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Here are the news archives for 2011. Click the linked month to jump down to its content:

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - January 2011

From the President
Well, we have turned the page on the calendar and enter upon another year. We are an organization with an interest and passion for history so let’s look back on the year just past.

First and foremost, 2010 was our 15th year focused on our mission of increasing the awareness and the appreciation of our local history and heritage. Fifteen years ago David McCullough came to the Heritage Area to endorse our efforts in proclaiming our area a living museum – a place where history and heritage vibrate with the life and stories from our past. All we need to do is to stop and take the time to listen to the stories. The echoes ring clearly to those who want to hear them. David McCullough’s question, “How can we tell where we are going if we can’t tell where we have been?” is as true today as it was when we celebrated our formation in 1995. Fifteen years later and we are actively reaching out to thousands of school children each year and to the hundreds of our visitors who use our tours and driving brochures to learn more about our very special part of Virginia. We are doing our job and we love doing it!
And we finished up the year in the black!

I will admit to you of many sleepless nights and fits of tearful whimpering as we moved into the summer months of last year. We had to take steps to cut back and then we thought we had lost our wonderfully talented education director, Rich Gillespie. We went into interview mode to replace him. To make a long story short, Rich is back with us and we count our blessings that things worked out so successfully. Our family is well – Rich is working his magic in our schools, Judy Reynolds, our competent director, keeps us in line and on budget, the Gray Ghost Interpretative Group is hard at work planning the 2011 programs, our fabulous group of volunteers are showing up for more and more assignments, and our members are loyally renewing their memberships giving us their solid support. Best of all, our board is supportive of the entire cast with their financial support and their collective wisdom.

The year 2010 may be history but our special events nevertheless continue to produce warm memories. The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group lantern lit evening programs were attended by record audiences in the various historic locations where they were held. Especially gratifying to all of us is the increasing number of youngsters who are showing up to watch our performers tell their stories in the first person. The children watch with wide eyes. They are entranced. It is without question that they will carry this fascination of history with them as they grow older.

Our 13th Annual Conference on The Art of Command was a terrifically successful event. Over 70 attendees came to Middleburg – some travelled from afar with a few even coming from the west coast!  We learned about the Battle of Fredericksburg from eight published historians and on Sunday we motored down to the battlefields where we walked the hallowed ground to gain a clear perspective on the details of that important battle. The conference continues to be a major fund raiser for us and our attendees keep coming back every year. Last year, as almost every year, nearly 80% of our conferees are veterans of this event. That endorsement keeps us working! This year we are organizing a panel of historians to talk about the cavalry arm and its role in the war.

We held three tours and lectures last year – one to the battlefield of Balls Bluff, one to Jefferson’s nationally known home, Monticello and one to the battlefield of Antietam, the single bloodiest day in American history. All three events were enthusiastically enjoyed by our members. We received rave reviews about the quality of our historians, Jim Morgan, Marc Leepson and Garry Edelman.

We will continue these tours this year and have already scheduled a lecture and tour on the First Battle of Manassas. This event will be held on July 29th and a tour of the battlefield will be offered the next day. Our guide is the renowned historian John Hennessy, a park historian at Manassas for many years, a historian who has published many articles; and has written and mapped the tactical actions of that first major battle of the American Civil War. We also plan a lecture and tour of Balls Bluff next year with James Morgan as our lecturer and guide.  

These two lectures and tours are entirely appropriate for the Sesquicentennial Commemoration which is now upon us. One hundred and fifty years ago we were a nation divided and these two battles put us on the long and bloody road toward reunion and the abolition of slavery. We will follow this sesquicentennial road and we will continue to commemorate its rich history.

Many think of us as an organization focused entirely on the American Civil War. This is not so but we must recognize that we have an abundance of history that concerns that pivotal part of our national past.  We also like to increase the awareness of our colonial past and are putting on two programs for that purpose. Oak Hill, President Monroe’s home, will be the venue for these two events – one a lecture and book signing by Marc Leepson on “Lafayette, Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General” and one by horticulturalist Andrea Wulf,  “Founding Gardeners: the Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation.”  As always, we remain indebted to the DeLashmutt family, owners of Oak Hill, for their exceptionally generous support of our mission. They have been pillars to this organization. 
    
Further details of these upcoming events can be found on our web site. If you prefer, call Judy Reynolds at 540-687-6681.

Finally, we ended the year with a special recognition to a very special organization. The Mosby Heritage Area Association is proud to have awarded our fifth annual Heritage Hero Award to The Unison Preservation Society. They are an extremely hard working group of people who are proactively protecting their village and surrounding countryside to ensure that their special sense of place remains intact so that future generations can properly understand the important history that took place in and around Unison. Please read more about this award in this newsletter.

I look forward to 2011. I believe it will be a good year. With your continued support, we will make it a great year!

Respectfully submitted – Childs Burden

2010 MHAA Heritage Hero Award
Unison Preservation Society
The Mosby Heritage Area Association presented its fifth annual Heritage Hero Award to the Unison Preservation Society for its work in creating an 8,000-acre Civil War battlefield historic district. The proposed district will stretch across major portions of western Loudoun and Fauquier counties and will be among the best preserved and most pristine battlefield historic districts in the nation.

The Unison battlefield project has received support from Loudoun and Fauquier counties, from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the National Park Service and many area nonprofit groups. The Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program awarded the Unison group a federal grant to study the little-known Battle of Unison, then two more federal grants to help put the battlefield on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

Berryville architectural historian Maral Kalbian is completing work on the Unison Battlefield Historic District nomination and researched close to 1,000 buildings and sites within it. A public hearing is expected to be held in February. Ms. Kalbian has successfully researched and nominated more than 35 historic districts in Northern Virginia.

The Unison Preservation Society has published Civil War in Loudoun Valley: The Battle of Unison, November 1-3, 1862, an account of battle produced through a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s American Battlefield Protection Program.  This 52-page book includes a phase-by-phase account of the battle with topographical maps.  These books are available from the Mosby Heritage Area Association for $25 each and $5 for postage, if mailed. To order, call MHAA at 540-687-6681.

Mosby Heritage Hero awards previously have been given to Sen. John Warner, who lent his influence whenever possible to protect and preserve Northern Virginia’s natural and scenic resources; Robert H. Smith, whose philanthropy assisted many area preservation organizations; Karen Hughes White, founder of the Afro American Historical Association of Fauquier County, Virginia in The Plains, Virginia; and Linda Newton, president of the Atoka Preservation Society for leadership in protecting the village of Atoka.

Mosby Heritage Area Association President Childs Burden praised the small Unison nonprofit for its work in the promotion of the area’s Civil War battlefield and for creating the Unison Village Historic District, saving its landmark country store, its successful efforts in blocking a large housing subdivision that threatened Unison and the Middleburg area, and helping to write the alternative-septic regulations adopted by Loudoun County, which the state now regulates.

The proposed Unison Battlefield Historic District will stretch from Philomont through Unison and Upperville, with spurs to Bloomfield and Trappe north of Upperville. State and federal officials have praised the battlefield area as one of the most “pristine” and protected in Virginia. It is still largely farms and villages, with no housing subdivisions and with most of the historic dirt roads still intact, including a stream ford that Union and Confederate cavalry fought across during the November 1-3, 1862, battle.

Founding Gardeners
Preliminary Map for the Unison Battlefield Historic District

The little-known Battle of Unison followed a plan President Lincoln himself proposed and which he hoped might capture Richmond and hasten the end of the war. After the bloody battle of Antietam in September 1862, Lincoln saw that Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army was farther from Richmond than the Union army. Lincoln ordered Union commander Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan to quickly take “the fast track” to Richmond, through Unison and Loudoun Valley.

McClellan moved slowly. Lee saw the trap and sent General J.E.B. Stuart and his cavalry to delay Union forces. Stuart did, over three days around Unison, allowing Lee time to protect the route to Richmond. Lincoln removed McClellan from command immediately after the Battle of Unison. Col. John S. Mosby was a scout for General Stuart during the Battle of Unison, though that fact is not mentioned in the official battle reports.

Founding Gardeners
Mosby Heritage Area Association’s 2010 Heritage Hero Award Presentation to the Unison Preservation Society; Pictured from left Harry Bigley, president of the Unions Preservation Society with award, Childs Burden, president of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, and members of the Unison Preservation Society Battlefield Committee, Owen Snyder, Paul Hodge, Mitch Diamond, and Denis Gordon


Volunteer Open House
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Everyone interested in volunteering or learning about volunteer opportunities with MHAA in 2011 are invited to attend a Volunteer Open House on Saturday, January 22 at the Historic Rector House in Atoka from 10:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. Volunteer opportunities will be presented to all prospective volunteers.  MHAA has a variety of events, projects and activities that require helping hands. 

There will be a Volunteer Recognition Program at 11:00 a.m. Volunteers who have worked with MHAA, especially in 2010, will be recognized for their donations of time and talents. We hope you can join us in celebrating the efforts of our dedicated MHAA volunteers.

Learn about the many volunteer opportunities there are with MHAA, enjoy some sweets, and become a MHAA volunteer in 2011!

If you would like to volunteer, but will be unable to join us on January 22nd, call the MHAA office at 540-687-6681 or go online and fill out a Volunteer Application. 

Click here to sign up as a MHAA volunteer.


Fireside Mosby
February 12, 2011
Since December 2006, when winter comes around, the Mosby Heritage Area Association’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group moves indoors around the stove and presents its cold weather rendition of tales of the region’s Civil War past with its Fireside Mosby series.  On Saturday, February 12 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., GGIG members will present a study in contrasts—“A Brace of Winters”--looking at that nervous secession winter and early spring 150 years ago in 1861, and exploring the winter experiences here in the heart of the Mosby Heritage Area in the wartime winter of 1864-1865.

The Fireside Mosby program is an intimate parlor experience in the 1801 Caleb Rector House at Atoka, just off Rt. 50 four miles west of Middleburg.  Stories are presented by characters in period dress portrayed by our MHAA volunteers of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group.  Families in particular are invited to join us. Help us as we inspire preservation through the oldest format available—stories of our past by the fireside.    

Admission: $5.00, students $2.00.  Call 540-687-6681 for information.


Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General
Book Launch -
March 20, 2011
The Mosby Heritage Area Association invites you a talk and book signing by Marc Leepson for his latest book, Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General, a concise biography of the famed Marquis, on Sunday, March 20, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at historic Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe near Leesburg, Virginia.


Lafayette, Lessons in Leadership from The Idealist General by Marc Leepson

The book, which Kirkus Reviews called “an inspiring introduction to the beloved general,” is the latest edition of the World Generals series published by Palgrave/Macmillan.

President Monroe, portrayed by Dennis Bigelow, will make an appearance during the afternoon along with interpreters, Jim and Julie Hildbold, in period dress.


Dennis Bigelow as President James Monroe, Marc Leepson

The event includes remarks by Mr. Leepson about his book, a reception and book signing.  Tickets are $75. Seating is limited.  Reservations can be made on the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, or by calling 540-687-6681

Click here to make a reservation.


A Gardener's Approach to History: Book Signing by Andrea Wulf
April 26, 2011
On Tuesday, April 26, at 3:00 p.m. Andrea Wulf, noted author and gardener, will give a talk at historic Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe near Leesburg, Virginia, as part of the United States tour for her latest garden history book Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation.  

Andrea Wulf
Andrea Wulf

Ms. Wulf’s beautifully illustrated book looks at the lives of the founding fathers and how their attitude to plants, gardens, nature and agriculture shaped the American nation. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison regarded themselves foremost as farmers and for them gardening, agriculture and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating.

Founding Gardeners
Founding Gardeners, by Andrea Wulf

In a unique retelling of the creation of America, award-winning historian Andrea Wulf will show how plants, politics and personalities intertwined as never before.  The event will begin with a reception, followed by Ms. Wulf’s remarks, and a book signing of her new book, as well as her other history garden books.  Tickets are $100 per person with limited seating.  To make reservations go to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, or call 540-687-6681.

Click here to make reservations for Andrea Wulf’s talk at Oak Hill.


Sesquicentennial Events for 2011
With the beginning of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War in 2011, the Mosby Heritage Area Association is planning several events to commemorate this 150th anniversary: a talk and tour of 1st Manassas with John Hennessy, a Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion, and the 14th Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War. Two other events, a Mosby Trail Ride and a talk and tour of Balls Bluff Battlefield, are being planned. We’ll have all the details on those events soon.

A two-part event, a talk and tour, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of 1st Manassas (Bull Run) will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30. Noted Civil War author and historian John Hennessey will present a talk on the Battle of 1st Manassas on Friday evening at the Hill School in Middleburg, Virginia, and will lead a battlefield tour of the battlefield on Saturday.

Tickets for the talk, which includes a reception, are $60 for MHAA members and $75 for non-members. Tickets for the Saturday, July 30, bus tour to the battlefield with Mr. Hennessy as guide are $60 for MHAA members and $75 for non-members.  For reservations, go to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, or call 540-687-6681.

Click here to register for the talk and tour.

The Third Annual Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion will be held on Saturday, September 10, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford at Remington, Virginia.  Descendants of Col. John S. Mosby, his Rangers, and all those interested in the history of the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry are invited to attend. Meet descendants of Col. Mosby and his Rangers, see artifacts and documents, and enjoy a program that includes Col. Mosby interpreter, Gary Carroll, Mosby stories told by MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group and the roll call of Ranger descendants by company. Local and nationally known authors will be on hand to sign their books.

Tickets are $50 per person for MHAA members and $55 for non-members.  Lunch is included in the ticket price, along with a memento of the day’s reunion.  Reservations can be made by going to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, or calling 540-687-6681.
Click here to register for the Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion.

The Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War will be held on the weekend of September 30-October 2, 2011, at the Middleburg Community Center. This year’s theme is “Cavalry of the North and South.”  The conference includes Clark B. Hall, Robert O’Neil, Horace Mewborn, Eric Wittenberg, and Jeffrey Wert as speakers and a tour of the Battle of Brandy Station, the largest cavalry battle in U.S. history. The event brochure with details about speakers, the schedule of talks, and a registration form will be available in April.


New and Expanded MHAA Public Programming in 2011
The Mosby Heritage Area Association has expanded its Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee programs and the Rector House Openings this year, and has created a new series that invites conversation on historical topics that pertain to the Mosby Heritage Area.  Put these events on your calendar:

  1. Conversations in History Series – A presentation lead by Rich Gillespie, Director of Education for MHAA, That Spring the War Came: 1861 in the Mosby Heritage Area at Mount Zion Church on Sunday,March 27 at 3:00 p.m. This event is planned in partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Admission $5 for adults and $2 for students. Reservations not required.
  2. Mosby; Scout Along the Turnpike – The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group interprets life along the Ashby Gap and Little River Turnpikes during the Civil War at the Rector House in Atoka and Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church in Aldie on Saturday, April 30 from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. The program runs continuously throughout the afternoon.  This event is planned in partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Reservations not required.
  3. Mosby in the Crooked Run Valley – The second Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program focusing on life in the Crooked Run Valley during the Civil War will be presented at Delaplane Cellars on Saturday, May 21 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission $5 for adults and $2 for students. Reservations not required.
  4. Historic Rector House Open on Saturdays from June through October from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. except on June 25 and October 29 when it will be open from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. for the Mosby; Scout Along the Turnpike program.  The house is open by donation and reservations are not required.
  5.  Conversations in History Series – A presentation by Tracy Gillespie, Site Supervisor for Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church, Charles Fenton Mercer; American Visionary at Mount Zion Church on Sunday,June 5 at 3:00 p.m. This event a partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Admission $5 for adults and $2 for students. Reservations not required.
  6. Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike – The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group interprets life along the Ashby Gap and Little River Turnpikes during the Civil War at the Rector House in Atoka and Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church in Aldie on Saturday, June 25 from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. The program runs continuously throughout the afternoon. This event is a partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Reservations not required.
  7. Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee Program – Saturday, August 6, Details to be Announced
  8. Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike – The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group interprets life along the Ashby Gap and Little River Turnpikes during the Civil War at the Rector House in Atoka and Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church in Aldie on Saturday, October 29 from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. The program runs continuously throughout the afternoon. This event is a partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Reservations not required.
  9. Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee Program – Saturday, November 5, Details to be Announced
  10. Conversations in History Series – A presentation by Bob O’Connor, Jefferson County historian, Lincoln: A Bodyguard’s View of the President at Mount Zion Church on Sunday,November 20 at 3:00 p.m. This event is a partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Admission $5 for adults and $2 for students. Reservations not required.

Art for Mosby to Continue in 2011
Local sculptor Diana Reuter Twining has made a special offer to her patrons by donating to the Mosby Heritage Area Association a portion of the revenue from each piece of her work sold.  To benefit the Mosby Heritage Area Association, those purchasing one of her pieces should request that a portion of the sale go to MHAA. We encourage you to look at Ms. Twining’s work and if you decide to buy a piece, request that a portion of the sale go to MHAA.

Click here to view Diana Twining’s sculptures.

Cooper Wright, an MHAA member, has seven Civil War prints by artists Mort Kunstler, Dale Gallon and Don Stivers for sale. He will donate a commission to MHAA on the sale of each print. These prints are professionally framed and can be seen at Mr. Wright’s home at 226 Falmouth Street in Warrenton, Virginia or at the Rector House in Atoka.  Contact Mr. Wright at 540-341-3583 or MHAA at 540-687-6681 to make an appointment to view the prints.

Click here to see the prints offered and their descriptions.


Partners in History
James and Julie Hildbold, members and volunteers with the Mosby Heritage Area Association, have launched a project “Partners in History” to help raise funds for MHAA and to get high school students interested in the history of the Heritage Area.  Their first project is the production of a quality 2011 calendar which features photos taken at the Rector House and its Spring House in Atoka, Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church at Aldie, and at the Loudoun Museum in Leesburg.  Photographer, Jessica LaRue McCunn and student models from Loudoun Valley High School participated in several days of photographing on location.  The calendars sell for $20 and can be purchased at the Rector House at Atoka.  Although the calendar is late getting out, we encourage your support of this effort made by these talented students.


New Members
We welcome new MHAA members who have joined the other individuals, businesses and professionals during 2010, our 15th anniversary year, to support our “Preservation through Education” mission:

Heritage Sentinel
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hapworth, Middleburg, Virginia
Ms. Michele Burnett, Alexandria, Virginia

Heritage Ranger
Mr. Robin Yeager, South Riding, Virginia

Heritage Supporter
Ms. Sandy Lerner, Upperville, Virginia

Are you ready to invest in the MHAA mission? For more information or a membership application, visit our website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org or call 540-687-6681.

Click here to become a member.


Site of the Month
Beverley's Mill (Chapman's Mill)
Broad Run, VA 20137
Junction of VA 600 and Rt. 55
540-253-5888

Chapman’s Mill, or as it is frequently called, Beverley's Mill, is believed to be the tallest gristmill in the United States. It was built of stone in 1742 by Jonathan and Nathaniel Chapman in Thoroughfare Gap. This mill became instrumental in the development of the Shenandoah Valley as a corn and wheat growing region. Built on an early colonial road, the mill had quick access to the port of Alexandria where the flour was shipped abroad. By 1852, railroads facilitated the movement of flour and corn products to and from the mill.

The mill furnished food products for five wars, beginning with the French and the Indian Wars. It played a strategic role in the Civil War Battle of Thoroughfare Gap. As late as the 1940s, it was still grinding approximately 100,000 bushels of grain annually and employing six people.

The building is a massive five-and-a-half story structure constructed of locally quarried stone. After a fire in 1858, the mill was rebuilt and the top two stories added. Initially at risk when Interstate 66 was constructed; the mill was saved when a coalition of citizen groups and state and federal agencies agreed to reroute the path of the Interstate around it. 

On Oct. 22, 1998, Beverley Mill was tragically vandalized and gutted by fire. Soon afterward, the Turn The Mill Around Campaign, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt foundation, obtained ownership of the property and began the steps necessary to stabilize the walls of the mill. The goals of this non-profit organization include preserving the structure of the mill; restoring the wheel and the open mill race; providing public access; developing interpretive programs on the significance of the mill and Thoroughfare Gap; and raising the funds needed to carry out these goals.

The grist mill is one of the most important historic properties in Prince William County. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and is classified as a County Registered Historic Site.

To learn more about Beverley’s Mill and the efforts to restore it go to www.chapmansmill.org.


Chapman/Beverley Mill

Click here to view more photos of Beverley’s Mill (Chapman’s Mill)


Did You Know?
That during the Spanish-American War some 10,000 American troops were camped in and around Thoroughfare Gap for six months while waiting transport to battle.


MHAA Store
MHAA has a limited supply of the following items that have been discounted for sale:

  1. Cabins, Cottages & Mansions: Homes of the Presidents of the United States by Nancy and Christopher Benbow - $5
  2. Prelude to Gettysburg: the Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville cassette tape with map - $2
  3. 2nd Annual Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion Badges - $5
  4. Women’s polo shirts (Green and Navy, SML) - $17
  5. Men’s polo shirts (Black, M) - $17

These items can be purchased at our headquarters in the Historic Rector House at Atoka during business hours (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday).  Or order by phone by calling 540-687-6681.  A $5 handling and shipping charge will be added to items mailed.

Visit our MHAA Store online by clicking here.

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - February 2011

From the President
The success of The Mosby Heritage Area Association is due to many factors. Certainly, the generous support we get from our members is an important one. Another factor is our outstanding board of directors and advisory board. They give us the benefit of their experience and their wisdom as well as their financial support. Also, Judy Reynolds and Rich Gillespie are indispensible and tireless in their efforts to keep us on mission and moving forward; however, there is one additional factor that stands out and should not be overlooked.  We have a brigade of volunteers who are worth tens of thousands of dollars to us!

On Saturday, January 22 we hosted an open house at our headquarters in Atoka to talk about our 2011 schedule of events and to sign up volunteers who may want to help us. About 35 people attended a meeting on that cold morning to enjoy homemade baked goods and hot coffee. We talked about the lectures, the tours, the Gray Ghost Interpretative Group programs, and the Civil War Conference which MHAA will sponsor this year. We have scheduled an ambitious array of fun and informative events and we are dependent on volunteers who want to help us.

Last year we had 90 volunteers who together contributed nearly five thousand hours of their time! Those volunteers enabled us to do what we like to do – talk about history and the importance of preserving our historic countryside. All of us connected with this organization are deeply grateful for this generosity and for this help. We signed up a number of volunteers for our 2011 schedule of events that day.  We also took the time to celebrate and thank our “heroes” – those who gave of themselves and their time above and beyond the call of duty in 2010.  Pat Mountain, Gary Carroll, George Tiedeman and Inge Braune are our 2010 heroes.  All are special people. They received our warm applause and tokens of appreciation. Most of all, they received our tremendous gratitude.

Now, let’s get specific about what this busy 2011 schedule is about! On Sunday, February 27 we will be sponsoring a joint program with the George C. Marshall International Center at Dodona Manor in Leesburg.  A talk will be given on George C. Marshall and Sir Winston Churchill at the Loudoun County Government Center followed by a tour of the General George C. Marshall home and a viewing of the “With Affection and Admiration” exhibit.   

On March 20th we will sponsor a talk and a book signing with our very own historian, Marc Leepson. His book is entitled “Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General”. This event will be Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe. This venue is very special because these two men had such warm affection for each other.

On April 26th we will sponsor a talk entitled, “Founding Gardeners” by Andrea Wulf.  Ms. Wulf is a noted horticulturalist and author.  She will talk about the gardens of our founding fathers and, once again, we will be at Oak Hill. This is a very special opportunity to not only listen to a talk from a noted author and gardener but to also walk about the famed gardens of Oak Hill. Don’t miss this one!

The Mosby Heritage Area Association owes such a great debt of gratitude to Tom and Gayle DeLashmutt for allowing us to use their home for these two events! Not only this year but for the past seven years they have allowed us to use Oak Hill as an educational venue for our Aldie Triangle Program. This educational event has brought thousands of students from Loudoun County schools to learn about three important historic sites: Oak Hill, Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church. These three sites are within a mile of each other and offer a rich resource on the subjects of commerce, religion, politics and the American Civil War. I have watched the children who come to this event each year. They are totally captivated by the experience and first person interpretations. What is even better - they are learning valuable history about our area.

So put these events on your calendar and please sign up for the Oak Hill events as we are space constrained there and are limited to the first 100 people who sign up. There is a fee as we rely on these events as fund raisers for our mission but there is also great value for the admission charge. For more details on these specific events and on our complete 2011 schedule, please check our web page: www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

George C. Marshall and Winston Churchill
The George C. Marshall International Center at Dodona Manor and the Mosby Heritage Area Association invite you to a discussion, led by Rachel Thompson, about the relationship between General Marshall and Winston Churchill on Sunday, February 27 at 3:30 p.m. 

The Marshall Center’s current exhibit at Dodona Manor in Leesburg, “With Affection and Admiration,” examines the correspondence of two great twentieth-century leaders whose relationship was forged in the crucible of world war. Letters, photographs, and other documents, loaned by the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, England, and the George C. Marshall Research Library in Lexington, Virginia, reveal a relationship of deep mutual respect, despite personalities that seemed polar opposites. 

Ms. Thompson’s presentation and discussion will begin at the Loudoun County Government Center in the Board of Supervisors Room. Parking is available at the Loudoun County Government Building garage located on Loudoun Street, between Harrison & Church Streets in Leesburg. A reception and a viewing of the exhibit will follow at Dodona Manor, a short walk from the Government Center. 

No admission is being charged, but reservations are required.  Please call 703-777-1301 or email events@georgecmarshall.org to reserve a seat by February 23rd.

Founding Gardeners
Photo of Winston Churchill and George C. Marshall from the Marshall Fouindation Library, Lexington, Virginia


Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General
Book Launch - March 20, 2011
The Mosby Heritage Area Association invites you a talk and book signing by Marc Leepson for his latest book, Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General, a concise biography of the famed Marquis, on Sunday, March 20, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at historic Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe near Leesburg, Virginia.

Lafayette
Lafayette, Lessons in Leadership from The Idealist General by Marc Leepson

The book, which Kirkus Reviews called “an inspiring introduction to the beloved general,” was published by Palgrave/Macmillan on March 1, and is a 2011 History Book Club selection. Born into an aristocratic French family of warriors, made lieutenant in the French Royal Guard at age 14, and married into the royal family at 16, Lafayette traveled to the colonies at his own expense to fight in the American Revolution. By age 20, he was embraced by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who became his life-long friends. Mr. Leepson will trace the story of a man whose love of liberty and passionate devotion to American and French independence shines in the pages of history.

