“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Broad Run in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Chapman's Mill

Heart of the Battle of Thoroughfare Gap

Chapman's Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
May 30, 2010
1. Chapman's Mill Marker
Inscription.  Beginning late in 1861, the Confederate Subsistence Department used this mill for a meat curing and distribution center and surrounded it with livestock pens. On March 9, 1862, as the Confederate army evacuated northern Virginia to protect Richmond, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston ordered the destruction of two million pounds of meat stockpiled here to prevent its falling into Union hands. Passing troops and local residents were allowed to take what they could, but the bulk of it went up in flames for lack of transportation.

On August 28, 1862, during the Battle of Thoroughfare Gap, the mill changed hands three times and suffered extensive damage as Confederate forces pushed their way through the gap from the west. Skirmishers from both armies alternately gained the mill's upper windows and fired on their adversaries. Confederate Gen. James Longstreet’s wing defeated Union Gen. James B. Rickett’s smaller division here. This victory enabled Longstreet’s wing to unite with that of Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson near Manassas Junction, where Gen. Robert E. Lee subsequently defeated Union Gen. John Pope in the Second Battle of Manassas.

Chapman's Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
May 30, 2010
2. Chapman's Mill Marker
Virginia Civil War Trails marker just south of the modern-day Norfolk Southern railroad grade - formerly the Manassas Gap Railroad.
Beverley family restored the mill by 1878, and it remained in operation under successive owners until 1951. An arson fire in 1998 reduced it once more to ruins. Chapman’s Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Sidebar): Jonathan Chapman and his son, Nathaniel, constructed Chapman’s Mill between 1737 and 1742. The mill’s ideal location between the fertile Shenandoah Valley and the ports of Georgetown and Alexandria encouraged small farmers growing corn and oats to settle in the Valley instead of slaveholding plantation owners growing single crops. Capitalizing on the construction of the Manassas Gap Railroad through the gap in the 1850s, John Chapman expanded the mill from three to seven stories by 1858, making it the tallest stacked-stone building in the country. Ruined economically, physically, and emotionally by the mill’s wartime destruction, Chapman suffered a mental breakdown in 1862. His family committed him in 1864 to the Western Lunatic Asylum in Staunton, where he died on December 4, 1866. His widow, Ellen Thornton Chapman, died in 1916 at the Louise Home in Washington, D.C., which William Corcoran established as a refuge for “gentlewomen” reduced by misfortune.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic
Close-up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
May 30, 2010
3. Close-up of Photo on Marker
lists: Notable BuildingsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 49.483′ N, 77° 42.401′ W. Marker was near Broad Run, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker was on Beverley Mill Drive, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located just past the Bull Run Mountain Conservancy's Mountain House just before gated entrance to Chapman's Mill. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 17504 Beverley Mill Drive, Broad Run VA 20137, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve (within shouting distance of this marker); Campaign of Second Manassas (approx. ¼ mile away); Thoroughfare Gap (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Thoroughfare Gap (approx. ¼ mile away); Heflin's Store (approx. 1.4 miles away); Free People Of Color At Thoroughfare (approx. 1.6 miles away); Antioch Church (approx. 2.6 miles away); Hopewell Gap (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Broad Run.
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a portrait captioned Gen. Joseph E. Johnston Courtesy Library of Congress and on the upper right is a photo captioned Chapman's Mill, ca. 1889 – Courtesy Manassas National Battlefield Park. The sidebar displays a portrait captioned John Chapman, ca. 1859 Courtesy James Strother Lee.
Also see . . .
1. Chapman's Mill. (Submitted on May 30, 2010.)
Chapman's (Beverley) Mill image. Click for full size.
October 24, 2009
4. Chapman's (Beverley) Mill
In 1759 Chapman's Mill was the boundary for the new Fauquier County created from the older Prince William County.

2. The Battle of Thoroughfare Gap. Civil War Preservation Trust (Submitted on May 30, 2010.) 

3. Thoroughfare Gap Battlefield. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground (Submitted on May 30, 2010.) 
Chapman's (Beverley) Mill image. Click for full size.
May 30, 2010
5. Chapman's (Beverley) Mill
On October 22, 1998, Chapman's Mill was gutted by fire. Soon afterwards, Turn The Mill Around Campaign, obtained ownership of the property and began the steps necessary to stabilize the walls of the mill.
NRHP Plaque image. Click for full size.
October 24, 2009
6. NRHP Plaque
Beverley Mill
has been placed on the
National Register
of Historic Places
by the United States
Department of the Interior
Historic Building Medallion image. Click for full size.
October 24, 2009
7. Historic Building Medallion
Donated by Prince William County Historical Commission.
Broad Run image. Click for full size.
May 30, 2010
8. Broad Run
Broad Run drains upper Fauquier County, carved Thoroughfare Gap through Bull Run Mountain, and powered the mill as it flowed east with an 87 foot descent.
Chapman's Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Glahn, April 28, 2017
9. Chapman's Mill Marker
As of 4/28/2017, the marker is damaged.
Thoroughfare Gap image. Click for full size.
May 30, 2010
10. Thoroughfare Gap
View of the approach to Thoroughfare Gap from the west.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 30, 2018. It was originally submitted on May 30, 2010. This page has been viewed 2,363 times since then and 65 times this year. Last updated on May 1, 2018. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on May 30, 2010.   9. submitted on April 30, 2017, by William Glahn of Winchester, Virginia.   10. submitted on May 30, 2010. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 5, 2020