Skirmish at James’s Plantation Virginia Historical Highway Marker to be Dedicated Feb. 15

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

​The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission will hold a dedication ceremony for a state highway marker to commemorate the Revolutionary War era Skirmish at James's Plantation at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, the 239th anniversary of the event.

The marker dedication ceremony will be held at Nimmo United Methodist Church, 2200 Princess Anne Road. A reception will follow, and the public is invited to attend. The marker will be placed near the intersection of Princess Anne Road and Elson Green Avenue at a later date once road and utility projects in the area are completed.

The little-known skirmish occurred Feb. 15, 1781 when a Hessian force of 180 soldiers under the command of Captain Johann Ewald surprised 520 members of the Princess Anne County militia under the command of Captain Amos Weeks. Ewald was able to flank the militia, causing them to make a disorderly retreat. Ewald's forces killed or wounded 60 militia and captured an additional 60 others. The engagement was one-sided, as the Hessian force suffered only five casualties.

The text for the marker was researched and developed by local historian Christopher Pieczynski, who received grant awards from the Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission to research the event, develop the text and fund the marker. The Virginia Board of Historic Resources approved the marker application at its December 2019 quarterly meeting. The Skirmish at James's Plantation marker will be the 20th state highway marker placed in Virginia Beach. Virginia's historical marker program is the oldest such program in the nation.

The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission is a City Council-appointed body that advises Council on issues related to historic preservation. The group seeks to preserve, protect and maintain the historic integrity of Virginia Beach and the former Princess Anne County through a program of advocacy and increased public awareness and involvement. The commission generally meets the first Wednesday evening of the month, except July and August, at 2101 Parks Ave., Suite 500. Please visit for additional information about the Historic Preservation Commission.


Map of Skirmish at James's Plantation from "Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal – Captain Johan Ewald, Field Jager Corps" edited by Joseph P. Tustin.

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