Category Archives: Location

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Marlborough E-75

Historical Marker Text
Strategically situated at the tip of a peninsula jutting into the Potomac River at Potomac Creek, Marlborough was established under the Town Act of 1691 as a river port town. It served as the county seat of Stafford County from 1691 until about 1718. Marlborough never fully developed. In 1726, noted lawyer John Mercer (1705-1768) moved there and built Marlborough plantation and attempted to revive the town. Mercer had one of the largest private libraries in Virginia, in which the young George Mason received much of his education. Mercer’s attempt to revive the town was unsuccessful and it ceased to exist by the end of the 18th century. [2001]

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