Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jackson's Mill

Jackson's Mill marker Boyhood Home of Thomas "Stonewall" JacksonLewis County, WV

Marker Text: Site of boyhood home of Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The first mill was built about 1808 by his grandfather, Col. Edward Jackson, who became a leader in border affairs. It is now the site of the W. Va. 4-H Camp for Boys and Girls.

Location: North of Weston, WV near the entrance to Jackson's Mill off County Route 10 (Jackson Mill Road) across the road from the old homestead historic site.

Jackson's Mill marker along Co. Route 10 on Jackson Mill Road

Photo taken looking west toward entrance to Jackson Mill Conference Center entrance and Jackson Family Cemetery.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  Colonel Edward Jackson, a Revolutionary War figure, originally settled the mill on the West Fork River in 1800. Three generations of Jacksons operated mills at this site which boasted saw and grist mills, a carpenter shop, blacksmith forge, quarters for twelve slaves, numerous barns/outbuildings, and a general store on 1500 acres of prime forest and pasture land.

  Jackson’s Mill is located near Weston, WV in Lewis County and was the boyhood home of future Confederate Gen. Thomas J. ‘‘Stonewall’’ Jackson. The site was first settled by Thomas J. Jackson’s grandfather, Edward, around 1800. He constructed a house, gristmill, and sawmill on the property.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

McClellan's Crossing

McClellan's Crossing marker W-14 in New Kent County, VAMarker No. W-14
New Kent County, VA

Marker Text: Here a part of McClellan's army crossed the Chickahominy on May 23, 1862, advancing on Richmond. It was attacked by the Confederates at Seven Pines.

Location: On U.S. Route 60 at Bottoms Bridge at the county line between New Kent and Henrico Counties. Grouped with markers E-12 (Capt. John Smith Captured), W-15 (Bottom's Bridge), W-17 (New Kent Road), Z-163 (New Kent/Henrico County) and a county marker about New Kent County. Erected by the Conservation & Development Commission in 1927.

McClellan's Crossing marker W-14 along U.S. Route 60 in New Kent County, VA

Photo taken looking east on U.S. Route 60.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  Today's marker is a very simple marker telling the traveler that part of General George McClellan's Army crossed the Chickahominy River here on May 23, 1862. The marker does not give us a great deal of information, but this marker was one of the earliest state historical markers erected by Virginia in 1927. Most of the early markers had very limited and brief information. Other examples of these early markers I have previously posted are “Stuart” outside of Fredericksburg, VA or “Capture of Front Royal” in the town of Front Royal, VA or “Bull Run Battlefields” near Manassas, VA.

  These early markers were not attempting to give details about history, but to alert the traveler to some significant historical event which occurred at this location. In 1927, early highways suitable for automobile travel for those families and individuals wanting to explore the U.S. were only beginning to develop and major highways, like U.S. Route 60 where this marker is located were one of the first major new highways which allowed convenient travel across a state.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Forge Bridge

Forge Bridge marker W-19 in New Kent County, VAMarker No. W-19
New Kent County, VA

Marker Text: The site of Forge Bridge over the Chickahominy River is located about a mile south of here. On 14 June 1862, Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart and his cavalry brigade crossed there on their famous ride around Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac. Because the bridge had been burned in May, Stuart's men first built a makeshift bridge of barn timbers to replace it. On 13-14 June 1864, the VI and IX Corps of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Potomac crossed the river there en route to Petersburg after the Battle of Cold Harbor.

Location: On U.S. Route 60, just east of Chickahominy River bridge, Providence Forge, VA and is grouped with marker W-20 (Providence Forge) near intersection with Route 155. Erected by the Department of Historic Resources in 1998.

  Today is the third marker, I have related to J.E.B. Stuart's ride around McClellan. As indicated on the two previous markers (Stuart's Ride Around McClellan), on June 12, 1862, C.S.A. Brigadier General J.E.B. Stuart left Richmond at the head of a 1,200 cavalry troops apparently going to assist General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia. Stuart did not go to the Shenandoah Valley, instead, at the request of General Robert E. Lee, recently made commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, Stuart was on a reconnaissance mission around McClellan's Union army now north and east of Richmond.

