Archive for the 'Fredericksburg' Category

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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Colonial Post Office N-10

Historical Marker Text
Here was Newpost, headquarters of Alexander Spotswood (Governor of Virginia, 1710-22), deputy postmaster general for the colonies, 1730-39. Spotswood also had an iron furnace here. [1928]

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Brig. Gen. John Minor N-32

Historical Marker Text
Hazel Hill, the home of John Minor (13 May 1761-8 June 1816), a close friend of President James Monroe, once occupied this site. Minor served as a soldier in the American Revolution, as a colonel of the Spotsylvania County militia, and as a brigadier general of militia from 1804 through the War of 1812. Minor also was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1805 to 1807. In 1783, as a private citizen, Minor unsuccessfully urged the General Assembly to pass a bill to emancipate Virginia’s slaves. [1995]
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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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Washington- Rochambeau Route

Historical Marker Text
Marker not erected. Original location: Business Rte. 17, 200 ft. east of Rte. 1. Generals Washington and Rochambeau slept here the night of Sept. 12, 1781. Having learned that Admiral de Grasse had put to sea to fight the British fleet under Admiral Graves, Washington and Rochambeau with their staffs hastened to Williamsburg. Note: this is one of five unnumbered signs discussing aspects of the Washington-Rochambeau Route, which were a special gift from the French Government, Committee of the Bicentennial, to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1976.
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Camp Cobb at Gunnery Springs N-30

Historical Marker Text
In 1775, during the Revolutionary War, this “noble spring” was part of a 10-1/2-acre tract purchased for the Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory. On this site in 1898 stood Camp Cobb, a Spanish-American War training camp for the 4th U.S. Volunteer Infantry Regiment. It was named for Confederate Brig. Gen. Thomas R. R. Cobb, killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg, 13 Dec. 1862. Because of the danger yellow fever posed to American troops in Cuba, recruiters sought to fill the regiment with men whose medical backgrounds suggested immunity to tropical diseases. The first company of the “Immunes,” as they were called, arrived on 4 June 1898. The Immunes never saw combat, as the fighting ended in July, and the camp was dismantled. [1994]

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Fredericksburg E-45 and E-46

Historical Marker Text
Fredericksburg E-45. Fredericksburg was established in 1728 and named for Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and eldest son of King George II. It served as the county seat of Spotsylvania County from 1732 to 1778 and was an important port during the colonial era. In his youth, George Washington lived nearby at Ferry Farm. He later spoke of the city’s influence on him. The town was devastated by fire in 1807 and again by the First and Second Battles of Fredericksburg that were fought here during the Civil War, yet many 18th- and 19th-century buildings remain and are listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. [2003]

Fredericksburg E-46-a. Captain John Smith was here in 1608; Lederer, the explorer, in 1670. In May 1671 John Buckner and Thomas Royster patented the Lease Land Grant. The town was established in 1727 and lots were laid out. It was named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of George III. The court for Spotsylvania County was moved here in 1732 and the town was enlarged in 1759 and 1769. Fredericksburg was incorporated as a town in 1781, as a city in 1879, and declared a city of the first class in 1941. [1948]

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Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory N-7

Historical Marker Text
The Fredericksburg Gun Manufactory was established by an ordinance passed by Virginia’s third revolutionary convention on 17 July 1775. Built on this site soon thereafter by Fielding Lewis and Charles Dick, it was the first such factory in America. Its workers repaired and manufactured small arms for the regiments of numerous Virginia counties during the Revolutionary War. The factory’s principal product was modeled after the British Brown Bess musket, the standard infantry arm of the day. Only a handful of the Fredericksburg muskets survive. In 1783 the factory closed and the General Assembly transferred the land and buildings to the trustees of the Fredericksburg Academy. The property was sold to a merchant in 1801 and later subdivided. [1994]

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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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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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Fredericksburg Normal and Industrial Institute N-33

Historical Marker Text

Image of Fredereicksburg Normal and Industrial Institute Due to the efforts of local blacks, the Fredericksburg Normal and Industrial Institute (FNII) opened in October 1905 at the Shiloh New Site Baptist Church with about 20 students. In 1906 the board of trustees purchased land and a large farmhouse here, named it Mayfield, and opened the school in the autumn. The course of study, modeled after a university curriculum included teacher education classes as well as English, mathematics, history, geography, literature, Greek, and music. By 1938, Mayfield High School had become a part of the segregated city school system.

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Amoroleck Encounters John Smith N-38

Historical Marker Text
In August 1608, the first meeting between the Mannahoac Indian people of the Piedmont and the English colonists at Jamestown occurred at the falls of the Rappahannock River. Men from the upriver town of Hasinninga were hunting here at the eastern edge of their territory when they encountered John Smith and a party of Jamestown colonists. Following a brief skirmish, a Mannahoac man, Amoroleck, told Smith about the world beyond the falls, which included the Mannahoac, the Monacan, and the Massawomeck. Amoroleck explained that the Mannahoac resisted the English because they heard that the colonists were a people who came to “take their world from them.”

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Kenmore N-31

Historical Marker Text
Four blocks west stands Kenmore, built in 1775 by Col. Fielding Lewis for his wife, Betty, sister of George Washington. Near here, between Kenmore and the Rappahannock River, stood Lewis’s warehouses and docks. Kenmore’s intricate plasterwork is the finest in the country. Among 19th-century owners and occupants were Samuel Gordon, who named it Kenmore, and William Key Howard Jr., who restored and embellished the mansion’s plasterwork. Washington and other Revolutionary leaders often visited, and during the Civil War Union troops used it as a hospital. The Garden Club of Virginia, starting in 1929, rehabilitated Kenmore’s gardens as its first restoration project. [1995]
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