Sunday, September 21, 2014

Field Trips–John Wilkes Booth and Stonewall Jackson

Milford, VA  High 84  Low 56

Along many of the roads we travel are historical markers. I have an app called Field Trip which buzzes when we pass these markers and tells me what is on them. When we are out West my phone buzzes occasionally. Driving these roads of Spotsylvania County my poor phone never quits going off.

One of the most interesting to me was one about John Wilkes Booth. After he assassinated Lincoln he escaped D. C. and headed south into Virginia. At this spot on Highway 301 near Port Royal, Booth was cornered by Union soldiers and killed on April 26, 1865.

There is so much history and to be able to stand where it all happened makes it real for me. In high school History was just a subject I had to take to graduate. I have a whole different attitude now.

Just picture Union soldiers marching down this road (which has been improved since 1863) shoulder to shoulder, so many of them that messengers couldn’t get through to the front of the line.


Another Field Trip we made was to the Chancellorsville Battlefield. It was here that Robert E. Lee won his greatest victory, but lost his legendary subordinate, Stonewall Jackson.

On May 2, 1863, Stonewall Jackson marched 12 miles around the Union army and destroyed Gen. Joseph Hooker’s right wing in a surprise attack. In the confusion of the darkness, Jackson was accidently shot by his own troops. The surgeons removed his arm and wanted to get him to the hospital in Richmond.

They took him by “ambulance” (a horse drawn wagon) 27 miles to the Thomas C. Chandler’s plantation. They planned to evacuate him to Richmond by railroad, however, the Union had cut the rail line. Once Confederate troops regained control of the rail line, Jackson would board a train at Guinea Station and go on to Richmond.

clockThis clock was put in Jackson’s room by the Chandlers to make the room look more homelike and cheerful. They wind it twice a week and it still keeps perfect time.

Three days after being wounded, Jackson came down with pneumonia. Despite the efforts of five doctors, Jackson was told on May 10, 1863 that he was going to die. His last words were: “It is the Lord’s Day; my wish is fulfilled,” I have always desired to die on Sunday.”

This is the actual bed where Stonewall Jackson died.


The only building left of this plantation is the office building where Jackson died. It is now called the Stonewall Jackson Shrine.


Jackson is buried in Lexington but his arm was buried back in Chancellorsville where it was removed.


  1. Your last sentence really got me. Does his arm have a tombstone too?

  2. I'm going to look for the field trip app. Sounds interesting.

  3. Love some of the actual stories for some of these events. Much more interesting than in school.

  4. The one thing I love about travelling around the U.S. Is the "living" history, and you had a great lesson today!

  5. How can you not love history when you walk in the steps where it happened?

  6. There is so much history in this area, it is hard to see it all.

  7. What fun exploring historical places. So much history in VA. We've explored many of those areas. Still in UT & have taken a couple of gorgeous day trips. Will be here until Oct. 14. Still too hot down south . "carry me back to ole Virginie"!!!!

  8. Stonewall Jackson is a favorite son of north central WV growing up about 40 miles south of my hometown. Both the 4-H camp at Jackson's Mill and Stonewall Jackson State Park are named for him.

  9. What an interesting post! There's so much about past history that I don't know (or remember).


  10. Virginia is definitely a state full of history. There are many places I'd love to go.

  11. As always, a very interesting post! I think I've learned more history reading blogs than all my days in school! Funny--in "Fried Green Tomatoes", they buried Buddy's arm! I think it did have a tombstone, though!

  12. That sounds like a good app to have out west but I don't think I'd like it in the east where too much happened. But I love being on site for my history lessons. It still amazes me that Minnesota to Missouri was the Wild West in Jesse James's day with the Mississippi River being the boundary between the east and west.

  13. I've been to the Stonewall Jackson Shrine, too. It's wonderful that it has been preserved and amazing that the bed and clock were there when he passed. History comes alive standing in there.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.