  Robert E. Lee was confronting, just outside of the Confederate States of America (C.S.A.) capital city, Richmond, Virginia, a huge Federal army, the Army of the Potomac, under the command of Union General George B. McClellan. Lee planned to attack the Union army's right flank, isolated on the northern side of the Chickahominy River, but he needed to know its disposition.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stuart's Ride Around McClellan

Stuart's Ride Around McClellan marker WO-14 in New Kent County, VAMarker No. WO-14
New Kent County, VA

Marker Text: J. E. B. Stuart, on his famous ride around McClellan's army, June 12-15, 1862, arrived here in the early night of June 13, coming from Hanover Courthouse. He rested here several hours and then pressed on to the Chickahominy River, rejoining Lee's army on June 15.

Location: On Route 249, just west of Route 106, Talleysville, grouped with markers WO-13 (St. Peter's Church) and WO-12 (The White House). Erected by the Conservation & Development Commission in 1931.

  About the time J.E.B. Stuart had completed his ride around McClellan's Army and was reporting to Gen. Robert E. Lee, McClellan made his first report to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton:

“A rebel force of cavalry and artillery, variously estimated at from 1,000 to 5,000, came around our right flank last evening, attacked and drove in a picket Old Church; they proceeded to a landing 3 miles above White House, where they burned two forage schooners and destroyed some wagons. Then they struck the railroad at Tunstall’s Station, fired into a train of cars, killing some 5 or 6. Here they met a force of infantry which I sent down to meet them, when they ran off. I have several cavalry detachments out after them and hope to punish them. No damage has been done to the railroad.”

  When Gen. Robert E. Lee became commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, he requested J.E.B. Stuart perform reconnaissance to determine whether the right flank of the Union army was vulnerable. Stuart set out with 1,200 troopers on the morning of June 12 and took his men on a complete circumnavigation of the Union army.

  Early on the morning of June 13, 1862, J.E.B. Stuart revealed his orders to Fitz and Rooney Lee and the other commanders as they rode east towards Hanover Court House. Just west of the Hanover Courthouse, Stuart's advance guard ran into elements of the Union's 6th Cavalry, the first encounter with Union troops. Hoping to envelop the Union Cavalry, Stuart ordered Fitz Lee to strike the Union cavalry while Rooney Lee tried to flank the unit.

Stuart's Ride Around McClellan

Stuart's Ride Around McClellan marker E-74 in Hanover County, VAMarker No. E-74
Hanover County, VA

Marker Text: Near here, on Winston's Farm, J. E. B. Stuart, advancing north, camped on June 12, 1862. Stuart was scouting to find the position of the right wing of McClellan's army besieging Richmond. At this point he turned east to Hanover Courthouse. Stuart made a complete circuit of the Union army.

Location: On Route 1 (Washington Highway), south of intersection with State Route 641, 1.9 miles north of Ashland. Erected by the Conservation & Development Commission in 1931.

  This week is the 150th Anniversary of J.E.B. Stuart's famous ride around Union Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac. During April until June McClellan's army had traveled up the Peninsula and established positions around the north and eastern sections of Richmond in preparation for their attack.

  In early June, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia after the wounding of General Johnston and began planning a counterattack. Beginning on June 12, General J.E.B. Stuart led 1,200 cavalrymen on a daring three day reconnaissance and discovered that the Union right flank was unsecured. “Stuart's Ride around McClellan" gave Lee the vital information he needed to launch the offensive known as the Seven Days' Battles on June 26.