Marc Leepson
Marc Leepson

President Monroe, portrayed by Dennis Bigelow, will make an appearance during the afternoon along with Gray Ghost Interpreter Group members, Jim and Julie Hildbold, in period dress.

The event includes remarks by Mr. Leepson about his book, a reception and book signing.  Tickets are $75. Seating is limited.  Reservations can be made on the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, or by calling 540-687-6681.

Click here to make a reservation.


A Gardener's Approach to History: Book Signing by Andrea Wulf
April 26, 2011
On Tuesday, April 26, at 3:00 p.m. Andrea Wulf, noted author and gardener, will give a talk at historic Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe near Leesburg, Virginia, as part of the United States tour for her latest garden history book Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation.  

Andrea Wulf
Andrea Wulf

Her beautifully illustrated talk will look at the lives of the founding fathers and how their attitude to plants, gardens, nature and agriculture shaped the American nation. For them gardening, agriculture and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating.  

Ms Wulf describes how even as British ships gathered to attack New York in 1776, George Washington wrote to his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were inspired by their English garden tour; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram’s garden in Philadelphia helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress to break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism.

Taken together, these and other stories are a revelation of a guiding, but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution. In a unique retelling of the creation of America, Ms Wulf will reveal how plants, politics and personalities intertwined as never before.

Founding Gardeners
Founding Gardeners, by Andrea Wulf

The event will begin with a reception, followed by Ms. Wulf’s remarks and a book signing of her new book, as along with her other history garden books, This Other Eden and The Brother Gardeners.  Tickets are $100 per person with limited seating.  To make reservations call 540-687-6681 or go to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

Click here to make reservations for Andrea Wulf’s talk at Oak Hill.


Aldie Triangle Program
Now in its eighth year, the Aldie Triangle: Impact of War program will be presented to five area schools on Tuesday, April 12th.  Fourth graders from Aldie, Middleburg and Lincoln Elementary Schools, The Hill School and Powhatan will participate in this year’s program.

Tom and Gayle DeLashmutt will host one part of this program at Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe. Lt. Col. Art House and Cynthia Buck-Thompson, both members of MHAA, will portray Fairfax family members who lived at Oak Hill at the time of the Civil War. Students will be able to touch and use replicas and artifacts including games and toys, household items, and other material culture of the time period.  The highlight of most students is seeing and learning about the dinosaur prints.

Art House at Oatlands
Art House and Cindy Buck-Thompson at Oak Hill

The Mosby Heritage Area Association will join with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority in hosting the other two parts of the “triangle,” Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church.  At the mill, students will learn about industry and transportation of the period.  They will meet cavalry horses and learn about African-American slaves who lived and worked in Aldie at the mill. Civil War medicine and the history of Mount Zion Church will be presented at the church. Students also will meet a parishioner; soldiers camped around the church; and take a trip into the cemetery.

Upcoming Events
Be sure to mark your calendars for these and the following upcoming events through April.  Check the Calendar Page of MHAA’s website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org for more information and a listing of other events.

February 27: Marshall and Churchill presentation and discussion, 3:30 p.m. beginning at the Loudoun County Government Building, Board of Supervisor’s Room followed by a reception and viewing of the current exhibit With Affection and Admiration. MHAA in partnership with the George C. Marshall International Center at Dodona. Admission Free, Reservations required. Call 703-777-1301 or email events@georgecmarshall.org by February 23rd.

March 20: Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General:  Launch of Marc Leepson’s new book at Oak Hill, south of Leesburg, at 3:00 p.m.  Tickets $75 and seating is limited.  Reserve a seat by calling 540-687-6681 or online from the Calendar Page at www.mosbyheritagearea.org

March 27: That Spring the War Came: 1861 in the Mosby Heritage Area, a presentation and discussion led by MHAA Education Director Rich Gillespie at Mount Zion Church at 3:00 p.m.  Sponsored by MHAA, in partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Tickets at the door, $5 for adults and $2 for students.

April 26: A Gardener’s Approach to History; Book Signing by Andrea Wulf at Oak Hill beginning at 3:00 p.m.  Talk, reception and book signing.  Tickets $100 and seating is limited. Reserve a seat by calling 540-687-6681 or online from the Calendar Page at www.mosbyheritagearea.org

April 30: Mosby Scout Along the Turnpike program from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m. Members of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will be at Mount Zion Church, Aldie Mill and the historic Rector House presenting Civil War history along the Ashby’s Gap and Little River Turnpikes (Route 50) continuously throughout the day.  MHAA in partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.  Admission free.

Hurray for Our Volunteers
The Mosby Heritage Area Association recognized 90 individuals who have volunteered for the organization during 2010 at its Volunteer Open House on Saturday, January 22 at the Historic Rector House in Atoka, Virginia. These volunteers donated more than 5,000 hours to the organization. The 90 volunteers included Board and Advisory Board members, members of MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group and others who worked to support MHAA at events, with mailings, and other administrative duties.

Judy Reynolds, MHAA’s executive director, announced that the time donated to MHAA by these 90 volunteers was valued at $104,250.  Beyond the financial value of their contributions, their service helped the organization receive more than 100 new individual and business memberships in 2010 and helped MHAA raise more than $69,000 from special fundraising events.

Childs Burden, president of MHAA, complimented the volunteers on their hard work and expressed MHAA’s appreciation for all that the volunteers do for the organization.  Rich Gillespie, Director of Education, noted the role of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group.

Special recognition was given to four volunteers: Pat Mountain, Gary Carroll, George Tiedeman and Inge Braune.  Pat Mountain has been volunteering once a month for the past three years.   He also provided much-needed support for the Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War.

Gary Carroll, who interprets Col. John S. Mosby, participated with the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group and the Saturday openings at the Historic Rector House during the summer.  His assistance for the August 6th event at Welbourne and Crednal was invaluable.
                                                           
George Tiedeman donated the most hours of any MHAA volunteer.  As Judy Reynolds said: “George has become an ambassador for MHAA while delivering brochures and putting up flyers for MHAA events.  Whenever someone needs our brochures, they call George instead of the MHAA office.”   

Inge Braune was recognized as being the volunteer who has been with the Mosby Heritage Area Association the longest.  She works mainly on mailings and in the early years, she helped put educational packets together for students.

Art House at Oatlands
From Left to Right, Gary Carroll, George Tiedeman, Pat Mountain, (Judy Reynolds in front), and Inge Braune

As part of the open house, MHAA distributed sign-up sheets for its volunteer opportunities.  The organization is looking for more volunteers to help with events, put together mailings, and help in the office.  Rich Gillespie is looking for individuals to join the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group with its 2011 lineup of interpretive programs.  There are also some special projects that need people with research and writing skills, data entry, and organizational skills.  

To become a MHAA volunteer, call at 540-687-6681 or email at info@mosbyheritagearea.org.  The organization has a Volunteer Application Form online at their website www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

Click here to sign up to be a MHAA Volunteer


Fireside Mosby Program at Rector House February 12th
Since December 2006, when winter comes around, the Mosby Heritage Area Association’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group moves indoors around the stove and presents its cold-weather rendition of tales of the region’s Civil War past with its Fireside Mosby program, a part of the Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee series.  A Fireside Mosby is an intimate parlor program in the 1801 Caleb Rector House at Atoka.  

Stories are presented by characters in period dress portrayed by our MHAA volunteers of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group.  Our GGIG volunteers are given guidelines for a sketch and some resources, and then they design their own sketches which take many hours of work.  

On Saturday evening February 12, GGIG members presented a study in contrasts— a program entitled “A Brace of Winters” that looked at that nervous secession winter and early spring 150 years ago in 1861, and then explored the winter experiences here in the heart of the Mosby Heritage Area in the last wartime winter of 1864-1865.

Those who performed this time included Katie Allen, Kate Babcock, Eric Buckland, Gary Carroll, Rich Gillespie, Jim Hildbold, Blaine Horton, Kate John, Andrew Masters, Judy Reynolds, Bill Seibert, and Clay Steward.  MHAA thanks them.

Sketches included John Janney of Loudoun sharing excerpts of his letters home from the Virginia Secession Convention, over which he presided; John Mosby reminiscing about his changing views of Secession; “Dolly” Richards remembering the botched federal attempt to capture him at Greengarden In the winter of 1865; the fiancée of a Loudoun Rangers sergeant who lost her beau to Mosby’s men on Christmas Eve of ’64; and a tale of a desperate foxhunt near Upperville in the lean winter of ‘65. 

A full house enjoyed the oldest way known to inspire preservation—stories of our past by the fireside.

The next MHAA program offering by the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will be on Saturday evening May 21, at a very special venue—Delaplane Cellars, on Rt. 17 just north of the village of Delaplane.  Watch for details in future e-newsletters or on MHAA’s website on the Calendar Page.


News Shorts:

Website Updates
In the past month, the 2009 Mosby Heritage Area Association Annual Report was put on our website.  You can now download the report.  If you would like copies to distribute, contact the office at 540-687-6681 or email us at info@mosbyheritagearea.org

Teacher Letters
The Mosby Heritage Area Association receives many letters and emails about its programs.  Below are examples from two letters we recently received from teachers in Loudoun County.

The following comments came from a letter sent to Rich Gillespie, Director of Education, from Kevin Briscoe, Social Studies Department of Potomac Falls High School in Sterling, Virginia, about MHAA’s A Crack in Time program.

Thank you for sharing your organization’s program on John Brown with our Advanced Placement U.S. History students on December 14-15.  It was an excellent opportunity for our students to learn about the years leading up to the Civil War in a creative and thought-provoking way.  Both you and Mr. Steward did an outstanding job of setting the scene for John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.  As we experienced last year, students commented in class discussion afterwards that they really enjoyed the presentation and recommended that similar programs be offered in the future for our AP students . . .

Thank you also for the helpful materials that you provided in conjunction with the presentation.   We have offered our student extra credit for completing the regional scavenger hunt and have found that students have been encouraged to explore local history in further depth thanks in large part to your inspiration . . .

Julie Hildbold, AP Language and Composition and Creative Writing teacher at Loudoun Valley High School, sent a letter to MHAA’s president Childs Burden about the positive impact that Rich Gillespie and his wife Tracy have had on students through their work.   

Speaking of local historians working with the Mosby Heritage Area Association, Rich and Tracy Gillespie, I want to thank both of them for their incredibly positive impact on our local youth.  The educational outreach displayed by Mosby Heritage Area Association is critically important.  Early this year in my AP Language and Composition class, my students were battling with college essay writing.  I began to see a pattern emerge.  Several of my students discussed the impact these two historians have made in their young lives.  The high school visits, the historic interpretation at the Rector House, the field trips to Harpers Ferry, the internships with Tracy and Rich, and the eloquent lectures from Rich—again and again my seniors wrote about how much they have come to appreciate history because of the way it is depicted by Tracy and Richard Gillespie.

Aside from the many students who have told me how much Rich has given an air of mystery and excitement to history, there was a student a few years ago, now in college, who was about to drop AP  U.S. History his junior year.  History class can be tricky territory, and he simply did not like it.  I encouraged him to stay in it, and he did.  His performance was outstanding and I will never forget his enthusiasm after spending a block with guest speaker, Richard Gillespie.  He was overflowing with enthusiasm and told me that if only history could be presented that way every day, he would enjoy it so much more.  He is now a student at Mary Washington.

Email Message
The following email was received from Mosby Heritage Area visitors Bill and Linda Warren of Salem, Oregon.

We just finished a trip to Virginia.  We do a lot of exploring and hiking Civil War sites, and enjoy supporting battlefield preservation activities.  We took your driving tour.  We wish to commend you very highly for the quality experience you have provided.  We enjoyed it very much, and lunched at the Hunter’s Head Tavern, which we enjoyed.  We will do this again.  Thank you for the effort you have put into this activity.  Best Wishes.

Partners in History
James and Julie Hildbold, members and volunteers with the Mosby Heritage Area Association, have launched a project called Partners in History to help raise funds for MHAA and to get high school students interested in the history of the Heritage Area. 

Their first project is the production of a quality 2011 calendar, which features photos taken at the Rector House and its Spring House in Atoka, Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church at Aldie, and at the Loudoun Museum in Leesburg.  Photographer Jessica LaRue McCunn and student models from Loudoun Valley High School participated in several days of photographing on location. 

The calendars sell for $20 and can be purchased at the Rector House at Atoka.

What's Going On: MHAA School Programming
By Rich Gillespie, MHAA Education Director 

With my resignation last year, I’d let teachers know I was leaving, and thus the first mission with my return to the Mosby Heritage Area Association in October was to re-establish contact with all elementary and high schools we’ve worked with previously and update them on our new programming.  Teachers were sent newly designed materials including MHAA program descriptions for 2010-11, materials introducing our new Civil War Sesquicentennial program Torn Apart by UnCivil War, a newly designed contract for teachers, and our Fall 2010 MHAA Education Program Teacher Newsletter.

Programs have been booked and contracted with 17 schools and program materials sent.  Program contracts are underway with 2 additional schools, and we will likely be contacted by another 6 elementary and 3 high schools.  In addition, an assembly program for all students has been requested by Middleburg Academy.  

We took our high school program:  “A Crack in Time” to five high schools in December:  Heritage (Leesburg), Foxcroft (Middleburg), Middleburg Academy (Middleburg), Potomac Falls (near Sterling), and Loudoun Valley (Purcellville).   Our program, examining John Brown’s 1859 raid, its issues, and its tie-in with local historic sites, is high-interest and brings student follow-up by providing a driving tour to find sites still standing that are relevant to this key antebellum story.  

Clay Steward, a part-time interpreter for MHAA, and Rich Gillespie provide first person interpretation for our high school program.  Clay is a member of our Gray Ghost Interpretive Group and is known for his moving period interpretations for our Cavaliers, Courage, and Coffee programs. 

Our high school program was redesigned to be more Heritage Area-oriented incorporating new stories and local background.  The program has evolved into part drama, part teaching, and part slideproduction.  Period documents were provided for history teachers to use as writing prompts which was appreciated.

For elementary schools, we are keeping two of our current programs, “Mosby, Heritage, and You” and “A Slavery Odyssey” while adding a new program focusing on the experiences of a variety of people in the Mosby Heritage Area during the Civil War, in particular, civilians and young people.  As always with our school programs, “Torn Apart by UnCivil War” focuses on stories from our historic landscape with photos illustrating them.   Not surprisingly, I’ve been out with my camera adding to our inventory of historic site photos to help us tell stories.  We have a huge number of places photographed but we’re not done yet.                 

Students, and by extension their families (who take them out on follow-up scavenger hunts) love local history stories and find local historic sites fascinating when given half a chance.  MHAA gladly keys into that!   If your child has not been visited by one of our school programs, either contact your school or go online to www.mosbyheritagearea.org and download one of our county scavenger hunts and take your family exploring.


Site of the Month
George C. Marshall International Center at Dodona Manor
Leesburg, Virginia

The George C. Marshall International Center was founded to preserve Dodona Manor, the beloved home of George and Katherine Marshall, and to further the legacy of General Marshall, considered by many to be America's hero to the world.

After Marshall's death in 1959, his home and property fell into significant disrepair. Normal upkeep and general maintenance were delayed, flowerbeds and lawns became overgrown, and the property took on a reclusive air. In 1995 a group of concerned citizens led by Leesburg resident B. Powell Harrison organized the George C. Marshall Home Preservation Fund in order to save the house and grounds from demolition.

Restoration of Dodona Manor's exterior began in 1999 funded by grants from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Federal Republic of Germany, and private donations. Restoration of the interior, including the installation of modern utilities and environmentally-advanced heating and cooling systems, began in 2000 and was completed in 2005.

Dodona Manor, which is registered today as a National Historic Landmark, formally re-opened to the public in November 2005. Situated on 3.88 acres of preserved green space at the entrance to Leesburg's historic district, the house is open to the public year-round and averages 250 visitors per month. Highly-trained docents offer a rich learning experience for students, teachers, group tours, and the general public. Complementing the museum experience, The George C. Marshall International Center offers a variety of special exhibitions and public events.
Dodona Manor is open to the public year round. Tours are on the hour, with the last tour starting at 4 p.m. on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sundays from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., and on National holidays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  The house is open on Mondays from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. June through August only.  Weekday tours are by appointment with 2 weeks notice. Call (703) 777-1301 for reservations.
For information on admission, events, and directions go to www.georgecmarshall.org


The George C. Marshall International Center at Dodona Manor, photos by Reggie Hall and James Stewart

Click here to view more photos of Dodona Manor


Did You Know?
George C. Marshall was very interested in gardening. Many stories and letters exist that illustrate General Marshall's keen interest in gardening. Even during the dark days of World War II, General Marshall's thoughts turned to gardening as indicated in his March 27, 1942 letter to David Burpee:

"The business of seeds and flowers tantalizes me because I have been an amateur gardener, both flower and vegetable, since a boy of ten. There is nothing that I would so much prefer to do this spring as to turn my mind to the wholesome business of gardening rather than the terrible problems and tragedies of war."


MHAA Store
The Mosby Heritage Area Association is proud to announce it is now carrying Eric Buckland’s Mosby’s Keydet Rangers book, 2nd edition, along with his Mosby’s Men CD.   The 2nd edition of Mr. Buckland’s popular book includes additional information found in Eric’s continual research of Col. John S. Mosby and his Mosby’s Rangers.

The Mosby’s Men CD is a collection of more than 1,000 photographs of Mosby Rangers and their final resting places.  Mosby Ranger Reunion and other group photos are also on the CD.

The Mosby’s Keydet Rangers book sells for $35 ($5 for shipping) for a total of $40.  The Mosby’s Men CD sells for $10 ($2.50 for shipping).  If the book and CD are purchased as a set the cost is $40 ($8 for shipping).  

The book and CD can also be purchased at the MHAA headquarters in the historic Rector House at Atoka. (4 miles west of Middleburg off Route 50 on state route 713, Physical Address: 1461 Atoka Road, Marshall, VA 20115)  We are open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.  Check the Calendar of Events Page on our website for dates when the Rector House will be open on weekends. 

Visit our MHAA Store online by clicking here.

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - March 2011

President's Letter
MHAA presented its Gray Ghost Interpretive Group’s “Cavaliers, Coffee and Courage” performance on Saturday evening, February 12th.  Exactly 150 years ago that night, Abraham Lincoln boarded a train with his family in Springfield, Illinois.  It was Lincoln’s birthday and he was 52 years old. He was headed on a tour that would take him to Washington, D.C. and to his inauguration ceremony on March 4rth.  Sadly, he did not live to see his home in Springfield again. We commemorated that history though our talented performers who spoke in the first person about what life was like in our area during that unsettling time.  A time when Virginia was not out of the Union and war was just a few weeks away.  It was a wonderful performance and we had a record breaking audience. Our next performance is scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. It will be staged at Delaplane Cellars in the historic Crooked Run Valley.  Make sure to put this one on your schedule. Our talented interpreters are honing their skills for a wonderful night where history will be seen, heard and felt.

The long winter months are finally at an end and we are energized for a busy spring season. On Sunday, March 20, our very own Marc Leepson will give us a talk about his new book, Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General.   Marc’s new work has just this month been released with excellent reviews.   It tells the story of the fascinating French nobleman who played such an important part of our country’s history.   The talk, reception and book signing will be at Oak Hill – the home of James Monroe who had such a long and close relationship with General Lafayette.   A first person interpretation of President Monroe will be offered by a very talented Dennis Bigelow.  Jim and Julie Hildbold will be in attendance as 18th century citizens.   I can promise you that this event will be both fun and informative.

 Come visit a historic home and enjoy a wonderful talk in an unforgettable setting but act fast as space is limited. This event is an important fund raiser for us so there is a charge of $75 per person.

On Sunday, March 27 at 3:00 p.m., we will be offering another event, this one at Mount Zion Baptist Church – the little brick church just east of Gilbert’s Corner at the Watson Road traffic circle.   This little building (circa 1850) sits at the intersection of the Old Carolina Road and the Little River Turnpike.   This site saw tremendous history through the years including much American Civil War history.   Walking through the door of Mount Zion Church is like walking back through time.   Come and listen.   I can promise you a very special experience.

We are now officially in the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the most pivotal event in our national history.   Our Director of Education, Rich Gillespie, will discuss, “That Spring the War Came: 1861 in The Mosby Heritage Area”.   There is a nominal $5 charge for this talk and we are partnering with our good friends at the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority who operate and interpret Mount Zion Baptist Church as well as the nearby Aldie Mill.   We hope to cover our expenses only; however, we expect to increase the awareness and the appreciation of the history that surrounds us. We are blessed that we live in a very special part of Virginia where a sense of place resonates. Every day we work to preserve that sense of place.

There will be other talks of this type later in the year. Also there will be other special venue events which we will use to raise funds for our operations. Among these will be another event at Oak Hill on April 26, A Gardener’s Approach to History: Book Signing by Andrea Wulf.  We will be offering special talks and tours of both the First Battle of Manassas or Bull Run and the Battle of Ball’s Bluff.  Both of these battles occurred 150 years ago this year so it is a good time to refresh our memory of this important history. You can learn more about these and other events by checking our event page on our web site: www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

We are on our way! The winter is behind us and a full year of history lies before us.  In conclusion, I want you to know these two facts.  All of us here enjoy what we do.  All of us appreciate your support. Thank you!

Childs F. Burden


Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General
Book Launch - March 20, 2011
Seats are going fast for the Book Launch of Marc Leepson’s Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General, a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette.  The Mosby Heritage Area Association is hosting a reception, talk, and book signing by Mr. Leepson on Sunday, March 20th from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at historic Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe, just outside Aldie, Virginia.

In Lafayette, historian, journalist and author Marc Leepson describes the fascinating life story of this iconic French figure, a man who played such an integral part in American--and French--history. His accomplishments were substantial and colorful and his love of liberty and passionate devotion to American and French independence shines here, as it does in the pages of history. The book, which Kirkus Reviews called “an inspiring introduction to the beloved general,” is published by Palgrave/Macmillan, and is a History Book Club Selection.

To learn more about the book, go to www.marcleepson.com .

marc leepson
Lafayette, Lessons in Leadership from The Idealist General by Marc Leepson

The Book Launch event begins with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception. President James Monroe, portrayed by Dennis Bigelow, and 18th-century citizens portrayed by Jim and Julie Hildbold will be in attendance.  This will be followed by Mr. Leepson’s talk and book signing.

Tickets for the event are $75 per person.  To make reservations, call 540-687-6681 or go online to the Calendar Page of www.mosbyheritagearea.org.   But do so as soon as possible.   Seats are limited at Oak Hill and we are rapidly approaching a full house.

Click here to make reservations for the March 20th Book Launch.


A Gardener's Approach to History:
Book Signing by Andrea Wulf

April 26, 2011
On Tuesday, April 26, at 3:00 p.m. MHAA is sponsoring a talk by Andrea Wulf, the award-winning author and gardener, at historic Oak Hill as part of the United States tour for her latest garden history book, Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation.  

Founding Gardeners andrea wulf
Founding Gardeners, by Andrea Wulf

Ms. Wulf’s beautifully illustrated talk will look at the lives of the founding fathers and how their attitudes to plants, gardens, nature and agriculture shaped the American nation. For them, gardening, agriculture and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as was their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating. 

Ms. Wulf describes how even as British ships gathered to attack New York in 1776, George Washington wrote to his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were inspired by an English garden tour; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram’s garden in Philadelphia helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism.

Taken together, these and other stories reveal a guiding, but previously overlooked aspect of the American Revolution. In a unique retelling of the creation of America, Ms. Wulf reveals how plants, politics and personalities intertwined as never before.

Learn more about the Andrea Wulf at www.andreawulf.com

The event will begin with a reception, followed by Ms. Wulf’s remarks and a book signing of her new book, as well as her book, The Brother Gardeners.  Tickets are $100 per person with limited seating.  To make reservations call 540-687-6681 or go to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org

Click here to make reservations for Andrea Wulf’s talk at Oak Hill.


MHAA's Education Efforts Steaming Ahead
From Director of Education, Rich Gillespie
Due to the support of our many members and grantors, there is a new momentum for the educational programming of the Mosby Heritage Area Association.  This is evidenced by several recent events:

  1. The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group’s February 12th evening program  sold out—we had no more room for standing or sitting. Requests for school programs keep rolling in from Clarke, Fauquier, and Loudoun counties.

  2. We’ve also been asked to do programs in Rappahannock and Fairfax Counties. Teachers have worked hard to have their schools make monetary donations to keep our program supported. Schools work very closely with us to distribute scavenger hunt materials to get exploring the historic landscape of our region, and come to understand the stories associated with this amazing historic resource.  Please feel free to suggest a school that needs a program, but we do need a teacher contact.

  3. MHAA’s newest school program, Torn Apart by UnCivil War, will premier at Aldie Elementary on March 22, complete with activities, an accompanying tour, and slide program.

  4. In a line of 10-year-questioners after one of our recent programs, a proud young man followed a girl who had visited one of the historic sites we mentioned.  He puffed out his chest when his turn came and proudly intoned, “I am a direct descendant of George Washington . . .” Now that’s being well connected with the spirit of history.  

  5. Our lectures and tours are filling up and drawing large audiences. We are very proud of our membership for spending time to educate themselves about our historic landscape and for becoming heritage stewards in their conversations with neighbors.

Upcoming Educational Events
Upcoming Educational Programs

Conversations in History Series at Historic Mount Zion Church   Our first installment in this multi-lecture series will be on Sunday, March 27th at 3:00 p.m.  Rich Gillespie will present a look at the coming of the Civil War to the Mosby Heritage Area entitled That Spring the War Came. 

The program uses historic sites in the Mosby Heritage Area and their inhabitants to provide a colorful photographic story of the beginning months of our uncomfortable local Civil War experience. The location for the series, along the old Little River Turnpike in the historic 1851 Mount Zion Church, provides the ideal backdrop for the program.  This series of presentations will be in cooperation with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, which administers this historic site and co-sponsors the Conversations in History Series.

marc leepson
Mount Zion Church

Mosby:  Scout Along the Turnpike   A new programming idea from the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will be presented on Saturday April 30 continuously from 12 noon-5:00 p.m. Again in cooperation with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, this program will feature GGIG doing interlinked interpretive vignettes in period dress at three sites simultaneously—historic Caleb Rector House, Aldie Mill, and Mount Zion Church, all of which have significant Mosby Stories.  Visitors can visit all three John Singleton Mosby Highway (Route 50) locations, as well as get suggestions for side-road detours off the turnpike that explore more deeply this lush, historic landscape at a beautiful time of year.

