Orange Plank Rd
When Federal dispositions west of Chancellorsville forced Stonewall Jackson to abandon his original plan of advancing east along the Orange Plank Road on May 2, 1863, he led most of his corps north to a new point of attack on the Orange Turnpike. To protect the flank of his main attack, though, he directed the famous Stonewall Brigade (his own original command back in 1861) to move east on the Orange Plank Road.
The brigade, commanded now by Brigadier General E. Frank Paxton, passed the Burton Farm and Lewis Run as it approached the intersection of the Plank Road and the Turnpike opposite Wilderness Church. When Jackson's mighty attack rolled through the intersection and swept onward, Paxton joined the advance. The historic ground in and around the road junction opposite Wilderness Church is among the most important battlefield land not yet fully preserved at Chancellorsville.
The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust acquired 3.9 acres along the Plank Road just east of Lewis Run and a few yards short of the intersection in 2000. It had for decades been the site of a small relic shop housed in a rundown metal trailer, run by an old local fellow named Pulliam. By the time CVBT attempted to save the property, it had been handed down to some heirs who lived elsewhere.
Disposing of the burned-out and collapsing trailer was difficult and expensive; so was cleaning up the rest of the debris on the back section of the tract. With the land protected, and eventually cleaned up, CVBT had possession of an anchor property in a pivotal location. Subsequently the Trust has purchased several other tracts that are adjacent or nearby. The national Civil War Trust (now the American Battlefield Trust) also acquired a substantial piece of land in the vicinity. Taken together, the several Flank Attack properties saved by CVBT represent a substantial preservation achievement.