  Stuart's cavalry regiment had been hastily been organized early during the Civil War with little formal training and mustered into the Confederate army. His regiment was assigned to General Joseph Johnston's forces in the Shenandoah Valley.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Young's Mill

Young's Mill marker W-63 in Newport News, VAMarker No. W-63
City of Newport News, VA

Marker Text: Following the 10 June 1861 Battle of Big Bethel, Confederate Gen. John B. Magruder established a base at Young's Mill. This tide mill formed the right flank of Magruder's First Defensive Line, which reached across the Peninsula to Ship's Point on the York River. Extensive earthworks defended the crossing of the Warwick Road over Deep Creek. When Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan began his Peninsula Campaign on 4 April 1862 to capture Richmond, elements of Brig. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes IV Corps led by Brig. Gen. William F. "Baldy" Smith advanced to Young's Mill. They skirmished with Confederate troops defending this mill dam crossing. The Confederates abandoned their position for a more determined stand on the Warwick River.  Erected by the Department of Historic Resources in 2002.

Second Young's Mill marker in Newport News, VAYoung's Mill
(Second Marker)

Marker Text: Since early colonial days Deep Creek has had a dam and pond here with a mill. Owned by the Mathews, Digges and Young families, grinding corn well into the 20th century. In the Peninsular Campaign, Federal forces of Gen. McClellan encountered strong confederate works nearby, the right flank of Gen. Magruder's first line of defense. The works were abandoned April 5, 1862. For a resolute stand 6 miles farther north at Lee's Mill. Erected by the N.N. Historical Commission in 1967.

Location: At the intersection of U.S. Route 60 (13035 Warwick Blvd.) and Old Grist Mill Lane, near Oyster Point Road. Marker grouped with another Young's Mill marker placed by the City of Newport News.

“We drove the enemy from a position they had fortified and that night occupied the place ourselves. The rebels left quite a village of huts or barracks, and from appearances, they had enjoyed much more comfortable quarters during the winter than we had ourselves.” Account by Union Private Wilbur Fisk while arriving at Young's Mill.

Two Young's Mill markers at the site of the Mill in Newport News, VA

The redoubts described by the markers are located in the wooded area behind the markers. Click any photo to enlarge.

  In April 1862, Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder was in command of directing the construction of the defense of the Warwick-Yorktown Line in order to delay the powerful Union advance against Richmond. Magruder established three defensive lines. Today's marker is about the location of the first defensive line on the right flank of the Confederate line. Young’s Mill became the western strong point of the First Defensive Line, which stretched eastward to Harwood’s Mill and followed the Poquoson River to Ship’s Point. This site also served as the winter quarters for the Confederates while they built the redoubts and earthworks defensive positions.

John Bankhead Magruder

John Bankhead Magruder, CSA marker in Newport News, VAMajor General, CSA
City of Newport News

Marker Text: U.S. Military Academy graduate 1830, Virginia-born 'Prince John' Magruder served with distinction in the Mexican War. In 1861 he resigned as Colonel, USA and joined the Confederacy. In the Civil War's first planned battle his forces were victorious at Big Bethel June 10, 1861. During April 1862 he delayed the Union drive up the Peninsula here at the Battle of Dam No. 1 after the war he lived in Mexico. He died in Texas, 1871.

Location: On Campsite Drive in front of the Newport News Park Campground Headquarter, near the entrance to the campground just off Virginia Route 143 (Jefferson Avenue). Erected by the Bethel Chapter UOC, 1975

  John Bankhead Magruder was in command of the Confederacy's Army of the Peninsula during the Battle of Big Bethel on June 10, 1861, one of the first actions of the Civil War. He had been assigned to protect Richmond from the prying eyes on Chesapeake Bay at Fort Monroe. According to what I have read about Fort Monroe, it was the only territory in the Confederacy held by the Union during the entire Civil War.