Mosby in the Crooked Run Valley The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group goes on the road for its Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program on Saturday, May 21.  A program of stories of life during the Civil War in the Mosby Heritage Area will be presented at Delaplane Cellars in Delaplane, Virginia.  Our host will offer wine tasting and live music before our interpretive program, which begins at 7:30 p.m. The hills of the Crooked Run Valley will offer a splendid backdrop of our program.

Click here to learn more about these upcoming programs.


Two New Events Scheduled for June:
MHAA has added two events to its 2011 Calendar: a lecture and tour of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff and a Mosby Ride at the Brandy Station Battlefield.

Mosby Ride
On Saturday, June 4, MHAA will host the 2011 Mosby Ride at the Brandy Station Battlefield. The Battle of Brandy Station, on June 9, 1863, was the largest cavalry battle ever to take place on the North American continent and is considered by many to be the first engagement of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

This year’s Mosby Ride will be an exclusive mounted tour of the Brandy Station Battlefield, featuring some of the finest farmland and scenic beauty in the Piedmont. Historic interpretation will be given by historian Clark “Bud” Hall, President of the Brandy Station Foundation, at several locations along the 6-8 mile ride. Mounted cavalry re-enactors will accompany riders. 

Gary Carroll, interpreting Col. John S. Mosby will be featured at the lunch following the ride.  Those wanting to join us for lunch can do so for $40. 

Tickets for the ride are $75 for MHAA members and $100 for non-members if purchased before May 27. After May 27, tickets will be an additional $10.  Riders need a coggins test and will be asked to sign a waiver of liability for the ride. Cost of tickets includes lunch. 

Registration and waiver forms will be available online at the Calendar Page of the MHAA website in the near future.

Click here to register for the Mosby Ride.

Ball's Bluff Tour
Historian and author James A. Morgan will give a lecture and guided tour of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff on Friday, June 17 at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia. The evening will begin with a wine and cheese reception, followed by the lecture and a book signing of the latest edition of Mr. Morgan’s book on the battle, A Little Short on Boats.

On Saturday, June 18, MHAA is hosting a guided tour of the Battlefield with Mr. Morgan as the guide.  This exclusive tour features a visit to Ft. Evans and the Jackson House in Leesburg, Virginia, both of which played a role in the battle. These sites are not accessible to the public at any other time.  A bus will leave historic Rector House in Atoka, Virginia, at 8:30 a.m., travel to Ft. Evans and the Jackson House, and then on to the battlefield. A box lunch is included. The bus will return to Atoka by 2:30 p.m.

Seating is limited for the Friday evening talk; reservations are necessary.  To reserve a seat, call 540-687-6681. Tickets for the Saturday bus tour are $60 for MHAA members and $75 for non-members. Call 540-687-6681 to pay and reserve a space on the bus or go online to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website www.mosbyheritagearea.org to purchase your seat.

Click here to purchase a seat for the Battle of Ball’s Bluff bus tour.


Save these Dates!

March 20, 3:00 p.m.

Oak Hill; Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General, Book Launch

March 27, 3:00 p.m.
Mount Zion Church; Conversations in History Series

April 26, 2011, 3:00 p.m.
Oak Hill; A Gardener’s Approach to History, Talk and Book Signing by Andrea Wulf

April 30, 2011, 12 noon-5:00 p.m.
Rector House, Aldie Mill, Mount Zion Church; Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike

May 21, 7:30 p.m.
Delaplane Cellars; Mosby in the Crooked Run Valley

June 4, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Rector House will be open for the summer and fall seasons on Saturdays

June 4, 10:00 a.m.
Brandy Station; Mosby Ride

June 5, 3:00 p.m.
Mount Zion Church; Conversations in History Series

June 17, 6:00 p.m.
National Sporting Library; Battle of Ball’s Bluff Lecture

June 18, 8:00 a.m.
Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Tour

June 25, 12 noon-5:00 p.m.
Rector House, Aldie Mill, Mount Zion Church; Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike


Site of the Month
Prospect Hill Cemetery
Prospect Hill Cemetery, Front Royal’s community cemetery, sits on a hill overlooking the town.  It was on this hill where General Stonewall Jackson surveyed the town and directed the Battle of Front Royal in May 1862.  Within the confines of the cemetery are two monuments of note, Soldiers’ Circle and the Mosby Monument.

During the Civil War many homes in the Warren County area were used as military hospitals. The soldiers who died in these hospitals were buried in temporary graves scattered throughout Warren County.

A group of women banded together in 1868, forming the Ladies’ Warren Memorial Association with a mission to collect the remains of soldiers buried in the county and place them in a permanent burying ground.  Although the task involved much work and expense, the Association received help from the Developing Committee of Prospect Hill Cemetery.

The remains of 276 soldiers were found, of which 90 were identified.  The 90 identified soldiers had tombstones bearing their name, company, and state of birth placed in a circle at the top of Prospect Hill.  The remaining 185 soldiers were buried in a common grave in the center of circle. The Association then raised funds for an eighteen-foot monument that was placed in the center atop the common grave. 

Each year on the anniversary of the Battle of Front Royal, women of the Ladies’ Memorial Association and, later, the Warren Rifles United Daughters of the Confederacy lead a procession to Soldiers’ Circle and place flowers on the graves.

The Mosby Monument, which can be seen at the foot of the hill at the entrance to the cemetery, was erected as a memorial to the seven Mosby Rangers who were hung or shot at Front Royal in September 1864.

Some of the funds to build the Mosby Monument were raised by selling pieces of the wood from the tree where the two of the rangers were hung. Of the $1,000 needed for the construction of the monument, $600 came from fellow Ranger Charles Rouss.


Prospect Hill Cemetery, Mosby Monument

Click here to view more photos of Prospect Hill Cemetery


Did You Know?
On the 35th anniversary of their deaths, September 1899, a reunion of Mosby’s Rangers took place in Front Royal to dedicate the Mosby Monument.


MHAA Store
With spring coming, you will want to get copies of the MHAA Civil War audio tours so that you can explore the Civil War history in the Mosby Heritage Area as well as enjoy the beautiful countryside.

MHAA has four audio tours available for sale:

  1. Prelude to Gettysburg tells the story of the Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville as told by Robert O’Neill, noted historian for these cavalry battles.
  2. In the Wake of Antietam tells the story of McClellan’s advance across Loudoun County into Fauquier County following the Battle of Antietam.
  3. The Historical Events of Mosby’s 43rd Virginia Battalion, Part 1 gives the exploits of John S. Mosby and his Rangers beginning at Truro Church, in Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia, and ending at the Rector House in Atoka, Virginia.
  4. The Historical Events of Mosby’s 43rd Virginia Battalion, Part II picks up the story where Part I ends and leads you into Clarke County, Virginia.
Purchase a CD tour, pick a beautiful spring day in Virginia, and enjoy the history and beauty of the Mosby Heritage Area!

Visit our MHAA Store online by clicking here.

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - April 2011

President's Letter
Last month I wrote that winter is over and spring is coming. Well, spring seems to have gotten lost. I have faith it will show up.

The Mosby Heritage Area Association has a lot going on in the coming weeks. Our next book signing event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26 at Oak Hill.  Andrea Wulf will discuss her book Founding Gardeners; The Revolutionary Garden, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation.  We all know that Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe loved their gardens.  What better place to discuss this subject than in President James Monroe’s home? The event will begin with a reception.  Andrea Wulf’s books will be available to have her sign them for you.  This is a fund raiser for us – we depend on such events to do what we do. Please come and support us. Seating is limited so reservations are required. The cost is $100 per person.

On Saturday, April 30 we will present our first “Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike” program from 12 noon until 5 p.m.   Three locations: Mount Zion Baptist Church, the Aldie Mill and the Caleb Rector House at Atoka will be open.  Our Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will be hosting at each location to discuss what life was like in our Heritage Area during on this Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the American Civil War.  These volunteers are trained and dedicated to increasing the awareness and the appreciation of our past. I can assure you that they will make history come alive. 

On that same day, Saturday April 30 at 4:00 p.m., there will be an important event put on by The Land Trust of Virginia and The Unison Preservation Society to celebrate the effort to create an 8,000 acre Unison Battlefield Historic District.  Without question, it will be one of the best preserved battlefield districts in the nation. This upcoming nomination to the Virginia and National Historic Registers is a tremendous recognition of the importance of the historic resources we have in our Heritage Area. This nomination has taken two years of research by a consulting team and has been partially funded by federal grants through the American Battlefield Protection Program. A public hearing will be held this summer on this nomination and it is hoped that official National Register action will be taken by the fall.

The Mosby Heritage Area Association awarded its Heritage Hero Award to The Unison Preservation Society last December for its dedication and hard work in getting this district considered for nomination. It is a daunting task and they have done superb work.

Come help us celebrate the recognition of this important 1862 battlefield district which stretches from Philomont to Unison and through and beyond Upperville.  It will be a fun event at a very special setting.  See the invitation information appended to this newsletter to sign up.

I hope many of you were able to take advantage of the Oak Hill event on March 20.  Marc Leepson discussed his book, Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General to a capacity audience sitting in the very room where President Monroe signed the Monroe Doctrine.  The reception, the food, and the talk on General Lafayette in that historic home made a very special day. Once again, thanks must be extended to the DeLashmutt family. They made it all possible.

A week later, on March 27, we joined in partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to present a talk by our Director of Education, Rich Gillespie at the Mount Zion Baptist Church just east of Aldie.  Rich gave us a great talk on what the citizens of our Heritage Area were thinking and doing during this tumultuous time 150 years ago.  A 52 year old President Lincoln was just three weeks in the White House and seven states had already left the Union. Remember that Virginia did not leave the Union until after the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12.  Mount Zion Church is such an evocative place and the setting and the talk came together beautifully.

Much more history will be coming to you in May and June. You can read all the details on our web site at: www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

A post script: The Mosby Heritage Area Association was honored on March 31 by Visit Loudoun for its Annual Art of Command Conference put on each October.  This year will be our 14th year!  We were humbled but delighted to be recognized for an event that brings visitors to Loudoun County from all over the country. Thank you Visit Loudoun for this honor!

All of us here are appreciative of such recognition.  All of us here love what we do to bring awareness and appreciation of the rich history and heritage of this very special place. Most importantly of all, all of us here are appreciative of your support.

Childs Burden

A Gardener's Approach to History:
Book Signing by Andrea Wulf

April 26, 2011
Seats are filling fast for A Gardener’s Approach to History:Book Signing by Andrea Wulf.  This event, sponsored by MHAA and hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas DeLashment, will be held on Tuesday, April 26, at 3:00 p.m. at historic Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe.  Ms. Wulf, the award-winning author and gardener, will speak as part of the United States tour for her latest garden history book, Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation.  

Founding Gardeners andrea wulf
Founding Gardeners, by Andrea Wulf

Ms. Wulf’s beautifully illustrated talk will look at the lives of the founding fathers and how their attitudes to plants, gardens, nature and agriculture shaped the American nation. For them, gardening, agriculture and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as was their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating.  In a unique retelling of the creation of America, Ms. Wulf reveals how plants, politics and personalities intertwined as never before.

Learn more about the Andrea Wulf at www.andreawulf.com

The event will begin with a reception, followed by Ms. Wulf’s remarks and a book signing of her new book, as well as her book, The Brother Gardeners. Guests will be able to take stroll through the spring gardens of Oak Hill.

Tickets are $100 per person with limited seating. 

To make reservations call 540-687-6681 or go to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org

Click here to make reservations for Andrea Wulf’s talk at Oak Hill.


2010 Tourism Event of the Year Award
The Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War
At Visit Loudoun’s 15th Annual Meeting and 2010 Tourism Awards on Thursday, March 31, Mosby Heritage Area Association’s 2010 Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War received the 2010 Tourism Event of the Year Award for attendees up to 3,000. 

The Civil War Conference was recognized for its contribution to heritage tourism in Loudoun County, as well as its economic benefits to the area.  Childs Burden, president of MHAA and chair of the conference, accepted the award.  He has been instrumental in the creation and development of this event for all of its 13 years. Childs continues to bring outstanding historians to Middleburg each year.

In presenting the award, Carolyn Howell, chair of the Visit Loudoun Board of Directors, noted that the conference provides attendees with a quality event that shares the Civil War history of our area with attendees from all over the United States and even abroad.  Attendees are offered nine talks, a bus tour of a battlefield and access to nationally known Civil War authors and historians.

This event brought more than $20,000 to the local economy through attendees’ use of local accommodations, restaurants, wineries and other historic sites during the conference.  Attendees also stay in the area beyond the days of the conference and have returned many times throughout the year, providing additional revenue to the local economy. More than 50 percent of the attendees return to the conference each year.

The 2011 Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War will be held September 30-October 2 in Middleburg, Virginia.  This year’s theme is Cavalry Command: North and South.  Speakers include Clark Hall, Marshall Krolick, Horace Mewborn, Robert O’Neill, James Ewell Brown Stuear, IV, Robert Trout, Bruce Venter and Eric Wittenberg.  For a detailed schedule and biographical information about our speakers go to the Calendar Page of our website; www.mosbyheritagearea.org and scroll down to the event.

Click here to download the Conference brochure with registration form.

Visit Loudoun Tourism Award Winners
Visit Loudoun Tourism Award Winners; Child Burden on the far right. Photo by Cindy Pearson


Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike
April 20, 2011, 12 Noon - 5:00 p.m.
You are invited to travel along the Ashby Gap and Little River on Saturday, April 30, for a trip back in time.  Members of the MHAA’s all-volunteer Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will be at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Aldie Mill, and the historic Rector House presenting glimpses of life along the turnpike during the Civil War.

Meet John S. Mosby signing the official papers establishing Company A of the 43rd Battalion in the parlor of the Rector House.  Hear the story of the Aldie Races at Aldie Mill and the Battle of Mount Zion at Mount Zion Church.

The vignettes can be visited in any order and at any time during the afternoon.  The program is continuous.  Additional driving tour suggestions and information about other sites along the turnpike will be available for visitors.

Admission is by donation.  Reservations are not required.

Marc Leepson
Mount Zion Church / Historic Rector House / Aldie Mill


Creation and Nomination of New Battlefield Historic District Celebration
April 30, 2011, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
A new Civil War battlefield historic district, 50 miles from Washington, is being created this year, the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

The proposed 8,000-acre Unison Battlefield Historic District in western Loudoun and Fauquier counties has won two awards and is being hailed as one of the nation's best preserved battlefield historic districts. It is being nominated in April to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. 

A celebration and fund-raiser for the battlefield will be held Saturday, April 30, from 4-7 p.m., at historic Llangollen in Upperville. The battlefield and the April 30 event are supported by more than 20 local preservation and conservation groups.

The battlefield recently has been honored by the Washington Sustainable Growth Alliance as one of several Washington-area projects that "contribute most to the region's future quality of life." The award will be presented at a ceremony April 27 on the lawn at Mount Vernon.

In December, the Mosby Heritage Area Association gave its 2010 Heritage Hero award to the nonprofit Unison Preservation Society (UPS), which is creating the battlefield, and also praised the nonprofit Land Trust of Virginia (LTV), which has helped put conservation easements on more than half of the land in the proposed historic district.

The National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program has awarded UPS three federal grants. The first was to study the little-known 1862 Battle of Unison, planned by President Lincoln in the hope it might bring an early end to the Civil War. Two additional grants were given to help fund the battlefield’s nomination to the state and national historic registers.

For information about UPS, the Battle of Unison and the battlefield, contact Paul Hodge at a.p.hodge2@gmail.com or 540-554-8624. Or visit the UPS website www.unisonva.org.

For information about LTV and the April 30 gala, contact Don Owen at donlandtrustva@earthlink.net or 540-687-8441. Or visit the Land Trust website www.landtrustva.org.

A brief fact sheet with additional information is attached, along with a copy of the public invitation to the April 30 event.

Click here for a Brief Fact Sheet with additional information.

Click here for the public invitation to the event.

Reenactors
Re-enactors during Unison Heritage Days following the route of Civil War soldiers during the Battle of Unison.
Photo by Owen Snyder, Unison Preservation Society


March Events a Great Success!
On Sunday, March 20, 100 people joined MHAA to help launch Marc Leepson’s latest book, Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General at Oak Hill.  Marc gave a wonderful talk on the eventful life of the Marquis de Lafayette.  Attendees were treated to a look at Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe by our hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas DeLashmutt. Attendees enjoyed some delicious food and wine on the veranda.  Thanks to the generous sponsorships, and the purchase of tickets and books, MHAA was able to meet its ambitious financial goal for this fund-raising event.

Marc Leepson
Marc Leepson signing Georgia Herbert’s copy of Lafayette. Photo by Douglas Lees.

Click here to see more photos of this event.

On the following Sunday, March 27, MHAA and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority hosted the first in a series of Conversations in History at Mount Zion Church east of Aldie to an overflow crowd of 68 people.  MHAA Education Director Rich Gillespie presented a program that examined the feelings and opinions of citizens in the Mosby Heritage Area, especially in Loudoun County, in the months leading up to the Civil War and the first month of the war.  Rich used the diaries and letters of delegates to the Virginia Secession Convention, the results of secession issue voting by the citizens of Loudoun County, and a newspaper account of the firing on Fort Sumter to show the reactions of area residents to the events leading up to Virginia’s secession from the Union.

Conversations in History
Conversations in History Lecture at Mt. Zion.


Upcoming Events:

May at the Winery!
The Mosby Heritage Area Association will be participating in two events at area wineries in May; at Delaplane Cellars in Delaplane, Virginia, and at Philip Carter Winery at Hume, Virginia.

The Crooked Run Valley as seen from the hills of Delaplane Cellars will be the backdrop for MHAA’s second Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program on Saturday, May 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Stories of life during the Civil War will be told in first-person accounts by members of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group.  Vignettes throughout the vineyard will set the stage for this lantern-lit program.

Our hosts for the evening, Delaplane Cellars, will offer wine tastings and live music. Food will be available from vendors.  Guests can enjoy Virginia wine, listen to live music, and hear to stories of the exploits of Col. John S. Mosby and his Rangers.

Admission for the Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program is $5 for adults and $2 for students.  Wine tasting and food are separate from the interpretive program.  Reservations are not necessary.

For information about Delaplane Cellars go to their web site www.delaplanecellars.com.

The Mosby Heritage Area Association has been invited to participate in the 249th Anniversary of American Wine Event at the Philip Carter Winery in Hume, Virginia on Saturday, May 28. This annual event celebrates the anniversary of the first internationally recognized wines in America. It’s a day of fun in wine country for the entire family. Hear the voices of Thomas Jefferson and Charles Carter as they speak about their personal connection to wine in young America.  Activities include live music, food, and hay rides. Gates are open from11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

MHAA will have a table at the event where donations (minimum of $15) to MHAA will be accepted in exchange for a wrist band that entitles the visitor to a free tasting, to a 10% discount on wine purchased that day, and a chance to win a framed Mosby Heritage Area map by Eugene Scheel.  We hope you will come out to support the event and the Mosby Heritage Area Association.

Learn more about this event and Philip Carter Winery at www.pcwinery.com.
Link to the website.

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June Along the John S. Mosby Highway!
In June, the Mosby Heritage Area Association will open the historic Rector House for a second year, sponsor the second Conversation in History Series program, and present the second of three Mosby, Scout Along the Turnpike programs.

Beginning on Saturday, June 4 the historic Rector House at Atoka, Virginia, will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays through October.  The hours will be different on Saturday, June 25 and Saturday, October 29 when the house will be open from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m. for the Mosby, Scout Along the Turnpike program.   Interpreters will be present to tell visitors about the Rector House and family, the connections the house has with John S. Mosby and J.E.B. Sturart, and the history of the village of Atoka. 

The house is open to the public at no charge (donations are always accepted!) and reservations are not required.

On Sunday, June 5 at 3:00 p.m. at Mount Zion Church, MHAA and the Northern Virginia Park Authority will sponsor the second in the series of Conversation in History programs.  Tracy Gillespie, Site Supervisor for Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church, will lead the conversation on Charles Fenton Mercer; American Visionary. 

Cost of admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students.  Check out the other Conversations in History topics on the Calendar Page of the MHAA website: www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

The second Gray Ghost Interpretative Group presentation of Mosby; Scout Along the Turnpike will take place at three sites along Route 50 on Saturday, June 25.  Interpreters will offer a look at life along the turnpike at Mount Zion Church, Aldie Mill, and the Rector House.  This program is co-sponsored by the Northern Virginia Park Authority and MHAA.

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2011 Mosby Ride:
Historical Riding Tour of Brandy Station Battlefield

On Saturday, June 4, MHAA will host the 2011 Mosby Ride: Historical Riding Tour of Brandy Station Battlefield. The Battle of Brandy Station, on June 9, 1863, was the largest cavalry battle ever to take place on the North American continent and is considered by many to be the first engagement of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

This year’s Mosby Ride will be an exclusive mounted tour of the Brandy Station Battlefield, featuring some of the finest farmland and scenic beauty in the Piedmont. Historic interpretation will be given by historian Clark “Bud” Hall, President of the Brandy Station Foundation, at several locations along the 6-8 mile ride.

Clark "Bud" Hall
Clark “Bud” Hall, president of the Brandy Station Foundation

Mounted cavalry from the 43rd Battalion, Company D re-enactor group will ride along with us, giving a bit of the feel of riding with a Civil War cavalry troop. Gary Carroll, interpreting Col. John S. Mosby, will be featured at lunch following the ride.  Those who wish to join us just for lunch can do so for $40. 

Tickets for the ride are $75 for MHAA members and $100 for non-members if purchased before May 27. After May 27, tickets will be an additional $10.  The cost of tickets includes lunch.

Riders need a Coggins Test and will be asked to sign a Release and Waiver Liability Form for the ride. Information on parking will be available later at the MHAA website.

Riders can register online from the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, or register by mail by downloading a Registration Form and Liability Form from the website. 

Click here to download a Registration Form.

Click here to download the Release and Waiver Liability Form.

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Battlefield Lectures and Tours
The Mosby Heritage Area Association is sponsoring two battlefield talks and tours this year.  The Battle of Ball’s Bluff and the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run) are both commemorating their 150th anniversary in 2011.

Historian and author James A. Morgan will give a lecture and guided tour of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff on Friday, June 17 at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia. The evening will begin with a wine and cheese reception, followed by the lecture and a book signing of the latest edition of Mr. Morgan’s book on the battle, A Little Short on Boats; The Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edward’s Ferry, October 21-22, 1861.

On Saturday, June 18, MHAA is hosting a guided tour of the battlefield with Mr. Morgan as the guide.  This exclusive tour features a visit to Ft. Evans and the Jackson House in Leesburg, Virginia, both of which played a role in the battle. These sites are not accessible to the public at any other time.  A bus will leave historic Rector House in Atoka, Virginia, at 8:30 a.m., travel to Ft. Evans and the Jackson House, and then on to the battlefield. A box lunch is included. The bus will return to Atoka by 2:30 p.m.

Seating is limited for the Friday evening talk; reservations are necessary.  To reserve a seat, call 540-687-6681.

Tickets for the Saturday bus tour are $60 for MHAA members and $75 for non-members.  Call 540-687-6681 to pay and reserve a space on the bus or go online to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website www.mosbyheritagearea.org to purchase your seat.

Click here to purchase a seat for the Battle of Ball’s Bluff bus tour.

Battle of Ball's Bluff
The Battle of Ball's Bluff

John Hennessy, chief historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, will speak on the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) on Friday, July 29 at the Hill School in Middleburg, Virginia.  Mr. Hennessy is the author of three books on the Civil War including An End to Innocence: The First Battle of Manassas, which will be for sale at the event.  The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception followed by the talk and book signing.

Battle of Ball's Bluff
John Hennessy

Tickets for the lecture are $60 for MHAA members and $70 for non-members.  Reservations can be made online from the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, or by calling 540-687-6681.  

On Saturday, July 30, Mr. Hennessy will be our guide to the Manassas National Battlefield, highlighting the events of the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run).  We will start the day with coffee and donuts at the Rector House at Atoka, Virginia.  Our bus will leave Atoka at 8:30 a.m.  We will tour the battlefield, take in the Visitors Center, and have a box lunch before returning to Atoka around 3:30 p.m.

Tickets for the bus tour are $60 for MHAA members and $70 for non-members.  Reservations can be made online from the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, or by calling 540-687-6681.  
Link to the event on the calendar page.

Click here to to view this event on the Calendar Page


Many Thanks
The Mosby Heritage Area Association would like to thank the many volunteers who have helped us in the last three months.

The following people have helped with events and with the general operations and mailings of MHAA:
George and Barbara Tiedeman, Pat Mountain, Fred Pitman, Steve Marshall, Ryan Stewart, Thelma Debes, and Marge Arnade, along with Gray Ghost Interpretive Group members Robin Yeager, Eric Buckland, Jim Hildbold, Blaine Horton, Gary Carroll, Clay Steward, Bill Seibert, Andrew Masters, and Kate Babcock and the MHAA Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members

MHAA has a long list of events and projects that need additional help.  If you have not signed up to be a volunteer and can give MHAA some time, call Judy Reynolds at 540-687-6681.


MHAA's Photography
We want to recognize some special volunteers.  Throughout the past few years, Douglas Lees, MHAA Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors, and an award-winning photographer, has taken photos at MHAA events.  You see his work in this newsletter in the photo gallery from our March 20th event.  Although Douglas is more known for his horse country photos, he has provided a great photographic record for MHAA events.

If you have been reading our “Site of the Month” section in the newsletter over the past year, you will have noticed that attached to this section is a photo gallery of the sites recognized.  A volunteer photographer, Reggie Hall, was instrumental in setting up this photo gallery, as well as providing the wonderful photos. 

Late last year, Reggie moved to North Carolina, but before he did, he went to the Loudoun Photography Club and asked if anyone would be interested in helping MHAA with this project.  Jim Stewart answered the call.  Jim has been an avid photographer for almost 40 years, and recently retired from government service to spend full time with his art.

A passion of his since beginning photography has been historical architecture and images depicting historical cultures. He and his wife Kerry often visit America's National Parks; Jim uses these opportunities to photograph sites and structures that have been preserved of our national heritage.

"When I can artfully represent an historical artifact as it might have been long ago, and impart a sense of its original place in the community and its environs, then I've done everything I can to help us remember the craftsmanship and artistry of early Americans, and find the wonder in it."  Jim told us.  Jim's work is on view on his website www.jrileystewart.com.


