"He was brave, gentle and polished"
"Glencoe," the plantation home of Capt. William Wallace of the Jackson Grays, was located approximately one-half mile northeast of this site.
William C. Wallace was born at Wallaceton, Norfolk County, Virginia, on March 23, 1842, and mustered into Confederate service on June 11, 1861, with the Jackson Greys. Wallace was immediately elected the company's 1st Lieutenant. He was slightly wounded on March 8, 1862, while serving at Sewell's Point during the CSS Virginia's (Merrimack) first attack against the Union fleet in Hampton Roads. In May 1862 Wallace was promoted to Captain and elevated to company commander. William C. Wallace continued to serve in this capacity until he was mortally wounded and captured on August 19, 1864 during the Battle of Weldon Railroad (Davis Farm). A little more than twenty-two years old at the time of his death, Wallace was fondly remembered as being "brave, gentle and polished, and loved by all who knew him."
William Wallace's mother, Elizabeth Custis Wallace, was one of the region's most prominent citizens. She kept a diary of her experiences during the war, which has been published as the Glencoe Diary
. This diary records the anxiety and pain that the Wallaces, and many others, suffered during the Union occupation. "Glencoe," the home of Mrs. Wallace, stood until recently near the Dismal Swamp Canal in the area generally called Wallaceton near the North Carolina border. Here Mrs. Wallace lived with her husband, George T. Wallace, whom the 1860 Census listed as a timber-getter and the individual with the highest net worth in St. Brides Parish.
The Stewarts, another prominent family, lived nearby in their house, "Beechwood." William H. Stewart organized and was elected the first Captain of the Jackson Greys. He was wounded twice during the war, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and served as the commander of the 61st Virginia Volunteer Regiment. His home, "Beechwood," is one of the few large antebellum houses still standing in Chesapeake and can be seen across the farm fields. Also still standing is the Wallace family home, "Wallaceton," just to the north of this site on Route 17.
Also before you is the Dismal Swamp Canal and to the west, the Dismal Swamp. The Dismal Swamp was a refuge for runaway slaves prior to and during the war. After the Union seized control of the area, it became a hideout for Confederate guerrillas.