  "Prince John" Magruder, as he was often called, had a flair for theatrics that greatly helped the Confederacy and the first time he was called to use them came early in George McClellan's Peninsula Campaign. With 13,000 men he held off more than 100,000 Yankees at the start of the siege of Yorktown. Magruder was a West Point graduate in the class of 1830 and ranked 15th in a class of 40 students. Today's marker is not a state historical marker, but a marker erected by many special organizations within the south who have erected markers to remember specific individuals in the Confederate States.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hatfield’s and McCoy’s unite for food and fellowship

I found this article published in today's (June 12) Logan Banner about a reunion of Hatfield and McCoy families in Kentucky.  It contains some very interesting information about the feud and the families and the events that occurred related to the marker on the Election Fight/Hog Trial site.

Hatfield’s and McCoy’s unite for food and fellowship: BLACKBERRY, Ky. – “Ol’ Devil Anse would be smiling if he were alive to see that peace in the valley between his descendants and the McCoy clan is alive and well ,” stated K...

Peninsular Campaign

Peninsula Campaign marker W-37 outside of Williamsburg, VAMarker No. W-37
James City County, VA

Marker Text: During the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, both Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan led their armies west toward Richmond on this road. Johnston evacuated Yorktown on 3-4 May and withdrew up the Peninsula, with McClellan in pursuit. On 5 May, two Federal divisions clashed with the Confederate rear guard east of Williamsburg in a bloody but indecisive battle. Johnston's army continued its march west and on 6-7 May eluded McClellan's forces at Eltham's Landing on the York River opposite West Point. By mid-month the Confederates were secure behind the Richmond defenses.

Location: Marker is grouped with marker W-42 (Quarterpath Road) on Route 60 at eastern entrance to Williamsburg. Marker is in front of hotel. Erected by the Department of Historic Resources in 1998.

  During the last month or so I have been concentrating on U.S. Civil War historical markers located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia related to Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson's Valley Campaign. Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign was directly related to the Peninsular Campaign being conducted by Union Major General George B. McClellan in eastern Virginia. Jackson was attempting to prevent Union troops from being sent to aid McClellan in his planned attack on Richmond.

  The Peninsula Campaign of 1862 was probably the single most ambitious Union operation of the American Civil War. McClellan was hoping to outflank strong Confederate defenses in northern Virginia, an army over 100,000 men strong would be transported by sea to the Peninsula between the James and York Rivers, to the east of the Confederate capitol of Richmond. By bring his army up the Peninsula, McClellan could avoid facing an entrenched Confederate army in northern Virginia. It was commonly believed if the Union could capture the Confederate Capital Richmond, they could bring an end to the war.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hatfield Cemetery

Hatfield Cemetery marker near Sarah Ann in Logan County, WVLogan County, WV

Marker Text: Capt. Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, 1839-1921, is buried here. He was the leader of his clan in the bitter family feud with the McCoys. A life-sized statue, modeled from photographs and imported from Italy, marks his grave.

Location: On WV State Route 44, south of Stirrat and north of Sarah Ann WV. Erected by the West Virginia Historic Commission in 1963.

Hatfield Cemetery marker near Sarah Ann, WV on Route 44.

Photo taken looking north on Route 44.  Marker for historical designation of the cemetery is below state marker and the cemetery is on the hill to left across the bridge.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

  When the violence between the two families ended, the strangest irony of the feud was the two main family leaders who escaped the direct consequences of the feud, unlike their family members. With all the death, suffering and violence around them, both Devil Anse Hatfield and Ole Randolph McCoy were left unharmed. Both lived well into their 80's. Randolph McCoy was the first to die in 1914 at the age of 88 from burns suffered in an accidental fire.


View of Hatfield’s grave from the road leading to the cemetery.

  William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield, who had long proclaimed his skepticism about religion became a born again Christian at the age of 73 and was baptized for the first time.

  "Devil Anse" Hatfield spent the last fifteen years of his life quietly and peaceably living on a small farm he owned in Logan County along Island Creek in Sarah Ann, West Virginia. He raised a good many hogs and but seldom left his community. Once an enterprising amusement manager wanted to profit from Hatfield's fame almost convinced him to go on the vaudeville stage. He made preparations to do so but abandoned the idea when an old indictment for his arrest was produced. Authorities agreed to suppress the indictment on condition he would agree to remain at home the rest of his days.