Site of the Month
Leesburg, Virginia
Ryan Stewart, Jim Stewart’s son, is the author of the following piece on Leesburg, Virginia.

On any given weekend, residents and visitors to historic Leesburg may take in a meal at one of the restaurants on King Street, shop for gifts and antiques in local specialty shops, or bring a leisurely summer weekend to a close by enjoying live music on the courthouse lawn.  Yet visitors may not realize that the town of Leesburg played a pivotal role in the founding of a new nation, was a key strategic location during the Civil War, and has been the home many influential thinkers, politicians, and statesmen.

The small collection of buildings of early settlers of Leesburg, originally named Georgetown, in recognition of the reigning English monarch, was incorporated in 1758. It is believed, but not proven, that the town was renamed Leesburg in honor of the Virginian Thomas Lee, the influential landowner and politician who served as the colonial governor from 1749 to 1750.  Thomas Lee’s great grandnephew, General Robert E. Lee, would visit the town in early September 1862 on his way to Antietam.

During the War of 1812, Leesburg became the temporary home of the Federal government and its archives, including the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, after British troops captured the capital city.

The present-day county courthouse is the third to be built at the intersection of King and Market Streets.  Construction on the first began in 1758 and was completed in 1761.  The five-windowed brick building housed the legislative and judicial branches of the government.  In August of 1776, this first courthouse became the site of the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Virginia.

By 1811, a second courthouse was under construction.  Despite the town changing hands many times throughout the Civil War, and a shootout between Union and Confederate soldiers on the front lawn, the courthouse remained relatively undamaged, lasting until the late 1800s. 

The present-day building was finished in 1895.  The statue of a Confederate soldier is the work of F.S. Sievers and was dedicated in 1908.  Although the majority of judicial activity has been relocated to more modern facilities within the court complex, matters are still heard in the historic building several times per month.

Although it was once common for slave auctions to be held at the historic courthouse, the site has been given special recognition by the National Park Service for its involvement in the fight for equality.  Leonard A. Grimes, a free black man, was arrested in 1839 and charged with assisting a woman named Patty and her six children escape slavery.  Grimes was tried at the Leesburg courthouse and, despite being defended by the notable Washington, D.C., attorney, General Walter Jones, and Loudoun-based attorneys John Janney and B.W.Harrison, Grimes was found guilty, yet received the lightest sentence possible:  a 100-dollar fine and two years in jail. 

After serving his sentence, Grimes moved to Massachusetts, where he became a Baptist minister and played a key role in the abolitionist movement. During its muster in 1863, Grimes recruited for the newly formed 54th Massachusetts regiment, the first American military unit to be composed of men of African descent (and was featured in the 1989 movie Glory).  After emancipation, Grimes continued to further the cause of equality for freed men and women.

Amid the restaurants and shops of today’s historic Leesburg are reminders of the role that the town has played in the history of a fledgling nation.  In its 250 years, it has seen wars, human struggle, times of peace, visits by countless dignitaries, soldiers, and heads of state, and the slow transformation from an agrarian economy to a busy Washington, D.C., suburb.  To see the history of Leesburg first hand is to examine the history of a nation in miniature.


Leesburg Courthouse, Sunrise. Photo by Jim Stewart

Click here to view more photos of Leesburg


MHAA Store
You may not have been able to attend the March 20th Book Launch at Oak Hill.  But you do not have to miss getting signed copies of Marc Leepson’s books. 

Saving Monticello, The Levy Family’s Epic Quest to Rescue the House that Jefferson Built – paperback,$25 including handling and shipping

Desperate Engagement: How a Little-Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C., and Changed American History – paperback, $21 including handling and shipping

Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General – hard cover,$28 including handling and shipping

Until the end of May, you can get all three books for $63, including handling and shipping.

Visit our MHAA Store online by clicking here.

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - May 2011

President's Letter
There is a lot to report to our members this month and all of it is good news!
First, our mission “Preservation through Education” continues to be our focus. On April 12, we hosted our seventh annual Aldie Triangle program. We greeted over 140 youngsters from our area schools as well as a group of home schooled students.  We teamed up with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority which owns and operates Mount Zion Church and Aldie Mill. We were also given permission by the DeLashmutt family to use Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe.  These three historic sites make up our Aldie Triangle and the children were shuttled from site to site to listen to an informative first person narrative program that details the stories and history that surround the Aldie area.  These three venues and the interpretation we offered taught the children about:

The Primitive Baptists and the founding of Mount Zion Church
Mount Zion Church as a Civil War hospital
Mount Zion Church as a battle site
Mount Zion Church as a prison site
The Aldie Mill as a center of commerce
The mechanics of grinding grain at Aldie Mill
The Aldie Mill as a skirmish site in the Civil War
Oak Hill as President Monroe’s home
James Monroe’s service to his state and government
Colonel John Fairfax and his role in the Civil War
The importance of the Fairfax family to our area
Everyday artifacts of the 1860’s
The dinosaurs of Oak Hill

I watched the program in each of the three locations and took note of the fascination in the faces of the students as they listened to the interpreters tell their stories. There is no question that we provided a truly meaningful educational experience for them – one that they will always remember. On behalf of our board, I want to thank our many volunteers who enable us to do what we do. That day we had 25 volunteers each giving eight hours of their time. That represents 200 hours of dedication for which this organization did not pay a penny! We are in their debt in so many ways.

On Saturday April 30, we produced our first Scout Along the Turnpike program wherein we again partnered with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. We used their two sites and our headquarters at the Caleb Rector House in Atoka to tell visitors the story of each place and the rich history that permeates the Mosby Heritage Area. Over 60 visitors took advantage of this offering and they expressed great appreciation to the interpreters who taught them some of the heritage along the old turnpike road. We plan to offer this program again on June 25th and October 29th so mark your calendar and plan to enjoy a few hours of history. You will not regret it.

On April 26, Andrea Wulf spoke at Oak Hill about her new book “Founding Gardeners”.  George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were avid students of gardening and horticulture and Andrea told us the stories about how each of these busy men always found the time to get outside to dig in the garden for food and for pleasure. It was truly a fascinating bit of history and we are so grateful to have had Oak Hill as the setting for such an informative talk.

Enough of what happened last month!

On May 21 we are putting on our Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program at Delaplane Cellars. Come to the winery and check out their delicious offerings. Best of all, take a seat and listen to some historical anecdotes from our talented performers.  This should be great fun.

On May 23 the Loudoun County Sesquicentennial Committee is putting on a special event at the Old Leesburg Court House. Our organization and this committee have been working closely together and we are pleased to promote the talk by Dr. Anne Rubin, Professor of History at the University of Maryland.   Ms. Rubin will speak on John Janney and the Virginia Secession Crisis.  John Janney was one of two of our area’s delegates to the secession convention and a man who did all he could to keep Virginia in the Union.   When Fort Sumter was attacked and President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers the die was cast and Virginia left.   Mr. Janney was an important man to our Heritage Area so come learn more about him. The old Janney home near the Old Court House will be opened for a walk through tour before the talk – this is rare so take advantage of it.

On June 4 an equestrian riding tour will take place in Culpeper County at Brandy Station.  Clark B. Hall will be there to tell the stories of that fascinating place. There is no one better to do this than Clark Hall. He is truly an awesome historian and he knows Brandy Station and Culpeper County better than anyone I know.   BYOH – Bring Your Own Horse.

On June 17 MHAA is partnering with the National Sporting Library in Middleburg. They are hosting our board member and esteemed historian, Jim Morgan, for a talk on The Battle of Ball’s Bluff. Come for refreshment and a great talk. The following day you can join us for a tour of that historic ground.   Balls Bluff was fought 150 years ago this October 21, 1861.  Jim will lead the tour and we will see sites that are normally not open to the public so don’t miss this one.

On July 2 we have another very special author and book signing event. This particular event will take place at a private house and garden, high on the list of very special places in the Heritage Area.  Trevor Potter and Dana Westring have offered their lovely home for a garden party and talk by Adam Goodheart.  

Mr. Goodheart is Washington College’s Hudson Trust-Griswold Director for the Study of the American Experience. He has just published “1861 – The Civil War Awakening” and his book has received outstanding reviews by the New York Times and the Washington Post among many others.  Mr. Goodheart is truly an outstanding scholar and historian.  James McPherson, a well know historian and Pulitzer Prize winner, has said that “Adam Goodheart is a Monet with the pen rather than the paint brush”. Surely, this is a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend!  Please come and enjoy this truly exceptional garden and meet the author. The setting is fabulous and is rarely open to the public.

On July 28 we will be partnering with Hill School in Middleburg to present a talk by John Hennessy on the First Battle of Manassas or Bull Run. John is the Chief Historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Battlefield and for many years was the Chief Historian at the Manassas National Battlefield. He has written many books but his book on Bull Run remains one of the very best on that battle. Join us for the tour with him on the next day and walk the field where the two armies met in the first major engagement of the war. Further details on these events are available at www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

“Preservation through Education” is alive and well. We are now through the door and walking the road of the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the American Civil War. John Janney , Adam Goodheart, the Battle of Bull Run with John Hennessy, and the Battle of Ball’s Bluff with Jim Morgan – all four topics honor the Sesquicentennial Commemoration. We owe it to ourselves to learn more about the history of these nationally important events.

David McCullough gave us a talk at our founding 16 years ago this May 31, 1995 – Memorial Day. It was the start of a great journey for all of us who have labored on this mission. He ended his talk on the importance of our national heritage by saying, “How can we tell where we are going if we do not know where we have been?”

Join us and let’s look back together.

As always, all of us here love what we do. All of us here are appreciative of your support.

Childs Burden

May at the Wineries
The Mosby Heritage Area Association will be participating in two events at area wineries in May; at Delaplane Cellars in Delaplane, and at Philip Carter Winery at Hume.

On Saturday, May 21, the Crooked Run Valley as seen from the hills of Delaplane Cellars will be the backdrop for stories of life in the Crooked Run Valley during the time of the American Civil War.  Members of MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will present “Of Mosby Best Beware: Guerilla War in the Crooked Run Valley.”  Meet residents of the Valley who provided shelter for Mosby’s Rangers, witness the efforts made by Mosby and his Rangers to keep the Manassas Gap Railroad out of Union hands, and experience the lives of Rangers and Union soldiers.

Jim Hildbold as a Union Soldier, photographer Steve DeCata
Jim Hildbold as a Union Soldier, photographer Steve DeCata

Our hosts for the evening, Delaplane Cellars, will offer wine tasting and live music in the afternoon and evening.  Food will be available.  Guests will enjoy fine Virginia wine, listen to live music, and hear stories of the exploits of Col. John S. Mosby and his Rangers.  The interpretive program begins at 7:30 p.m.

Admission for the Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program is $5 for adults and $2 for students.  Wine tasting and food are separate from the interpretive program.  Reservations are not necessary.

For information about Delaplane Cellars, go to www.delaplanecellars.com.

The Mosby Heritage Area Association has been invited to be a part of the celebration of the 249th Anniversary of American Wine on Saturday, May 28 at the Philip Carter Winery in Hume, Virginia.  This annual event celebrates the anniversary of the first internationally recognized wines in America exported by Charles Carter from his Rappahannock River plantation. 

Join us for a fun-filled day in wine country for the entire family. Hear the voices of Thomas Jefferson and Charles Carter as they describe their personal connections to wine in young America.  Activities include live music, delicious food, and hay rides. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

MHAA will have a table at the event where donations (minimum of $15) to MHAA will be accepted in exchange for a 10% discount on wine purchased that day, along with a chance to win a professionally framed Mosby Heritage Area map by Eugene Scheel.   The 3’X3’ map has been framed by Joan of Art in Marshall, Virginia.  The drawing for the map will take place at 5:30 p.m.  You do not have to be present to win. 

Learn more about this event and Philip Carter Winery at www.pcwinery.com


Between the Union and Chaos:
John Janney and Virginia's Secession Crisis
May 23, 2011 8:00 p.m.
Old Loudoun County Courthouse
King & Market Streets in Leesburg

A Talk by Dr. Anne Sarah Rubin, professor of history at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will be presented by the Loudoun County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee on Monday, May 23 in Leesburg, Virginia.  May 23 is the 150th anniversary of the local vote to ratify Virginia’s secession from the Union.  John Janney, a prominent Leesburg lawyer, served as president of the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861.  

John Janney
John Janney

Professor Rubin will discuss Janney’s role in trying to keep Virginia in the Union before the attack on Ft. Sumter.  Copies of her book, A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861-1868, will be available for purchase and signing.

The program will be held at the old Loudoun County Courthouse at the intersection of King and Market Streets beginning at 8:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Before the talk, tours of John Janney’s home on East Cornwall Street in Leesburg will be offered. Tour participants should meet by the Confederate statue in front of the Courthouse at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the program visit www.VisitLoudoun.org.


June on the Trail
        
The Mosby Heritage Area Association has something for everyone in its June programming.  We begin the month with a trail ride, followed by another interesting and informative Conversation in History at Mount Zion Church.  Later in the month, we will host a talk and bus tour of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff and our second Mosby, Scout Along the Turnpike program.

2011 Mosby Ride;
Historical Riding Tour of Brandy Station Battlefield

Saturday, June 4 (Rain Date: Sunday, June 5)

Commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial by joining the Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Brandy Station Foundation on a mounted riding tour through the Brandy Station Battlefield.  This June 9,1863, battle was the biggest cavalry engagement of the Civil War--and in American history. 

Mosby Ride
Mosby Ride

Expert historical interpretation of the battlefield will be given by Brandy Station Foundation historian Clark Hall.

Lunch will be served at the end of the ride on the lawn of General W.H.F. “Rooney” Lee’s headquarters, a beautifully restored antebellum home.  Col. John S. Mosby, interpreted by Gary Carroll, will speak about how Company A was formed following the battle. Non-riders are invited to join us for lunch.

Tickets for the ride, which includes lunch, are $100 for non-members and $75 for MHAA members before May 27. After May 27, tickets will be $110 for non-members and $85 for MHAA members.  Non-riders wishing to join us for lunch may purchase tickets for $40.

Riders need to have a Coggins Test and sign a Release and Waiver of Liability form.  These forms—as well as the registration form—may be downloaded from the Calendar Page of MHAA’s website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org   More information about the ride, including directions can be found on the Calendar Page.    

Conversations in History Series
Sunday, June 5
Mount Zion Church, Aldie, Virginia

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and MHAA will present the second presentation of their Conversations in History Series on Sunday, June 5, at 3:00 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church. Tracy Gillespie, Historic Site Supervisor for Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church, will lead the presentation on Charles Fenton Mercer; American Visionary. 

The presentation on June 5 will highlight the life of this very interesting man.  Mercer settled in Aldie, Virginia, where he practiced law and was a principle in the building of the Aldie Mill. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates; in several military positions during the War of 1812; and as a United States Congressman from Virginia.  Mercer was one of the founders of a plan to establish the Free State of Liberia and was a member of the Virginia Colonization Society.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students. Reservations not required.

Mount Zion Baptist Church, photographer Steve DeCata
Mount Zion Baptist Church, photographer Steve DeCata

Battle of Ball’s Bluff; Lecture and Tour
Lecture, Friday, June 17
National Sporting Library, Middleburg, Virginia
Tour, Saturday, June 18
Ball’s Bluff Battlefield, Leesburg, Virginia
The Mosby Heritage Area Association is pleased to present a two-part program featuring James Morgan, author and historian of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff.  Mr. Morgan will speak at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia, on Friday, June 17 and lead a tour of the battlefield on Saturday, June 18.

The Friday evening event begins at 6:00 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception, followed by the talk by James Morgan.  MHAA will have available the latest edition of Mr. Morgan’s book, A Little Short on Boats: The Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edward’s Ferry, October 21-22, 1861, which Mr. Morgan will sign.

Reservations are required for the Friday evening lecture at the National Sporting Library, which is free and open to the public. To make a reservation, call 540-678-6681.  Seating is limited.

On Saturday, Mr. Morgan will conduct a bus tour of the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield that will include an exclusive walking tour of Ft. Evans and a look at the outside of the Jackson House. Join us for coffee and donuts at 8:00 a.m. at the historic Rector House in Atoka.  The bus will depart from Atoka at 8:30 a.m. and return around 2:30 p.m.  Lunch is included.

Tickets for the bus tour are $60 for MHAA members and $75 for non-members (lunch included). 

James Morgan, historian for Battle of Ball’s Bluff
James Morgan, historian for Battle of Ball’s Bluff

Mosby, Scout on the Turnpike
Saturday, June 25
Move along the Ashby’s Gap and Little River Turnpikes (today’s
Route 50) between the Historic Rector House in Atoka, Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church in Aldie, Virginia. Witness life here during the Civil War from members of MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group, who personify residents and soldiers of the area in the 1860s.

The program will be presented continuously from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m. and is sponsored by MHAA and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Admission by donation.

Mount Zion Church / Historic Rector House / Aldie Mill
Mount Zion Church / Historic Rector House / Aldie Mill


Adam Goodheart at Poke Gardens
Saturday, July 2
Come celebrate the Fourth of July at the Gardens at Poke on Saturday, July 2!  This Mosby Heritage Area Association-sponsored special event features a Garden Party, followed by a talk and book signing by the renowned historian and journalist Adam Goodheart on his fascinating new book, 1861: The Civil War Awakening, as well as live music.  Our hosts for the evening are Trevor Potter and Dana Westring at their home,  Poke, near Rectortown, Virginia.

The critically acclaimed 1861 is currently on the New York Times best seller list. In it, Goodheart presents a social history of the earliest days of the Civil War, a time when the country was preparing itself for battle. Goodheart introduces a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes—among them, an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer’s wife, a close-knit band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, and a young college professor who would one day become president.

1861: The Civil War Awakening
1861: The Civil War Awakening

Adam Goodheart writes a regular column on the Civil War for The New York Times online. He also has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine, among others. He is director of Washington College’s C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Reenactors
Adam Goodheart

The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. with refreshments and a walk through the gardens, followed at 5:00 p.m. by Mr. Goodheart’s remarks. The Chester River Runoff fiddle and banjo band will be performing at 6:00 p.m.  Mark Risinger, the acclaimed New York baritone, will provide vocals from the Civil War. The performance will be followed by dancing under a large tent.

Tickets for the event will be $60 for MHAA members and $70 for non-members.  Make your reservations now by going online to MHAA’s website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org, from the Calendar Page or by calling MHAA at 540-687-6681.

Tickets are $60 for MHAA members and $70 for non-members.

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for this event on our website.


Historic Caleb Rector House Open for the Summer
The Historic Caleb Rector House will be open again this summer on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. beginning June 4, through Saturday, October 29. The Mosby, Scout Along the Turnpike program will be featured on June 25 and October 29.

Visitors who enter this 1801 house will hear about its significance in our American story.  This story includes the connection the house has to Col. John S. Mosby and Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, as well as the village of Rector’s Crossroads (Atoka today).

Visitors can pick up MHAA driving tours to enhance their visit to the Rector House.  Students can pick up our Mosby Heritage Area Scavenger Hunts to explore the area and receive a “Got Mosby” t-shirt. 

This is a great way to spend a day in the Mosby Heritage Area—visiting a historic site, driving through the beautiful countryside learning more about the heritage of the area, shopping in the small villages, having lunch at a historic site, or enjoying some wine. 

Marc Leepson
Historic Caleb Rector House and Springhouse, photographer Rich Gillespie


Save These Dates! Upcoming Events:

Battle of 1st Manassas, Talk and Tour,
July 29 (Talk) & 30 (Bus Tour) with John Hennessy

Mosby Descendant Reunion,
September 10 at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford

Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War,
The Cavalry, North and South,

September 30-October 2


A Successful April!
On Tuesday, April 26, about 100 people gathered at Oak Hill, the home of President James Monroe, to hear an interesting and entertaining talk on our founding fathers and their thoughts on gardening from Andrea Wulf, author of the critically acclaimed book, Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation.  Guests walked in the spring gardens at Oak Hill and enjoyed the generous hospitality of Tom and Gayle DeLashmutt.

Cemetery at Mount Zion Baptist Church by Steve DeCata
Cemetery at Mount Zion Baptist Church by Steve DeCata

Later in the week, on Saturday, April 30, the first of three Mosby, Scout Along the Turnpike programs was presented at three locations along Route 50: Mount Zion Baptist Church, Alde Mill, and the historic Rector House. Visitors met a Union soldier, a citizen of Aldie, and a Mosby Ranger at Mount Zion Church; the miller and two citizens of Aldie at the mill; and Mrs. Rector, Cornelia Foster, and Col. Mosby at the Rector House. The program will be offered again on June 25 and October 29.

CLICK HERE to view this Photo Gallery.


New Photographer: Steve DeCata
MHAA has excellent volunteer photographers, Douglas Lees and Jim Stewart, are joined by Steve DeCata, who recently volunteered to help photograph MHAA events.  Steve took photographs at both our April events; the Andrea Wulf event and the Mosby, Scout Along the Turnpike event. You can see his work in this newsletter.

Steve has been a photographer for over 30 years, having attended the Naval School of Photography in Pensacola, Florida. He and his family live in Aldie and are very interested  in local history.


Site of the Month
Drive through History
In the past, we have focused on one historic site or historic district in this newsletter. Our focus for the remainder of this year will be the Route 50 corridor featured in our “Drive through History” brochure. This brochure was the first one produced by the Mosby Heritage Area Association. Over the past 16 years, the brochure has been redesigned and reprinted many times; more than 50,000 copies have been distributed. 

The mission of MHAA is to get people out into our wonderful and unique countryside to see the history and beauty that is the Mosby Heritage Area.  We believe that once people see our Heritage Area, they will want to join us in preserving it for future generations.

This brochure has helped MHAA accomplish this mission.  Now we want to show the world, in this newsletter, through the expert photography of Jim Stewart, how special this place is.

We hope you will enjoy this photo drive through the heart of the Mosby Heritage Area along Route 50, the John S. Mosby Highway. The first installment is the four-mile segment from Mount Zion Church east of Aldie, Virginia, through the village of Aldie. 

Mount Zion Church and Aldie Mill are owned and operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. Visit the website, www.nvrpa.org, and click on “Parks” to information on Aldie Mill openings and events. 

To learn more about the village of Aldie, go to www.villageofaldie.com.

Photos for this project are by Jim Stewart and the historic information from Ryan Stewart, both great volunteers for MHAA. 

Aldie Bridge Over the Little River
Aldie Bridge Over the Little River by J. Riley Stewart

Click here to view "Along Route 50: Mt Zion Church and Aldie Village" Gallery


MHAA Store
The MHAA Store has several new items!

1. Andrea Wulf’s books:

Founding Gardeners, The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation $30 + $7 for shipping = $37

The Brother Gardeners, Botany, Empire & the Birth of an Obsession (signed) $35 + $7 for shipping = $42

Aldie Bridge Over the Little River
Books by Andrea Wulf

Purchase both books through the end of June $55 + $14 for shipping = $69


2. This Forgotten Land, Volume II

Written and compiled by Don Hakenson, is available at the MHAA store at Atoka for $30. The book contains biographies of Mosby Rangers and won the 2001 Nan Netherton Award presented by the Fairfax County History Commission.  For copies, visit the Rector House office of MHAA, or call to place a credit card order.


3. New MHAA T-Shirt

MHAA now has a new t-shirt.  It is gray like the “Got Mosby” t-shirts with a Mosby Heritage Area embroidery patch like that on the polo shirt and hat. These shirts can be seen at the Rector House office of MHAA.  We are offering this shirt for $25 and can be ordered by calling MHAA’s office at 540-687-6681.


4. Marc Leepson Book Bundle

We are extending the offer to sell three of Marc Leepson’s books (Saving Monticello, Desperate Engagement, and Lafayette) offered in the April e-newsletter.  The books can be purchased separately or as a set.  Check out the Store Page on our website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

Visit our MHAA Store online by clicking here.

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - June 2011

President's Letter
The Mosby Heritage Area Association volunteers and staff have been very busy during the months of May and June.   

We had a great evening at Delaplane Cellars May 21 when the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group presented a Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program featuring stories of Mosby’s Rangers in the Crooked Run Valley. Our terrific interpretations, the spectacular views, and the hospitality of Delaplane Cellars made for a wonderful evening. 

MHAA participated in the American Wine Event at Philip Carter Winery in Hume on the Saturday of the Memorial Day Weekend.  Again the hospitality of Philip Carter Winery was great, especially after our tent was destroyed by wind on Friday night and the winery furnished MHAA with another tent for the event.  We thank our hosts for these two events and look forward to working with them again.

We began June with a trio of events. On Saturday, June 4, we opened the historic Rector House at Atoka, MHAA’s headquarters, for the summer.  I hope you will have the opportunity to visit the house and learn of its history and Mosby connection. 

At the same time, 20 riders joined Clark “Bud” Hall for a great day riding on the Brandy Station Battlefield. The weather was perfect for a ride and Bud made the experience memorable with his interpretation.  Following the ride, lunch was held at Farley, where Gary Carroll, as Col. John S. Mosby, told riders about his experiences following the Battle at Brandy Station.  As an added treat, Bud gave us a tour of the house, Farley. 

We would like to thank Bud Hall for his help planning and giving the tour. He worked closely with our Joe Dempsey, Wendy Bebie, and Nina McKee to make this a memorable event.  We also salute Gary Carroll, our faithful Mosby interpreter, who has been of great service to MHAA.

On Sunday, June 5 Tracy Gillespie gave an outstanding talk on Charles Fenton Mercer at Mount Zion Church.  We appreciate our partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority for help in bringing these interesting and educational talks to the public.  Our final Conversation in History event will be held in November.

Coming up soon are three MHAA fundraising events that commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War.  We begin with a two-part event, the Battle of Ball’s Bluff; a Talk and Tour with James Morgan, one of the most knowledgeable historians on this battle that took place in Loudoun County in 1861. The talk will be on the evening of June 17 at the National Sporting Library, followed on Saturday with a tour of the battlefield including Fort Evans. 

On Saturday, July 2, MHAA will sponsor an evening at Poke with Adam Goodheart, the well-known author and historian. Mr. Goodheart will give a talk on his new New York Times best-selling book, 1861. Our hosts, Trevor Potter and Dana Westring, have planned a special evening with food, music, dancing, and history.

The third major fundraising event for the summer will be a talk and tour of the First Battle of Manassas with John Hennessy, the nationally known author and historian of this battle. The talk will be held at the Hill School in Middleburg on Friday, July 29, followed by the tour of the battlefield on Saturday, July 30.

