Ellwood Plantation | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Ellwood Plantation

Virginia, Virginia, United States

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020

About Ellwood Plantation

The Ellwood Plantation (Ellwood Cemetery) is the site of General Stonewall Jackson’s arm, which was buried there after he was wounded in the Battle of Chancellorsville.

After being accidentally shot in darkness by fellow Confederates, Jackson’s doctor Hunter Macguire amputated his left arm. It was placed in a grave in the Ellwood family cemetery and remains there to this day.

Jackson died a few days later from complications resulting from his wounds. He is buried in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia.

Ellwood Plantation history

The Ellwood plantation is located on the Wilderness Battlefield in the Virginia counties of Spotsylvania and Orange. Ellwood Manor, the house on the plantation and its grounds played a significant role in the American Civil War and much of the Battle of the Wilderness was fought on the plantation itself.

Ellwood manor was Tidewater Virginia native, William Jones in 1790 and remained in the family for the next century.

Ellwood was a home for its owners, but also place of forced labour for the several dozen enslaved people who lived on the property prior to the Civil War.

During the Civil War, within a year’s span two flags flew over the house: the Confederate Hospital flag and the blue swallowtail flag of the U.S. Army of the Potomac’s Fifth Corps. In 1863, it served as a Confederate recovery hospital for six months following the Battle of Chancellorsville. The family cemetery became the burial site for General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s amputated left arm.

As Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was riding back to his lines in the darkness, friendly fire from a North Carolina troop caught the general in the arm. The arm was amputated and buried the arm in the Lacy family cemetery at Ellwood. After this, Jackson contracted pneumonia and died six days later.

One year later Union General Gouverneur K. Warren set up his headquarters in the parlour there. Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant were at the house in 1863 and 1864, respectively.

In 1921, a sceptical general named Smedley Butler had a squad of Marines dispatched to dig up the cemetery, to find traces of the arm. It was indeed found and reburied with a plaque marking the event.

After the death of their parents, in 1907 the eight Lacy children decided to sell the remaining 1,530 acres to the Willis-Jones family, who farmed and called it home for seventy years.  The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FRSP) took possession of the house and 183 acres in 1977.

Upon transfer of the house to the people of the United States, an extensive restoration project commenced

Ellwood Plantation today

The Jackson marker was added in 1903 by a former Jackson staff member, the Rev. James Power Smith and today it is the only tombstone still standing in the Ellwood cemetery.

Ellwood is open seasonally and features two rooms of exhibits about the house and the Battle of the Wilderness, a recreated headquarters scene, and a vignette representing the house’s use as a Confederate hospital. Volunteers with the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield staff the building, lead tours, and answer question.

Since 1988, the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, in partnership with the National Park Service, have tended the grounds and offered tours of Ellwood.

Getting to Ellwood Plantation

To reach Ellwood, turn into the gravel driveway at the brown “Ellwood” sign on Rt. 20, 0.6 miles west of Rt. 20’s intersection with Rt. 3. The Ellwood driveway entrance is on your left when headed west on Rt. 20, in the direction of Orange, and on your right when headed east on Rt. 20, in the direction of the intersection with Rt. 3.

 

 

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