McCoy House

McCoy House marker 2145 in Pikeville, Kentucky at Main Street.Pike County, KY
Marker Number: 2145

Marker Text: After Hatfields burned the McCoy home, January 1, 1888, Randolph and Sarah McCoy never returned to Blackberry Creek. Governors of Ky. and West Va. urged Hatfields and McCoys to move away from each other. McCoys purchased house near river bank on East Main St., and Randolph operated a ferry across the Big Sandy River.

Location: In Pikeville, KY at 235 Main Street. Erected by the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways in 2004.

  As the feud faded, both family leaders attempted to recede into relative obscurity. After the McCoy's Home on Blackberry Fork of Pond Creek was burned during the New Year's Day raid, Randolph and Sarah lived with relatives for a time. The governors of both Kentucky and West Virginia asked the families to move further away from each other to reduce the potential violence. Eventually, Randolph and his wife, Sarah McCoy moved to this location near this marker in Pikeville, Kentucky. Randolph McCoy became a ferry operator across the Big Sandy River near this marker among other jobs he could get.

McCoy House marker 2145 in Pikeville, KY near Big Sandy River.

The Big Sandy River is in the background at the bridge.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  One of the factors contributing to the feud over the years was economic. The McCoy's always struggled more with family economic stability and prosperity. Hatfield's had generally been much more prosperous gaining more property and personal wealth. After the violence from the feud subsided following the execution of Ellison Mounts, the two family leaders attempted to fade into the background of their respective communities. Despite the loss of lives by both families, the two family leaders lived to a ripe old age.

  Randolph McCoy was the first to die on March 28, 1914 at the age of 88 from burns suffered in an accidental fire. By all accounts, he continued to be haunted by the deaths of his children. Randolph and his wife are both buried in the Dils Cemetery across the Big Sandy River not far from the location of this marker in Pikeville. The date of death of his wife is unknown.

  Descendants of both men have gone on to honor their states and nation as governors, educators and physicians.  I have posted all of my Hatfield and McCoy markers on the “The Historical Markers Database.”  The database is a group of volunteers attempting to photograph and record all of the historical markers in the U.S.  Currently, there are over 300,000 markers listed.  My photos on the database are higher resolution than the photos on my blog.  Below the photo of this marker you will find links to other Hatfield and McCoy markers.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Feudists on Trial

Feudists On Trial marker in Pikeville, KY on campus of Pikeville CollegePike County, KY
Marker Number: 1913

Marker Text: Hanging site of Ellison Mounts, Feb. 18, 1890. Seven other Hatfield supporters indicted for murder of Alifair McCoy were sentenced to life in prison. By the time of his trial, Mounts had confessed. He was also found guilty, but the jury recommended the death penalty. Pike County sheriff carried out sentence. This was one of the last episodes in Hatfield-McCoy feud.

Location: On Kentucky Avenue within the Pikeville College campus, Pikeville, KY. Erected by the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways in 1992.

  Today's marker is the last directly related to the events of the feud.  I have two additional historical markers about the lives of the two main family leaders after the violence ended for the Hatfield-McCoy Feud.  I know of about two additional markers related to the feud I never had the chance to photograph.  As often happens when you are marker hunting you get close but make a wrong turn.  A marker in Pikeville escaped my camera when later I realized I was only about two blocks away from it. 

Feudists On Trial marker on campus of Pikeville College, Pike Co. Kentucky

Marker is on Pikeville College campus and is looking south on Kentucky Avenue. Click any photo to enlarge.

  The trial began in 1889 with eight of the Hatfields and their supporters sentenced to life in prison. Ellison Mounts, who was believed to be the son of Ellison Hatfield, was sentenced to death. Nicknamed “Cottontop”, Ellison Mounts was known to be mentally challenged, and many viewed him as a scapegoat even though he had confessed his guilt.