These events could not be possible without the help of our partners at the National Sporting Library, the Hill School, and MHAA members Trevor Potter and Dana Westring.  MHAA thanks them for their contribution to the preservation of our Heritage Area.

Proceeds from these events will support MHAA’s “Preservation through Education” mission.  We hope you will attend at least one of the events.  If you cannot, please consider purchasing a ticket for a friend or becoming a sponsor for the event.  This can be done online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org or by calling our office at 540-687-6681.

I want to close by thanking the members of the MHAA board, our many members, our terrific volunteers and staff for all they do to make the “Preservation through Education” mission of the Mosby Heritage Area Association a reality.

Childs Burden
President


MHAA Sesquicentennial Events; Showcasing the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War in the Mosby Heritage Area

Battle of Ball’s Bluff; Talk and Tour
Talk, Friday, June 17
National Sporting Library, Middleburg, Virginia
Tour, Saturday, June 18
Ball’s Bluff Battlefield, Leesburg, Virginia

The Mosby Heritage Area Association is pleased to present a two-part program featuring James Morgan, author and historian of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff.  Mr. Morgan will speak at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia, on Friday, June 17 and lead a tour of the battlefield on Saturday, June 18.

Reenactors
The National Sporting Library

The Friday evening event begins at 6:00 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception, followed by the talk by James Morgan.  MHAA will take orders for the latest edition of Mr. Morgan’s book, A Little Short on Boats: The Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edward’s Ferry, October 21-22, 1861.  Those preordering this new edition will receive their copies of the book signed by Mr. Morgan once the book is released.

About the book: In the new edition, Mr. Morgan has added considerable biographical information on the participants and has included several previously unpublished stories.  This latest edition will also have previously unpublished photographs and illustrations, such as a Confederate engineer’s sketch of Fort Johnston made just before the Confederate withdrawal from Loudoun County and a photo of the recently restored company flag of the Burt Rifles of the 18th Mississippi, as well as new photos of Col. Erasmus Burt and Capt. William Duff of the 18th Mississippi and Col. Milton Cogswell of the 42nd New York. 

Reenactors
New Edition of A Little Short on Boats: The Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edward’s Ferry, October 21-22, 1861

Reservations are required for the Friday evening lecture at the National Sporting Library, which is free and open to the public. To make a reservation, call 540-678-6681.  Seating is limited.

On Saturday, Mr. Morgan will conduct a bus tour of the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield that will include an exclusive walking tour of Ft. Evans and a look at the outside of the Jackson House. Join us for coffee and donuts at 8:00 a.m. at the Historic Rector House in Atoka.  The bus will depart from Atoka at 8:30 a.m. and return around 2:30 p.m.  Lunch is included.

Tickets for the bus tour are $60 for MHAA members and $75 for non-members (lunch included).  Make reservations by calling 540-687-6681 or by going online to the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

Click here to register for the bus tour online.

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Adam Goodheart at Poke Gardens
Saturday, July 2
Come celebrate the Fourth of July at the Gardens at Poke on Saturday, July 2!  This Mosby Heritage Area Association-sponsored special event features a garden party, followed by a talk and book signing by the renowned historian and journalist Adam Goodheart on his fascinating new book, 1861: The Civil War Awakening, as well as live music.  Our hosts for the evening are Trevor Potter and Dana Westring at their home, Poke, near Rectortown, Virginia.

The critically acclaimed 1861 is currently on the New York Times best seller list. In it, Goodheart presents a social history of the earliest days of the Civil War, a time when the country was preparing itself for battle. Goodheart introduces a heretofore little-known cast of Civil War heroes—among them, an acrobatic militia colonel, an explorer’s wife, a close-knit band of German immigrants, a regiment of New York City firemen, and a young college professor who would one day become president.

1861: The Civil War Awakening
1861: The Civil War Awakening

Adam Goodheart writes a regular column on the Civil War for The New York Times online. He also has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine, among others. He is director of Washington College’s C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Reenactors
Adam Goodheart

The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. with refreshments and a walk through the gardens, followed at 5:00 p.m. by Mr. Goodheart’s remarks.  Mark Risinger, the acclaimed New York baritone, will provide vocals from the Civil War followed by the Chester River Runoff fiddle and banjo band. The performance will be followed by dancing under a large tent.

Tickets for the event will be $60 for MHAA members and $70 for non-members.  You can make reservations online from the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org or by calling 540-687-6681.

Click here to make your reservations online.

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First Battle of Manassas; Talk and Tour
Talk, Friday, July 29
The Hill School, Middleburg, Virginia
Tour, Saturday, July 30
Manassas National Battlefield, Manassas, Virginia

John Hennessy, chief historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, will speak on the First Battle of Manassas on Friday, July 29 at the Hill School in Middleburg, Virginia, followed on Saturday, July 30 by a guided tour of the actions of the First Battle of Manassas at the Manassas National Battlefield.

John Hennessy is the author of three books on the American Civil War, including the definitive work on the First Battle of Manassas, An End to Innocence: The First Battle of Manassas.  He started his National Park Service career at Manassas in the 1980s, and has since worked for the New York State Historic Preservation Office, the National Park Service Interpretive Design Center at Harpers Ferry, and at Fredericksburg.  He is the principal author of “Holding the High Ground”, the document that has helped shape the National Park Service's direction in interpretation as we enter the Sesquicentennial,
helping to shepherd in an expanded approach to interpretation that examines the Civil War and its major battles in a broader context--bringing to visitors not just the stories of men in uniform, but also the civilians and slaves who were affected by the Civil War.  He is a native of upstate New York, but has been at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP since 1995.


Reenactors
John Hennessy

The evening at the Hill School will begin with a wine and cheese reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by Mr. Hennessy’s talk.  MHAA will sell signed copies of Mr. Hennessy’s book.

On Saturday, July 30 MHAA will sponsor a tour of the First Battle of Manassas with John Hennessy as the guide and interpreter.  Participants will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Historic Rector House for coffee and donuts.  The bus will leave for the Manassas National Battlefield at 8:30 a.m. and return around 2:30 p.m.  Lunch will be at the battlefield.

Reenactors
First Manassas Monument

Tickets for Mr. Hennessy’s Friday evening talk is $60 for MHAA members and $75 for non-members.  Tickets for the bus tour on Saturday to the battlefield are $60 for MHAA members and $75 for non-members.

To make reservations for the talk and tour, call 540-687-6681 or go to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

Click here to make reservations for the talk and tour of the First Battle of Manassas.


News Shorts

Historic Caleb Rector House Open for the Summer
The historic Caleb Rector House will be open again this summer on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. beginning June 4, through Saturday, October 29. The Mosby, Scout Along the Turnpike program will be featured on June 25 and October 29.

Visitors who enter this 1801 house will hear about its significance in our American story.  This story includes the connection the house has to Col. John S. Mosby and Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, as well as the village of Rector’s Crossroads (Atoka today).

Visitors can pick up MHAA driving tours to enhance their visit to the Rector House.  Students can take home our Mosby Heritage Area Scavenger Hunts to explore the area and receive a “Got Mosby” t-shirt. 

This is a great way to spend a day in the Mosby Heritage Area—visiting a historic site, driving through the beautiful countryside learning more about the heritage of the area, shopping in the small villages, having lunch at a historic site, or enjoying some wine. 

Marc Leepson
Historic Caleb Rector House and Springhouse, photographer Rich Gillespie

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Mosby, Scout on the Turnpike
Saturday, June 25
Move along the Ashby’s Gap and Little River Turnpikes (today’s Route 50) between the Historic Rector House in Atoka, Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church in Aldie, Virginia. Witness life here during the Civil War from members of MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group, who personify residents and soldiers of the area in the 1860s.

The program will be presented continuously from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m.   This program is sponsored by MHAA and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Admission by donation.

Mount Zion Church / Historic Rector House / Aldie Mill
Mount Zion Church / Historic Rector House / Aldie Mill


Save These Dates!

Mosby Descendant Reunion
September 10 at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford

Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War
The Cavalry, North and South
September 30-October 2


Busy Times in the Mosby Heritage Area!
On Saturday, May 21, the Crooked Run Valley as seen from the hills of Delaplane Cellars became the backdrop for stories of life in the Crooked Run Valley during the time of the American Civil War.  Members of MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group presented “Of Mosby Best Beware: Guerilla War in the Crooked Run Valley.” About 40 people moved through the vineyards listing to stories from the past.  We thank the owners and staff at Delaplane Cellars for a wonderful evening.

The Mosby Heritage Area Association was invited to be a part of the celebration of the 249th Anniversary of American Wine on Saturday, May 28 at the Philip Carter Winery in Hume, Virginia.  The weather was great and we met many people who were interested in the Mosby Heritage Area.  Again we thank the owners and staff for a terrific event. 

On Saturday, June 9 twenty riders and additional guests joined MHAA and the Brandy Station Foundation for the 2011 Mosby Ride of the Brandy Station Battlefield.  Clark “Bud” Hall gave an excellent historical interpretation of the battle.  Lunch was served at the end of the ride on the lawn of General W.H.F. “Rooney” Lee’s headquarters, a beautifully restored antebellum home.  Col. John S. Mosby, interpreted by Gary Carroll, spoke about how Company A was formed following the battle.

Jim Hildbold as a Union Soldier, photographer Steve DeCata
End of the Trail, photographed by Douglas Lees

Click here to see more photos by Douglas Lees

Jim Hildbold as a Union Soldier, photographer Steve DeCata
Farley, photographed by Rich Gillespie

Click here to see more photos by Rich Gillespie

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and MHAA offered the second presentation of its Conversations in History Series on Sunday, June 5, at 3:00 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church. Tracy Gillespie, Historic Site Supervisor for Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church, spoke on Charles Fenton Mercer; American Visionary.  Following the presentation, the group visited Aldie Mill.

Jim Hildbold as a Union Soldier, photographer Steve DeCata
Tracy Gillespie at Mount Zion Church Talking About Charles Fenton Mercer, photographed by Steve DeCata

Click here to see more photos by Steve DeCata


Site of the Month
Drive through History
For the month of June, we are continuing our drive down the John S. Mosby Highway (Route 50) with photographer Jim Stewart and his son, Ryan. We will be featuring this historic and scenic route through the end of the year with a new segment each month.  Last month we covered Route 50 between Mount Zion Church and Aldie Mill.

This month we are leaving the village of Aldie and traveling to Middleburg.  Jim has added music to this month’s photographs.  Ryan has provided a history of this area to help us appreciate the history of the Route 50 corridor. 

We hope you will enjoy this photo drive through the heart of the Mosby Heritage Area along Route 50.  If you would like to take the 25-mile drive and learn more about it, contact us and request our Drive through History brochure.

Jim Hildbold as a Union Soldier, photographer Steve DeCata
A selection from the J. Riley Stewart Gallery

Click here to view this Gallery on PBase


MHAA Store
The MHAA Store has several new items!

1. Andrea Wulf’s books:

Founding Gardeners, The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation $30 + $7 for shipping = $37

The Brother Gardeners, Botany, Empire & the Birth of an Obsession (signed) $35 + $7 for shipping = $42

Aldie Bridge Over the Little River
Books by Andrea Wulf

Purchase both books through the end of June $55 + $14 for shipping = $69

Click Here to purchase Andrea Wulf's books in our online store

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2. New MHAA T-Shirt

Our new t-shirt features a Mosby Heritage Area embroidery patch like that on the polo shirt and hat. These shirts can be seen at the Rector House office of MHAA.  We are offering this shirt for $25. Order by calling MHAA’s office at 540-687-6681.

Visit our MHAA Store online by clicking here.

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - July 2011

President's Letter

Two months ago I wrote about the cool temperatures and wondered when the warmer weather would come.

Well, now I know.

It may be hot but we have been basking in history here. In late June we partnered with the National Sporting Library to put on a talk on the Battle of Balls Bluff by noted historian, (and board member) Jim Morgan. The National Sporting Library has been a great friend to us and we are appreciative of their kindness and of their wonderful mission of preserving and promoting literature on field sports. MHAA also wants to preserve a sense of place and protect our historic integrity. We are cousins.

We had a great crowd there and Jim gave a wonderfully informative talk. The next day we boarded a bus for a tour of Fort Evans located on Edward’s Ferry Road but on private property. We are grateful to Rehau Corporation for giving us permission to visit this historic site. They have taken great care to protect the old fort and to preserve its integrity. From Fort Evans, we drove the short two miles to the Balls Bluff Battlefield which is now part of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. We walked the trails and saw the sights as Jim Morgan narrated the events of that fateful day, October 21, 1861 – nearly 150 years ago.

Next up was a “Scout Along The Turnpike” program wherein we joined up with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to install our Gray Ghost Interpretive Group at Mount Zion Church, Aldie Mill and the Caleb Rector House where they take on the identity of our area’s residents to tell the story of what life was like in the middle of the 19th century. There is so much to learn from these three sites – Baptist Church history, the importance of mills to the local economy, the debate on whether Virginia should secede from the Union by the local citizenry, and the bravery, devastation and cruelty of our American Civil War. Over 100 folks came to the three sites to hear history spoken in the first person that day!   All of the comments were positive and appreciative. That is all the reward we need.

Now and again something very unexpected and wonderful happens. We experienced such a blessing when our friends the Honorable Trevor Potter and Dana Westring offered up their wonderful home, Poke, and truly their exceptional gardens there to the Mosby Heritage Area Association as a venue for a talk and book signing event for their friend Adam Goodheart. Adam has written a beautifully written book entitled, “1861 – The Civil War Awakening” in which he focuses upon the events leading up to The American Civil War. No maps and tactics in this history. No smoke and guns either. This is an account of the home front and it delves into some very special people of that time and in so doing it gives a truly remarkable picture of what we, as a nation, were thinking and saying during that turbulent time before the guns began to fire.

The gardens at Poke are beautiful, the venue was perfect and the weather behaved. Two hundred people came to hear the talk, listen to Chester River Runoff, a fiddle and banjo band, and to be awed by the world famous opera performer, Mark Risinger, who sang a few songs often sung by the soldiers wearing blue and gray. The event was informative and great fun. All of us connected with this organization owe both Trevor and Dana a great debt of gratitude. On behalf of us all, I thank them very much!

Regardless of the heat, we keep moving forward. On July 29th, we will partner with Hill School to host a talk by John Hennessy on the Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) fought on July 21, 1861. This was the first major battle of the Civil War and John Hennessy was the chief historian at the Manassas Battlefield for a number of years before moving to Fredericksburg where he now holds the same title for the battlefields there. We are now in the Sesquicentennial Commemoration and this is a great time to refresh the memory of this important event in our nation’s history. Come to the talk and the next day board the bus with us to the battlefield for an overview of the battle as we walk that hallowed ground. We will get you back by 3:30.

In August we are gearing up with our Gray Ghost Interpretive Group for another production of “Cavaliers, Coffee and Courage”.  This lantern lit program is changing from one performance to the next with new interpreters and new historical anecdotes. This performance is very special because the owners of Credinal and Welbourne have allowed their properties to be our stage. These two properties saw much fascinating history during that difficult time and we will be there under lantern light discussing it in first person. If you believe in ghosts, come along because they will also be there - just beyond the lantern light.

All of the upcoming events throughout the rest of the year are detailed on the Calendar Page of our website: www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

Our Executive Director, Judy Reynolds, charges me 25 cents per word over 800 words and I am running low on cash. So I close by stating this simple fact: All of us here love what we do. All of us here are appreciative of your support. Thank you!

Childs Burden
President


First Battle of Manassas; Talk and Tour
Talk, Friday, July 29
The Hill School, Middleburg, Virginia
Tour, Saturday, July 30
Manassas National Battlefield, Manassas, Virginia

John Hennessy, chief historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, will speak on the Battle of 1st Manassas (Bull Run) on Friday, July 29 at the Hill School in Middleburg, Virginia, followed on Saturday, July 30, by a guided tour of the actions of the Battle of 1st Manassas (Bull Run) at the Manassas National Battlefield.

Reenactors
John Hennessy

About the Speaker: John Hennessy is the author of three books on the American Civil War, including the definitive work on the Battle of 1st Manassas, An End to Innocence: The First Battle of Manassas

He started his National Park Service career at Manassas in the 1980s, and has since worked for the New York State Historic Preservation Office, the National Park Service Interpretive Design Center at Harpers Ferry, and at Fredericksburg.  He is the principal author of “Holding the High Ground”, the document that has helped shape the National Park Service's direction in interpretation as we enter the Sesquicentennial, shepherding in an expanded approach to interpretation that examines the Civil War and its major battles in a broader context--bringing to visitors not just the stories of men in uniform, but also of the civilians and slaves who were affected by the Civil War. 

Mr. Hennessy grew up in upstate New York, and has been at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Parks since 1995.

Schedule and Directions:

Friday, July 29
6:00 p.m. – Wine & Cheese Reception, followed by talk and book signing

The Hill School, 130 S. Madison Street, Middleburg, VA 20117
                              
Directions: Take U.S. 50 to Middleburg.  At the traffic light, turn left if coming from the east, or right if coming from the west.  Go two blocks and up the hill passing the first entrance. Follow the signs for “event parking.”

Tickets: $60 for MHAA members, $75 for non-members

Saturday, July 30
8:00 a.m. – Arrive at Atoka for coffee and donuts
8:30 a.m. – Bus leaves for the Manassas National Battlefield
9:15 a.m. – Begin tour of the battlefield, stopping at sites that are significant to the Battle of 1st Manassas (Bull Run), box lunch at the Visitor Center.
3:30 p.m. – Return to Atoka

Directions: Rector House, 1461 Atoka Road, Marshall, VA 20115

From northern Virginia and points east: Take U.S. 50 to Middleburg.  At the traffic light, proceed straight for 4 miles to Route 713.  Turn left on 713 into the village of Atoka.  Park in the lot immediately to your left behind the stone wall. 

Tickets: $60 for MHAA members, $75 for non-members

Reenactors
First Manassas Monument

To make reservations for the talk and tour, call 540-687-6681 or go to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org


MHAA at Welbourne and Crednal
August 6, 2011

For the past two years, MHAA has presented its popular Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program at historic Welbourne. Last August, we added nearby historic Crednal to the program.  The owners of these two properties have graciously allowed the members of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group to tell their stories. 

We return to Welbourne and Crednal this year on Saturday, August 6, beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Beginning at Crednal and moving by darkened country lanes to Welbourne, a variety of characters in period dress will tell stories of 1861-1865 as the Civil War played out in this section of Loudoun County.  Member of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group play civilian, Mosby Ranger and Union cavalry roles offering a variety of viewpoints and insights from this war-wrapped section.

The two-hour program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Crednal.  Families are encouraged to come.  The atmosphere as darkness settles over the landscape and lanterns are lit exudes the feel of 1863 and makes for a memorable evening.  Walking shoes are recommended, as some walking will be involved on the fields and lanes between the farms.  Flashlights for the darkened lanes can be helpful.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for students.

Directions: 

From Route 50 west of Middleburg or just east of Atoka, turn on to Route 611, St. Louis Road. Travel north 1.5 miles to Route 743, Welbourne Farm Road and turn left turn.  Travel another mile and look for signs for parking.

From Route 7, take Route 690 south to the Snickersville Turnpike.  Cross the turnpike and follow Route 611 south to Route 743, Welbourne Farm Road, just after the village of St. Louis.  Turn right on to Welbourne Farm Road and travel another mile and look for signs for parking.

Marc Leepson
Crednal, Welbourne

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Successful MHAA Programs!

Balls Bluff
On Friday, June 17 the National Sporting Library hosted the Mosby Heritage Area Association’s talk on the Battle of Ball’s Bluff by James Morgan. The evening began with a wine and cheese reception followed by the talk.  Rick Stoutamyer, Executive Director of the National Sporting Library, spoke briefly about the Library and its collections. George Tabb, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, gave details of the upcoming 150th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in October.

MHAA President Childs Burden spoke briefly about the role of the horse and mule in the Civil War and their casualty rates—for every soldier who died during the Civil War, about three horses or mules died. 

Jim Morgan then gave his talk. He spoke about the myth that General Stone attacked Ball’s Bluff in an effort to capture Leesburg.  Morgan’s study of the battle does not support this. He then set the scene and introduced the players of the battle ,stopping short of fighting the battle.  .

Marc Leepson
James Morgan at thd National Sporting Library, photographer Steve DeCata

On the following day, participants met at the Rector House at Atoka to journey to Leesburg to walk the battlefield.  Their first stop was Fort Evans. Jim Morgan expertly guided the group down to the Potomac River and up the bluff as Union soldiers did during the battle.

Marc Leepson
James Morgan at Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park, photographer Steve DeCata

MHAA is taking orders for the latest edition of Mr. Morgan’s book, A Little Short on Boats: The Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edward’s Ferry, October 21-22, 1861.  This new edition includes more maps, photographs and biographical information than in the previous edition.  Those preordering this new edition will receive their copies of the book signed by Mr. Morgan once the book is released late in July.  You can preorder the book in person at the Rector House at Atoka or online using the preorder form.

Click here to preorder James Morgan’s book on the Battle of Ball’s Bluff.

Click here to view more photos of the Balls Bluff talk and tour.


Scout Along the Turnpike
Life along the old Ashby’s Gap and Little River Turnpikes came alive on Saturday, June 25, at the Rector House in Atoka, at Aldie Mill and at Mount Zion Church at Aldie.  Members of MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group offered first-person presentations of people who lived in the area during the American Civil War.  MHAA worked with staff and interpreters from the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to present the program.  This was the second of three “Scout Along the Turnpike” programs that will be presented this year. The third will be held on Saturday, October 29, from 12:00 noon until 5:00 p.m.

 

Adam Goodheart at Poke
Adam Goodheart at Poke was a very succesful event.  More than 150 friends and supporters joined MHAA and our hosts, Trevor Potter and Dana Westring, at Poke near Rectortown for the evening. Guests roamed the beautiful gardens of Poke, enjoying food and drink, then took in a program of history and music. 

Adam Goodheart, author and historian, talked about his new book 1861: The Civil War Awakening.  He read three excerpts dealing with the Fourth of July of 1861 and reflected on how the three individuals from these excerpts viewed the upcoming Civil War.    

The talk was followed by a first-rate musical program featuring Mark Risinger, the noted New York baritone, and the Chester River Runoff banjo and fiddle band.  Mr. Risinger sang selections of Civil War-era music that were popular among soldiers and civilians of that time and was accompanied by the band. 

Reenactors
Adam Goodheart


Rector House Open for the Summer

If you have family or friends visiting for the summer and you are looking for activities for them, check out the Rector House at Atoka. The house is now open on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Visitors will hear stories about Col. Mosby and his Rangers, as well as General Stuart, the Rector family, and the village of Atoka.

Copies of self-guided driving tours, scavenger hunts and audio tours that will help you explore the Mosby Heritage Area can be obtained at the Rector House either on Saturdays or during the week. Some of the tours and scavenger hunts can be downloaded from the MHAA website.

Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion

Join descendants of Mosby Rangers and Col. John S. Mosby on Saturday, September 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford in Fauquier County. All those interested in the history of this unit are invited to attend this event, which MHAA hosts every other year.

Reenactors

The program will feature a talk about the 43rd Battalion, Mosby’s Rangers, first-person stories of Col. Mosby and his men given by MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group, and Col. Mosby himself interpreted by Gary Carroll, reading a reunion speech presented by Col. Mosby. 

One of the most popular parts of the program has been the Roll Call by Company of the unit.  As each company is called, the descendants whose ancestor rode with Col. Mosby stand to be recognized.  Descendants of Col. Mosby also are recognized.

Following the lunch, our hosts, the Willoughbys, will provide tours of the Battle of Kelly’s Ford in their Studebaker truck. There will also be a demonstration of Civil War era artillery—cannon firing. 

We invite guests to bring documents, photos and artifacts to share.  MHAA is collecting copies of photographs and documents for future research and programming.  We will have people available to scan the stories and information from attendees.

Another feature of this event is our Merchant’s Corner.  Authors and historians will be present to sell and sign their books.  There will also be some Civil War prints available.

Tickets to the event are $50 for MHAA members and $55 for non-members.  For those traveling to the area, the Comfort Inn in Warrenton has given MHAA a special discount on rooms for the event.  Check our website for details.

Click here to learn about Comfort Inn offer.

Directions: Take Rt. 29 south of Warrenton to Route 620.  Turn left on to Route 620, which becomes Elkwood Road.  The name of the road changes, but it remains Route 620.  There will be directional MHAA signs to guide you to the Inn.  The physical address is 16589 Edwards Shop Road, Remington, VA 22734-1877.

To register, go to the Calendar Page of MHAA’s website (www.mosbyheritagearea.org) or call 540-687-6681. 

Click here to register for the Reunion.


Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War
September 10 – October 2

The 14th Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War will be held on the weekend of September 10-October 2 in Middleburg, Virginia.  The theme for this year’s conference is Cavalry Command; North and South.  Eight nationally know authors and historians will examine the cavalry command during the Civil War of both the Federal and Confederate armies.

Schedule:

Friday, September 30
4:00 p.m. – Registration, Reception, & Book Browsing
5:00 p.m. – Talk by Horace Mewborn
6:15 p.m. – Talk by Clark Hall

Saturday, October 1
8:00 a.m. – Registration, Coffee & Light Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – Talk by Robert O’Neill
9:45 a.m. – Talk by Marshall Krolick
11:00 a.m. – Talk by Robert Trout
12:00 - Lunch
12:45 p.m. – Talk by Bruce Venter
2:00 p.m. – Talk by Clark Hall
3:15 p.m. – Talk by Eric Wittenberg
4:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion and Book Signing
6:15 p.m. – Social Hour
7:00 p.m. – Dinner
8:00 p.m. – Dinner speaker JEB Stuart, IV

Sunday, October 2
8:00 a.m. – Bus tour of Brandy Station Battlefield with Clark Hall
5:00 p.m. – Return to Middleburg

Reenactors
Clark Hall at Brandy Station

Full registration for the conference is $425, which includes the nine talks, Friday reception, Saturday’s light breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks throughout the Saturday, the bus tour on Sunday with lunch. To attend the talks on Friday and Saturday, there is a fee of $200. This includes the reception on Friday, Saturday’s light breakfast and lunch, but not the dinner. 

The Conference brochure can be downloaded from the Calendar Page of the MHAA website www.mosbyheritagearea.org.  Registrations can also be made from the Calendar Page or by calling 540-687-6681.

The Comfort Inn in Warrenton, Virginia, is offering a special rate for conference attendees.  The bus will stop at the Comfort Inn on its way to Brandy Station on Sunday.

