Shifting Ground

Shifting Ground (HMBMG)

Location: Charles City, VA 23030 Charles City County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 20.5', W 77° 4.344'

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During most of the Civil War (1861-1865), Charles City County lay between two armies: the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia safeguarding the Confederate capital of Richmond and the Union Army of the Potomac occupying the Lower Peninsula. As a result, Charles City Courthouse passed in and out of the hands of both armies more than once during the war.

When Union forces evacuated Harrison's landing in August 1862, more than 60,000 men marched past Charles City Courthouse on their way to Williamsburg. Souvenir seekers rummaged through old records in the clerk's office, carrying some off and destroying others.

Charles City Courthouse fell into Union hands again in June 1864, when Gen. Grant moved 115,000 men across the county and the James River in a lightning-swift assault on the city of Petersburg. By the time of this occupation the tavern and other buildings had been burned.

Discovery Center
G.W. Jones and eighty-nine other members of the 24th Virginia Cavalry were captured here in a surprise attack early on the morning of Sunday, December 13, 1863. One of the captives turned out to be a woman. Union soldiers said she fought as well as the men. Why do you think a woman might have disguised herself as a man so that she could join the army?
Book cover and photo. "Frances Clayton in the uniform of a Union Soldier. Courtesy Trustees of the Boston Public Library."
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails, Charles City Courthouse, Waste Management
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 1:04am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 316423 N 4134789
Decimal Degrees37.34166667, -77.07240000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 20.5', W 77° 4.344'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 20' 30.00" N, 77° 4' 20.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10710 Courthouse Rd, Charles City VA 23030, US
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