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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Chancellor in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

First Day at Chancellorsville

The Enemy Within

 
 
First Day at Chancellorsville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
1. First Day at Chancellorsville Marker
Note comment below with regard to the photo on the marker.
Inscription. "If possible before the battle I will try to be better posted about the rebble armey."
- Local spy Isaac Silver

Both armies employed soldiers as spies or scouts, but some of the most valuable information came from local civilians. The Chancellorsville Campaign literally swung on the intelligence of Unionists within Confederate lines.

Preceding the Battle of Chancellorsville, local loyalists Ebenezer McGee and Isaac Silver employed tactics of astonishing simplicity. Silver was somehow able to observe Confederate camps and collect information about various units. Silver wrote his "reports" in pencil, without a cipher, and gave them to McGee. McGee carried them across the Rappahannock and delivered them to the Union army.

Silver's reports accurately detailed the location and strength of much of the Confederate army, which was particularly valuable in the virtually impenetrable Wilderness. Sliver continued his activities until war's end, but McGee was fatally wounded while working as a scout in 1864.
 
Erected 2008 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 17.905′ N, 77° 35.916′ 
Help Preserve Chancellorsville image. Click for more information.
2. Help Preserve Chancellorsville
CWPT efforts to save the battlefield.
Click for more information.
W. Marker is near Chancellor, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Plank Road / Germanna Highway (State Highway 3), on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Located along the Civil War Preservation Trust's walking trail through the First Day at Chancellorsville Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Chancellor.
 
More about this marker. In the lower center This postwar image shows members of the William C. Morrison family at their home on the Orange Plank Road. The Delaware natives were some of the
Situational Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
3. Situational Map
Note the north seeking arrow points to the right of the map.
many Unionists in the vicinity, including Isaac Silver and Ebenezer McGee.
On the right a map depicts the operational situation before the Chancellorsville Campaign. Isaac Silver's report, delivered by Ebenezer McGee on April 15, showed the vulnerability of the Confederate left and rear, which Hooker would ultimately threaten with his "grand turning movement."
 
Also see . . .
1. First Day at Chancellorsville. An animated map of the first day's battle from Civil War Preservation Trust. Also links to several excellent resources about the battle. (Submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Battle of Chancellorsville. National Park Service page about the battle. (Submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Not William C. Morrison Family
The marker is in error. The family in the picture is the Robert R. Morrison family not the William C. Morrison family. Robert was the brother of William. The picture was taken in May 1892 on the front porch of Robert and Mary Ann Morrison which is on Bragg Rd. not Orange Plank Rd. William was the owner of the home during the Civil War and Robert took ownership after the war.

Robert and Mary
The <i>Enemy Within</i> Wayside image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
4. The Enemy Within Wayside
Ann are my great grandparents.
    — Submitted September 19, 2010, by Richard Morrison of Kennesaw, Georgia.

 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,438 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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