Click here to learn about Comfort Inn offer.


News Notes:

Fauquier County Scavenger Hunt
A revised version of the Fauquier County Scavenger Hunt will soon be available. This new version will have added features that will make it more informative and interesting.   At present, this scavenger hunt can be downloaded from the MHAA website, but no hard copies are available.  Watch for news of their availability.

Western Prince William County Scavenger Hunt
MHAA recently was contacted by Sharon Benson, who was taking a class in Virginia History for recertification of her teaching license.  As part of her class she used MHAA’s Western Prince William County Scavenger Hunt to put together a power point presentation.   Her family has also used the Fauquier County Scavenger Hunt.

Art for Mosby
Diana Reuter Twining has offered to donate a portion of the sales to MHAA when a patron purchases a piece of her sculpture and they mention MHAA. You can view her artwork at www.bronzed.net

Cooper Wright, an MHAA member, has offered MHAA a commission on the sale of seven framed Civil War prints.  Details on these prints can be found on the MHAA website (Home Page, left column, Art for Mosby icon).

Click here to read more about Art for Mosby.


Site of the Month
Town of Middleburg
NOTE: This is the third segment of our journey along Route 50 with photographer Jim Stewart and his son Ryan.

Nearly 50 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and for another 11 years after its signing, the village we know today as Middleburg was little more than a hamlet centered on a tavern owned and operated by Joseph Chinn, a first cousin to George Washington.

Chinn’s Ordinary sat midway between Alexandria and Winchester along the key colonial trading route, the Ashby Gap Road, which is now part of the John S. Mosby Highway. The hamlet became known as Chinn's Crossroads. Throughout that period, Chinn’s Crossroads remained an important gathering and staging point for travelers in colonial northern Virginia.

When Chinn inherited 3,300 acres from his father, he sold 500 to Leven Powell, a successful businessman, Continental soldier, and colonial Virginia statesman. Powell was born near Manassas, Virginia, in 1737 and studied in private schools. He became deputy sheriff of Prince William County before he moved to Loudoun County in 1763 where he pursued trading of goods. During the American Revolution, he served as major in the Continental Army. He was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 16th Continental Regiment in 1777.

Powell served as member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1779. At about the same time he established his enterprise at Middleburg, Powell continued his busy political life. He served as a member of the House of Delegates in 1787, 1788, 1791, and 1792 and was a delegate to the Virginia ratification Convention in 1788. He was elected as a Federalist to the Sixth Congress (1799-1801).

He also helped build the turnpike from Alexandria to the upper country. He died at the age of 73 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, in 1810 and is buried there in Old Presbyterian Graveyard.

Using 50 of the 500 acres he purchased from Chinn, Powell began an enterprise to capitalize on the economic potential provided by the Ashby Gap Road long before it became a turnpike. He laid out and incorporated a town site of 70 half-acre lots. Rather than selling the lots, Powell leased them, stipulating that each tenant build a house “at least 16 feet square, with a stone or brick chimney, within one year.”  By 1836, the village had grown to a population of 436, with 70 dwellings, seven stores, two churches, four schools, two hotels, and a number of small workshops.

What began as the small crossroads hamlet of Chinn’s Crossroads continues today in the southern Loudoun town of Middleburg.  It has always maintained its small-town heritage and character, its population only growing by some 230 between 1836 and 2000.  Middleburg survived extensive damage during the Civil War, and today many of the original structures of Middleburg are still in use.  Its most famous architectural structure, Chinn's Ordinary, has been operating continuously since its opening, and is now the well-know restaurant, the Red Fox Inn.  The town has maintained a strong sense of historic preservation and colonial charm throughout its long history.

The area in and around Middleburg played a significant role in the Civil War. This area evolved as the center of what became known as Mosby’s Confederacy.  Middleburg sat squarely in the center of the cavalry country,with open meadows, plentiful streams and good roads, all of which dictated that the war horse would play a major role in the battles to come to the area.

Along with the rest of the South, Middleburg’s citizens reacted with horror to John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in October 1859. Keeping in mind that a plantation society surrounded and sustained Middleburg before the war, the village of Middleburg voted 115 to zero to ratify Virginia’s Ordinance of Secession. 

John Geary was the first Federal general to enter the town on March 25, 1862. He came down Pot House Road (now Foxcroft Road) with about a thousand men, and saw about 300 Confederates heading east from Upperville. He quickly forced a Confederate retreat and decided to stay a few days.

Geary’s first impression of Middleburg was initially generous: He wrote his wife: “This is a lovely potion of Virginia and seems like paradise.” Upon meeting the locals,however, he described them to his wife as being “very saucy,” and noted a “violent secession feeling manifested in the town.” He quickly left for Warrenton, which he liked far better than Middleburg.

Middleburg’s next involvement with the war was more tragic. After the Second Battle of Manassas in August 1862, 1,200 casualties were hauled by wagon to Middleburg, where the Free Church and the Methodist Church had been converted into hospitals. Townspeople also took the wounded into their homes, some even providing tent sites in their yards. At Mt. Sharon Cemetery, Middleburg erected one of the first memorials in the country to honor unknown war casualties. 

In June 1863, Middleburg directly felt the impact of the war when it became pivotal in the Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. These engagements were a series of intense charges and countercharges as the Army of Northern Virginia fought off repeated attempts by the Union Army to penetrate Lee’s movement into the Shenandoah Valley. 

Middleburg has long been a destination for people from all over the world who appreciate the area's thriving equine industry, and the historic village has earned a reputation as the nation's “Horse and Hunt Capital.” Serving as a host community for more than 250 years, it is no surprise that Middleburg has developed such a high concentration of fine inns, shops and restaurants.

The Historic District of the Town of Middleburg has been designated a Virginia Historic Landmark, and in 2008 then-First Lady Laura Bush recognized Middleburg for its historic preservation efforts by being designated a Preserve America Community. Its proximity to Washington, D.C., also has made Middleburg a retreat from the limelight for public figures: John F. Kennedy had a country house here and spent weekends there during his presidency, and Jackie rode in the local fox hunts. Elizabeth Taylor and former U.S. Senator John Warner had their low-key wedding at his Middleburg estate. 

Jim Hildbold as a Union Soldier, photographer Steve DeCata
Welcome to Middleburg, by J. Riley Stewart

Click here to view more photos of Middleburg on PBase


MHAA Store
Great Book Offers for the Summer!

If you didn’t get to one of MHAA’s book talks or just want another copy for a friend, check out the list of books MHAA has to offer:

Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist Generalby Marc Leepson
(signed) 

Saving Monticello, The Levy Family’s Epic Quest to Rescue the House that Jefferson Built by Marc Leepson (signed)   

Desperate Engagement: How a Little-Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C., and Changed American History by Marc Leepson (signed)

The three Leepson books can be purchased as a set.
           
Founding Gardeners, The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation by Andrea Wulf

The Brother Gardeners, Botany, Empire & the Birth of an Obsession by Andrea
Wulf (signed)           

1861, The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart - $37 (with postage and handling)

Signed copies of James Morgan’s new edition of A Little Short of Boats, The Battles of Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry, October 21-22, 1861 can be preordered from MHAA.  His book is due out soon and Jim will sign the books before shipping. 

You will need to fill out the order form if you want Jim to sign the book with anything more than his name.

Click here to preorder a signed copy of James Morgan’s book.

Copies of all the above mentioned books can be purchased at MHAA headquarters in the Rector House at Atoka, by calling MHAA at 540-687-6681, or by going online to the MHAA Store.

Click Here to purchase these books in our online store

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - August 2011

President's Letter

The Dog Days of August have never been something to bark about.  Nevertheless, the Mosby Heritage Area Association has had a wonderfully hectic few weeks.

Renowned historian John Hennessy came to Middleburg on July 29th to give an informative talk at the Hill School on the Battle of First Manassas.  J uly 21st marked the 150th commemoration of this first major battle of the American Civil War. This was a good time to reflect upon this important part of our nation’s history. 

Mr. Hennessy discussed some of the many misconceptions people have about that battle.  He gave a superb talk, which was well attended. As always, we want to extend our thanks to our good friends and partners in education, the Hill School.

The next day a bus load of folks who wanted to learn more about the significance of this battle headed to Manassas to walk the fields and woods that remain as they did during those hot July days in 1861. It is without question that we increased our knowledge and appreciation of that battle, and all of us were appreciative and thrilled to have John Hennessy as our guide.

August 6th was the date for our special Gray Ghost Interpretive Group’s first- person narration of home- front history surrounding two of our national historic landmark farms near Atoka, Welbourne and Credinal. The program began at Credinal with a record attendance of more than 90 people. The interpreters dramatically told the stories of the Carter and Dulany families—the men, women and children who were pulled into the Civil War to become soldiers and war time civilians during those years of chaos and destruction.

I congratulate our interpreters for a splendid and dramatic interpretation. I could clearly see that those who came to take in this history were captivated by the lantern- lit presentations. I spoke with many of them, and they were all pleased and appreciative of our efforts.

Our next program is the Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion, which will take place at Kelly’s Ford on September 10. We put on this program two years ago and it was an exceptionally successful event. We had several dozen descendants attending who brought family letters and pictures of their ancestors who fought with Mosby behind the Federal lines. We scanned many of these documents and this information was sent to area libraries, where it is available to anyone researching Mosby’s Rangers.

Please consider joining us for this event at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford, which has its own historic significance. The armies of both sides marched right through this site many times during the Civil War.  We hope to have a historian on hand to give us a talk about the importance of Kelly’s Ford during the war.

Do not forget the Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War scheduled for the weekend of September 30 - October 2. This will be the 14th year for this conference at the Middleburg Community Center. Eight of our nation’s best historians will be giving talks on the Cavalry Command- North and South. Many are already signed up, but we have room for a few more.

More information on the Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion and the Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War Conference can be found on the Calendar Page of our website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org

Finally, we are about to send out our 2010 Annual Report, which describes our past year’s events and provides details about our financial position. If you are a member, you will get a copy in the mail. If you are not a member, then please become one! Copies can always be obtained free of charge by calling our very special Executive Director, Judy Reynolds, at 540-687-6681.

I am looking forward to the autumn weather and to the continued promotion of our local history and heritage. Please remember that all of us here enjoy what we do and are appreciative of your support.

Childs Burden
President


Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion

Are you a descendant of a Mosby Ranger? Or even of the famed Colonel John S. Mosby himself?   Or you are simply fascinated with Col. Mosby and his Rangers as part of our local history? Whatever the case, y ou will want to attend the Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion on Saturday, September 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford in Remington, Virginia.  Descendants of Mosby Ranges and John S. Mosby, as well as anyone interested in the history of this unit, are invited to attend the reunion.

Reunion
Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion - June 2008

A program that promises to inform as well as entertain is being planned. Following the tradition of reunions held at the turn of the 20th century by Civil War units both from the North and South, speeches will be presented. The day’s program will begin with an introduction to Col. Mosby by historian and author Eric Buckland.  MHAA’s president, Childs Burden, will speak on the preservation efforts by the Mosby Heritage Area Association and why these are so important.

The reunion program would not be complete without the telling of some Mosby stories.  Members of MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will take on the persona of Rangers and Col. Mosby to tell some colorful Ranger stories. 

The stories that GGIG uses in this and other programs have been pass ed down to us through oral histories from Mosby Rangers, their families, and from people who knew them.  As part of this event, we hope that descendants will bring more stories that we can use in telling the history of the Mosby Heritage Area. After all, as someone said,  “What is history, but stories of our past?” 

As part of the day’s events, we ask that descendants and guests bring stories, documents, newspaper clippings, photos and artifacts to share. MHAA volunteers will help record, scan and photograph these pieces of history. The information collected will be shared with area genealogical facilities such at the Thomas Balch Library and the Fauquier County Public Library .

The Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion has its own traditions.  Gary Carroll, aka Col. John S. Mosby, will again read the speech given by Col. Mosby at the 1895 Reunion, the only reunion of the 43rd Battalion that he attended. The program will end with another tradition, the Roll Call of Rangers by company, where descendants stand in recognition of their Ranger ancestors.

Marc Leepson
Gary Carroll

Civil War Ear music and soldier’s campfire songs will be presented throughout the program by South Fork, a group of banjo, guitar and fiddle musicians who have played at multiple venues in Virginia, primarily in the Shenandoah Valley. A delicious Southern- style buffet is planned for lunch following the formal program. 

The afternoon will be less formal, giving guests the opportunity to share the treasures they bring to the reunion and visit with authors and historians in the Book Fair.  Our hosts for the day, Linda and Bill Willoughby, will bring out their cannon for a firing demonstration and drive their Studebaker truck, Alexander, to Kelly’s Ford where Bud Hall will tell us about its Civil War history.

There is something for everyone, so we hope you will join us!  Tickets are $50 for MHAA members and $55 for non-members.  Lunch and a reunion memento are included. To register online, visit the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org or call 540-687-6681.

Click here for more information and to register.


Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War
September 10 – October 2

The theme of this year’s MHAA Civil War Conference is The Cavalry, North and South.  Attendees from all over the U.S. will convene in Middleburg on the weekend of September 30- October 2 to explore the history and command of the cavalry during the Civil War.

Speakers for the conference are a Who’s Who of Civil War cavalry historians and authors. Clark Hall, an MHAA member, volunteer and expert on the Battle at Brandy Station, will give two talks and lead the Sunday bus tour to the battlefield at Brandy Station. Other long- time friends and expert historians on hand include Horace Mewborn, Robert O’Neill, Marshall Krolick, Robert Trout, Bruce Venter, and Eric Wittenberg. The expertise of these historians brings a unique, in-depth approach to the topic of cavalry command in the Civil War.  

Owens and Ramsey book sellers will provide books from the authors, other Civil War offerings, as well as other history and rare books. Conference authors and historians will sign their books for attendees.

Clark Hall
Clark Hall at Brandy Station

What shaped General JEB Stuart’s philosophy and style of command during the Civil War?  On Saturday evening, James Ewell Brown Stuart IV will answer this question as he relates the experiences of his great grandfather at West Point and his Federal service in the west prior to the Civil War. 

JEB Stuart
Jeb Stuart

Full conference registration is $425, which includes all nine talks, the Friday reception, Saturday coffee, light breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner, the Sunday bus tour and lunch. A Friday and Saturday package for $200 is available, which includes Friday and Saturday talks, the Friday reception, Saturday coffee, light breakfast , lunch, and snacks.  It does not include the Saturday evening dinner and talk or the Sunday bus tour.

There is limited seating for the bus tour on Sunday so please register now!  For out of town guests, MHAA has contracted with Nuevo Inn and Suites (formally Comfort Inn) in Warrenton for a special discount . Those staying at the Nuevo Inn and Suites will be picked up at the hotel on Sunday morning as the bus travels from Middleburg to Brandy Station.  Information is on the MHAA website’s Calendar Page.

Registration can be made online from the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org or by calling 540-687-6681. 

Click here for more information or to register online.


Raffle for Battlefield Preservation
Carolinians Forward:
5th North Carolina at Middleburg, Virginia, 1863

The Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Capital District Civil War Roundt able of Albany, New York, are offering a framed print titled Carolinians Forward – 5th North Carolina Cavalry at Middleburg, Virginia 1863, by Keith Rocco in a raffle to raise funds for battlefield preservation.

Carolinians Forward
Carolinians Forward – 5th North Carolina Cavalry at Middleburg, Virginia 1863, by Keith Rocco

The Capital District Civil War Round Table was given the print.  Matt George, the president and a participant of MHAA’s Civil War Conference, felt that a partnership with MHAA to raffle this print would be appropriate since the setting for the painting is Middleburg. 

This Civil War Roundt able has raised thousands of dollars for battlefield preservation. During last year’s conference, Mr. George presented a check to Clark Hall for the preservation efforts at Brandy Station.

Clark Hall, Matt George
Matt George, president of the Capital District Civil War Roundtable of Albany, New York, presenting a check to Clark Hall for preservation efforts at Brandy Station Battlefield.

The framed print is signed and is number 386 of 500.  The painting depicts a surprise attack by the 4th and 5th North Carolina on the 1st Rhode Island along the Ashby’s Gap Turnpike (Route 50) in Middleburg on June 17, 1863, during the Battle of Aldie. The North Carolinians surrounded the 1st Rhode Islanders who surrendered.

The print will be on display during the Conference at the Middleburg Community Center.
The drawing will be held on Saturday, October 1, at the Conference on the Art of Command’s evening dinner. Ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

Get your tickets today and be a part of battlefield preservation in the Mosby Heritage Area.

 To purchase tickets go online to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website www.mosbyheritagearea.org,  scroll down to the September 30-October 2 Conference event, and click on the Raffle Button. 

“Whiskory” and Other Partnerships with our Route 50 Friends

Several members of the Mosby Heritage Area Association’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group (GIGG) will once again be working with our Route 50 friends, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, to take a new look at local history.  To be held at the NVRPA’s historic Aldie Mill on the evening of Saturday September 17, “Spirited History” will included a whiskey tasting, a fine Southern dinner, commentary by master distiller Scott Harris of Catoctin Distilling in Purcellville, Va., as well as interpretation from Rich Gillespie and some members of the GGIG team.

 What is a “whiskory?” It is a combination of stories and history about the local area’s distilling past along with a whiskey tasting experience.  “I’ve been collecting stories from the earlier generation of local historians and whenever I can find them,” Rich Gillespie said. “ These stories extend from Mosby’s fun-loving ‘ Tam O’Shanter Rangers’ to an unfortunate state revenue agent killed near Ashburn in the 1920s. It is another way to see the grain and mill economy in the Mosby Heritage Area. And we’ve had a fun time mating regional food to fine uisce beathe popular with Virginians to create a multi-course meal.”

For more information and to reserve your place at what promises to be a lively evening call Tracy Gillespie at Aldie Mill at 703- 327-9777.

From 12:00 to 5:00 on Saturday October 29, the Mosby Heritage Area Association’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will once again team up with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to present our third installment of Scout along the Turnpike in which living history interpreters will bring alive Mosby stories along Route 50, the old Ashby’s Gap and Little River Turnpikes, from the Civil War. 

Presentations will be made at the Rector House at Atoka, at Aldie Mill, and Mount Zion Church a mile east of Aldie.  Visiters will get to converse with Gray Ghost storytellers, as well as hear their tales. Visit one or all the sites in any order at any time between 12 noon and 5 p.m. The program is free to the public.

Marc Leepson
Mount Zion Church / Historic Rector House / Aldie Mill

At 3:00 p.m. on Sunday November 20th MHAA and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority will again team up to present the last of 2011’s Conversations in History Series at Mount Zion Church east of Aldie. Jefferson County historian Bob O’Connor will present a talk on Ward Hill Lamon, President Lincoln’s bodyguard, and how he saw the famed President. You’ll want to find out just where Lamon (a local boy) was during Our American Cousin, onApril 14, 1865. The popular Conversations Series will run again in 2012, with four talks .  More about those later . . .


MHAA Helps with Commemoration at Potomac Furnace

“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” said Rich Gillespie, Mosby Heritage Area Association Director of Education and outgoing Loudoun Civil War Sesquicentennial Steering Committee Chair.  “The story of the loss of the first local man on Loudoun soil is the kind of local history that the Mosby Heritage Area Association seeks to preserve, as well as the places where it happened.”   MHAA used its expertise to provide speakers, publicity, and ceremonial organization to the event. [JUDY: WHEN???}

Ken Fleming, past commander of the Clinton Hatcher Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans,  worked for weeks with MHAA and the Loudoun Sesquicentennial Committee to put together a simple, dignified, ecumenical, educational ceremony to commemorate the loss of Cumberland George Orrison, 28, of Goresville , who died early on the morning of August 5, 1861. The widowed Loudoun farmer, a member of the Loudoun Cavalry, Co. K 6th Virginia Cavalry, was killed in a cross-Potomac raid by members of the 28th New York Niagara Rifle ” eager to avenge their absence from the Bull Run battlefield two weeks earlier. Orrison was buried at New Valley Church by members of his company the next day.  

Cumberland George Orrison
Cumberland George Orrison

The ceremony convened at McKimmey’s Landing on the Potomac opposite Point of Rocks, Maryland, where attendees learned of the details of Loudoun’s first loss on its soil, and why that mattered. Lee Stone of the Sons of Union Veterans made an impassioned plea that we continue to learn about such events during the Civil War Sesquicentennial to continue to pass on our local history. 

MHAA Board member Jim Morgan noted that history is to the community what memory is to the individual, a quote from naval historian Samuel Eliot Morrison .  Rich Gillespie told the tale of the events of Monday morning, August 5, 1861 .

A wreath was then laid at the spot where Orrison fell by Orrison family descendants.  Later, a convoy of dozens of cars made its way in to rural New Valley Church, where more than 100 people saw the rededication of Orrison’s grave. In tribute, the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s new cannon brought from Ball’s Bluff Battlefield, boomed three times, echoing off distant Sugarloaf Mountain across the Potomac in Maryland .  

The Travis family, which now lives in the church, is working to restore the simple Primitive Baptist graveyard.  


A John Hennessy Tour de Force at Manassas Battlefield

We think a lot about the weather this summer, and pray to the air-conditioning gods to keep it running. The night National Park Service historian John Hennessy arrived in Middleburg to address participants of Mosby Heritage Area Association’s Battle of First Manassas Talk at Hill School, it was over 100 degrees.  But seconds after he started, Hennessy had the audience enraptured, dashing myths about the famed Battle of First Manassas. 

The picnickers from Washington so imbedded in the history of the battle, he said, weren’t at the battlefield; they were at CentrevilleGeneral Bee never said to his crumbling forces falling back from Matthews Hill, “Rally Behind the Virginians.”  

As the air-conditioning purred, the audience wondered what it would be like on the predicted 98-degree battlefield on the morrow.  It was hardly noticed.   Historian Hennessy knew the back roads, the unexpected vistas, places where the tales were so compelling, that none of MHAA’s hearty party faltered. 

The next day, many of the group went down a 19th century road to Sudley Springs Ford, where Hunter and Heintzelman’s Union forces had crossed Catharpin Creek on their Sunday morning end run around the Confederate left. We stood by the simple clapboard Thornberry House, where famed Rhode Island letter writer Sullivan Ballou was operated on and died to become a breath upon his young wife’s cheek. 

We marched onto Matthews Hill as Ballou’s regiment saw it, sure of victory when Evans’ Confederates were forced to yield the hill. We route-stepped from Portici to the rear of Henry Hill as Stonewall Jackson’s men had, and saw where Welby Carter of Crednal led the Loudoun Light Horse in a frantic charge against New York’s firefighters of the 11th New York Ellsworth Fire Zouaves. And we saw where 85-year-old Judith Henry died of shellfire from Rickett’s U.S. Battery.  It was a day of images, stories, and poignant memories.

Drained at the end of the day by the heat, the participants nevertheless went home happy .  “I’ve never seen First Bull Run that way,” said one. Another commented: “First Manassas as told by John Hennessy is not a story I’m likely to forget, nor will I ever want to.”   Oh, and just so you know—it was 98 degrees on the battlefield.

MHAA members also have visited Fredericksburg, Antietam, Brandy Station and Ball’s Bluff in the past year. More battlefield talks and tours are planned for 2012 with top historians .

Marc Leepson
John Hennessy addresses audience

Check out other photos taken by our volunteer photographer, Steve DeCata of Mr. Hennessy’s talk and tour of First Manassas.


Crednal and Welbourne – “Oh What a Night”

It hadn’t rained all summer—the last really rainy night was sometime in June.  The Mosby Heritage Area Association’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group was confident of a beautiful, if hot, summer night for its August program, A Civil War Tale of Two Farms in Mosby’s Confederacy, to be played by lantern-light on Saturday evening August 6th against the handsome settings of Stanley and Anna Dees’ Crednal and Nat and Sherry Morison’s Welbourne. 

 Hot and steamy it was, but dry it wasn’t. Rain hit an hour before the program, and moved the beginning of this popular living history vignette format to the Dees’ barn.  Just as the storm seemed to pass and the 91 attendees were out on the lanes between Crednal and Welbourne, the rain returned. And did every time the group moved between stops.

Wet yet hearty, over two-thirds of the group was still with the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group to hear MHAA President Childs Burden make a passionate plea for local history education and preservation at the end back at the Crednal barn.  Whether it is loyalty to the Mosby Heritage Area Association, growing interest in the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group’s programs, or excitement generated by the Civil War Sesquicentennial and its many promotional venues (check out http://civilwar.visitloudoun.org/, for example), the numbers at the popular Cavaliers, Courage, and Coffee program seem to continue to grow.

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to share our poignant local history,” said Rich Gillespie, MHAA Director of Education.  “And it gives us a powerful chance to make the case for historic preservation in the region. These historical sites and landscapes are worth saving.”

A n ew member of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group, Jessie Brouwer, had the chance to share the experience of 13-year-old Mary Dulany hiding her cousin Johnny, a Mosby Ranger, from searching federal cavalry in the winter of 1864. She stood waiting in front of dimly lit historic Welbourne.  As the group came through the damp, sultry night toward her with the Welbourne dogs barking, it was a powerfully evocative moment.  Jessie and her co-interpreter Julie Hildbold both rose to the occasion.

Jim Hildbold, portraying a Union cavalryman, was not so lucky.  “It just let loose on me,” Jim said of the rain.  “Maybe it was trying to tell me something, here in the heart of Mosby country. ”

GIGG’s next Cavaliers, Courage, and Coffee program will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 5, at historic Mount Zion Church, where Mosby’s Rangers held their first rendezvous on January 26, 1863. The beautifully restored interior and haunting graveyard-bound exterior of the old church and skirmish site make for a fantastic site for the program .

Site of the Month
Route 50 from Middleburg to Upperville

This month, we continue our journey westward to explore the landscape between Middleburg and Upperville. We focus on four sites in the are: the Old Goose Creek Bridge, Crednal and Welbourne plantations, and the historic Caleb Rector House, each of which provides a glimpse into the region’s rich agricultural and equestrian past.

Old Goose Creek Bridge

The Old Goose Creek Bridge sits as a monument to the past and is designated a National Register and Virginia Historic Landmark.

Now bypassed by Route 50, the Old Goose Creek Bridge was built in 1802 as part of Ashby's Gap Turnpike. It is 212 feet long and 23 feet wide and carried traffic until 1957 when Route 50 was straightened and the bridge was abandoned. It is one of the last four- arch stone bridges in Virginia.

