11/10/2014 - Spotsylvania Historical Association Installs New Wayside Exhibits

New Wayside Exhibits on Ely Ford Road

The Spotsylvania Historical Association has installed four new wayside exhibit panels at a site on Ely’s Ford Road across from the entrance to Catlett’s Lumber Yard. The new wayside exhibit details the story of General Alfred Colquitt’s attempt to turn the flank of the Federal army at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863. This attempt was a follow-up by Confederate forces to cut the Union Army off from Ely’s Ford on the day after Stonewall Jackson’s famous flank attack.

The Spotsylvania Historical Association is working closely with local landowners to recognize important historical events within Spotsylvania County. The Association plans to add additional wayside exhibits in the vicinity of Ely’s Ford to foster knowledge and understanding of Spotsylvania’s rich historical heritage in the near future.

The new signage focuses on Colquitt’s attempt to
turn the Union flank on May 3, 1863

According to John Pruitt, Association President, the signs are a small remembrance to the many Union and Confederate troops killed in the line of duty there. Individually each American soldier that died near there had a family and friends from hometowns in New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Louisiana and even Poland that shared their in their loss. Today many visitors seek out where the units and ancestors fought and died.

In a more modern context the signs were intended to show the tactical situation as it occurred on the area of the battlefield north of Chancellorsville. Hopefully they will be of some value to the US Army, Marines other military contingents that are often seen studying the battlefield.

The Association thanks all who contributed to the historical research and document recovery at the Spotsylvania Museum including Museum Director J.Terry Dougherty who provided an enormous service researching the events that occurred there. Those who contributed, to preserve our heritage for the public to know what occurred at these sites, have helped make sure our rich heritage is not forgotten.

The exhibits were made possible by a donation from local individual and business donors. The graphics were designed by the local artist Elizabeth M. Clayton with assistance from the Spotsylvania Historical Association. If you would like to learn more or would like to acquire an historical wayside exhibit for your neighborhood or historic home, you can contact the Spotsylvania Historical Association through the Spotsylvania County Museum (www.spotsylvaniamuseum.org) or by calling 540-507-7278.