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Chatham and Pittsylvania County, Virginia
and the Civil War

Civil War Trails Sign

The Bilharz, Hall, & Co. weapons factory site is located on the east side of Chatham's North Main Street, a short distance north of the Pittsylvania County Courthouse.

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Gov. Extra Billy Smith

Virginia's governor, Major General William “Extra Billy” Smith, C.S.A., briefly moved his operations from Danville to Chatham at the end of the war, thus making Chatham, in effect, Virginia's capital for a day.

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Jedediah Hotchkiss

Lee's mapmaker Jed Hotchkiss was in Chatham when he heard news of the surrender at Appomattox.

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Portrait of Rawley Martin in the Pittsylvania County Courthouse

Lt. Col. Rawley White Martin, CSA, of Chatham, led the 53rd Virginia Regiment including Company I, the Chatham Greys, to the “high water mark of the Confederacy” during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. However, lacking reinforcements, all of the Chatham Greys were killed, wounded, or captured.

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James Lafayette Oakes and Kate

Pvt. James Lafayette Oakes, CSA, of Blairs, with his dog Kate during his later years.

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Letitia Tyler Semple

President John Tyler's daughter Letitia Tyler Semple took refuge in Chatham to escape fighting around her home on the Peninsula. Her estranged husband, Capt. James A. Semple, was Confederate paymaster in Danville at the time of the surrender and the simultaneous mysterious disappearance in Danville of the Confederate treasury's gold.

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John Richard Whitehead

Sgt. John Richard Whitehead, Company G, 6th Virginia Cavalry, CSA.

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