Near Fredericksburg in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
First Day at Chancellorsville
The Enemy Within
- Local spy Isaac Silver
Both armies employed soldiers as spies or scouts, but some of the most valuable information came from local civilians. The Chancellorsville Campaign literally swung on the intelligence of Unionists within Confederate lines.
Preceding the Battle of Chancellorsville, local loyalists Ebenezer McGee and Isaac Silver employed tactics of astonishing simplicity. Silver was somehow able to observe Confederate camps and collect information about various units. Silver wrote his "reports" in pencil, without a cipher, and gave them to McGee. McGee carried them across the Rappahannock and delivered them to the Union army.
Silver's reports accurately detailed the location and strength of much of the Confederate army, which was particularly valuable in the virtually impenetrable Wilderness. Silver continued his activities until war's end, but McGee was fatally wounded while working as a scout in 1864.
Erected 2008 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1864.
Location. 38° 17.905′ N, 77° 35.916′ W. Marker is near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from 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 at or near this postal address: 7816 General Wright Dr, 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 The First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (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 First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at ChancellorsvilleFirst Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
More about this marker. In the lower center This postwar image shows members of the William C. Morrison family at their home on the Orange Plank Road. The Delaware natives were some of the many Unionists in the vicinity, including Isaac Silver and Ebenezer McGee. On the right a map depicts the operational situation before the Chancellorsville Campaign. Isaac Silver's report, delivered by Ebenezer McGee on April 15, showed the vulnerability of the Confederate left and rear, which Hooker would ultimately threaten with his "grand turning movement."
1. Not William C. Morrison Family
The marker is in error. The family in the picture is the Robert R. Morrison family not the William C. Morrison family. Robert was the brother of William. The picture was taken in May 1892 on the front porch of Robert and Mary Ann Morrison which is on Bragg Rd. not Orange Plank Rd. William was the owner of the home during the Civil War and Robert took ownership after the war.
Robert and Mary Ann are my great grandparents.
— Submitted September 19, 2010, by Richard Morrison of Kennesaw, Georgia.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,822 times since then and 20 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. submitted on September 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.