Colonial Heights, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
"...burning cartridges like shooting stars"
On April 2, 1865, after the Battle of Five Forks, the Confederates moved ammunition here as they prepared to evacuate Petersburg, then destroyed the stockpile as well as surplus food and clothing. A Confederate soldier wrote that "the great sheds and long trains of cars" burned in the dark night, eerily illuminated
Life went on even as the Confederacy expired. Despite the evacuation crisis, Lee permitted his adjutant, Col. Walter Taylor, to board the last ambulance train to Richmond here so that Taylor could marry his long-time sweetheart, Bettie Saunders. Taylor rejoined Lee before the surrender at Appomattox Court House.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1865.
Location. 37° 16.096′ N, 77° 24.314′ W. Marker is in Colonial Heights, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Old Town Drive and East Ellerslie Drive, on the right when traveling south on Old Town Drive. Located at St. Michael’s Church. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 501 Old Town Drive, Colonial Heights VA 23834, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are Dunlop's Station (a few steps from this marker); Ellerslie (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Ellerslie (approx. 0.2 miles away); Electric Railway (approx. 0.8 miles away); "Brave to Madness" (approx. 1.1 miles away); Battle of Swift Creek (approx. 1.1 miles away); Union Army Checked (approx. 1.3 miles away); Swift Creek Battlefield: A Landscape of Change (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Colonial Heights.
More about this marker. In the lower left is a drawing of a destroyed railroad station. Combat artist Alfred R. Waud drew this picture of the burned workshop of the Southside Railroad on the Appomattox River in April 1865. The destruction at Dunlop Station would have been similar in scope.
On the right is a wartime photo captioned, Gen. G.W.C. Lee, Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Col. Walter Taylor pose in Richmond in April 1865, after the surrender at Appomattox Court House.
Also see . . . Brief History of Ellerslie. The area around the station saw much activity during the later phases of the Civil War. (Submitted on December 24, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 24, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,059 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 24, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3. submitted on April 29, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.