Lee at Violet Bank

Lee at Violet Bank (HMB5C)

Location: Colonial Heights, VA 23834
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 14.502', W 77° 24.312'

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Siege Headquarters

Lt. Col. Walter H. Taylor, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's aide, established Lee's headquarters here at Violet Bank on June 17, 1864, at the beginning of the siege of Petersburg. The city, protected by Confederate defensive works to the east and south, remained connected to Richmond, the Confederate capital, via the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad as well as the Manchester and Petersburg Turnpike. Violet Bank was located near each transportation route, enabling Lee to travel quickly to Richmond to confer with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who also visited Lee here. While at Violet Bank, Lee learned of the explosion that began the Battle of The Crater on July 30, 1864, and rushed to the front to direct the Confederate counterattack. Lee spent a good deal of time north of the James River at Chaffin's Bluff after August 15, but maintained his headquarters here until October 28, when he moved to another location in Petersburg. Union troops occupied Violet Bank briefly after Lee evacuated Petersburg on April 2-3. 1865.

This is the second house located on this site. Thomas Shore constructed the first house here in 1778; it burned in 1810. The present house, which Shore's widow completed in 1815, resembled Richmond houses designed or influenced by noted architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, as well as Alexander Parris, a New Englander who designed the Governor's Mansion in Richmond. Violet Bank is noteworthy for its refined architectural features, including the three-part bays, intricate woodwork, and elaborate plaster ornamentation. The house served as the home of the Colonial Heights Post No. 284 of the American Legion from 1948 until 1959. It is now operated as a house museum.
HM NumberHMB5C
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 1:58pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 286657 N 4124396
Decimal Degrees37.24170000, -77.40520000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 14.502', W 77° 24.312'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 14' 30.12" N, 77° 24' 18.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 223 Virginia Ave, Colonial Heights VA 23834, US
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