Archives: July 2019

Houses in line on a shore

Why buying a Vacation home in Virginia is a Great Investment

Thinking about investing in property, or how nice it would be to vacation at your own beach house instead of renting one? Recently, the economy has led to an increase in second-home purchases, nationwide. Especially in the state of Virginia. When buying a vacation home in Virginia, you’re making one of the few investments that offer both financial and personal rewards. The best thing when purchasing a vacation home is that you don’t have to be rich to pull it off. This investment allows you to diversify your income, plan for retirement, take a vacation without extra costs, and maybe even build wealth. You need to set your goals before buying a second home. Weigh out the pros and cons, and once you’re clear on why you want to buy it, you can focus your search and match it with your priorities.

Advantages of buying a vacation home in Virginia

No matter which part of society you belong to, whether you are a retiree who is seeking to escape city life or a beach lover who wants to live in a sunny state like California or Florida, you have the option of buying a home. Whether you’re looking to buy a property as a vacation home for summers or winters or just looking for an investment property to rent out, there are homes that can meet a wide range of budgets.

Long-term profits

Today, people are starting to value short term over long term profit, because earnings are more significant when repeated many times over a short period. Luckily for you, vacation properties have retained their value because they are located in areas which are still popular. Because the mountains and shorelines are limited, there is a finite number of houses which can be built. That holds the price when it comes to vacation properties.  

Real estate has always had its ups and downs, and will likely continue to have them in the future. Therefore, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your second home will sell for a higher price in the future.

Pile of fifty euro Banknotes

Vacation properties have retained their value, so renting it is a good choice

Taxes

When buying a vacation home in Virginia, think about tax deductions and how you want to use your property. Will that be a home for rent, or will it only be for personal enjoyment? Many people prefer not to rent their second home because if they did, the interest on the mortgage and the property taxes would be fully deductible from the gross income. This mortgage can be treated the same way you are treating the mortgage on your primary residence.

Income

A great thing about buying a vacation home in Virginia is that you can decide to rent it out. You can always use it yourself. Whether you are renting it or just personally using the property, you are going to have to invest in it. Furnishing a house requests a certain amount of money, but renting afterward can help you return at least a part of it. You have the option to move things from your family home to a vacation home, this way you can redesign your home. Moving your household with professional help is your best option for a stress-free move. Once you have furnished your vacation home, you can start renting it out.

Rental fees differ from season to season. Another important factor is the popularity of the resort location. For most resorts, weekly rental fees are equal to or greater than the monthly mortgage payment.

Convenience

Buying a vacation home in Virginia can be really convenient. You have the option to keep the items that you exclusively use there in your vacation home, which simplifies travel and packing. If you and your family like to ski, you can store some of your winter clothes and ski equipment in your vacation home. This allows you to easily make spontaneous trips for a weekend of skiing without having to worry about packing.

Retirement

The goal most retirees strive for is to have a place of retreat for the times of the year they dislike spending in the primary residence. Buying a vacation home in Virginia is a great investment for those people. You would be one of the lucky ones if you buy a second home before retirement. You then have the time to experience the benefits of a refuge. If it turns out that wasn’t your dream, you also have time to correct the mistake and maybe sell it.

Gathering location

Memories are the one thing no one can take away from us, and places stir memories in people. Both big and small families enjoy annual gatherings. Building a tradition keeps families strong and in some way obligates them to see each other, even for one day. Buying a vacation home in Virginia will not only be an investment for your future, but also an investment for the beautiful memories you’ve created in the past. The annual gatherings keep families close, especially if people are all over the country.

People stand under an awning

You can’t put a price on the memories – especially a home that has been a site of many happy gatherings.

Some people struggle whether to buy a vacation home or not, even when the finances are acceptable. Some of the questions they encounter are:

·      Do I want to vacation in the same place every year?

·      Will this make me happy?

·      Can I handle renting the property to a stranger?

·      Will I come as often as I hope?

·      Will my kids and grandkids use this property once I am gone?

Question mark illustration

Some people struggle to decide whether to buy a vacation home or not

Buying a vacation home in Virginia is a long-term commitment. You need to be prepared if your dreams don’t come true because you could be stuck with high costs and responsibilities for years. For many buyers, dreams do come true, and the payoff is well worth it. Sometimes, you have to risk money to make money.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

The 5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

If you’re gearing up to sell your home, you’ve probably read tons of articles all about what you should be doing…but what about what you shouldn’t be doing? After all, selling your home is a huge financial decision, and a misstep could mean losing out on your hard-earned profit. 

