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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Danville, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Danville Fortifications

Civil War Earthworks Constructed for Danville's Protection

 
 
Danville Fortifications CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 15, 2013
1. Danville Fortifications CWT Marker
Inscription. Danville residents, feeling vulnerable to enemy attack because of the vast amount of commissary and quartermaster supplies stored in their town and the presence of the Confederate arsenal, petitioned the town council in February 1863 to build fortifications. Little work was performed, however, until November when the first of more than 7,000 captured Union soldiers arrived from Richmond en route to six prisons converted from tobacco warehouses.

Col. Robert Enoch Withers, commander of the Danville post, enlisted the aid of a Danville professor of music at the Methodist Female College to engineer the fortifications. Charles Chaky de Nordendorf had attended a military school in his native Prussia. With little engineering background, he laid out a system of earthworks that nearly encircled the town. Manned only during times of alarm by home guard and reserve forces, the earthworks were of little value except for the peace-of-mind of the townspeople.

Serious concerns arose in early April 1865, with the expected arrival of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The Confederate government relocated to Danville on April 3. President Jefferson Davis inspected these earthworks the next day and found them lacking. Soldiers, citizens and numerous slaves set about strengthening and expanding the fortifications. Work
Danville Fortifications CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 15, 2013
2. Danville Fortifications CWT Marker
continued until April 10, when the government, after learning of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, boarded trains for Greensboro, North Carolina.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 35.197′ N, 79° 22.634′ W. Marker is in Danville, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of South Boston Road (Business U.S. 58) and Old Halifax Road, on the left when traveling west on South Boston Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Danville VA 24540, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Richmond & Danville Railroad (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Richmond & Danville Railroad (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Richmond & Danville Railroad (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Worsham Street Bridge (approx. 0.6 miles away); Danville Tobacco Warehouse and Residential District (approx. 0.7 miles away); Confederate Prison No. 6 (approx. ¾ mile away); Prison Number 6 (approx. ¾ mile away); Loyal Baptist Church (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danville.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 16, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 555 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 16, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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