Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 12, 2013

Virginia minting 16 historic highway markers


Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Sixteen new historical markers are being added to Virginia roads and highways to recognize events, people and places dating back more than four centuries.

Among historic milestones winning roadside narratives are Civil War battles, the rescue of the Declaration of Independence during the War of 1812 and an engagement of black Union troops and Confederate soldiers. Other markers will pay homage to the Tidewater village that was home to powerful Indian leader Powhatan and pioneers in medicine and education.

The markers approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources recognize:

— The saving of the Declaration of Independence on April 22, 1814, two days before British forces entered Washington. Among the government records moved to Virginia was the founding document, which State Department clerk Stephen Pleasonton sent to an abandoned mansion in Leesburg, where the marker will rise.

— The first combat north of the James River between U.S. Colored Troops and Confederates, May 15, 1864, at Alrich Farm in Spotsylvania County. Their charge caused a Confederate general’s cavalry to withdraw.

— Lunenburg County Courthouse, a temple-form building using the Doric order and influenced by Thomas Jefferson’s Roman Revival. It was completed in 1827.

— Petsworth Parish, one of four parishes of colonial Gloucester County, established in the mid-17th century.

— Dr. Morgan E. Norris, a Lancaster native and the Northern Neck’s first black physician. His practice was located in Kilmarnock. He also was the state’s first black coroner.

— James Solomon Russell, born into slavery in December 1857 in Hendrick Plantation near Mecklenburg, he attended Hampton Institute and theological college after his emancipation. As a religious missionary, he established nearly 30 churches. He founded what would become St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville.

— Huntersville Rosenwald School, Suffolk, was one of the last Rosenwald schools built in Virginia, in 1930-32. The schools were financed by the Julius Rosenwald fund to educate African-American children.

— T.C. Walker School, Bath County, was opened in 1930 and named for a former slave from Gloucester County who became the first African-American attorney in Virginia.

— Werowocomo, located on Purtan Bay in Gloucester, was the center of power of the Powhatan paramount chiefdom. English settler Capt. John Smith was brought here as a captive and freed through the entreaties of Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas.

— Civil War battle sites: Battle of Hanover Court House, also known as the Battle of Slash Church; Battle of Piedmont, in Augusta County; and Battles of Unison, Loudoun County.

— Camp Russell, an earthen fortification constructed during the Civil War, extending nearly 5 miles along Opequon Creek in Frederick County.

— Sherwood Forest, also known as Fitzhugh House, which served the Union army in several capacities during the Civil War. Located in Stafford County.

— Mary Greenhow Lee house, Winchester. Lee is best known for the extensive diary she kept to record daily life during the Civil War.

— Union Hurst School, a school for African Americans, built west of Hot Springs in the 1920s. The school closed in 1965.