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

Fairview

 
 
Fairview Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
1. Fairview Marker
Inscription. Just ahead of you stood a story-and-a-half log house known as Fairview. This was originally a Chancellor home, but during the Civil War James Moxley and his family occupied it. Moxley was overseer of Frances Chancellor's 20 slaves. Moxley likely managed most aspects of physical work on the Chancellors' 800-acre farm - dispatching slaves to daily assignments, maintaining buildings and machines, and ensuring that crops made it to market. Moxley's status as overseer exempted him from service in the Confederate military.

As the Union army approached Chancellorsville, the Moxleys fled to Catharine Furnace, two miles to the south. Then Gen. Alpheus Williams turned the house into his headquarters; artillerymen built more than 40 lunettes, a type of fortification, in the fields nearby. On May 3, 1863, the farm became the focal point of one of the most intense artillery duels of the war. Though riddled, Fairview survived the battle but burned down just weeks later - one of three Chancellor houses lost during the war.
 
Erected by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
 
Location. 38° 18.433′ N, 77° 38.607′ W. Marker is near Chancellorsville, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached
Set of Markers overlooking the Fairview House Site image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
2. Set of Markers overlooking the Fairview House Site
from Berry-Paxton Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located at Fairview, stop ten of the driving tour of Chancellorsville Battlefield. The marker is also at stop five of the Hazel Grove-Fairview walking trail. 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. Ordeal of the Wounded (here, next to this marker); Chancellor Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Artillery Duel (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fairview (within shouting distance of this marker); Jackson's Impact (within shouting distance of this marker); High Drama, Human Tragedy (within shouting distance of this marker); Collis Zouaves (approx. 0.2 miles away); The 27th Indiana Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chancellorsville.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is an artist's rendition of the house and farm.
 
Regarding Fairview. This is one of several markers for the Battle of Chancellorsville at Hazel Grove and Fairview, the central part of the battle. See the Hazel Grove - Fairview Virtual Tour by Markers in the links section for a listing of related markers on the tour.
 
Also see . . .
Fairview House Site image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
3. Fairview House Site
Four wooden posts mark the location of the Fairview House.

1. Battle of Chancellorsville. National Park Service site. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Hazel Grove - Fairview Walking Trail. A one mile walk through the scene of the heavy fighting on May 2-3, 1863. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Hazel Grove - Fairview Virtual Tour by Markers. The Hazel Grove and Fairview portions of the battlefield (stops nine and ten on the driving tour of the battlefield). Markers along this tour include those on Stuart and Slocum Drives. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

4. Tour of Fairview at Chancellorsville. This Robert Koch page offers photos of the Fairview site prior to clearing done in the last ten years. The text for the older NPS marker was transcribed from photos on his site. (Submitted on December 25, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

5. Old Fairview Marker. Civil War Album link to the old Fairview Marker. (Submitted on December 25, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

6. Old Fairview House Marker. Civil War Album link to the original marker. (Submitted on December 25, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Original National Park Service Markers
Artillery Lunettes on the Fairview Farm Grounds image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 10, 2007
4. Artillery Lunettes on the Fairview Farm Grounds

Probably placed in the 1970s, a two smaller markers stood at about the same spot occupied by this marker today. The markers, were aluminum with a brown background and white (not raised) lettering. The first read:
Fairview
This elevated clearing in the Wilderness, the original Chancellor family homestead in Spotsylvania County, served as an important Union artillery position throughout the Battle of Chancellorsville. The Federals first occupied Fairview on May 1, 1863. On the following evening, thirty-seven Federal cannon faced westward, to your front, along the Orange Turnpike (modern Route 3) and helped prevent Jackson's flank attack from reaching Chancellorsville.
The trees in front of you are much taller than the ones that were here during the Civil War. The earthworks built on May 2, 1863 to shelter the Union artillery sill survive in remarkably good condition behind you. The Confederate capture of Fairview in the morning of May 3 force the entire Union army to fall back to its last line of defense.



The second read:
Fairview House
Twenty-five yards ahead of you stood "Fairview," a once-and-one-half-story log house occupied during the battle by General Alpheus Williams. On May 1, 1863, Confederate gunners targeted the structure, sending several rounds crashing through its walls. One shell dropped down the chimney and landed unexploded in the fireplace. "As luck would have it," wrote Williams, "there was no fire and the next morning the cooks built fires outside. Accidentally one of the staff officers, in a spirit of curiosity, discovered the unexploded shell in the ashes of the fireplace. If the cooks had...used the fireplace for cooking, we should have had an explosion which would probably have spoiled our breakfast and lessened the number of headquarters cooks." Ironically, the house survived the battle, but was destroyed by fire a few weeks later. The old marker also displayed an 1876 photo of Union veterans looking over the earthworks. The remains of the Fairview house chimney could be seen in the background of the photo.
    — Submitted December 25, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,060 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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