Powhatan in Powhatan County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Powhatan Court House
April 4, 1865
— Lee’s Retreat —
After Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant broke through Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s lines at Petersburg on April 2, 1865, Lee ordered the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond. The Army of Northern Virginia retreated west on several roads, with Grant in pursuit. Lee planned to turn south and join Gen. Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina, but Grant kept part of his force between Lee and his objective. On April 9, surrounded at Appomattox Court House, Lee surrendered.
Gen. Richard S. Ewell led his infantry column out of the Confederate capital on the morning of April 3, marching southwest to Amelia Court House, to rendezvous with the rest of the army. His subordinate, Gen. G.W. Custis Lee (Gen. Robert E. Lee’s eldest son), soon followed with reserves and heavy artillerymen armed as infantry. Sailors and marines joined his command later.
On reaching Genito Road, Ewell turned north to Tomahawk Baptist Church, where he bivouacked nearby for the evening. Lee’s wagon train, however. chose a parallel route, following the Buckingham Road through Coalfield Station (Midlothian), then here to Powhatan Court House.
Confederate Pvt. William L. Wilson attempting to reach his unit. the 12th Virginia Cavalry, also passed by here. He wrote: “Passing Genito we proceed to Powhatan Court-House and thence on the Clementown Road soon over taking an immense wagon train under [quartermaster] Maj. Maynard Post. … The train is endeavoring to get to Gen. Lee’s army and was ordered from Richmond direct to Amelia C.H. but as yet to cross the river. … We travel with the wagons for several hours when reaching the vicinity of Clementown we secure quarters for the night. The more I see of matters the less hopeful I become.”
Erected by Civil War Trails.
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. 37° 32.496′ N, 77° 55.126′ W. Marker is in Powhatan, Virginia, in Powhatan County. Marker is on Old Buckingham Road (Virginia Route 13) 0.1 miles south of Courthouse Tavern Lane, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Powhatan Courthouse (here, next to this marker); The Court House (a few steps from this marker); Giles's Home (approx. 1.6 miles away); Pocahontas High School (approx. 2 miles away); Mohemenco (A Monacan Village) and Drake House (approx. 4.9 miles away); Dunlora Academy (approx. 5.4 miles away); Shiloh Baptist Church (approx. 6 miles away); Ewell Crosses the Appomattox (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Powhatan.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of "Powhatan County Courthouse". On the upper right is a map showing the route of Ewell’s retreat. On the middle center are photos of "Gen. Richard S. Ewell" and "Gen. G.W. Custis Lee".
Also see . . . Civil War Traveler - Central Virginia: Richmond and Area. Powhatan County.Powhatan Court House. (Submitted on May 18, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,045 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 27, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.