“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Blackstone in Nottoway County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Battle of Nottoway

Battle of Nottoway image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, April 26, 2007
1. Battle of Nottoway
Inscription.  “…the mingled roar of the musketry, and heavy lumbering of the artillery, seemed to rend the whole heavens…”

At this railroad cut on June 23, 1864, 3,500 Union cavalrymen commanded by Gen. James H. Wilson fought a Confederate cavalry force of 2,000 under Gen. W.H. Fitzhugh Lee. The savage, 9-hour battle was the first major engagement of the Wilson-Kautz Raid, a Union cavalry expedition intended to destroy railroads supplying Confederate forces besieged at Petersburg.

1) 11:12:a.m. – Union Col. George Chapman’s Brigade unexpectedly encounters Confederate Gen. James Dearing’s Brigade near this railroad cut. The Confederates dismount and attack, forcing the Federals into a defensive position in the cut. Additional forces, including artillery, arrive and the fighting see-saws as both sides charge and countercharge. The heaviest fighting is on the left where the 62nd Georgia Cavalry forms the Confederate.

2) 1-2:p.m. – Union troops (8th New York and 1st Vermont) drive back the North Carolina companies of the Dearing Brigade and momentarily capture McGregor’s guns. Moments later, Gen. Rufus
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Barringer’s Brigade (1st, 2nd and 5th North Carolina) arrives, dismounts and recaptures the guns, forcing the Federals back into the railroad cut. Fighting continues, but the battle becomes a stalemate.

3) About 7 p.m. – In a final effort, mounted Confederate cavalry attempts to flank the Union position but are driven off by troopers of the 1st Connecticut Cavalry. Sniping and skirmishing continue until about midnight.

4) About 3 a.m., June 24 – Gen. Wilson withdraws from the field along present day Rts. 603 and 626, to reunite his division with that of Gen. Kautz near Meherrin, Virginia. The Confederates claim victory, but the Union force will continue its mission to disrupt and destroy the Confederate railroads.

Casualties, including killed, wounded and missing:
Confederate – between 60 and 100.
Union – about 75.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1922.
Location. 37° 6.395′ N, 78° 2.315′ W. Marker is near Blackstone, Virginia, in Nottoway County. Marker is on Old Nottoway Road (U.S. 460) near The Grove Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Crewe VA 23930, 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. Mt. Nebo Church (approx. half a mile away); Blackstone College
Battle of Nottoway Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, April 26, 2007
2. Battle of Nottoway Markers
The Battle of Nottoway is on the route of Lee's Retreat.
(approx. 2.6 miles away); Blackstone Female Institute (approx. 2.7 miles away); Nottoway Court House (approx. 2.7 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.7 miles away); Nottoway Confederate Soldiers Monument (approx. 2.7 miles away); Jamestown Oaks (approx. 2.8 miles away); Dodge Brothers Dealership (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Blackstone.
More about this marker. At the upper right of the marker is a picture with the caption "At early light we were on the move again, engaged in the work of destruction." Civil War artist A.R. Waud’s sketch shows the efficiency with which the Federals worked; about 60 miles of railroad were destroyed.

The lower right of the marker contains a map, with the caption This present-day map will help you orient the battle action to the landscape you see today.

The left side of the marker features a battle map showing the action of the Battle of Nottoway.
Also see . . .
1. Wilson-Kautz Raid. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on March 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Battle Map of Battle of Nottoway image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, April 26, 2007
3. Battle Map of Battle of Nottoway
The numbers on this map refer to actions listed on the marker.

2. Lee's Retreat. Virginia's Retreat guide. (Submitted on March 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.) 

3. Civil War Traveler - Southside Virginia & Lee's Retreat. Lee's Retreat: Radio Message Scripts. Stop 26: Battle of Nottoway. (Submitted on May 18, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.) 
Additional commentary.
1. Site of Ancestor’s wounds from which he died the next day
I recently found where my great-great grandfather was killed. He was with the 62nd Ga Cavalry. I knew there had been a regrouping June 19, 1864, but most accounts said the change did not take place until July. In June the 62nd was assigned to Dearing. I started down the list of Ga Cavalry and there he was, 8th Ga. Cavalry: A. H. Shepherd (Asa Holt), “Killed in action. Died of wounds received in battle June 23.” “Killed in action June 23 1864. Entitled to bounty.”

His wife and five children and his mother-in-law lived in Jefferson County, Ga. Family lore tells of the visit by Sherman’s bummers. The family must have received word of As’'s death because it is recorded in the family Bible. My mother always told me that his mother had sent her grandfather, a boy about 12 years old, to the woods behind the house to bury money.
Battle of Nottoway on Lee's Retreat image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, April 26, 2007
4. Battle of Nottoway on Lee's Retreat
June 23, 1864 - This was the first of a series of raids from Petersburg led by Union Generals James Wilson and August Kautz. The purpose of the raid was to destroy portions of the South Side and Richmond & Danville Railroads and curtail the use of these supply lines by Lee's army.
I would ask, “Where would she have gotten the money?” Now I believe she had also received the $50 bounty. The family left Georgia with an ox and cart and made their way back of Monticello, Florida, where they had lived and where his wife’s family lived. Descendents still live there.
    — Submitted January 10, 2012, by AnnLee Alley (Earnshaw) of Jacksonville Beach,, Florida.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 3,047 times since then and 263 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 28, 2023