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Chesapeake, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Village of Deep Creek
The Dismal Swamp Rangers
 
Village of Deep Creek Civil War Trails Marker Photo, Click for full size
May 12, 2007
1. Village of Deep Creek Civil War Trails Marker
 
Inscription. Before you is the Deep Creek Lock of the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. The canal was an important thoroughfare, connecting the North Carolina Sounds with Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay. The Dismal Swamp Canal is the oldest operating artificial waterway in the United States. Construction was authorized by the Virginia legislature in 1787 and subsequently by North Carolina in 1790. Both Union and Confederate strategists recognized the canalís importance and sought to control the waterway.

One commercial center that grew along the canal during the antebellum era is the Village of Deep Creek. By 1850 Deep Creek had become a village of about fifty houses and served as the main depot for lumber taken from the Dismal Swamp.

Even though Deep Creek was thinly populated, local patriotism for the Southern rights prompted the organization of a militia company known as the Dismal Swamp Rangers in 1856. When Virginia left the Union, the Rangers rushed to Portsmouth to occupy the Gosport Navy Yard and then the Portsmouth Naval Hospital. The unit was mustered into Confederate service shortly thereafter as Company A, Third Virginia Regiment. After taking batteries to defend Norfolk and Portsmouth, the company was sent to Fort Boykin on Burwellís Bay until it crossed the James River to serve in the Confederate Warwick River defenses. The
 
Village of Deep Creek Marker Photo, Click for full size
May 12, 2007
2. Village of Deep Creek Marker
The marker is just in front of the Dismal Swamp Canal. The lock is just out of sight to the left in this photo.
 
Peninsula Campaign took a toll on this small company of 68 men. At the Battle of Frazerís Farm (Glendale) on June 30, 1862, it suffered 22 killed and wounded. One soldier, Private Maurice Liverman, was mortally wounded during the battle, yet turned to his comrades and said, “Boys, I canít live much longer, so hold me up so that I can fire one more shot and kill one more Yankee before I die, to get even with them for my own death.” His fellow soldiers complied.

The Dismal Swamp Rangers continued to serve in the Army of Northern Virginia after the Peninsula Campaign. The unit fought at Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Dinwiddie Court House, and Five Forks. Two members of the Rangers surrendered at Appomattox.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 44.762′ N, 76° 20.458′ W. Marker is in Chesapeake, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Luray Street. Click for map. The marker is located in Deep Creek Lock Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Luray Street, Chesapeake VA 23323, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Justin Holland (approx. 0.4 miles away); Unknown and Known Afro-Union Civil War Soldiers Memorial (approx. 4.3 miles away); Sunray (approx. 4.6 miles away); Herring (Heron) Ditch (approx. 4.6 miles away); Dale Point (approx. 4.7 miles away); Liquid Highways (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Iron Titans Tame the Marsh? (approx. 5.4 miles away); Why Build a Canal Here? (approx. 5.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chesapeake.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a photo captioned, "Village of Deep Creek, c. 1890." On the lower right is a sketch of the canal captioned, "Passage of Union boats through the Dismal Swamp Canal."
 
Also see . . .
1. History of the Dismal Swamp Rangers. (Submitted on January 16, 2008.)
2. PDF of the marker. (Submitted on April 15, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on January 16, 2008. This page has been viewed 3,048 times since then. Last updated on January 16, 2008. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 16, 2008. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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