Near Chancellor in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
First Day at Chancellorsville
Not Just Armies
-James H. Leitch, farmer.
The Battle of Chancellorsville started here - amid the homes of families living along the Orange Turnpike. On the morning of May 1, Ann Lewis, whose house stood on the rise in front of you, found Union cavalrymen lounging in her yard. After she saw masses of Confederate troops approaching from the east, Lewis called a Union trooper into her house to "look at the rebels"; she wisely retreated to her cellar just as the shooting started. Union soldiers took cover behind the house, and a spirited firefight ensued.
With so many battles fought nearby, the civilians of Spotsylvania County bore a disproportionate burden of devastation and destruction. James H. Leitch, whose home lay in the middle of the battlefield, recalled: "The enemy tore down some of the fencing... They took our corn from the crib... [and] ten bushels of ground wheat. ... I saw our troops using the fencing from the side opposite the Yankees as fuel."
Erected 2008 by Virginia Civil
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 38° 17.736′ N, 77° 35.579′ W. Marker is near Chancellor, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Plank Road / Germanna Highway (State Highway 3), on the right when traveling west. Located along the Civil War Preservation Trust's walking trail through the First Day at Chancellorsville Battlefield. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (about 800 feet away); 11th United States Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named 11th United States Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Chancellorsville Campaign (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chancellor.
More about this marker. In the lower center is a portrait of the Myer family children: Even Spotsylvania County's youngest residents, such as John H. Myer, Jr., Mary Myer, and Annie Myer, could not escape the ravages of war. After the Confederate army impressed their father into service, Union troops burned their home on May 15, 1864.
A map on the right side illustrates the actions described in the text. Civilian life along and around the Orange Turnpike was typical of the nineteenth-century Wilderness - farmers built homes in the sparse clearings and worked what little clear land they had around them.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,920 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on October 29, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1. submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on March 13, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.