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Orange in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Town of Orange

Confederate Hardships

 
 
Town of Orange Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 5, 2008
1. Town of Orange Marker
Inscription. Lee vs. Grant - The 1864 Campaign
After Gettysburg and some minor operations during the summer and fall of 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Confederate army settled into winter quarters on the hills around the town of Orange Court House.

Lee relied on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad for supplies and reinforcements, but the line was unable to sustain the army with adequate provisions.

In January 1864, Lee counseled the secretary of war: "The supply of subsistence for the army is a matter of vital moment, and is now the chief subject of anxiety to me."

In April, Lee again warned, "The season has arrived when I may be attacked any day. The scarcity of our supplies gives me the greatest uneasiness."

When Gen. James Longstreet and his Confederate command of 10,000 men returned to the army after campaigning in Tennessee, the troops were required to march the final leg of their journey because the trains could transport only 1,500 men per day.

On April 28, Lee was moved to tears as he reviewed Longstreet's troops, and within just five days Lee's reinforced army was marching to intercept Grant's Federal forces in the Wilderness. The last grand campaign of the war had begun.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series.
Town of Orange Marker next to the Old Train Station image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 5, 2008
2. Town of Orange Marker next to the Old Train Station
The depot here was a busy location as the terminus of the Confederate supply line. Personnel, munitions, horses, mules, and other supplies arrived here from Richmond, Charlottesville, and points south on the rail lines.
This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 14.685′ N, 78° 6.587′ W. Marker is in Orange, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker is on Short Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located at the entrance to the Orange Visitors Center, which is the old train station. Marker is in this post office area: Orange VA 22960, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Orange Train Station (within shouting distance of this marker); General Zachary Taylor (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Montpelier and Madison's Tomb (about 500 feet away); Orange Graded School (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lee's Headquarters (approx. 1.8 miles away); Wreck at the Fat Nancy (approx. 2.2 miles away); Oakley (approx. 2.2 miles away); Kemper's Grave (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orange.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left are portraits of Gens. Lee and Longstreet. On the right is a drawing of a Confederate camp, "Garnett's artillery battalion camp had been near Willis Ford (about five miles north of here) at the Rapidan River, but Lee had been compelled to withdraw the battalion as well as many artillery and cavalry units to the rear, reducing
Town of Orange Marker image. Click for full size.
By Pete Payette, March 2, 2012
3. Town of Orange Marker
the demand for animal forage at the front and lessening the strain on the railroad supply line."
 
Also see . . .
1. History of St. Thomas Church. The church boasts a rich and interesting history. (Submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Confederate Encampments at Montpelier. This page from the nearby Montpelier historic site discusses not only the Confederate encampment on the grounds there, but also encampments around Orange county. A map details those winter camps. (Submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Map of Orange County image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 5, 2008
4. Map of Orange County
This nearby map of Orange County orients the reader to the cities and place names around Orange. Confederate encampments covered the area north of Orange from Liberty Mills (where modern CR 231 crosses the Rapidan) to the fords just north of Clark Mountain (where modern US 522 crosses the river). These points can be seen on the county map.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 12, 2008
5. St. Thomas Episcopal Church
During his stay in the winter of 1863-64, General Lee frequented this church in downtown Orange. The pew he used is indicated. The church is on the National Register, and tours are available.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,175 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on May 2, 2017, by Pete Payette of Orange, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on January 13, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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