  Many people living in Logan County, WV and Pike County, KY as well as Ellison Mounts did not believe the Hatfield clan would permit Ellison to die on the gallows. The general feeling in the region was focused on how the Hatfield's would mount a rescue of Ellison.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pike Co. Courthouse and Jail

Pike Co. Courthouse and Jail marker 1866 in Pikeville, KYPike County, KY
Marker Number: 1866

Marker Text: Courthouse erected 1888-89 by McDonald Bros.; later renovated 1932-33. Here was scene of Hatfield clan trials for murders of Tolbert, Randolph, Jr., Pharmer, Alifair, and Calvin McCoy. The defendants lodged in adjacent jail; found guilty and sentenced to life in prison except Ellison Mounts, hanged February 18, 1890. Courthouse and jail part of Hatfield-McCoy Feud Historic Dist.

Location: Main St., Pikeville in front of the Pike County Courthouse. Erected by the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways in 1990.

Pike Co. Courthouse and Jail marker in front of the Courthouse in Pikeville, KY

Marker on right in front of the Courthouse.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  After the 1888 New Year's Day raid by the Hatfield's at the home of Randolph McCoy, the trial of the Hatfield clan proceeded on 1889 with the killing at the New Year's Day raid included. While researching the feud, you would have thought information about a trial would have been easy to get. For some reason little information about the actual trial is available.

  Into 1888, public opinion shifted against the Hatfields, Special officer Frank Phillips and a posse rode into West Virginia. They captured Wall Hatfield and eight others to Kentucky to stand trial for the murder of Alifair McCoy, who was killed during the New Year's Day raid. Despite the fact, that Phillips lacked properly executed extradition papers.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Battle of Port Republic

Battle of Port Republic marker JD-10 in Rockingham County, VAMarker No. JD-10
Rockingham County, VA

Marker Text: The cross road here roughly divides the Confederate and Union lines in the battle of June 9, 1862. Jackson attacked Shields, coming southward to join Fremont, but was repulsed. Reinforced by Ewell, Jackson attacked again and drove Shields from the field. At the same time he burned the bridge at Port Republic, preventing Fremont from coming to Shields' aid.

Location: On U.S. Route 340 (East Side Highway) at the intersection with County Route 708 (Ore Bank Road / Lynnwood Road) on the west side of the Highway. Erected by the Virginia Conservation Commission in 1941.

Battle of Port Republic marker JD-10 along Route 340 in Rockingham County, VA

Photo taken looking south on Route 340.  The crossroads in the background is roughly where the battle line between the two armies existed as the battle began.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  One hundred and fifty years ago on June 8-9, 1862, the battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic were the culmination of “Stonewall” Jackson's Valley Campaign. Jackson had been given the task of keeping as many Union troops occupied in the Shenandoah Valley chaseing his army so they could not be sent to Richmond to aid Gen. McClellan in his Peninsular Campaign and his efforts to take Richmond from the Confederates. Between late April and early June, Jackson was able to maneuver around a superior Union army and defeat them using surprise, swift marching, and concentration of force.

Observation platform for the Battle of Port Republic

You can walk to an observation platform toward the top of this hill.  This overlook of the battle is located on the road to the east of the state marker and is where artillery was located. 

  Stonewall Jackson's Army of the Valley, which never exceeded 17,000 men, inflicted more than 7,000 casualties on his opponents at a cost of only 2,500 of his own men, and tied up Union forces three times its strength. Jackson's victories infused new hope in the Confederate cause and contributed to the defeat of McClellan's campaign against Richmond.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Battle of Cross Keys

Battle of Cross Keys marker D-6 east of Harrisonburg, VAMarker No. D-6
Rockingham County, VA

Marker Text: Three miles south, on Mill Creek, Jackson's rearguard, under Ewell, was attacked by Fremont, June 8, 1862. Trimble, of Ewell's command, counterattacked, driving the Unionists back. Jackson, with the rest of his army, was near Port Republic awaiting the advance of Shields up the east bank of the Shenandoah River.

