State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Coming to a Road Near You . . .

This newly (OK, OK, 2010) approved State Highway Historical Marker is to go up in the vicinity of the fire tower on Williamsburg Road, perhaps at the intersection of Old Williamsburg Road or the crossover of  I-295. Commemorating events of the War of 1812(whose Bicentennial we are in the middle of ), the text reads . . .
"During the War of 1812, Virginia established three militia posts on the outskirts of Richmond to guard against possible British Invasion. Within a mile of this point was built Camp Carter (Sept. 1814-Feb.1815) under the command of Gen. John H. Cocke. Camp Holly Springs (April 1813-Feb.1814) was located five miles southwest at Route 5 near Newmarket Road, under Gen. Robert Porterfield. Camp Bottoms' Bridge (Sept-Nov.1814) under the command of Gen. William Chamberlayne, was two miles east at Bottoms Bridge. These posts were never threatened by British forces during the war."
The threat to the approaches to Richmond seemed very real after the British military moves in Hampton Roads over the summer of 1813, culminating in the Sack of Hampton in the middle of June. Militia from all over Virginia as well as North Carolina encamped on and behind the line of the Chickahominy to defend the capital of Virginia. I assume Camp Bottoms' Bridge would be on the high ground in Quinton to protect the approaches to the bridge. The information sheet on the marker principally relates to Camp Carter, but I believe there is more information to be found in the records, specifically in the Virginia Legislative Petitions. Some of the petitions from New Kent asking for state reimbursement, relate tales of losses from militia encamping on private land.

 "The Virginia highway marker program, which began in 1927 with the erection of the first historical markers along U.S. Rte. 1, is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently there are more than 2,400official state markers, most of which are maintained by Virginia Department of Transportation, a key partner with the Department of Historic Resources in the historical marker program."

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