Pointing across West Hundred Road to the north; turning to the west pointing toward Heritage Chevrolet where a battery of artillery moved into place and waving his arms to show how confederate brigades spread out along Osborne Road, Major (Ret,) Robert J. Foreman explained the Battle of Chester Station.
As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War approaches, the Chester Station Camp #1503 Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) held a memorial service on Friday evening at a historical marker alongside West Hundred Road. The granite and brass marker, located in front of the Winfree House (Yellow House), which still stands between the YMCA and the Sunset Memorial Cemetery was in the center of a clash between the North and South during a battle that would take 280 Federal and 239 Confederate lives before it concluded on May 10, 1864. Forman said the memorial service would be an annual event.
Forman explained how several Virginia brigades lined up along Osborne Road, west of Jefferson Davis Highway, and a number of Alabama brigades east of Jefferson Davis Highway, known then as the Richmond Turnpike, began moving south over rough terrain to encounter the Federals.
“Alabama was a long march to Chester,” said Forman. The heavy canon fire was too much for the Virginians and the Alabama troops and they fell back.
But in a third attempt to break through to Richmond, General Butler, who was bottled up on the Bermuda peninsula, sent troops to destroy railroad tracks (now the CSX line), which they did in addition to taking down telegraph lines.
Forman told the story of the “skirmish” and Dorsey Howard, the chaplain of SCV, provided the invocation at the marker. Smokey Cook placed a wreath beneath the inscribed-brass plate as two reenactors with flags and one rifleman flanked the granite stone.
Cook said, “Let us resolve that this will never be forgotten.”