Location: On U.S. Route 33 (Spotswood Trail), east of VA Route 276 (Cross Keys Road), east of Harrisonburg. Erected by the Virginia Conservation Commission in 1941.

"I had rather be a private in such an Army than a Field Officer in any other Army," wrote a Confederate soldier about Gen. Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign, in which Jackson's 16,000 man "foot cavalry" marched about 400 miles in 38 days, outmaneuvering federal forces totaling about 40,000 men.

Battle of Cross Keys marker D-6 on U.S. Route 33 east of Harrisonburg, VA

Photo taken looking west on U.S. Route 33 toward Harrisonburg.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  Today, I continue with a state historical marker related to Jackson's Valley Campaign. One hundred and fifty years ago on June 8, 1862 following fighting near Harrisonburg, VA the fighting between Jackson's Confederate army and the Union army commanded by Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont continued as Jackson moved east and south of Harrisonburg. Brigadier-General Turner Ashby had been killed outside of Harrisonburg two days earlier and his body taken to Port Republic where Jackson was waiting for Shield's Union troops. Confederate Brig. Gen. Richard Ewell was protecting Jackson's western flank when he was engaged in fighting called, “The Battle of Cross Keys.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Where Ashby Fell

Where Ashby Fell marker A-30 in Harrisonburg, VAMarker No. A-30
City of Harrisonburg
Rockingham County, VA

Marker Text: A mile and a half east of this point, Turner Ashby, Stonewall Jackson's cavalry commander, was killed, June 6, 1862, while opposing Fremont's advance.

Location: On U.S. Route 11 (South Main Street), just south of Port Republic Road. Erected by the Conservation & Development Commission in 1927.

"Poor Ashby is dead. He fell gloriously. I know you will join with me in mourning the loss of our friend, one of the noblest men and soldiers in the Confederate army." In a letter by Stonewall Jackson to General Imboden.

Where Ashby Fell marker A-30 along U.S. Route 11 in Harrisonburg, VA

Photo taken looking north on Route 11.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  Brig. Gen. Turner Ashby cut a striking figure, called by many the "Black Knight of the Confederacy". He generally rode horses that were pure white or pure black. Ashby stood about five feet eight inches in height and probably weighed from 150 to 160 pounds. His hair and beard were described as black as a raven's wing, he had a long, sweeping mustache concealing his mouth and a heavy and long beard completely covered his breast.

  As Stonewall Jackson continued his Valley Campaign his army moved south along the Shenandoah Valley (or up the Valley as they say in Virginia) while being pursued by Union Gen. John C. Frémont’s forces. General Ashby’s final role in the Valley campaign occurred as Jackson’s army retreated south and east from Harrisonburg toward Port Republic.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Brig. Gen. Turner Ashby, C.S.A.

Brig. Gen. Turner Ashby, CSA marker FF-10 in Fauquier Co., VAMarker No. FF-10
Fauquier County, VA

Marker Text: Turner Ashby, Stonewall Jackson's cavalry commander during the brilliant 1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign, was born on 23 Oct. 1828 just north at Rose Bank. From 1853 to 1858, Ashby operated a mercantile business in a large frame building just to the south, at the foot of the hill on which stands his home, Wolf's Crag. An unsuccessful candidate for the House of Delegates in 1858, he left his home in April 1861 to serve the Confederacy as captain of his Mountain Rangers. Ashby was killed in action on 6 June 1862 near Harrisonburg, Virginia, and is buried in Winchester.

Location: On U.S. Route 55 (John Marshall Highway) in Markham about 500 feet east of Route 688 intersection near Interstate 66, Exit 18. Grouped with marker FF-4 (Lee's Bivouac, Gettysburg Campaign.) Erected by the Department of Historic Resources in 1997.

