Chancellor in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
First Day at Chancellorsville
Absalom McGee House
They tore up five of our sheets and about 12 dresses and undergarments into strips for bandage. — Harriet McGee
Union Surgeon John Shaw Billings moved his field hospital to the relative safety of Absalom McGee's house, which stood on this rise. McGee's family took shelter in the cellar as Union wounded filled the rest of the house. The medical team tore down McGee's stair rail to better reach the upper rooms, and removed his doors and used them as operating tables.
Before and after the Battle of Chancellorsville, Absalom McGee's Unionist stance was a burden for his family. He regularly hid in the woods and stealthily slipped into his house at night, but Absalom was still imprisoned by Southerners on three occasions. According to his wife, Frances, "The rebels first took Mr. McGee in the night when I had just given birth to a child. They threatened to kill my husband at the time they took him which so excited me that I came very near dying and my child died in consequence."
(lower left) Surgeon John Shaw Billings managed the Federal field hospitals here. After the war he assembled the library that would become the National Library of Medicine. Courtesy National Library of Medicine
(right) Zouave soldiers were photographed staging an ambulance drill in
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails, Civil War Trust.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 18.066′ N, 77° 36.781′ W. Marker is in Chancellor, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Plank Road (Virginia Route 3) 0.8 miles west of Corter Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located along the Lick Run Battlefield trail. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6161 Plank Road, Fredericksburg VA 22407, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chancellorsville Campaign (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.3 miles away); McLaws Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.4 miles away); Wounding of Jackson (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named First Day at Chancellorsville (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chancellor.
Also see . . . Civil War Trust. The Killing Game. Chancellorsville, May 1, 1863 By John Hennessey; Hallowed Ground Magazine, Spring 2013 (Submitted on August 4, 2014.)
Categories. • Science & Medicine • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 4, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 4, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.