When Thomas Rosser’s Confederate cavalry clashed with United States Colored Troops on May 15, 1864, Rosser only briefly mentioned the encounter in his official report. While he admitted to encountering Federal infantry, he omitted entirely any mention that they were black troops.
Mention is finally being made of it now. On Saturday, May 17—150 years and two days later—the Commonwealth of Virginia unveiled a state historic sign along Catharpin Road to commemorate the encounter. It’s of particular note because it was the first time black soldiers came into conflict with the Army of Northern Virginia.
Although minor in the grand scheme of things, the encounter proved that the USCT would stand up in a fight–something everyone on both sides had serious concerns about. For more details, check out Steward Henderson’s recent post.
The new marker stands along the westbound lane of Catharpin Road about two-tenths of a mile past the intersection with Old Plank Road.