m. counterattacked through this area. During more than 20 hours of fighting the Federals lost some 9,000 killed, wounded, and captured. The Confederates lost an estimated 8,000 casualties. [2004]

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Moncure Daniel Conway N-36

Historical Marker Text
Nearby to the northwest is the childhood home of renowned abolitionist, writer, and lecturer Moncure Daniel Conway (1832-1907). In 1838 his family moved into this Federal-style house. Conway graduated from Dickinson College in 1849 and Harvard Divinity School in 1854 and became outspoken in the abolitionist movement. During the Civil War, Conway lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and traveled east in 1862 to lead his family’s slaves to freedom in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Conway moved to London in 1863 and spent a number of years abroad, writing for English and American periodicals. He also wrote biographies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Thomas Paine. Conway died in Paris on 15 Nov. 1907. [2004]

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Fall Hill E-49a

Historical Marker Text
On the heights one mile to the west, the home of the Thorntons from about 1736. Francis Thornton 2nd was a justice, a Burgess 1744-45, and Lieut. -Colonel of his Majesty’s militia for Spotsylvania County. He and two of his brothers married three Gregory sisters, first cousins of George Washington. “Fall Hill” is still (1950) owned and occupied by direct Thornton descendants. [1957]
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Cox House E-42

Historical Marker Text
Across the road to the northeast stood the Cox House, also known as the Wiatt House. In December 1862, Confederate Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws’s division used it as a hospital, and there on 13 December, Brig. Gen. Thomas R. R. Cobb died from wounds received during the Battle of Fredericksburg. On 3 May 1863, during the Battle of Chancellorsville, Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early rallied his Confederate troops at the Cox House after Union Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick drove them off Marye’s Heights. Early later retook the heights and attacked Sedgwick’s rear, while McLaws engaged him in battle near Salem Church. [1995]

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Lee’s Winter Headquarters E-38

Historical Marker Text
During the winter of 1862-1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee maintained his headquarters in a small clearing in the woods in this vicinity. The camp contained only a few tents and nothing but a flag to indicate it was Lee’s headquarters. By mid-February the Army of Northern Virginia showed signs of scurvy and malnutrition, so Lee sent Lt. Gen. James Longstreet and a few other divisions to southeastern Virginia to gather supplies and counter Union forces. Lee remained at the site until late March 1863, when a serious throat infection forced him to take shelter at the nearby Thomas Yerby’s house. [2002]

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The Sentry Box

Historical Marker Text
The Sentry Box (ca. 1786) is an elegant specimen of late Georgian style architecture. Brig. Gen. George Weedon of the Continental Army, later mayor of Fredericksburg, built the house and named it to reflect his military career. Upon the death of Gen. Hugh Mercer at the Battle of Princeton during the Revolutionary War, Weedon enlarged the house to accommodate the Mercer family, and Mercer’s children later inherited the property. In December 1862, the Union army built its middle pontoon crossing over the Rappahannock River just below the Sentry Box. Intense fighting occurred here, and the house was heavily damaged. [2008]

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Grant’s Supply Line E-40

Historical Marker Text
The Fredericksburg Road, present-day Route 208, was the Army of the Potomac’s supply line during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. For two weeks in May 1864, wagons shuttled back and forth along the road between the Union army and its supply base at Belle Plains on the Potomac River. Thousands of Confederate prisoners and wounded Union soldiers made their way to the rear along this road. As the Union army continued south toward Richmond, it shifted its supply base from Belle Plains to Port Royal, and abandoned the Fredericksburg Road about 21 May. [2002]

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Longstreet’s Winter Headquarters E-41

Historical Marker Text
Following the Battle of Fredericksburg in Dec. 1862, Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet established his headquarters in a tent near here. His command center was in close proximity to Generals Robert E. Lee and J. E. B. Stuart. Longstreet commanded the Army of Northern Virginia’s First Corps, a force totaling approximately 40,000 men. In Feb. 1863 Longstreet left Fredericksburg with the divisions of Maj. Gens. George E. Pickett and John B. Hood to conduct an independent military operation near Suffolk. He rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia in May following the Battle of Chancellorsville. [2002]

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Little Falls J-93

Historical Marker Text
On 11 December 1862, Union engineers began the construction of pontoon bridges here so the army could cross the Rappahannock River to Fredericksburg. They began in the morning, hidden by fog. Soon the fog lifted, however, and Confederate sharpshooters drove them off. A heavy Union artillery barrage and an amphibious assault finally secured the crossing and the engineers completed the bridges. Two days later, Brig. Gen. William B. Franklin’s Left Grand Division, including divisions led by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade and Brig. Gen. Abner Doubleday, crossed over the bridges when the Battle of Fredericksburg began. They were defeated by Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s corps. [1994]

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Stuart E-8

Historical Marker Text
At this point J. E. B. Stuart had his headquarters and cavalry camp in December 1862. [1995]

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Fort Hood E-84

Historical Marker Text
In November 1862, Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood constructed this fort a half mile northeast on the Rappahannock River in an effort to prevent Union gunboats from ascending the river toward Fredericksburg. Four rifled guns of Capt. H. M. Ross’s Georgia Battery briefly occupied the work, but were withdrawn when the Union army crossed the river upstream from here on 11 December. Two days later, during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Union troops of the Iron Brigade captured the fort after a brief skirmish with the 13th Virginia Cavalry, which guarded this portion of the Confederate line. [1993]

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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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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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