Tag Archives: Rappahannock River

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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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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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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Hunter’s Iron Works E-116

Historical Marker Text
Located south of here on the Rappahannock River, stood Hunter’s Iron Works, founded by James Hunter and was in operation by the 1750s. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, the Rappahannock Forge there supplied the Continental army and navy with muskets, swords, and other armaments and camp implements. Due to its wartime significance, Gov. Thomas Jefferson ordered special military protection for the complex. The ironworks contained a blast furnace, forge, slitting, merchant, and other mills, nailery, coopers’, carpenters’, and wheelwright shops and houses for the managers and workmen. Some of the buildings may have been used for other purposes into the 19th century; none survive today. [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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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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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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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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