Archive for the 'Stafford' Category

George Washington’s Childhood Home J-61

Historical Marker Text
The Washington family moved to a plantation here in 1738 when George Washington was six years old. Along with his three brothers and sister, young Washington spent most of his early life here, where, according to popular fable, he cut down his father’s cherry tree and uttered the immortal words, “I cannot tell a lie.” His father, Augustine, died here in 1743, leaving the property to him. His mother, Mary Ball Washington, lived here until 1772 when she moved to a house in Fredericksburg that Washington bought for her. [1997]
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Moncure Daniel Conway N-36

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Nearby to the northwest is the childhood home of renowned abolitionist, writer, and lecturer Moncure Daniel Conway (1832-1907). In 1838 his family moved into this Federal-style house. Conway graduated from Dickinson College in 1849 and Harvard Divinity School in 1854 and became outspoken in the abolitionist movement. During the Civil War, Conway lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and traveled east in 1862 to lead his family’s slaves to freedom in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Conway moved to London in 1863 and spent a number of years abroad, writing for English and American periodicals. He also wrote biographies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Thomas Paine. Conway died in Paris on 15 Nov. 1907. [2004]

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Civilian Conservation Corps–Company 2363 E-85

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Historical Marker Text
Here at Berea, during the Great Depression, was the site of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 2363. This camp, one of many in Virginia, was organized in 1935 and disbanded in 1940. During its existence, the company strung farm fences, planted trees, fought forest fires, and instructed farmers in the practice of soil conservation. The CCC, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies, was created in 1933 to provide public service jobs for unemployed young men. Roosevelt later noted that the recruits “grew with purpose and principle” and predicted that they would serve their communities and country with distinction. [1994]

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Little Falls J-93

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On 11 December 1862, Union engineers began the construction of pontoon bridges here so the army could cross the Rappahannock River to Fredericksburg. They began in the morning, hidden by fog. Soon the fog lifted, however, and Confederate sharpshooters drove them off. A heavy Union artillery barrage and an amphibious assault finally secured the crossing and the engineers completed the bridges. Two days later, Brig. Gen. William B. Franklin’s Left Grand Division, including divisions led by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade and Brig. Gen. Abner Doubleday, crossed over the bridges when the Battle of Fredericksburg began. They were defeated by Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s corps. [1994]

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Hunter’s Iron Works E-116

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Located south of here on the Rappahannock River, stood Hunter’s Iron Works, founded by James Hunter and was in operation by the 1750s. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, the Rappahannock Forge there supplied the Continental army and navy with muskets, swords, and other armaments and camp implements. Due to its wartime significance, Gov. Thomas Jefferson ordered special military protection for the complex. The ironworks contained a blast furnace, forge, slitting, merchant, and other mills, nailery, coopers’, carpenters’, and wheelwright shops and houses for the managers and workmen. Some of the buildings may have been used for other purposes into the 19th century; none survive today. [2002]
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Cavalry Affairs N-5

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Near here Wade Hampton with a small cavalry force surprised and captured 5 officers and 87 men of the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry, November 28, 1862. At that time Burnside was moving toward Fredericksburg. On February 25, 1863, Fitz Lee, on a reconnaissance, attacked Union cavalry here, driving it back on Falmouth where the Union army was encamped. [1931]

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Gen. Hooker’s Headquarters N-34

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Just northeast, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, commander of the Union Army of the Potomac, kept his headquarters, Jan.-June 1863, amid a vast city of tents and camps. It was here he rehabilitated the Union army after its catastrophic defeat in the First Battle of Fredericksburg in Dec. 1862 and its subsequent “Winter of Discontent.” From here he designed a campaign to defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Chancellorsville–a brilliant plan that failed in May 1863 because of his hesitancy and Lee’s aggressiveness. President Abraham Lincoln twice visited Hooker, here in April 1863 and again in May, after the defeat.

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Creek Delegation in Fredericksburg J-102

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In July 1790 a delegation of Creek Indians from Georgia, headed by Muskogee leader Alexander McGillivray, made their temporary headquarters nearby on their way to New York City. President George Washington invited them to treaty negotiations to resolve territorial disputes and develop further formal relations. While in Fredericksburg, the delegation visited with Washington’s family at Kenmore and viewed Ferry Farm, his boyhood home. The group continued north to discuss and sign the 1790 Treaty of New York, the first treaty with a sovereign Indian nation negotiated by the new federal government under the Constitution. The treaty established boundaries and also contained secret articles for promoting trade. [2005]

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Hartwood Presbyterian Church E-126

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Organized in June 1825 by the Winchester Presbytery as Yellow Chapel Church, the brick church was constructed between 1857 and 1859. It became Hartwood Presbyterian Church in 1868. During the Civil War an engagement took place here on 25 Feb. 1863. Confederate Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, commanding detachments of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Virginia Cavalry Regiments, defeated a Union force and captured 150 men. The interior wooden elements and furnishings of the church suffered considerable damage during the war, but were replaced. The building was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and it is an American Presbyterian Reformed Historical Site. [2004]

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Historic Aquia Creek E-123

Historical Marker Research
The first known permanent English Roman Catholic settlers in Virginia, Giles Brent, his sister Margaret, and other family members, emigrated here from Maryland by 1650. In May 1861, Confederates built artillery batteries on the bluffs overlooking Aquia Landing at the creek’s mouth on the Potomac River. An early clash between U.S. Naval vessels and Confederate land batteries took place here, 30 May and 1 June 1861. After the Confederates withdrew in March 1862, the U.S. Army established a huge supply depot there. The Federals burned and abandoned it on 7 June 1863. The landing again served as a Union depot in 1864. [2003]

