Burkeville in Nottoway County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
— Lee’s Retreat —
Here at Burkeville Junction, the Richmond and Danville Railroad - the most direct route to North Carolina - crossed the South Side Railroad, which ran west to Farmville. Gen. Robert E. Lee planned to lead the Army of Northern Virginia down the former rail line from Amelia Court House. When part of the Army of the Potomac, one of the Union armies commanded by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, blocked the way at Jetersville on April 5, 1865, Lee turned west. He intended to follow the South Side Railroad through Farmville toward Lynchburg then to march south once more and join his army with that of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina. Surrounded and outnumbered at Appomattox Court House, however, he surrendered on April 9, 1865.
That morning, not long before the arrangements for the surrender were made, a life ended near here in Burke’s Tavern. Gen. Thomas A. Smyth, mortally wounded north of Farmville on April 7, died here about 4 a.m. He was the last Union general to die in the Civil War.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these 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 April 1870.
Location. 37° 11.353′ N, 78° 12.197′ W. Marker is in Burkeville, Virginia, in Nottoway County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 2nd Street NW (Business U.S. 460) and Maple Road. The marker is located in front of the Burkeville Depot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Burkeville VA 23922, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Burkeville Junction (here, next to this marker); Wilson-Kautz Raid (here, next to this marker); Burkeville (within shouting distance of this marker); Ingleside Training Institute (approx. 0.7 miles away); Prince Edward County / Nottoway County (approx. 1.9 miles away); Ella Graham Agnew (approx. 2˝ miles away); T. O. Sandy (approx. 2˝ miles away); Old Nottoway Meeting House (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Burkeville.
More about this marker. On the lower left are photos of “Gen. Thomas A. Smyth” and “Burke’s Tavern”, where he died. On the right is an area map with two insets of drawings by Charles W. Reed: “Nottoway Station” and “Burkeville Junction”
Also see . . . Burke's Tavern. National Register of Historic Places nomination form for Burke's Tavern, pictured on the marker. The tavern stands at the intersection (Submitted on April 28, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 11, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,607 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 11, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 3. submitted on April 28, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4, 5. submitted on May 11, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 6. submitted on June 2, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of Burke's Tavern. • Can you help?