Dunlop Station

Dunlop Station (HM9I4)

Location: Colonial Heights, VA 23834
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 16.096', W 77° 24.314'

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"...burning cartridges like shooting stars"

Dunlop Station on the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad was located here on the southern boundary of David Dunlop's Ellerslie estate. During the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865, a military rail spur was completed in March 1865 that extended southwest from here to a Confederate quartermaster depot at Ettrick, making this an important railroad junction. It enabled trains to avoid Federal shelling of the main rail line from Dunlop Station to Petersburg, two miles south. Passenger trains stopped here so the occupants could walk to Petersburg on the safer Richmond Turnpike, located several hundred yards west, but some travelers walked along the tracks regardless. On June 30, 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis disembarked here and then proceeded to Gen. Robert E. Lee's headquarters at Violet Bank, two miles south.

On April 2, 1865, after the Battle of Five Forks, the Confederates moved ammunition here as they prepared to evacuate Petersburg, then destroyed the stockpile as well as surplus food and clothing. A Confederate soldier wrote that "the great sheds and long trains of cars" burned in the dark night, eerily illuminated by the distant glow of fires in Richmond. Despite warnings from Confederate officers, civilian refugees from Petersburg climbed into the burning cars to scavenge for food and clothing. "As we left," on soldier wrote, "the cars of ammunition began to explode, and we could see women and children blow about in every direction. ... The air was filled with burning cartridges like shooting stars."

Life went on even as the Confederacy expired. Despite the evacuation crisis, Lee permitted his adjutant, Col. Walter Taylor, to board the last ambulance train to Richmond here so that Taylor could marry his long-time sweetheart, Bettie Saunders. Taylor rejoined Lee before the surrender at Appomattox Court House.
HM NumberHM9I4
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 10:57am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 286729 N 4127344
Decimal Degrees37.26826667, -77.40523333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 16.096', W 77° 24.314'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 16' 5.76" N, 77° 24' 18.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 501-507 Old Town Dr, Colonial Heights VA 23834, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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