Archive for the 'Conflict Sites' 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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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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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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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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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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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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Ely’s Ford J-38

Historical Marker Text
On this hill, May 3, 1863, Confederate General “J. E. B.” Stuart was notified that General “Stonewall” Jackson had been wounded at Chancellorsville and that he was to take command of Jackson’s Corps. Moments before, Stuart had ordered his 1,000 men from North Carolina and Virginia to attack the 3,400 Pennsylvanians under General A. W. Averell at Ely’s Ford. After ordering three volleys of musket fire at the Union troops below, Stuart canceled the attack and left to assume his command at Chancellorsville. [1981]

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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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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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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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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 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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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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