Don’t let something as easy to fix as not staging or pricing incorrectly throw off the success of your sale! Here are the top five mistakes to avoid when selling your home. 

Setting an Unrealistic Price

A man looking at his laptop.

It might come as a surprise, but pricing a home is tricky. Not only do you have to take into account what homes around yours have recently sold for (or, in other words, what buyers are willing to pay), but you also need to know how to value any updates and improvements you’ve made. Plus, you want your home to be priced so that it pops up in as many online searches as possible. When it comes to finding that magic number, sellers’ emotions often cloud the ability to accurately price a home. 

So you’ll just use an automatic estimator, and that’ll take care of things, right? Well, only if you’re okay with using outdated data and not taking into account any upgrades you’ve made. The best way to get a price that guarantees you’ll maximize your investment? Enlisting the help of an experienced local agent. 

Ignoring Major Repairs (or Making the Wrong Ones)

A man fixing a sink.

During the inspection process, your home will be reviewed with a fine-tooth comb. Any things you’ve been avoiding, like leaky faucets, outdated water heaters, or water damage in the ceilings, will be noted and shared with buyers. Additionally, if there are any major necessary repairs that you didn’t disclose ahead of time, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble—or with a cancelled sale on your hands.

Limiting Showings & Failing to Stage

An iPad sitting on a coffee table in a living room.

You’re selling your home, but you want to sell it on your terms. You don’t want to have showings every weekend or on short notice, and you don’t want to have to rearrange furniture or remove decor for staging. While changing your home or lifestyle to accommodate buyers might seem like a major hassle, being inflexible is only going to hurt you in the long run.

Buyers are going to want to see your home, sometimes more than once, and it needs to be looking its best if you want to get serious (and competitive) offers. In fact, staged homes have been shown to sell almost 90% faster and for a 20% higher profit than non-staged homes!

Letting Your Emotions Get in the Way

A woman and a child playing on a tablet.

You’ve made a lot of memories in your home, and the space likely holds indescribable value to you. So hearing people walk through the house and point out all of the flaws—then not make an offer—can be draining. A good rule of thumb for selling? Think of the process as a business transaction, and think of yourself as a salesperson, not a homeowner. Creating that divide will not only improve your emotional state, but it’ll also help you see exactly how your home can be better than it is.

Not Hiring an Agent

People meeting at a table.

Thinking of listing For Sale by Owner to avoid agent commission fees? In reality, selling FSBO can actually COST you money in the long run;. according to a 2016 study by the National Association of Realtors®, the average price for a FSBO home was around $185,000—which is $60,000 less than the average price of a home listed by an agent ($245,000). 

Aside from pricing, there’s a lot more that an agent can help you with. They’ll come up with a marketing plan for your home, suggest personalized staging strategies, conduct open houses and showings for you, and guide you through any problems or roadblocks along the way, all of which will take a load of work and stress off of your shoulders. 

Ready to List Your Home?

Feeling a little intimidated by the home-selling process? Don’t worry—we’re here to help! Not only can we give you a few more pointers on what you should and shouldn’t do, but we’ll also be around to guide you through every aspect of the sale, from listing to showings to closing. 

Ready to learn a little more about what it takes to sell for top dollar? Just give our team a call to get started! 

1316 Confederate

1316 Confederate Dr, Lake of the Woods Virginia Offered for Sale at $374,900!

If you have been looking for a spectacular house in a fabulous community, your search is over! This spacious 5 bedroom home with 3 levels is ideal for a large family or someone who likes having space to spread out. Sitting on a beautiful corner lot, with a large deck overlooking your nice green yard and lined with trees for privacy is just the beginning of the perks. Once inside, you are greeted by the foyer with 2 story ceilings and hardwood floors! Sought-after features are to be found throughout the home ranging from extra living spaces on all floors, an attractive master suite with a gorgeous tray ceiling, his and hers walk in closets, and jetted tub in the master bath!

https://youtu.be/dAgeUIne-ww

Feel like venturing out, Lake of the Woods will not disappoint! A private, gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, waterskiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you’d like a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from $100,000 to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

Guide for Canadians Buying a Property in Virginia

A brick suburban home, representing buying a property in Virginia.

