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

Near Lake Wilderness in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Echoes Homeward

The Battle of the Wilderness


— Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park —

Echoes Homeward Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
1. Echoes Homeward Marker
Once schoolmates, friends, and neighbors, they came here as soldiers from Yorkville, South Carolina; Pen Yan, New York; Clarksville, Virginia; Barre, Vermont; and a hundred other towns, North and South. Their deaths in these woods on May 5 and 6, 1864 devastated familes and communities hundreds of miles away.

In Birmingham, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh, Almira Patterson (right) learned of the death of her husband in these woods when she received a letter from one of his subordinate officers. The death of Colonel John W. Patterson plunged Almira into a struggle from which she would never fully recover. A widow with three children, she received a pension of just $350 per year. The Orphan's Court of Allegheny County required her to sell her home to support the family. She never remarried and died in 1910. The Pattersons' young daughter Mary died of scarlet fever in 1868, adding to her mother's woe.

A long, mournful blast of a train whistle announced the arrival of war news to Yorkville, South Carolina in May 1864. Caroline Harper Jamison Jenkins, (left) wife to Confederate General Micah Jenkins, gathered with
Third Wayside on the Loop Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 16, 2008
2. Third Wayside on the Loop Trail
dozens of other townspeople at the train station to hear the latest. What she heard broke her heart. Her husband was dead, killed along the Orange Plank Road on May 6. With four young boys to raise and without income, Caroline moved nearer to family on Edisto Island, then earned a living tutoring young girls. She later opened a boarding house. Although only 26 when her husband died, Caroline never remarried.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. 38° 18.02′ N, 77° 42.54′ W. Marker is near Lake Wilderness, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Orange Plank Road (County Route 621) and Brock Road (County Route 613), on the right when traveling east. Located at stop eight (Brock Road-Plank Road Intersection) of the driving tour of the Wilderness Battlefield. The marker is along a half-mile loop trail at the tour stop. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10801 Orange Plank Rd, Spotsylvania VA 22551, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Climax (within shouting distance of this marker); Hell Itself (within shouting distance of this marker); Valuable Crossroads (within shouting distance of this marker);
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The Vermont Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Horror on the Orange Plank Road (within shouting distance of this marker); No Turning Back (within shouting distance of this marker); On to Richmond! (within shouting distance of this marker); 12th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers 1862 - 1865 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lake Wilderness.
More about this marker. The marker displays portraits of Caroline Harper Jamison Jenkins, Almira Patterson, and Mary Patterson. In the center is a facsimile of a flier announcing the sale of Almira Patterson's house.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 1, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,290 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on September 9, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 1, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 8, 2021