Archive for the 'Spotsylvania' 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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James Farmer, Civil Rights Leader E-113

Historical Marker Text
James Leonard Farmer was born in Texas on 12 Jan. 1920. In 1942, he and other Civil Rights leaders founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Chicago. CORE used Gandhi-inspired tactics of nonviolent civil disobedience to protest discriminatory practices against blacks. Under Farmer’s leadership, in the spring of 1961, CORE organized “Freedom Riders” to desegregate interstate transportation in the Deep South. He was an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (1969-1970). Farmer taught at Mary Washington College (1985-1999) and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. Farmer died on 9 July 1999. His house stands east of here. [2000]
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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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Colonial Fort E-46

Historical Marker Text
The Virginia General Assembly authorized the construction of a fort built nearby along the Rappahannock River in 1676. It served as a defensive fortification for settlers of European descent on the frontier when periodic conflicts occurred between Virginia Indians and settlers. Maj. Lawrence Smith commanded the fort. Smith had patented 6,300 acres of property with Robert Taliaferro in the region in 1666. Smith later obtained more land nearby. The fort was abandoned about 1682, when the General Assembly ordered the dismantling of many of these structures. [2004]

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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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Penny’s Tavern E-129

Historical Marker Text
Nearby stood Penny’s (Penney’s) Tavern, named for Lincefield Penney who purchased the site in 1811. The tavern catered to travelers making their way to old Spotsylvania Courthouse site (1781-1837), located approximately one mile north of the tavern site across the Po River. After the Court House burned in 1837 and was moved to its present location, business greatly declined. By 1840 the property was sold to Mansfield Wigglesworth who operated a tavern there called Wigglesworth Tavern. The tavern was closed by the outbreak of the Civil War. The intersection where the tavern once stood was known as Penny’s Crossroads into the twentieth century.
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Asbury’s Deathplace EH-8

Historical Marker Text
A short distance southeast is the site of the George Arnold House where Bishop Francis Asbury died, March 31, 1816. Asbury, born in England in 1745, came to America in 1771 and labored here until his death. He was ordained one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America at the Baltimore Conference of December, 1784. [1982]

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Fredericksville Furnace EM-1

Historical Marker Text
Charles Chiswell established the iron-making community of Fredericksville near this point of Douglas Run, a tributary of the North Anna River. The furnace had been in blast for about five years when William Byrd in 1732 toured the site in the company of Chiswell and his iron-master, Robert Durham. An archaeological investigation of the furnace was financed by Virginia Electric and Power Company in 1970. [1971]
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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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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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Spotswood’s Furnace J-42

Historical Marker Text
Four miles north, on this side road, is the site of an ancient iron furnace established about 1716 by Governor Alexander Spotswood, the first fully equipped iron furnace in the colonies. Iron was hauled along this road to the Rappahannock River for shipment. William Byrd visited the furnace in 1732 and described it. [1930]
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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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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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