When War Came
At 3 p.m. on Monday, March 6, 1865, the first of Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's 10,000 cavalrymen under Gens. Wesley Merritt, Thomas Devin, and George A. Custer entered Scottsville unopposed. To accomplish their mission—destroy theJames River and Kanawha Canal as a Confederate supply and communication line—officersoccupied private homes, and soldiers pitchedtents in yards and fields. They "burned a woolenfactory with large quantity of cloth, candle factory with large amount of candles, lard-oil; largefive-story flouring mill, with flour, corn, andwheat; a large manufactory, machine shops, andtobacco warehouses. A few private dwellings,close to the mill, were more or less charred by theintense heat. No accident or loss of life, however,occurred. ... Three canal boats were captured, one loaded with shell (9,600) and two with [Confederate] Government commissary stores and tobacco."
Upriver, they disabled the canal locksfrom Scottsville to New Market. Downriver toColumbia, they destroyed "8 locks, 13 canalbridges, 4 flouring mills, 1 warehouse, 60hogsheads tobacco, 1 boat house and a lumberyard."
They also penetrated the canal banks inplaces, draining the water into the river.The last Federals departed March 10 forPetersburg to participate in the end of the siegethere and the pursuit of Gen. Robert E. Lee'sarmy to Appomattox Court House.
(Legend to Map)1. Cliffside
— Built by John Lewis II about 1785 and enlarged in 1810, this house was used by Sheridan and Custer as their headquarters.2. Scottsville Baptist Church
—Located on Harrison Street, thechurch was impressed by Confederateauthorities as a hospital in 1862. A hotel, a factory, a small frame house, and a newly erected building were also converted to hospital use under thecollective name of The Confederate General Hospital at Scottsville. Due to the inadequate physical facilities, the isolated location, and unsatisfactory medical conditions,the hospital was closed in September 1863.3. Confederate Memorial Cemetery
— In 1914, the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected a granite obelisk and headstones marked C.V. honoring the soldierswho died in the Confederate hospitals in Scottsville. A monument dedicated in 2002 lists the names of these soldiers,their units, and their home states.4. Old Hall
— This Federal-style brick two-story house was built in 1830 by Benjamin H. Magruder and purchased by Joseph Russell Beal in 1850. Merritt commandeered the house as his headquarters on March 9, 1865.5. Factory Building
— This 1850stobacco factory continued to operate as late as 1880. It was partially burned by Union cavalry the night of March 6, 1865.6. Canal Warehouse
— Built about 1830, this building stood on the bank of the former James River and Kanawha Canal and was partially burned March 6, 1865. After the war, the building was rebuilt.