Village View - "Apple Jack" Raid - Emporia, Virginia
Posted by: showbizkid
N 36° 40.855 W 077° 32.650
18S E 272666 N 4062492
Quick Description: Village View is a former plantation house that was the site of a meeting of Confederate generals discussing plans to defend the Petersburg and Weldon Railway from an expected Union attack in December 1864.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 7/31/2006 1:45:35 PM
Waymark Code: WMJV1
Just west of this location is the railbed of the original Petersburg and Weldon Railway, a major supply line to the Confederate army in Petersburg and Richmond. Because of its importance, the Union army made an effort to destroy the line here in Hicksford (now Emporia). The episode would become known as the "Apple Jack" Raid.
On December 7, 1864, Union General Gouverneur K. Warren, with a force of 26,200 infantry and cavalrymen, moved from Petersburg to destroy the rail line, striking it below Stoney Creek.
Confederate forces, led by General Wade Hampton were soon organized to resist the advancing Union column. A decision was made to establish the main line of defense along the Meherrin River at the railroad crossing and around the villages of Belfield (north bank) and Hicksford (south bank). Southern officers, including General W.H.F. "Rooney" Lee, met at Village View to discuss their plans.
At midday, December 9, Union cavalry appeared at Belfield and attempted to reach the railroad bridge but were stopped by entrenched Confederate Calvary. These defenders, in order to prevent the Federals from crossing the river, burned the nearby wagon bridge. Later that evening Warren ended his attack.
Early the next morning, Union forces began their retreat to Petersburg and were pursued from some distance by Confederate Calvary. As they retreated through Susses County, Union soldiers committed depredations on the local population and paid the ultimate price for these indiscretions. Many times they acted under the influence of apple brandy or "apple jack," as it was known locally.
About 16 miles of track were destroyed in the raid. This initially was a serious blow to Lee's supply line. By early March 1865, the line was reopened as far as Stoney Creek, where supplies could be sent into Confederate lines by wagon.
Village View can be viewed from the exterior anytime during daylight hours. Tours are offered with advance notice. This house is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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