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Colonial Heights, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lee at Violet Bank

Siege Headquarters

 
 
Lee at Violet Bank CWT Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 15, 2009
1. Lee at Violet Bank CWT Marker
Inscription. Lt. Col. Walter H. Taylor, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s aide, established Lee’s headquarters here at Violet Bank on June 17, 1864, at the beginning of the siege of Petersburg. The city, protected by Confederate defensive works to the east and south, remained connected to Richmond, the Confederate capital, via the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad as well as the Manchester and Petersburg Turnpike. Violet Bank was located near each transportation route, enabling Lee to travel quickly to Richmond to confer with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who also visited Lee here. While at Violet Bank, Lee learned of the explosion that began the Battle of The Crater on July 30, 1864, and rushed to the front to direct the Confederate counterattack. Lee spent a good deal of time north of the James River at Chaffin’s Bluff after August 15, but maintained his headquarters here until October 28, when he moved to another location in Petersburg. Union troops occupied Violet Bank briefly after Lee evacuated Petersburg on April 2-3. 1865.

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This is the second house located on this site. Thomas Shore constructed the first house here in 1778; it burned in 1810. The present house, which Shore’s widow completed in 1815, resembled Richmond houses designed or influenced by noted architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, as well as
The Cucumber Tree at Violet Bank Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 15, 2009
2. The Cucumber Tree at Violet Bank
Alexander Parris, a New Englander who designed the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond. Violet Bank is noteworthy for its refined architectural features, including the three-part bays, intricate woodwork, and elaborate plaster ornamentation. The house served as the home of the Colonial Heights Post No. 284 of the American Legion from 1948 until 1959. It is now operated as a house museum.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 37° 14.502′ N, 77° 24.312′ W. Marker is in Colonial Heights, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Arlington Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 303 Virginia Avenue, Colonial Heights VA 23834, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Magnolia Acuminata (a few steps from this marker); Violet Bank (a few steps from this marker); Lee's Headquarters (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lafayette At Petersburg (about 400 feet away); Colonial Heights War Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Pocahontas (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pocahontas Island (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Battle at the Bridge (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Colonial Heights.
 
More about this marker.
Violet Bank Museum Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, March 15, 2009
3. Violet Bank Museum
On the lower left is a photo of “George W. Custis Lee, Robert E. Lee, and Walter H. Taylor on the back porch of the Lee house in Richmond, April 1865” Courtesy Library of Congress

On the upper right is a sketch of “Lee at Violet Bank”, London Illustrated News

On the lower right is an illustration of “Violet Bank, early-20th-century postcard” Courtesy Chris Calkins, Petersburg National Battlefield
 
Also see . . .
1. City of Colonial Heights. The history of Violet Bank. (Submitted on March 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Colonial Heights Recreation & Parks. Violet Bank Museum. (Submitted on March 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

3. Civil War Traveler. Colonial Heights. (Submitted on March 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,756 times since then and 94 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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