Guide for Canadians buying a property in Virginia

Are you considering going into the Virginia real estate market? While this could turn out to be the investment of your life, you should be careful; buying a piece of real estate is no small feat. This will be a complicated process, during which you will definitely have a lot to do. So, before you make such a purchase, ideally you should consider all the factors; the amount of money you can spend, the features you want from a home, and the best possible neighborhood. But apart from that; as a Canadian who’s buying a property in Virginia; you should also consider the legal practicalities of such a purchase. Don’t worry, though; we’ve got it all covered right here! 

Finding a good real estate agent in Virginia 

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street or if your move is a long-distance one; if you ask us, choosing your new neighborhood and the specific piece of property will be of major importance. And if you want to play this smart, you should contact an experienced local real estate agent. Trust us; a good agent is worth their weight in gold. During the process of buying a property in Virginia, a professional agent will lead you every step of the way. They’ll draft the order you write, and negotiate in your name with any potential sellers. If you hire an agent to take care of the purchase for you, they’ll get a better deal in terms of the smaller details too, such as the house closing costs and the escrow process.  

Hiring a real estate agent 

Apart from handling some of the specifics of buying a property in Virginia, your real estate agent can be of help in other ways as well. Having a professional who knows the real estate trends of the area will be of major use, trust us. And besides; in most cases, working with a real estate agent on buying a home won’t actually cost you a dime. Why? Well, the usual practice is the seller paying the whole commission for the realtor. Typically, that’s around 5% of the sale price for the home, that the seller’s agent and your own agent split between each other. Also, your real estate agent can help with finding other professionals who can provide you with different services in the process of purchasing a home; like home inspectors or mortgage brokers. 

A two-story brick home in Virginia.

If you want a quality home, hire a good realtor!

Naturally, you must be wondering what the best way to select a particular real estate agent is. First and foremost, you want to make sure that your potential agent is licensed; check the registry of the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Apart from that, you want to hear the different reviews on real estate agents, on places like Trulia and Zillow. Trust us, if you choose your real estate agent correctly, and use other professionals prudently, buying a home here can be an extremely pleasant experience.  

Sale disclosures 

As a Canadian who’s buying a property in Virginia, one thing is certain; you’re probably not too familiar with local laws. Even people who’ve lived in Virginia their entire lives aren’t always well-versed in the legalities of home purchases in the area. For example – while you’re searching for the perfect neighborhood in the area, you might want to familiarize yourself with the seller disclosures that the law demands. And just what are these, you ask? Well, these are regulations which obligate home sellers in the state of Virginia to report some types of defects on their properties. The aforementioned Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has the details within their Residential Property Disclosure document, but we’ll give you the gist of it here.  

A small blue suburban house.

There are certain issues that a seller must disclose

In essence, there are a few kinds of defects that a seller must disclose during a real estate transaction. First of all, they must tell the buyer if the property is nearby a military air installation. Secondly, they must report any defective drywall. Also, a seller must report if their property was at any point the site of a meth lab, if it hasn’t been cleaned up in accordance with state guidelines. Finally, a seller is obligated to tell the buyer if their home has a septic system that isn’t fully functioning.  

Also, people selling houses which were built before 1978 have an additional piece of compliance to perform. They need to make certain that their house complies with federal regulations on lead-based hazards, and more specifically lead paint.  

Getting a home inspection 

If you were to take a look at seller-disclosure regulations in other states, you’d find that buyers are much more protected. In other words, the list of defects that the sellers have an obligation to report is far larger. But with the disclosure limits here, buying a property in Virginia usually means one thing – hiring someone to do an independent home inspection.  

A suburban home with a driveway and a garage.

If you want to make sure you’re buying a good home, a home inspection is in order

In the process, this outside inspector has to check out an entire host of potential issues. For example, you want them to see if the house is susceptible to any pests or termites. Then, you need to be sure that there are no structural issues, and that the roof and windows stand upon a firm foundation. And finally, there are the drainage and other soil issues, as well as mold or the presence of certain odors.  

Hopefully, any Canadians buying a property in Virginia can find this guide useful. You are surely going to enjoy here. 

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

Clubhouse Luau at Lake of the Woods, Virginia 22508

Visit the Clubhouse on Saturday, August 17th for a delicious buffet, live music and dancing!

