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

A Mysterious Historic Feature

The Breakthrough Trail

 

—Pamplin Historical Park —

 
A Mysterious Historic Feature Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2007
1. A Mysterious Historic Feature Marker
Inscription. The shallow depression in front of you marks the location of what was once a substantial dwelling. Archaeologists excavated this site in 1997 and discovered a well-preserved brick foundation and flooring. The artifacts recovered from the site suggest that the house dates to the early 19th century.

This building was part of the Tudor Hall plantation owned by the Boisseau family. Research has not revealed who lived here, but it is possible that members of the family or plantation employees, such as an overseer and his family, occupied this home. The relatively elaborate construction and its isolated location make it doubtful that it served as slave quarters.

The best military map of the area produced in 1867 includes what appears to be a dwelling in approximately this location. However, none of the Confederate sources mentions a house between their fortifications and their picket line, and no Federal account refers to a structure in their path during the Breakthrough attack. It is possible that the building had fallen into ruins before the war or that the Confederates had leveled it to maintain a clear field of fire in front of their works.

Further historical and archaeological research might tell us more about this mysterious dwelling. In the meantime, in the interest of preservation and your own safety, do not disturb
Marker on the Breakthrough Trail Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2007
2. Marker on the Breakthrough Trail
The excavation site can be seen in the photo behind the marker.
this site.

Sidebar: This structure, the bricks for which were laid in English bond, is an example of how fragile the historical record can be. The origins and occupants of this house remain unknown. After taking this photograph, archeologists backfilled the excavation to preserve it.
 
Erected by Pamplin Historical Park.
 
Location. 37° 10.843′ N, 77° 28.202′ W. Marker is near Petersburg, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker can be reached from Duncan Road (Virginia Route 670), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in Pamplin Historical Park, on the Breakthrough Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg VA 23803, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “A Great Struggle is Now Impending” (within shouting distance of this marker); “A Determination That Knew No Such Word as Fail” (within shouting distance of this marker); Lieutenant Colonel Ronald A. Kennedy (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); “We Fought Desperately” (approx. 0.2 miles away); “Our Line of Battle was so Thin” (approx.
Tudor Hall Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 23, 2007
3. Tudor Hall
This house, owned by tobacco farmer William Boisseau, is located in another section of Pamplin Historical Park. The dwelling that stood at the site of the marker was part of his plantation.
0.2 miles away); 1st Lieutenant Evander McNair Robeson (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battlefield Terrain (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Attack Begins (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Petersburg.
 
More about this marker. The top of the marker contains a photograph of the excavated site. It includes a description of “Pamp Park Civil War features House site. TU #6, profile of north wall, 11/11/97. Chrs Inc.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Breakthrough at Petersburg. Pamplin Historical Park (Submitted on January 18, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Breakthrough at Petersburg. The American Civil War website. (Submitted on January 18, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. The Final Assault. The Civil War Siege of Petersburg. (Submitted on January 18, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 778 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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