Near Chester Gap in Rappahannock County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Minding the Gaps
“A very fatal oversight”
—Gettysburg Campaign —
As a gateway to the northern Shenandoah Valley, this Blue Ridge Mountain gap was of great strategic importance during the Gettysburg Campaign. On the march north to Pennsylvania, Confederate Gens. Richard S. Ewell’s and A.P. Hill’s corps, as well as Gen. James Longstreet’s wagon trains—far more than half of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia—passed through Chester Gap here between June 11 and June 19, 1863. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Longstreet and Hill retreated south by the same route. Mountain Home, the Gardner residence at the northern base of the mountain, then served as Longstreet’s headquarters.
Union Gen. George G. Meade planned to pin Lee’s army against the mountain near Front Royal and crush it but first
“We probably held securely all the passes as far west as Manassas Gap. But beyond that, unfortunately, our cavalry only made their advance after the rebels had seized Chester and Thornton’s Gaps. We cannot help thinking that there was a very fatal oversight here.” — New York Times, July 28, 1863
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. Touch for map. The marker is located Route 665 near its northern intersection with Route 522. Marker is in this post office area: Chester Gap VA 22623, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chester Gap (here, next to this marker); Warren/Rappahannock County (within shouting distance of this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Albert G. Willis (approx. 1.7 miles away); The Massanutten (approx. 4.2 miles away); Indian Old Fields (approx. 4.3 miles away); Discovery Shenandoah Valley (approx. 4½ miles away); Warren County/Fauquier County (approx. 4½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chester Gap.
More about this marker. On the lower left of the marker is a drawing captioned “The Supply Train,” drawing by Edwin Forbes Courtesy Library of Congress. On the lower right of the marker are two photos captioned Col. William Gamble Courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute and Gen. Montgomery D. Corse, from Clement A. Evans, Confederate Military History (1899). On the upper right of the marker is a map of the area around Chester Gap indicating troop positions and movements described in the marker text.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 19, 2010. This page has been viewed 953 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 19, 2010. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.