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Kidnapping of Pocahontas E-48

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Near here, Pocahontas visited friends among the Patawomecks on the Potomac River in April 1613. Capt. Samuel Argall saw an opportunity to capture Pocahontas and exchange her for English prisoners held by her father Chief Powhatan. Argall sought out Iopassus, the chief of the Indian town of Passapatanzy. After Argall made veiled threats, Iopassus obtained permission from his brother the Patawomeck district chief to aid Argall. Iopassus had one of his wives insist that Pocahontas accompany her on a tour of Argall’s ship. Once aboard, Pocahontas was detained, the ship departed, and she was held captive elsewhere in the colony. During negotiations for her exchange, Pocahontas married John Rolfe in 1614. [2001]

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Gold Mining in Stafford County E-17

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Near here are located ten of the nineteenth-century gold mines of Stafford County. The best-known were the Eagle, Rattlesnake (Horse Pen), Lee, New Hope, and Monroe mines. The Eagle Gold Mining Company, Rappahannock Gold Mine Company of New York, Rapidan Mining and Milling Company of Pennsylvania, United States Mining Company, and Stafford Mining Company operated here between the 1830s and the early twentieth century. Mining activities gradually ceased because of declining profits. [1990]

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Aquia Landing J-92

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The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad was extended to its terminus here at Aquia Landing in 1846. By steamboat and railroad, travelers from Washington, D.C., to Richmond could complete in 9 hours a journey that took 38 hours by stagecoach. In May-June 1861, Confederate batteries at Aquia Landing exchanged fire with Union gunboats. The first use of nautical mines (“torpedoes”) in the war occurred here on 7 July 1861 against the U.S.S. Pawnee. After the Confederates abandoned the site in 1862, the Union army built new wharves and storage buildings for supplies. The army burned them in 1863, when it pursued the Confederate army into Pennsylvania. The railroad was extended across Aquia Creek in 1872. [1994]
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First Roman Catholic Settlement in Virginia E-76

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The crucifix by sculptor Georg J. Lober, erected in 1930, commemorates the first English Roman Catholic settlement in Virginia. Fleeing political and religious turmoil in Maryland, Giles Brent and his sisters Margaret and Mary established two plantations called Peace and Retirement on the north side of Aquia Creek between 1647 and 1650. Later, they jointly acquired 15,000 acres in Northern Virginia, including the site of present-day Alexandria. Their nephew George Brent, whose plantation Woodstock and family cemetery were located nearby, represented Stafford County in the House of Burgesses in 1688, the only Roman Catholic delegate in the colonial period. [1998]

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Aquia Episcopal Church E-90

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Here is Aquia Church, the church of Overwharton Parish, formed before 1680 by the division of Potomac Parish. It was built in 1757, on the site of an earlier church, in the rectorship of Reverend John Moncure, who was the parish minister from 1738 to 1764. The communion silver was given the parish in 1739 and was buried in three successive wars, 1776, 1812 and 1861. [1932]

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Fredericksburg Campaign N-4 and Battles of Fredericksburg E-44

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Fredericksburg Campaign N-4
Frustrated by the Army of the Potomac’s lack of progress, President Abraham Lincoln replaced army commander Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan with Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, who assumed command on 9 Nov. 1862. Within a week, he had the army marching from its camps near Warrenton toward Fredericksburg along this road. Burnside hoped to cross the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg by pontoon bridges and march on Richmond, but a delay in the arrival of the pontoons thwarted his plan. By the time the bridges arrived, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army blocked his path. Burnside forced a crossing of the river on 11 Dec. but was defeated two days later at the Battle of Fredericksburg. [2002]

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The Mud March N-6

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In Jan. 1863, after the Federal defeat at the First Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 Dec., Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside sought to restore the army’s morale by crossing the Rappahannock River at Banks’s Ford two miles south and attacking the rear of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army. The march began on 19 Jan.; that night a warm front thawed the frozen roads with 48 hours of pouring rain. Confederates across the river taunted the sodden Federals with large signs: “This Way to Richmond” and “Burnside Stuck in the Mud.” Burnside canceled the march on 23 Jan., and two days later President Abraham Lincoln replaced him with Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker.

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Chatham J-60

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Here is Chatham, built about 1750 by William Fitzhugh. Here Robert E. Lee came to court his wife. In the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, the house was occupied by General Sumner. It was General Hooker’s headquarters for a time, 1863. [1928] Continue reading ‘Chatham J-60’

Peyton’s Ordinary E-49

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In this vicinity stood Peyton’s Ordinary. George Washington, going to Fredericksburg to visit his mother, dined here, March 6, 1769. On his way to attend the House of Burgesses, he spent the night here, October 31, 1769, and stayed here again on September 14, 1772. Rochambeau’s army, marching north from Williamsburg in 1782, camped here. [1947]

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Historic Falmouth E-47

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Historic Falmouth E-47 Founded in 1727 as a trading center for the Northern Neck. Hunter’s iron works here were an objective in the Virginia campaign of 1781. The Army of the Potomac camped here from November 1862 to June 1863 and moved hence to Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. [1927]

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