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


"He was brave, gentle and polished"

Glencoe Civil War Trails Marker image. Click for full size.
May 12, 2007
1. Glencoe Civil War Trails Marker
Inscription. “Glencoe,” the plantation home of Capt. William Wallace of the Jackson Grays, was located approximately one-half mile northeast of this site.

William C. Wallace was born at Wallaceton, Norfolk County, Virginia, on March 23, 1842, and mustered into Confederate service on June 11, 1861, with the Jackson Greys. Wallace was immediately elected the company’s 1st Lieutenant. He was slightly wounded on March 8, 1862, while serving at Sewell’s Point during the CSS Virginia’s (Merrimack) first attack against the Union fleet in Hampton Roads. In May 1862 Wallace was promoted to Captain and elevated to company commander. William C. Wallace continued to serve in this capacity until he was mortally wounded and captured on August 19, 1864 during the Battle of Weldon Railroad (Davis Farm). A little more than twenty-two years old at the time of his death, Wallace was fondly remembered as being “brave, gentle and polished, and loved by all who knew him.”

William Wallace’s mother, Elizabeth Custis Wallace, was one of the region’s most prominent citizens. She kept a diary of her experiences during the war, which has been published as the Glencoe Diary. This diary records the anxiety and pain that the Wallaces, and many others, suffered during the Union occupation. “Glencoe,” the home of Mrs. Wallace,
Glencoe Marker image. Click for full size.
May 12, 2007
2. Glencoe Marker
Marker is beside the Dismal Swamp Canal
stood until recently near the Dismal Swamp Canal in the area generally called Wallaceton near the North Carolina border. Here Mrs. Wallace lived with her husband, George T. Wallace, whom the 1860 Census listed as a timber-getter and the individual with the highest net worth in St. Brides Parish.

The Stewarts, another prominent family, lived nearby in their house, “Beechwood.” William H. Stewart organized and was elected the first Captain of the Jackson Greys. He was wounded twice during the war, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and served as the commander of the 61st Virginia Volunteer Regiment. His home, “Beechwood,” is one of the few large antebellum houses still standing in Chesapeake and can be seen across the farm fields. Also still standing is the Wallace family home, “Wallaceton,” just to the north of this site on Route 17.

Also before you is the Dismal Swamp Canal and to the west, the Dismal Swamp. The Dismal Swamp was a refuge for runaway slaves prior to and during the war. After the Union seized control of the area, it became a hideout for Confederate guerrillas.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 36.35′ 
Beechwood image. Click for full size.
By Chris Bieber, November 10, 2010
3. Beechwood
Beechwood as seen from the marker site.
N, 76° 22.867′ W. Marker is near Chesapeake, Virginia. Marker is on South George Washington Highway (U.S. 17), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is off Ballahack Road along the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Chesapeake VA 23322, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. North West Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Dismal Swamp Canal (approx. 2.3 miles away); Herring (Heron) Ditch (approx. 5.3 miles away); Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery (approx. 7.8 miles away); Seven Patriot Heroes (approx. 7.9 miles away); St. Bride's Church (approx. 9.5 miles away); Village of Deep Creek (approx. 9.9 miles away); Dismal Town (approx. 10.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chesapeake.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo Captain William C. Wallace. On the top center is a photo of the Glencoe house captioned, "Glencoe, built circa 1841, was destroyed by fire on November 23, 1979."
Regarding Glencoe. Note that the marker identifies William Wallace’s mother as Elizabeth Custis Wallace. It was actually Elizabeth Curtis Wallace (Curtis was her maiden name). Although there were ties to the Custis-Lee family, Elizabeth's middle name, Curtis, refers to her father, Drayton Mills Curtis.
Also see . . .  The Great Dismal Swamp and the Underground Railroad. (PDF) Details the role of the swamp in the Underground Railroad and other Civil War related events. (Submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Additional comments.
1. Last person who lived in Glencoe plantation
I was the last person to live in Glencoe Plantation before it burned. It had a big ballroom with sliding doors to divide it into two spaces as needed. The double stairs spiraled up to a balcony above the drawing room. Behind the main house was the slave quarters. Many civil war bullets and trinkets have been found in the yard. It had fireplaces on all three levels and secret passageways that may have been used for the underground railway.

Editor's Note: Thank you for sharing some of your personal history related to this marker. If you have any pictures of Glencoe before it burned, please consider adding them to this page.
    — Submitted August 22, 2011, by Candace Sturgill of Hendricks, West Virginia.

Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 4,185 times since then and 262 times this year. Last updated on , by Faith E. (Frost) Varrasse of Yulee, Florida. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on .   3. submitted on , by Chris Bieber of Chesapeake, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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