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Port Walthall was part of 1600 acres patented by William Walthall, Merchant, 26 July 1656, land "Lying and being in the county of Henrico, on the north side of Appomatuck River." (Patent Book 4, p 178) William Walthall's ancestors were members of the Mercers Company in London who held stock in the Virginia Company and descended from Thomas Walthall bc 1450 Nantwich, Cheshire, and Margaret d/o Sir William Stanley of Hooten. (Malcolm Elmore Walthall, The Walthall Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of William Walthall of Virginia, 1952, rev. 1963, p 7)
In the period before the American Civil War, Port Walthall was a major shipping and passenger embarkation location, and was served by a railroad. During the War, the railroad tracks leading to the port were melted down to manufacture Confederate cannon. The point where the tracks joined the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad some distance to the west was known as Port Walthall Junction.
The Battle of Port Walthall Junction was fought on May 6–7, 1864, between Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Though initially successful, the Confederates were eventually defeated, allowing Union forces to cut the railroad, one of Richmond's vital supply lines.
After the War, the railroad branch to Port Walthall was never restored, and Port Walthall came into disuse. In modern times, the name is memorialized by the Walthall exit of Interstate 95, VA-58.
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