Marc Leepson
Old Goose Creek Bridge

The bridge became a major choke point during the opening phase of the Battle of Upperville fought on June 21, 1863. Union General Alfred Pleasonton had been assigned the task of taking his 7,000 cavalrymen west along the Ashby Gap Turnpike to the Shenandoah Valley to report on the whereabouts of the Army of Northern Virginia, which was advancing northward towards Gettysburg.  

Facing Pleasonton was the cavalry force of Confederate General J. E. B. Stuart. Stuart's mission was to delay the enemy and prevent him from crossing into the Shenandoah Valley. Stuart's cavalrymen and two batteries of artillery held the hill to the west of the bridge while two Union artillery batteries, cavalry and infantry held the high ground to the east.  

An artillery duel raged for over an hour. Near the end, Federal forces attacked down the steep embankment to cross Goose Creek and forced the Confederates to retire to the next high ground to the west. General Stuart's stand held the Federals at bay for over two hours and gave him the time to consolidate his cavalry just east of Upperville.

After the war, Loudoun and Fauquier Counties repaired the bridge to a functional state.

This site is extremely popular with hundreds of visitors from all part of the world signing the guest book each year.  As part of the Mosby Heritage Area, the bridge is a frequent stop on the Virginia Civil War Trails, as well as a featured stop on MHAA’s Prelude to Gettysburg audiotape tour and the Upperville Trinity Church Hunt Country Stable Tour.

Senator John Warner donated the twelve-acre meadow along the creek to the members of the Fauquier and Loudoun Garden Club, who are the bridge’s caretakers. The property has been placed into scenic easement, which means it can never be subdivided or developed

Atoka and the Caleb Rector House

Those familiar with the Mosby Heritage Area Association are well acquainted with the Caleb Rector House in Atoka.  Most notably, this was where Col. John Singleton Mosby formally established his Rangers as Company A, 43rd Virginia Battalion of Cavalry, in the parlor on June 10, 1863.

Today the house serves as the headquarters for the Mosby Heritage Area Association. Please feel free  to stop in and say hello . W e’d love to see you.

Marc Leepson
The Caleb Rector House at Atoka, Virginia

The historic home at Rector’s Crossroads (now Atoka) was a popular rendezvous site  for Mosby’s Rangers prior to their raids.   Barely two weeks after the Rangers were formally organized, the Rector House served as J.E.B. Stuart’s headquarters on June 13, 1863 as he coordinated his cavalry actions in preparation for the Gettysburg campaign. Three days later came the first of the Great Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville.

Crednal

Along the north side of Welbourne Road (Route 743) stands Crednal, a private residence.  It is one of the finest examples of an early 19th-century federal-style estate in the area.  Unique to the house is the incorporation of an earlier half-story stone structure, possibly a dwelling and probably a patent house, into the brick house. A stone wall of the earlier structure is at the rear of the present brick house. Dolley Madison once owned the granite steps, which now grace the entrance to Crednal.

Marc Leepson
Crednal

Parts of the now 70-acre property date to 1785, and as is the case with many homes of notable Virginians, it has seen its share of history.  Crednal had its beginnings as part of a 5,000- acre parcel owned by Landon Carter, the son of the wealthy businessman and politician Robert “King” Carter. Legend holds that the name “Crednal” derives from “Credenhill,” a parish in Herefordshire, England, and the ancestral home of Landon’s mother, Betty Landon Carter.

John Armistead Carter, a great-great grandson of Robert Carter, acquired the estate from his wife’s mother, Louisa Dulany DeButts Hall. Armistead, as he was known to family, became a lawyer and practiced in Leesburg, later serving in the state legislature from 1842 to 1877.

With tension between the North and South at a peak in 1861, Carter, along with John Janney of Leesburg, represented Loudoun County at Virginia’s Succession Convention. Though Virginia ultimately joined the Confederacy, Carter voted against succession., even though hew as a slaveholder. Loudoun County held a strong anti-succession sentiment, partly due to its many Quaker families.

The war served as a major event at Crednal. Crednal’s fields were a focus of the Battle of Unison in 1862, where, according to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, J.E.B. Stuart and his staff camped .  The plantation was also the site of troop maneuvers associated with the Battle of Upperville in 1863. The historic markers along Route 50 near Paris are worth a visit and detail the battle.  

Growing up at Crednal, Armistead’s son, Col. Richard Welby Carter, established his reputation as a fine horseman before the war. He later raised a militia that would become the 1st Virginia Calvary.  Incidentally, in 1853, Welby and his friend, Col. Richard Henry Dulany of nearby Welbourne, had established the Upperville Horse and Colt Show.

Welbourne

Across the lane from Crednal stands the Welbourne, today a bed and breakfast owned by Col. Richard Henry Dulany’s great-great grandson, Nat Morison. Both General Stuart and Col. Mosby visited the home. In addition, the inn was host to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe in the 1930s. Both authors used the house as a setting in their works.

For travelers, Welbourne offers a step back in time. The grand foyer and library reflect the home’s history and care by eight generations of the Dulany family. The house dates from 1700 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it serves as a window into mid 19th century plantation life in Virginia.

Marc Leepson
Welbourne

In addition to these well-known landmarks along the John S Mosby Highway, a noteworthy stop is just west of Atoka Road in the east-bound direction. Here sits the final resting place of John T. Edmundson, marked by a simple headstone and bronze marker, both now shaded by a large, magnificently gnarled tree.

Edmundson apparently died five days after being wounded in the Battle of Aldie. His headstone stood alone along the road for 145 years before MHAA President Childs Burden discovered the grave's inhabitant in 2008. Not much else is known about this Confederate soldier, who died and then was buried by Union troops.

If you have missed the first installments of this series, check out the Photo Gallery Page of the MHAA website.

Click here to view more photos on PBase


MHAA Store

The MHAA Store now has a large collection of books by noted authors and historians who spoke at MHAA events during 2011. Books range in topics from French generals to gardening history to local Civil War history. 

Marc Leepson, past president of MHAA, released his latest book in March: Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership form the Idealist General.  Signed copies are available, as well as his two previous books; Saving Monticello and Desperate Engagement.

Marc Leepson Books

MHAA has a few copies of Andrea Wulf’s The Brother Gardeners and Adam Goodheart’s 1861, The Civil War Awakening both signed by the authors.

Books

MHAA has received copies of James Morgan’s latest edition of A Little Short of Boats, the Battles of Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry, October 21-22, 1861.  This new edition has additional information, maps and photographs.  With the anniversary commemoration of this battle coming up in October, you will want to read this in depth account of the battle.

Marc Leepson

John Hennessy, noted author and historian, has written two outstanding books that tell the story of the two battles of Manassas. They are both available from MHAA.

Book

Click Here to purchase these books in our online store

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - September 2011

President's Letter

Autumn has arrived and we are busy with the last minute details of our 14th Annual Art of Command Conference entitled: “Cavalry Command North and South”. I am staggered to reflect that this is our 14th such conference.

We have made many great friendships with the talented historians who have come to Middleburg to be a part of this conference. They leave us as ambassadors to our “preservation through education” mission extending our message to a national level. These scholars make a great effort in delivering their fascinating talks and we make such a great effort to ensure that the program runs as smoothly as possible.

Together we have created a weekend of history and learning and our attendees keep coming back to us year after year. They trust us to give them the best experience possible and we all take pride by delivering on that trust. 

Visit Loudoun recognized the conference’s value to our local economy by presenting MHAA with the Tourism Event of the Year Award in 2010 for events under 3,000 attendees.  We were proud to receive this recognition for the efforts we have made to make this event the best it can be.

Clark Hall, Eric Wittenberg, Horace Mewborn, Robert O’Neill, JEB Stuart, IV, Bob Trout, Bruce Venter, and Marshall Krolick – this is the best possible line up of nationally known historians on this subject and we are certain to have wonderful discussions on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1. 

If you have never had the chance to experience the battlefield of Brandy Station – then come along with us on Sunday October 2 because Clark Hall and Eric Wittenberg will enthrall you with their knowledge. One can read a history of a particular battle and get an understanding of what happened but I believe one must walk the fields with master historians to fully understand how the commanders made their decisions and how the soldiers reacted to those decisions. We will have two buses this year and there is room. Come along!

Our Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion assembled at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford on Saturday, September 10 and it was a perfect day in every respect. This was our third such gathering in five years and the turnout was truly inspiring. Over 90 descendants came to the famed Rappahannock River crossing which marks the location of the Kelly’s Ford Inn. They have a spectacular Event Center with an excellent kitchen.

Many of the descendants made the effort to come to Virginia by travelling to us from impressive distances. Our Gray Ghost Interpretive Group put on some historical vignettes about the men of the 43rd Battalion during the morning hours and then the roll call was made. The descendants stood up as their forebear’s name was called out. It was truly an emotional moment. The pride in every one of these offspring was clearly evident. It is a pride that will undoubtedly be handed down to the next generations.

Finally, I ask that you help us express concern about a new road being planned for our part of Virginia. This four to six lane highway would come off Interstate 95 and wind up to the north along the edge of the Manassas National Battlefield and cross U.S. Route 50 just east of Lenah and continue to U.S. Route 7 and stop!

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is helping to lead this fight and they have an electronic petition that one can sign. If you are concerned about this threat to our historic sites, please go to their website and sign it. It is without question that I am concerned and I have signed it. It takes about one minute to register your concern.

Go to www.smartergrowth.net
Look on the right-hand side of the home page for “Don’t Waste Our Money!
Don’t Destroy Our History!" Click on the “Read More” button and Then “sign our petition”. 

We are heading down the road to cooler weather and I intend to enjoy the trip. As always, please know that we enjoy what we do and we appreciate your support.

Respectfully submitted,
Childs Burden


Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War
September 10 – October 2

We are only a week away from MHAA’s 14th annual Civil War Conference.  Plans are coming together for a great event.  The good news: Seats are still available. 

You can even sign up on Friday, September 30, or Saturday, October 1, the first two days of the event, at the Middleburg Community Center at 300 W. Washington Street (Route 50) on the west end of Middleburg. Friday’s registration begins at 4:00 pm and Saturday’s at 8:00 am.

If you would like to take the bus tour of the Battle of Brandy Station with Bud Hall on Sunday, October 2, you can reserve your seats on the bus by calling our office by 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 29: 540-687-6681.

The theme of this year’s MHAA Civil War Conference is The Cavalry, North and South.  Attendees are coming from all over the U.S. to explore the history and command of the cavalry during the Civil War.

Speakers for the conference are a Who’s Who of Civil War cavalry historians and authors. Clark Hall, an MHAA member, volunteer and expert on the Battle at Brandy Station, will give two talks and lead the Sunday bus tour to the battlefield at Brandy Station.

Clark Hall
Clark Hall at Brandy Station June 2011, Mosby Ride, photographer Douglas Lees

Other long-time friends and expert historians on hand include Horace Mewborn, Robert O’Neill, Marshall Krolick, Robert Trout, Bruce Venter, and Eric Wittenberg. The expertise of these historians brings a unique, in-depth approach to the topic of cavalry command in the Civil War.  

Owens and Ramsey book sellers will provide books from the authors, other Civil War offerings, as well as other history and rare books. Conference authors and historians will sign their books for attendees.

What shaped General J.E.B. Stuart’s philosophy and style of command during the Civil War?  On Saturday evening, James Ewell Brown Stuart IV will answer that question as he relates the experiences of his great grandfather at West Point and his Federal service in the West before the Civil War. 

JEB Stuart
General J.E.B. Stuart

Full conference registration is $425, which includes all nine talks, the Friday reception, Saturday coffee, light breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner, the Sunday bus tour and lunch.

A Friday/Saturday package for $200 is available. It includes Friday and Saturday talks, the Friday reception, Saturday coffee, light breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  It does not include the Saturday evening dinner and talk or the Sunday bus tour.

For out of town guests, MHAA has contracted with Nuevo Inn and Suites (formally Comfort Inn) in Warrenton for a special discount. Those staying at the Nuevo Inn and Suites will be picked up at the hotel on Sunday morning as the bus travels from Middleburg to Brandy Station.  More detailed information is on the MHAA website’s Calendar Page.

Click here to learn more about this offer.

Registration can be made online from the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org or by calling 540-687-6681.  At this late date, online or calling is the best way to insure you have a seat.

Click here for more information or to register online.


Raffle for Battlefield Preservation
Carolinians Forward:
5th North Carolina at Middleburg, Virginia, 1863

The Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Capital District Civil War Roundt able of Albany, New York, are offering a framed print titled Carolinians Forward – 5th North Carolina Cavalry at Middleburg, Virginia 1863, by Keith Rocco in a raffle to raise funds for battlefield preservation.

Carolinians Forward
Carolinians Forward – 5th North Carolina Cavalry at Middleburg, Virginia 1863, by Keith Rocco

The Capital District Civil War Roundtable was given the print. Matt George, the president and a participant of MHAA’s Civil War Conference, felt that a partnership with MHAA to raffle this print would be appropriate since the setting for the painting is Middleburg. 

The framed print is signed and is number 386 of 500. The painting depicts a surprise attack by the 4th and 5th North Carolina on the 1st Rhode Island along the Ashby’s Gap Turnpike (Route 50) in Middleburg on June 17, 1863, during the Battle of Aldie. The North Carolinians surrounded the 1st Rhode Islanders who surrendered.

The print will be on display during the Civil War Conference at the Middleburg Community Center. The drawing will be held on Saturday, October 1, at the Conference on the Art of Command’s evening dinner. Ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

Get your tickets today and be a part of battlefield preservation. To purchase tickets, go to the Calendar Page of the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events.html,  scroll down to the September 30-October 2 Conference event, and click on the Raffle Button. 

At this late date, online purchase of tickets or a call to our office, 540-687-6681, is recommended.

Check Out MHAA's Partner's Websites

If you have not visited the MHAA website and explored the Partner Page, you are missing out on valuable information about other preservation and historic groups in the Mosby Heritage Area.  On this one page you can connect to MHAA’s partners and find information on their organizations and listings of their events.

You’ll find links to websites of national, state and local preservation organizations, historic sites in the Mosby Heritage Area, and area visitor agencies. For the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, we have listed area and state sites in which you can find Civil War events.

We are adding sites so check this page out often. 

Click here to have a look at MHAA’s Partners Page.


Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike
Saturday, October 29, 2011
12 Noon - 5:00 pm

The last of MHAA’s Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike Programs for 2011 will be presented on Saturday, October 29, from 12 noon until 5:00 pm by the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group. Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and the Mosby Heritage Area Association will team up to present a program of life along the Little River and Ashby’s Gap Turnpikes during the Civil War.

Visitors will meet soldiers and civilians who lived and worked along this busy corridor in war-torn Loudoun County.  Members of GGIG will present the stories of these men and women in first person and in period dress.

The program will be held at three historic sites along the John Mosby Highway: the Caleb Rector House in Atoka, the Aldie Mill and Mount Zion Church in Aldie. Visitors may visit any or all of the three sites in any order throughout the afternoon. There is no admission.

church house mill
Mount Zion Church / Historic Rector House / Aldie Mill


Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee Program
The Turnpike of Terror
Saturday, November 5, 7:30 PM
Mount Zion Church, Aldie, Virginia

The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will present a program, The Turnpike of Terror, on Saturday, November 5 beginning at 7:30 pm at the historic Mount Zion Church just east of Aldie, Virginia, on Route 50, the John Mosby Highway.

The rendezvous site of Col. John Mosby and his Mosby Rangers during the Civil War will be the backdrop of tales of haunting proportions surrounding the church and adjoining graveyard. 

Over the years Rich Gillespie, MHAA’s Director of Education, has collected ghost stories that take place in or near Mount Zion Church. These stories will come alive when members of GGIG, in period dress, move in and out of the church and graveyard by lantern-light, telling their haunting stories.

Although the program is entertaining for all, we especially invite families to experience the history and fun with this program.  We recommend those attending to bring flashlights and wear comfortable shoes.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students.  Reservations are not needed.

tombstone
Gravestone of Charles W. Rollins, U.S.A. in Mt. Zion Church Cemetery


Conversations in History Series - Two Great Talks

The Confederates Gather Steam: The Great Train Raid of 1861
Sunday, November 13, 3:00 pm
Mount Zion Church, Aldie, Virginia

Lincoln: A Bodyguard’s View of the President
Sunday, November 20, 3:00 pm
Mount Zion Church, Aldie, Virginia

The Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority are hosting two Conversations in History Series programs during the month of November; one on Sunday, November 13, and the other on Sunday, November 20, at Mount Zion Church just east of Aldie on the John Mosby Highway (Route 50). 

On Sunday, November 13, at 3:00 pm, we will present The Confederates Gather Steam:The Great Train Raid of 1861. Art Candequist as Confederate Captain Thomas Sharp will relate the little-known tale of moving engines from the Alexandria & Loudoun Railroad at Leesburg using teams of oxen to the Manassas Gap Railroad at Piedmont Station, Delaplane today. 
           
One week later, on Sunday, November 20, at 3:00 pm MHAA and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority will again team up to present the last of 2011’s Conversations in History Series programs. Jefferson County historian Bob O’Connor will present a talk on Ward Hill Lamon, President Lincoln’s bodyguard, and how he saw the famed President. You’ll want to find out just where Lamon was during Our American Cousin, onthe night ofApril 14, 1865.

Admission to these conversations is $5 for adults and $2 for students.  No reservations are needed.


A Good Time Was Had:
The 2011 Mosby Ranger Descendant Reunion

Descendants of 54 Mosby Rangers met at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford on Saturday, September 10, to recognize their ancestors. As part of the morning program, Don Hakenson and David Goetz announced the names of each Ranger represented in a Roll Call by company. 

Among the attendees was Elizabeth Beberman, a granddaughter of Ranger William Henry Chapman, and her son and two daughters. They traveled from Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to be with us.  Al Talley, a grandson of Ranger William Henry Talley, was also present.

Beberman Family
Beberman Family, Descendants of William Henry Chapman, photographed by Douglas Lees

There were five family members of Ranger Edward “Ned” Francis Thomson present.  Rachel Frantum represented 10 Mosby Ranger ancestors.

Rachel Frantum
Rachel Frantum, Descendant of 10 Mosby Rangers photographed by Douglas Lees

MHAA would like to thank Bill and Linda Willoughby for hosting our event. Thanks also to Bud Hall and Bill Willoughby, who took participants to Kelly’s Ford for a tour of this Civil War crossing.  We want to thank Gary Carroll, aka Col. John S. Mosby, and Paula Johnson for giving a Mosby Tour of Warrenton following the festivities.

The Reunion Committee--Don Hakenson, Dave Goetz, Eric Buckland, Robin Yeager, and Rich Gillespie--played a major role in the planning and took roles in the program making this event a success. Our other volunteers, Barbara and George Tiedeman and Steve Marshall, were greatly appreciated. 

Click here to see more photos by Douglas Lees of the reunion.


History Comes Alive in 2012

In upcoming issues of our e-newsletter you will find information about MHAA events being planned for 2012. 

The Education Committee and Rich Gillespie, our Director of Education, have a full calendar of events scheduled for 2012. The always-popular Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee programs return for a seventh year with four programs on tap. Our Gray Ghost Interpretive Group also will present two Mosby; Scout Along the Turnpike programs in 2012.  A new program, Rendezvous at Rector’s Crossroad will be featured in the summer. And we will be working again with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to bring you four new Conversations in History Series programs.

The Special Events Committee also has been working to bring you some exciting programs that will be entertaining and informative. These events also will help MHAA raise funds to continue our Preservation through Education mission. Among the events being planned are programs on the War of 1812, which is commemorating its 200th anniversary in 2012; another talk at Oak Hill with Andrea Wulf; and Civil War talks and tours of Second Manassas and Antietam. The Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War will be celebrating its 15th year in 2012. 

Look for details on these and other events in future e-newsletters. As events are finalized, details will be added to the Calendar Page of our website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org


Site of the Month
Along Route 50: Upperville

This month in our journey along the John S Mosby Highway we enter Fauquier County and highlight the Village of Upperville. Upperville has been designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The village is known as one of the region’s richest collection of preserved eighteenth century houses. Upperville inspired John Updike to write in his poem: Upon Learning That A Town Exists In Virginia Called Upperville:

“High hamlet, but my mind’s eye sees
Thy ruddy uplands, lofty trees,
Upsurging streams, and towering dogs,
There are no valleys, dumps or bogs.
I've always known there was a town
just right for me; I'll settle down
and be uplifted all day long --
Fair Upperville, accept my song.”

Upperville is affectionately described as being "a mile long and an inch wide" because most of the houses line Columbia Street, as Route 50 was called on the original plat. Today Upperville has several antique shops, many antebellum houses, and three churches. It also has one of the smallest libraries in the nation, a tiny stone building that sits beside the Episcopal Church.

The town of Upperville was originally part of the Rev. Charles Green’s patent, which was obtained from Lord Fairfax in 1742. Green was a large landowner of the Virginia Piedmont in the early 1700s. In 1793, Josephus Carr, grandson of an Irish immigrant, received a grant of land bisected by the Ashby Gap Road (now Route 50). He laid out plots for a town with a few houses, a mill on nearby Pantherskin Run, and a general mercantile store operated by Carr. The small collection of buildings officially became Carr Town in 1798.

Among the houses at Carr Town was a log cabin built around 1750 by Steven McPherson on property he had purchased from Reverend Green. Josephus Carr made this cabin his home, and the village itself had its beginnings there. It is now referred to by its historical name Old Carr House. We know it today as Hunter’s Head Tavern.

Hunters Head
Hunter’s Head Tavern photographed by J. Riley Stewart.

At his death in 1828, Josephus Carr owned some 2,500 acres in the Upperville area. As his businesses flourished, Carr moved his family from the log cabin to a larger brick house across the road, still known as the Carr House.

Carr Town was renamed Upperville when an act of the Virginia General Assembly in 1818-1819 established the town, but the reason for the renaming has been lost to history. Unlike most villages, Upperville was for a period of time a political custody case between the surrounding counties. Sometimes identified as being in Loudoun County and sometimes said to be a part of Fauquier County, neither county seemed eager to adopt Upperville.

The reason for this reluctance was economic. In those days, every Virginia County was responsible for the upkeep of its roads. Being on the Turnpike, Upperville came with significant costs that would have to be borne by the owning county, and neither Loudoun nor Fauquier was eager to assume these expenses. The Ashby Gap Turnpike was heavily used and its maintenance, accordingly, was regular and costly. 

Another architectural centerpiece in Upperville is Trinity Episcopal Church. Besides being a truly beautiful structure, Trinity is remarkable in that it was built of local sandstone by craftsmen who lived nearby. This church is the only church in Meade Parish; the Parish acquired the land for $100 in 1842 from Robert Singleton. The present church is the third building on the site, the first having been built in 1842 and the second in 1895. 

Trinity Episcopal
Trinity Episcopal Church photographed by J. Riley Stewart

The present church was completed in 1960 as an architectural adaptation of a 12th and 13th French Country design. Its architect, H. Page Cross, used a modified cruciform plan with shallow transepts in native Warrenton sandstone. Trinity Church, like Washington National Cathedral, was built by hand with hand-wrought tools. The master builder was W.J. Hanback of Warrenton. Most of the stone and wood used in the 1960 structure was fashioned by local men who made their cutting tools in a forge on the grounds. Each stone was cut by hand with special hand-wrought iron tools, a labor- intensive process. Funding for the project was donated by noted Upperville resident Paul Mellon.

History owes much to Sandy Lerner of Ayrshire Farms for her historic preservation of the Old Carr House and its conversion to its present form. According to the Hunter’s Head web site,

“at the time of its last purchase in 1997, the upper-story addition to the original cabin (the east end of the building) was falling into the first floor because the original, one-story cabin’s ceiling beams in the east room were inadequate to support the second floor, which was added sometime in the early 1800’s. The central portion of the 1790’s addition (today’s bar and west dining rooms) was structurally unsound due to the removal of most of the roof ridge beam at some point in the house’s history. Partly because of the missing ridge beam, and partly because of its proximity to the creek, the house had settled so much that most of the windows were inoperable and the doors unable to close. The floor joists on the first floor needed to be replaced due to insect and moisture damage and the stone foundations and the fireplace in the west room had to be completely rebuilt. Today the house retains its original log cabin walls, fireplaces, mantels and, on the upper stories, its floors. The only change to the house has been the addition of the small kitchen at the back of the original building.”

Upperville Horse and Colt Show

The Upperville Colt and Horse Show, grand-pere and a grand peer of the nation's horse shows, dates to 1853. Although stallions had been exhibited for prizes at country and state fairs prior to 1853, it is believed that the horse show, as a separate entity, was first introduced on the American sporting scene at Upperville in that year.

The story goes that Richard Henry Dulany of Welbourne recognized that while the horse was hugely important to Southern life, it did not get the attention to husbandry, breeding, and economic development it deserved. After a discussion with neighboring planters such as Welby Carter of Crednal, a summer show was decided upon to exhibit and award exemplary horses and horsemanship. The exhibition was scheduled for June in the oak grove at Number Six (Grafton), a Dulany property on the Turnpike about two miles east of Upperville. 

At the initial show there were so many entries and interest was so great that a club was formed to sponsor future shows. The club was named the Upperville Union Club. Richard Henry Dulany was elected president and Welby Carter served as secretary. Dulany continued to lead the club until his death in 1906.

Prior to the first show Mr. Dulany went to Manhattan to consult with silversmith Louis Tiffany about suitable trophies. Tiffany agreed to the undertaking and graciously offered to donate the craftsmanship of the trophies; Mr. Dulany was charged only for the cost of the silver.

Since 1853, except for the years during the Civil War and through 1868, there has been a horse show annually during June at the oak grove. After the War, the Upperville Union Club was renamed to Upperville Colt Club. It was formally chartered in 1894 to encourage “thorough development of horses and colts, the formation of the pursuit of raising high grade horses and establishing a better market for same, and Annual Shows and Exhibitions testing the speed, gaits, and jumping powers of the various breeds or classes of horses."  

horse
Horse at 2011 Upperville Colt and Horse Show by photographer J. Riley Stewart

By 1902, the organization had become the Upperville Colt and Horse Club, and it sponsored a two-day show in June of that year. Pony classes were included, as were High Steppers in Harness, Sporting Tandems, Four-In-Hands, and classes for Park and Gaited Saddle Horses. The High Jump was a feature of Upperville shows at the turn of the century, but was discontinued. It was reinstituted in 1958, and made headlines when 18-year old Kathy Kusner set a new women’s world record of 7 ft, 2 ½ inches—on an old gray mare named “Freckles.” Kathy Kusner eventually became a member of the United States Equestrian Team.