Buffet will be $29.95 per person and will be available from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. Featured on the menu are: roasted whole pig, ham, shrimp and chicken Kabobs, black bean burger sliders, baked sweet potato wedges, bacon and sour cream potato salad, grilled squash, zucchini, peppers and eggplant as well as desserts and drink & beer specials!

The buffet will be for deck reservations only; Call 540-972-2221 to reserve your table today!! Deck and Fire pits will only be available for this event during this time. The regular menu will not be served on the deck, but is available in the restaurant and lounge.

Live music and dancing starts at 7PM; Come hungry and ready to dance!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

205 Washington ST

Move-In Ready Home in Lake of the Woods Virginia 22508 Now Under Contract!

205 Washington St, Lake of the Woods VA 22508

You’ll be amazed by the expansive spaces in this immaculate, move-in ready home in amenity-rich Lake of the Woods. And wait until you see the shed that offers power for so many different uses! New flooring and pristine walls will allow you to immediately get started living the lake life!

A private, gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, waterskiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you’d like a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from $100,000 to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

102 BIrdie Rd

102 Birdie Rd, Lake of the Woods Virginia 22508 Home For Sale Offered at $324,900!

The living is easy in this impressive, generously proportioned contemporary residence with in Lake of the Woods. With its warm sense of community, and only moments to shops, eateries this home provides all the elements for relaxing, comfortable and easy care living. Have you always dreamed of lake living? Dream no more, the perfect property is now available for you to make it your reality. This home sits on a quiet side street, with inviting curb appeal and sought after fine features, both inside and outside. Boasting an upgraded kitchen just off of the family room, this house is sure to be a perfect fit for family dinners and entertaining friends. Spend your evenings relaxing on the porch, the sun room or extensive patio while watching the birds.

Feel like venturing out for the day? You will be pleased with all the community has to offer. A private, gated, secured community, Lake of the Woods offers anything and everything you could possibly want. Home to two lakes (the 550 acre main lake and a 35 acre “fishing lake”), a golf course, an equestrian center, a fire and rescue department, and a church all within the gates, Lake of the Woods simply has it all. Whether your passion is boating, waterskiing, kayaking, golfing, horseback riding, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the clubhouse while enjoying a fabulous meal, from your own deck or yard, or from one of the beaches, you won’t be disappointed! Perhaps you’d like a game of bridge or volunteering your time and talents…Lake of the Woods offers more than 60 clubs and/or organizations from which you may choose to become involved. Located in Orange County, we are fortunate to enjoy low real estate taxes. Coupled with home prices ranging from $100,000 to over $2,000,000, Lake of the Woods is the perfect community for both full-time residents, as well as weekenders. But don’t take my word for it, please come see for yourself! I will gladly give you a tour of Lake of the Woods by boat and by car so that you may experience why I love Lake of the Woods!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

712 Stuart St

Home for Sale Near Downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401 Offered for Sale at $300,000.

712 Stuart St, Fredericksburg VA 22401

Location! Location! Location! This quaint 3 bedroom home could be yours! Close to Mary Washington Hospital, the Commuter Rail Station and all that Fredericksburg has to offer!  Come live near history downtown Fredericksburg, where all the shoppes, history, and delicious local-owned restaurants thrive!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 12: Beef on the Hoof

Both Napoleon and Frederick the Great have been credited with the saying “An army marches on its stomach.”  Provisioning an army, especially one that numbered over 125,000 – the size of the Army of the Potomac at the beginning of General U.S. Grant’s Overland Campaign in May 1864 – would prove to be a monumental logistical challenge.

Fresh beef – 1¼ pounds daily according to the US War Department Army Regulations – was an important component of the Federal Civil War soldier’s ration.  The most practical way to furnish beef to campaigning soldiers was to have herds of cattle march with the army.

Exhibit 16 Cattle Crossing the Rapidan River

So how much beef was needed?  An estimate given by Lt. Colonel C. W. Tolles in 1864 stated “A bullock will furnish about 450 rations, so that an army of 100,000 men needs over two hundred beef cattle for its supply.”  Based on 450 rations per head of beef, an army of 125,000 men consumed 278 head of beef daily.

At least 6,000 head crossed the Rapidan River with the Army of the Potomac in early May of 1864.  These 6,000 documented head produced approximately 2.7 million rations, enough to supply an army of 125,000 for 21½ days.

The 6,000 head were gathered from holding pens in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C.  How did 6,000 head of cattle get to the Army of the Potomac for the Overland Campaign?

