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

Near Amissville in Rappahannock County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Twilight of Slavery

“Enlightened” Accommodations No Match for Freedom

Twilight of Slavery Marker image. Click for full size.
January 16, 2010
1. Twilight of Slavery Marker
Inscription.  The three brick cabins in the field before you are tangible connections to the enslaved people of Rappahannock County before and during the Civil War. Many slaves escaped to Union lines here and elsewhere, and some former bondsmen served in the U.S. Army as the United States Colored Troops following the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863.

In July-August 1862, part of the Union Army of Virginia occupied Rappahannock County and camped on these grounds. Slaves on nearby farms fled especially to Gen. Robert H. Milroy’s camp in Woodville. Milroy, known as an abolitionist, put them to work as laborers, cooks, and teamsters (William Payne of Amissville served as a teamster). He formed some of the men into a pioneer (construction) company. The 27th Indiana Infantry organized former slaves into a mock military unit that drilled near Amissville. The next year, Eliza Brown, a slave born on a plantation a mile east of here, became a cook for Union Gen. George A. Custer. Federal soldiers then noted a marked decrease in the number of slaves from 1862, in part because the Confederate government had requisitioned 150 Rappahannock
Twilight of Slavery Marker image. Click for full size.
January 16, 2010
2. Twilight of Slavery Marker
The upper half of the marker referenced three slave cabins can be seen in the distance.
County slaves to labor for the Southern Army.

(Sidebar): The Ben Venue slave cabins are among the most sophisticated examples of such quarters in Virginia. Most housing for slaves consisted of shacks or log cabins with stick-and-mud chimneys and little ventilation. During the antebellum period, however, prosperous owners sometimes constructed more substantial quarters in prominent locations as visible expressions of wealth. By the second half of the 19th century, slaves constituted the largest capital investment in the South next to the land itself. Many owners realized that crude utilitarian dwellings would not enhance the health or productivity of their most highly valued possessions. Better housing did not change the essential character of slavery, however, and many individuals ran away when opportunities arose. The 1860 United States Slave Schedules for Rappahannock County lists 414 fugitives out of 3,120 slaves.

African American soldiers with
Rappahannock County connections:

Howard Campbell
22nd U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), buried in Scrabble

Charles Davenport
54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry

Lewis Dixon
5th USCT, resident of Woodville

William Newby
5th USCT, mortally wounded at Petersburg in 1864,
brother of Dangerfield Newby, one of John Brown’s
Ben Venue Slave Cabins image. Click for full size.
November 12, 2011
3. Ben Venue Slave Cabins
View from Ben Venue Road.
Ferry raiders, whose ancestral home was
Newby’s Crossroads, five miles south

James Arthur Payne
27th USCT, born in Sandy Hook (Huntly)

James Whip
5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry, lived here at
Gaines Crossroads (Ben Venue) after the war

Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansAgricultureSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 38° 43.14′ N, 78° 4.03′ W. Marker is near Amissville, Virginia, in Rappahannock County. Marker is at the intersection of Lee Highway (U.S. 211) and Richmond Road (Virginia Route 729), on the right when traveling east on Lee Highway. Marker is in the parking lot of Williams Tree Service. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13830 Lee Highway, Amissville VA 20106, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gaines’s Crossroads (here, next to this marker); Albert Gallatin Willis (approx. 3.6 miles away); Campaign of Second Manassas (approx. 4.1 miles away); Hinson's Ford (approx. 4.2 miles away); Washington, Virginia
Old Style Virginia Slave Cabin, 1864 image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
4. Old Style Virginia Slave Cabin, 1864
“Slave Cabin near the Long Bridge, Chicahominy River, Va., June 13th 1864” by Edwin Forbes.
(approx. 4.3 miles away); A Tale of Two Mills (approx. 4½ miles away); Encounter with Lee (approx. 4.8 miles away); Battle Mountain (approx. 4.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Amissville.
More about this marker. On the upper center of the marker is a sketch captioned Old-style Virginia slave cabin, 1864 -Library of Congress. On the lower center of the marker is a drawing captioned Regimental Colors, 22nd USCT - Library of Congress. On the upper right of the marker is a photo captioned Howard Campbell gravestone Rappahannock Historical Society.
Additional keywords. USCT
Regimental Colors, 22nd USCT image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
5. Regimental Colors, 22nd USCT
Sic Semper Tyrannis - 22th Regt. U.S. Colored Troops” by David Bustill Bowser
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 17, 2010. This page has been viewed 3,848 times since then and 609 times this year. Last updated on November 12, 2011. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 17, 2010.   3. submitted on November 12, 2011.   4, 5. submitted on May 25, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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Nov. 28, 2020