Highway markers in Fairfax County, Petersburg and Charlottesville commemorating a site or an event in the Civil War have been approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, continuing a statewide program begun in 1927 to identify historic locations.
In Fairfax County, a “Fields of Fire” marker will denote the area where the Union XII Corps camped early in the Gettysburg campaign. On June 17, 1863, the extreme heat of the day—99 degrees in the shade—forced commanders to halt the march northward at 11 a.m. Adding to the soldiers’ misery was “the dry old grass of the fields and woods got on fire, and filled the air with smoke and additional heat,” according to First Division commander Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams. It will be located just north of the intersection of Water Falls Lane and Hunter Mill Road.
Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain is the subject of a new marker in Petersburg that commemorates the place where, as the sign states, he was “Promoted ‘on the spot,’” by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to Brig. Gen. of Volunteers for ‘gallant conduct.’”
Chamberlain had received a near-fatal wound at that location as he led a Union brigade against Confederate works defending Petersburg. The marker will be located at the corner of East South Boulevard and Warren Street.
In Charlottesville, the Greek revival style mansion named Enderly will have a sign designating it as the home of William F. Gordon Jr. during the 1860s. Gordon served as a clerk in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1859 to 1865 and was the person who delivered a copy of Virginia’s Ordinance of Secession to Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, Ala. He also served in the 19th Virginia Infantry. The sign will be placed at 603 Watson Avenue.
The cost of manufacturing each new highway marker is covered by its sponsor.