An excerpt from Feeding a Great Army ” in the United States Service Magazine in February 1880 by Brevet Brigadier General Thomas Wilson tells how:

“…to carry out my orders of supply, it would be necessary to have sent up to the front from Alexandria, some 50 miles distant, about 6,000 head of beef cattle, with the forage, corn in the ear, and hay necessary to subsist them until the march began, and this feat had to be accomplished between one Friday morning and the next Tuesday night; or, in other words… an average of 1,200 head of beef cattle had to be sent daily by me for five days, with the necessary forage for their maintenance.

The existing capacity of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in cattle cars was, at this time, for only 300 head daily…

The sudden call and the subsequent remarkable feat of shipping 6,000 cattle over this road of a single track, in the time required and with its limited resources was accomplished by the authorities seizing all the flat cars within reach and placing fences around them…  In this manner, 1,800 head were sent up in one day of twenty-four hours.  At one time during the shipment an endless train of cattle cars was in transit, most of the railroad sidings being filled with them…  We received all the cattle asked for before the time needed.

Three hundred men were kept constantly employed in unloading the cattle cars on their arrival at the front, so that the emptied cars might be sent back without delay.”

The herds and animals that we see today in the rural parts of Spotsylvania and Orange Counties are insignificant when compared to those that travelled with General Grant.  The Army of the Potomac had more than 50,000 horses and mules and at least 6,000 head of beef.  Big armies meant big numbers.

Author: Rod Lackey
Date: July 2018

Read Previous Chapter 11: the Unfinished Railroad in the Battle of the Wilderness

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

History in Our Backyard Chapter 11: the Unfinished Railroad in the Battle of the Wilderness

Chapter 10 described the history of the “unfinished railroad.”  This article tells how it was used during one of the Civil War’s battles.

Exhibit 14 General Wadsworth Monument

May 6, 1864 was a day of changing fortunes as the Union fought the Confederates along Orange Plank Rd.  It began with a 5 AM attack by the Union II Corps, reinforced by divisions from V and VI Corps, under command of General Hancock.  The attack drove General A.P. Hill’s III Corps from its positions.  They fled west towards Parker’s Store.  The 7 AM arrival of General Longstreet’s I Corps stemmed the rout.  Longstreet’s counter attack at Tapp Field drove the Federals back toward their starting positions to the east.  By 10 AM the two armies were at a standstill facing each other astride Orange Plank in the vicinity of the monument to Union General James Wadsworth.

Exhibit 15: Unfinished Railroad Cut

General Lee sent his Chief Engineer, General Smith, to see if there was a way to break the stalemate.  Smith and his party walked east along the unfinished railroad, which lay south of the Union’s flank. Both armies were aware of the unfinished railroad about ¼ mile south of and parallel to Orange Plank.  In the chaos of battle, neither army had thought about using it as an attack route, or about defending it against such an attack, until Smith’s reconnaissance.  Smith found the railroad grade undefended.  He returned and reported his findings to Longstreet. 

Longstreet sent four brigades to attack the Union flank under the command of his aide Lt. Col. Sorrel.  Sorrel arranged the men along the railroad grade and, when all men were in position, began the attack shortly after 11 AM.  It burst upon the Union flank in total surprise.  In addition, as soon as the fighting started on the flank, Longstreet’s remaining troops attacked the Union’s front.

McAlister’s brigade on the Union flank was first to feel the Confederate onslaught.  It was quickly routed.  Soon all eight Union brigades south of Orange plank had collapsed like dominos.  Union General Wadsworth, in command of Union forces north of Orange Plank, heroically attempted to organize a defense on the north side of the road.  It was to no avail leaving him mortally wounded.  By 12:30 PM, all Union positions had been overrun with the defenders withdrawing east to Brock Road or north to the Lacy House (Ellwood Manor).

The Confederate’s success quickly turned to failure.  While riding to the front to direct a continued advance, General Longstreet was accidentally shot by soldiers of the 12th Virginia of Mahone’s Brigade. While he survived, it wasn’t until four hours later that the Confederates were able to reorganize and resume the attack.  By then the Union had strengthened its defenses along Brock Road.  The renewed attack failed.  In addition to the short term loss, it would be months before Longstreet recovered sufficiently to resume command.

Author: John Bell

Date: July 2018

Read Previous Chapter. Chapter 10: The Unfinished Railroad

Continue to Chapter 12: Beef on the Hoof

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