Brig. Gen. Turner Ashby, CSA marker FF-10 along U.S. Route 55

Photo taken looking east on U.S. Route 55.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  As Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson's Valley Campaign continued into June, 1862 in the Shenandoah Valley an important officer in his successful campaign was Brig. Gen. Turner Ashby, C.S.A. Though Ashby was an officer caused Jackson some problems and Ashby made some errors hurting Jackson's effort. Today's marker tells the traveler that near this location Turner Ashby was born.

  Born October 23, 1828, at Rose Bank, near Markham in upper Fauquier County, Virginia. His father, also named Turner Ashby, had fought as a colonel in the War of 1812, and his grandfather served as a captain during the American Revolutionary War. At early age Turner Ashby demonstrated his horsemanship talents by winning top prizes at jousting tournaments. In his mid-twenties, Ashby organized his friends into a cavalry company. The group was known as the Mountain Rangers. Their purpose was to protect his neighborhood from roughnecks accompanying the construction crews of the Manassas Gap Railroad. Following John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry in mid-October 1859, Ashby’s company mustered into the Virginia militia to perform guard and picket duty at Charles Town during the Brown trial and execution.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

McCoy Cemetery

McCoy Cemetery marker 2067 in McCarr, Pike County, KentuckyPike County, KY
Marker Number: 2067

Marker Text: Among the graves in the McCoy Cemetery are those of Randolph McCoy's three sons - Tolbert, Pharmer, and Randolph Jr. - all killed by the Hatfields. Also buried here are Alifair and Calvin McCoy, who were killed by the Hatfields when cabin was burned. Cemetery is part of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud Historic District. Presented by Pikeville-Pike County Tourism.

Location: In McCarr, Kentucky on KY Route 319 east of the intersection with Route 1056, next to the McCarr Post Office, at the same location as the Hog Trial and Election Fight historical marker on the same lot. Erected by the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways in 2001.

  While traveling through Pike County I found this marker about the McCoy Cemetery while taking photos for the Hog Trial and Election Fight marker. I attempted to look for the cemetery but only later realized the cemetery was located on top of the hill behind the McCarr post office. I looked on Google Earth to locate the cemetery and noticed the road leading to the cemetery would not have been easy to find, at least for someone unfamiliar with the area. While doing research on the cemetery I discovered I probably could not have entered the cemetery or taken photos since the cemetery is now located on private property and there is no public access.

McCoy Cemetery marker 2067 in McCarr, Pike County, Kentucky  I attempt to seek photos of graves related to markers, but I also respect private property and will not violate someone's property just to get a photo. Occasionally, there is someone I can ask to gain permission, but often not and some have big No Trespassing Signs prominently displayed. While living in southern WV I discovered hundreds of small family cemeteries existed throughout the hills of Appalachia and often are called by family names, but there can also be multiple cemeteries sharing the same family name.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Site of Randolph McCoy House

Site of Randolph McCoy House marker 2062 near Hardy, KY in Pike CountyPike County, KY
Marker Number: 2062

Marker Text: House was located on Blackberry Fork of Pond Creek. It burned Jan. 1, 1888, during a Hatfield raid. Two of Randolph's children, Alifair and Calvin, were killed in attack; their mother Sally was badly injured. Randolph and other children escaped. Site is part of Hatfield-McCoy Feud Historic Dist. Presented by Pikeville-Pike County Tourism.

Location: Four and one-half miles east of Toler, KY, east of Hardy, KY on State Route 319. Erected by the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Department of Highways in 2001.  This marker is not easy to stop and read, since there is no pull-off for it.

Site of Randolph McCoy House markers along the creek

I believe the creek mentioned in the marker is the creek to the left of the marker.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  Following the Pawpaw Tree incident in 1882. The Kentucky Governor appointed a special officer, Frank Phillips to arrest the Hatfield's responsible for the death of the McCoy brothers. Phillips was given the job to serve warrants and arrest 20 men, including Devil Anse Hatfield. Phillips carried out his duties even if he needed to cross the state border into West Virginia.