Grafton Farm, formerly called Number Six of the properties of the founder of the Upperville Colt and Horse Show, is where it all started back in 1853. And many of the towering oaks today are the same trees that stood there at the time.

Upperville in the Civil War

The Battle of Upperville was the culminating event in a series of cavalry battles referred to as The Great Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. The finale took place on June 21, 1863.

Click here to read more about this Battle.


MHAA Store

The MHAA Store now has a large collection of books by noted authors and historians who spoke at MHAA events during 2011. Books range in topics from French generals to gardening history to local Civil War history. 

Marc Leepson, past president of MHAA, released his latest book in March: Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership form the Idealist General.  Signed copies are available, as well as his two previous books; Saving Monticello and Desperate Engagement.

Marc Leepson Books

MHAA has a few copies of Andrea Wulf’s The Brother Gardeners and Adam Goodheart’s 1861, The Civil War Awakening both signed by the authors.

Books

MHAA has received copies of James Morgan’s latest edition of A Little Short of Boats, the Battles of Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry, October 21-22, 1861.  This new edition has additional information, maps and photographs.  With the anniversary commemoration of this battle coming up in October, you will want to read this in depth account of the battle.

Marc Leepson

John Hennessy, noted author and historian, has written two outstanding books that tell the story of the two battles of Manassas. They are both available from MHAA.

Book

Click Here to purchase these books in our online store

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - October 2011

Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike
This Popular Program Returns Saturday, October 29, 2011
12 Noon - 5:00 pm

This year we’ve begun a new program with the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group to supplement our usual evening programs called Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike. The idea is simple—allow visitors and residents to visit three Mosby sites on one afternoon, sort of like a historic homes tour, but with costumed living history interpretation in the open buildings to appeal to the whole family.  More than 200 people have participated in the first two programs this year.

Our next installment of this program will run on Saturday October 29 from 12 noon to 5:00. In cooperation with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, this program will feature MHAA’s Gray Ghost Interpretive Group doing interlinked interpretive vignettes in period dress at three sites simultaneously—the historic Caleb Rector House at Atoka (Rector’s Crossroads) where Mosby’s Ranger’s were formed and regularly rendezvoused before their missions; Aldie Mil, where Mosby almost single-handedly defeated the 1st Vermont Cavalry during the March 1863 “Aldie Races;”,and Mount Zion Church, site of one of the most evenly pitched all-out cavalry battles between Mosby’s Rangers and their Union opponents. 

Visitors can visit all three John Mosby Highway (Route 50) locations, as well as receive suggestions for side-road detours off the turnpike that explore deeper into this lush, historic landscape at a beautiful time of year. You can talk with Colonel Mosby at Rector House, with an enslaved woman captured by Mosby’s men in 1863 at Aldie Mill, or with Ellen Davis Tyler, the wife of Confederate soldier Edmund Tyler, who also was the daughter of the notorious “Yankee” Davis as she sings a hymn a cappella at Mount Zion Church.  

There will be Civil War displays at all three sites, and good opportunities for kids to talk with our living historians.  Admission is by donation and reservations are not necessary.

Gary Carroll as Col. John Mosby, Katie Allen and Judy Reynolds at the Caleb Rector House
Gary Carroll as Col. John Mosby, Katie Allen and Judy Reynolds at the Caleb Rector House

Check out photos from April’s Scout Along the Turnpike program.


Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee Program
at Mt. Zion Church by Candlelight
Autumn Program Featuring Civil War & Haunted Tales
Saturday, November 5, 7:30 PM

The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will offer its final evening lantern-lit program of the 2011 Cavaliers, Courage, and Coffee series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 5 at historic Mount Zion Church at 40309 John S. Mosby Highway (Route 50) east of Aldie.

The program, The Turnpike of Terror,”will feature some of our favorite Civil War stories from Aldie and the turnpikes that convene there. This time, in addition to our signature lantern-light period vignettes from the 1860s, there is a twist. Some of our stories will be ones witnessed at Aldie by modern citizens and Civil War re-enactors, stories that can’t be explained.  The turnpike has been a place of terror, not only during the fratricide of the Civil War, but also for some who dared to stop along it in the dark of night.

The Gray Ghost Interpretive Group prides itself on good tales from the past told first person in period dress, but also of stories the whole family will enjoy.  A good balance of delicious story telling will take place in the autumn chill.

Sponsored by the Mosby Heritage Area Association in cooperation with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, owners of Mount Zion Church, tickets are just $5.00 for adults and, $2.00 for students.  Reservations are not required.

Participants will be both inside and outside the church, including the graveyard. They are urged to wear good walking shoes, to bring a flashlight for safety, and to dress in good, warm late-fall clothing. 

For information call 540-687-6681 or 540-687-5578.

tombstone
Gravestone of Charles W. Rollins, U.S.A. in Mt. Zion Church Cemetery


Conversations in History Series - Two Great Talks

The Confederates Gather Steam: The Great Train Raid of 1861
Sunday, November 13, 3:00 pm
Mount Zion Church, Aldie, Virginia

Lincoln: A Bodyguard’s View of the President
Sunday, November 20, 3:00 pm
Mount Zion Church, Aldie, Virginia

The Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority are hosting two Conversations in History Series programs during the month of November; one on Sunday, November 13, and the other on Sunday, November 20, at Mount Zion Church just east of Aldie on the John Mosby Highway (Route 50). 

On Sunday, November 13, at 3:00 pm, we will present The Confederates Gather Steam:The Great Train Raid of 1861. Art Candenquist as Confederate Captain Thomas Sharp will relate the little-known tale of moving engines from the Alexandria & Loudoun Railroad at Leesburg using teams of oxen to the Manassas Gap Railroad at Piedmont Station, Delaplane today. 

locomotive
Alexandria & Loudoun Locomotive like the two that were dragged along Route 50 past Ida Dulany's gate towards Piedmont Station 

One week later, on Sunday, November 20, at 3:00 pm MHAA and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority will again team up to present the last of 2011’s Conversations in History Series programs. Jefferson County historian Bob O’Connor will present a talk on Ward Hill Lamon, President Lincoln’s bodyguard, and how he saw the famed President. You’ll want to find out just where Lamon was during the play Our American Cousin, onthe night of April 14, 1865.

Ward Hill Lamon
Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln's Personal Bodyguard

Admission to these conversations is $5 for adults and $2 for students.  No reservations are needed. 


Fall Heritage Events in the Mosby Heritage Area

Listed below are several upcoming events in the Mosby Heritage Area that feature our historic heritage. 

Aldie Harvest Festival, Aldie, Virginia, Saturday, October 15 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, 17th Mississippi Regiment Re-enactors camped at Aldie Mill, living history presentations of military and camp life, more than 70 vendors, Come by the MHAA table!  Contact: 703-327-5315, www.aldieheritage.com

Civil War Ghost Stories at Historic Weston, Casanova, Virginia, Fauquier County, Saturday, October 15 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, and Sunday, October 16 from 12 noon to 4:00 pm, Civil War re-enactments and ghost tours in the house and on the grounds, Civil War food, games, music, artifacts, and blacksmith demonstrations, Admission $10 per family, $5 for individuals, Contact: 540-364-3161

Talk on George Washington, Peter R. Henriques, George Washington’s Early Years, The Rise of an Extraordinary Man, fundraising event for the Atoka Preservation Society, Wednesday, October 26, Reception at 6:30 pm, Talk at 7:00 pm, Cox Hall, Trinity Church in Upperville, $50 per person, couples $85, Contact: 540-364-1801

Battle of Ball’s Bluff Commemoration, Battle re-enactment, Saturday, October 22,
2:00 pm, You must have tickets in advance for the re-enactment; to do so, go to  www.150thballsbluff.com, $5 per person, Parking only at Morven Park. Shuttle buses will provide transportation to the re-enactment at Ball’s Bluff Regional Park in Leesburg

Also Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm, Visit the encampment for the Ball’s Bluff Battle of 1,000 re-enactors, tours, storytelling, and military demonstrations at Morven Park, 17263 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg, Virginia, Contact: 703-737-7800, www.nvrpa.org.

Fauquier Historical Society First Annual Gala, Brentmoor, Home of John S. Mosby in Warrenton, Virginia, November 5, from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm, Music, hors d’oeuvres, wine, silent auction, tours of Brentmoor, and re-enactors, $75 per person, $50 tax deductible, Contact: 540-347-5525, Old Jail Museum, Warrenton


Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War:
A Smashing Success

We had record numbers, with more than 95 registered at this year’s conference the first weekend of October.  Attendees came from California, Oregon, Maryland, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, North Carolina, Washington D.C. and from across the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

There was much excitement and lively discussion as nationally known historians and authors spoke on this year’s theme, The Cavalry, North and South.  Attendees of the Saturday evening dinner were treated to a moving talk on the qualities of good military leadership as they apply today and as they were exemplified by General J.E.B. Stuart by his great grandson, James Ewell Brown Stuart, IV. Despite the unseasonably cool weather on Sunday, Bud Hall’s tour of Brandy Station Battlefield was a resounding success.

Many thanks to Childs Burden, Chair of the Conference, for his hard work in creating and continually bringing this high quality program to Middleburg year after year.  We are also appreciative to the many volunteers who help MHAA before, during and after the conference.  Their work is evident in the comments from attendees.

Take time to read the travelogue of Hal Jespersen, attendee from California, and the review by Eric Wittenberg, one of the speakers, about the conference.

Click here to read Hal Jespersen’s Travelogue of the conference.

Click here to read Eric Wittenberg’s review of the conference.


Raffle for Battlefield Preservation
Carolinians Forward:
5th North Carolina at Middleburg, Virginia, 1863

The Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Capital District Civil War Roundtable of Albany, New York, conducted a raffle of a framed print titled Carolinians Forward – 5th North Carolina Cavalry at Middleburg, Virginia 1863, by Keith Rocco to raise funds for battlefield preservation.

The drawing was held on Saturday, October 1, at the Conference on the Art of Command’s evening dinner. The print was won by Charles Rohe of Washington, D.C.

The raffle raised $340 for the preservation of the Brandy Station Battlefield.  Many thanks to all who purchased tickets.


Check Out MHAA’s Partner’s Websites

If you have not visited the MHAA website and explored the Partner Page, you are missing out on valuable information about other preservation and historic groups in the Mosby Heritage Area.  On this one page you can connect to MHAA’s partners and find information on their organizations and listings of their events.

You’ll find links to websites of national, state and local preservation organizations, historic sites in the Mosby Heritage Area, and area visitor agencies. For the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, we have listed area and state sites in which you can find Civil War events.

We are adding sites so check this page out often. 

Click here to have a look at MHAA’s Partners Page.


History Comes Alive in 2012

In upcoming issues of our e-newsletter you will find information about MHAA events being planned for 2012. 

The Education Committee and Rich Gillespie, our Director of Education, have a full calendar of events scheduled for 2012. The always-popular Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee programs return for a seventh year with four programs on tap. Our Gray Ghost Interpretive Group also will present two Mosby: Scout Along the Turnpike programs in 2012.  A new program, Rendezvous at Rector’s Crossroad, will be featured in the summer. And we will be working again with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to bring you four new Conversations in History Series programs.

The Special Events Committee also has been working on several exciting programs that will be entertaining and informative. These events also will help MHAA raise funds to continue our Preservation Through Education mission. Among the events being planned are programs on the War of 1812, in conjunction with its 200th; a return visit to Oak Hill by author Andrea Wulf; and Civil War talks and tours about Second Manassas and Antietam. The Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War will celebrate its 15th year in 2012. 

Look for details on these and other events in future e-newsletters. As events are finalized, details will be added to the Calendar Page of our website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org


Site of the Month
Along Route 50; Upperville to Paris, Ashby’s Gap

This month we leave the Village of Upperville and drive along the John S. Mosby Highway 4 miles west to the Ashby Gap.

This short section of our trip takes us through country that is largely private farms. Along the way, we visited the historical sites of the Blackthorne Inn and Restaurant, Mount Bleak at Sky Meadows State Park, and the Ashby Inn in Paris. There are only three intersections along this route: Trappe Road just west of Upperville, Snake Den Road that ends in a dead end, and Route 17 that goes south through the Crooked Run Valley.

Blackthorne Inn and Restaurant, once owned by George Washington

About half way between Upperville and the Ashby Gap is the intersection of Snake Den Road with Route 50. Snake Den Road is a mile long gravel road that ends in a basin at the foot of Paris Mountain. It is lined with cattle farms and forest where plenty of whitetail deer can be seen grazing or just running around.

To the south of its intersection with Route 50 is the Blackthorne Inn and Restaurant. Once owned by George Washington, the historic Inn is located in the heart of Virginia’s famed Hunt Country, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and historic Ashby Gap. The Inn sits on 45 beautiful acres of hills and woods, and overlooks a nice pond with a gazebo for strolling or watching the herons. The rustic interior architecture has been retained from its 18th century style and character. The Wolf Tones Irish Pub is particularly authentic.

blackthorne inn
Blackthorne Inn

Mount Bleak, Skye Farm (Sky Meadows State Park)

Mount Bleak, Skye Farm is the centerpiece of this section of the Mosby Heritage Area. This site was entered on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places in 2004 based on its “significance in local history relating to the themes of architecture and agriculture from 1780 through 1954.”

The site became Sky Meadows State Park when Paul Mellon generously donated 1,600 acres to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The tract's previous owner, the late Sir Robert Hadow, named the parcel Skye Farm because it reminded him of the Isle of Skye in Scotland.  George Washington originally surveyed sections of this tract and later purchased it from his client Lord Fairfax.

Sky Meadows State Park sits in the northern reaches of the Crooked Run Valley, often described as among the most beautiful landscapes in the Virginia Piedmont. The Valley follows present day Highway 17 between Paris and Interstate 66.

wayside cottage
Wayside Cottage

Including John Edmonds's Wayside Cottage, Abner Settle's Mount Bleak manor house, the Timberlake Farm, and the Snowden ruins, Sky Meadows State Park gates officially opened to the public in 1983 in a celebration of Mr. Mellon's gift to “preserve the scenic, natural, agricultural and historic open space.” The park is open year round with daily hours until dusk.

There are campgrounds with picnic areas, ten miles of delineated hiking trails and five miles of bridle trails. Monthly astronomy programs in cooperation with the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club occur in the summer. Park rangers have developed popular Mount Bleak House and outbuilding tours with interpretative programs on middle-class farming and the Settle family's 19 Century lifestyle in addition to nature programs, Civil War re-enactments, colonial cooking demonstrations, and historical exhibits.


Agricultural land and large cattle farmsteads entirely surround the Park, businesses that had their beginnings from four important eighteenth and nineteenth-century plantations that have long associations with the Edmonds, Settle, Morgan and Timberlake families. These plantations were considered some of the best producing farms in the Crooked Run Valley in the 1930s and served as a significant means of support for their owners even in the midst of the Second World War

The oldest structure in the Park is the one-and-one-half-story Wayside Cottage (c. 1790) built by the first generation John Edmonds. The primary residence and  hallmark of the Park is the stone, circa 1843, Federal-style Mount Bleak mansion that Abner Settle built on the most prominent and windy hill on the land, a situation that gives the mansion its name.

John Edmonds died on the August 28, 1798 still owning his 1,000-acre plantation in its entirety. His successful retention of the immense tract without a single division or sale during his eighteen years of possession is noteworthy. Very little is known or bas been written about him, but he appears to have arrived in Fauquier from Northumberland with good financial means and managed his Crooked Run Valley plantation quite well.

John Edmonds’ children did not retain their inherited property long. His son Elias sold his 350-acre portion to Paris tavern keeper Isaac Settle in 1808, who lived on the parcel at the time. Four years later Isaac Settle bought another 171 acres of the original Edmonds estate from son George W. Edmonds.  Settle later built Belle Grove manor on that parcel. The Wayside Cottage tract, however, remained in the Edmonds family until son John died in 1828, when his heirs became victim to indebtedness and eventually sold the land to the Sherman family in 1845.

Isaac Settle’s son Abner is the person we associate with Mount Bleak and Sky Meadows today. He had acquired 148 acres of land not from inheritance, but by buying it from his brother-in-law Lewis Edmonds, a grandson of John, in 1848. Isaac began building Mount Bleak that same year, somewhat patterned after his father’s Belle Grove, but without the more expensive embellishments.

Abner was an interesting person of the time in Crooked Run Valley. He had two wives and 12 children, and operated a general mercantile in Paris that operated until the late 1860s under the name Settle and Rogers. He was widely known in the county for his poignant poems, which were often published in local newspapers and read at public gatherings. When he built Mount Bleak, he faced it northward toward his business in town (and the north wind) instead of facing it eastward onto Shenandoah Road as was typical in the neighborhood. He also chose stone as the material for Mount Bleak instead of the typical brick, and included Greek Revival-style features in its architectural design. At Mount Bleak, Abner prospered. The 1860 census listed his holdings as 450 acres and valued at $15,600. At that time he was producing wheat, corn, oats, rye, potatoes, beeswax/honey, and sheep, cattle, and hogs (livestock valued at $1,800).

While no major battle occurred at Mount Bleak during the Civil War, the war years were indeed tense for the Settle and Edmonds families. Both families had sons who enlisted. Abner Settle’s eldest son Thomas left home to study medicine in the early 1850s, and later joined Turner Ashby’s 7th Virginia Cavalry. He found himself at Harper’s Ferry in December 1859, and was the physician who pronounced John Brown’s death. Isaac "Cap" Morgan Settle enlisted with the 6th Virginia Cavalry in 1861.  Furloughed just after the Great Cavalry Battles, young ‘Cap” joined John S. Mosby's Rangers, and thus joined his seventeen-year-old brother Abner Carroll in that particular cause. From the Edmonds family, sons Benjamin, Clement and Edward "Bud" Edmonds were also in Mosby's 43rd Battalion for all or part of their enlistment.

The Civil War had an ongoing effect on the valley. The Confederate and Federal armies both passed by Mount Bleak on the busy Piedmont-to-Paris Road (now US Route 17) at various times during the war.  With tense nerves, Nannie Edmonds in Wayside Cottage reported in her journal having to quickly move to Paris with the advancement of threatening troops on 18 July 1861. Nannie’s cousin Amanda Edmonds of Belle Grove wrote in her diary on the 2 November 1862 that “fighting was going on somewhere below Paris and all residents were ordered to leave their homes at dinnertime.”  

As Confederate Gen. J. E. B. Stuart's men began to draw back through the valley from the forces of Generals Gregg and Pleasanton at the Battle of Upperville on the 21 June 1863, Amanda anxiously noted that "the Yankees are advancing rapidly. We girls walk up the hill, and there have a fine view of both sides firing until Stuart's retreat was so near us we returned in order to see the bear at a nearer view."

Abner Settle sold Mount Bleak to Thomas Glascock in December 1866. Glascock quickly parted with Mount Bleak and the mountain land with a sale later to George Meacham Slater. Slater became the third member of Mosby's Rangers to reside in Mount Bleak manor. Slater joined the Civil War early in 1861 with Gen. Stuart's 1st Virginia Cavalry, twice wounded and among the first fifteen men detailed to Mosby within days after the 43rd Battalion formed at Rector's Crossroads.

He is claimed to have accompanied Commander Mosby on nearly every raid and battle, winning admiration for his skill and courage and that "no one did more than Mr. Slater to win fame and honor for that great partisan leader." Slater and Mosby maintained a life-long friendship after the war. Colonel Mosby's son John, who became a newspaperman, frequently stayed overnight at Mount Bleak. Mount Bleak was generally called the Slater home place during his unprecedented fifty-five years of ownership and for sometime after his death in February of 1923.

Ashby Inn, where Stonewall Jackson (may have) Slept

The Ashby Inn began as a farmhouse built at the east end of Paris around 1829, just across the street from the original Ashby Tavern. Stonewall Jackson is said to have slept on the porch of this farmhouse while his troops camped nearby.

The federal style house is built of stone. The columns on the front portico are believed to be from the original Ashby Tavern, which was destroyed by a runaway truck in 1939. During the 1860s the house was used as the parsonage by the Methodist Church.

Today the farmhouse is an inn that includes ten guest rooms on three acres of landscaped grounds with a view of Paris Mountain, Ashby Gap and Sky Meadows State Park.    The restaurant prepares breakfast daily for all inn guests and is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday and for brunch and dinner on Sunday. The Ashby serves as a pastoral setting for weddings, special events, and retreats.

ashby inn
Ashby Inn


MHAA Store

MHAA is offering a discount on selected items in its store beginning on October 12th through the end of the year. 

Check out the items listed below:

Brother Gardener’s, by Andrea Wulf, SIGNED, Was $35, Now $28
(Add $7 postage and handling)

Desperate Engagement, by Marc Leepson, SIGNED, Was $16, Now $9
(Add $5 postage and handling)

 Saving Monticello, by Marc Leepson, SIGNED, Was $20, Now $16
(Add $5 postage and handling)

Lafayette, by Marc Leepson, SIGNED, Was $23, Now $18
(Add $5 postage and handling)

All 3 Leepson Books, Was $59, Now $47
(Add $10 postage and handling)

1861, by Adam Goodheart, SIGNED, Was $30, Now $24
(Add $7 postage and handling)

Click Here to purchase these books in our online store

 

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - November 2011

President's Letter

Last night the Hunter’s Moon was up and this morning most of the leaves were down. That means winter is coming soon.

One hundred fifty years ago, the men in blue and gray were thinking of winter encampments and of how to stay warm. Surely their thoughts were drifting to the homes that they left behind. It could not have been an easy time for them.

There is no thought of a winter encampment at the Mosby Heritage Area Association. In fact we are busy scheduling events for 2012. Next year promises to be filled with exciting talks, Gray Ghost Interpretive Group programs, Sesquicentennial Commemorations, and our Fifteenth Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War.

I can report to you that the Conference last month on “The Cavalry Command – North and South” was an outstanding success. We had nearly 90 attendees coming to Middleburg from all over the country. Four flew in from California and Oregon!  Our renowned historians gave excellent presentations – nine hours of talks in all.

On Sunday we boarded two busses and Clark Hall and Eric Wittenberg guided us across the fields of the Brandy Station Battlefield where the largest cavalry battle ever fought in our hemisphere took place on June 9th, 1863. This was where the Gettysburg Campaign was launched. That day over twenty thousand troopers fought desperately, often hand to hand and saber to saber. The Battle of Brandy Station is not just a history but a compilation of stories that prove the heroism and patriotism of the men who fought on those fields - whether they wore blue or gray.

Our attendees left us on Sunday filled with appreciation and renewed awareness of the importance of this battle. Most importantly of all, each attendee left us with the firm realization that the preserved acreage of the Brandy Station Battlefield is an exceptional gift of national importance for the generations to come after us. That is what we are all about - preserving historic sites and increasing the awareness and appreciation of our history and heritage. The more people know about our history, the more they will want to preserve the sites associated with it. It is just that simple.

We put on this year’s last Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee program on November 5th at the Mount Zion Church which is located just east of Aldie. Once again, we are indebted to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority for partnering with us on this program. They have been stellar in their generosity in providing such an important historic venue as Mount Zion Church.

The lantern lit program began at 7:30 p.m. and our Gray Ghost Interpretive Group, speaking in first person, explored the stories surrounding the church – stories of worship, secession and war. The building and grounds of Mount Zion Baptist Church vibrate with history. The old brick building was nearly filled to capacity by the folks that came to hear these stories. It was a good night and I want to thank Rich Gillespie and the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group. They are true professionals who know their history and how to make it come alive. They volunteer hundreds of hours of their time and we are blessed by their devotion and generosity to our mission. We are grateful to each and every one of them.

Finally, each year our board selects special people or organizations that have been outstanding in preserving our unique sense of place.  We honor their work by naming them Mosby Heritage Area Association Heritage Heroes.  In the past, we have recognized Senator John Warner, Robert H. Smith, Karen Hughes White of the Afro American Historical Association, Linda Newton of the Atoka Preservation Society and the Unison Preservation Society. Each is honored for specific reasons but each has worked for the preservation and protection of our historic and scenic resources.

This year we are recognizing two very special ladies from Fauquier County – Hope Porter and Janet Whitehouse. Both have been exceptional in their dedication in doing whatever must be done to protect our precious heritage. Each has done so for decades.

Both Hope and Janet have enthusiastically proclaimed the benefits and value of scenic easements in our Heritage Area and beyond. There are now more than 140,000 acres preserved through easements in just Fauquier and Loudoun alone! Both ladies can take a share of credit for that accomplishment.

Janet was the guiding light in the formation of the Mosby Heritage Area Association in 1995. I know this because I was privileged to be at her side and it was certainly a privilege as she taught me so much.

Most importantly of all, both ladies never hesitated to get involved whenever there was a call to protect this special place we all call home. They have always put cause before self and in doing so they have made our life better. They are heroes. They deserve recognition and we are honored to do so.

So our year is drawing to a close but it is not over yet. I ask that you read the rest of this communication for more details on our upcoming events and programs. As you do so, remember that all of us here are committed to this work. We enjoy what we do and we appreciative your support. Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,
Childs Burden


Childs Burden Wins Loudoun History Award

Mosby Heritage Area Association president Childs Burden was one of four prominent Loudoun citizens to be given the Loudoun History Award on Sunday November 13, 2011 at Thomas Balch Library of History and Genealogy in Leesburg.   Paul McCray, Taylor Chamberlin, and John Souders, all who are well known to MHAA members, were also recognized. 

Childs was given the award for his work with the Mosby Heritage Area Association, with the Citizens Committee for the Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, for his service as President of the Loudoun County Historical Society, service on the Loudoun Civil War Sesquicentennial Steering Committee and Loudoun Historical Commission. 

Upon receiving the award, the ever-modest recipient commented, “Actually, this work in local history and preservation is funThis is a little bit like being given an award for enjoying ice cream.”

Our thanks go to Childs for all his commitment and generosity, and our congratulations to him upon his award.

Childs Burden
Childs Burden Speaks at the Annual Civil War Conference


Area Students Receive MHAA Achievement Award

Students at the Hill School and Wakefield School competed in the James Peyton Atkins Memorial “War Between the States” Scholarship during the past school year.  They researched and wrote essays on a variety of topics pertaining to the American Civil War.

The scholarship was created in memory of the Reverend James Peyton Atkins who was the only one of four brothers to survive their service in Virginia regiments during the Civil War.  The students received cash awards from the memorial and a Certificate of Achievement from the Mosby Heritage Area Association.

This year’s winners were Hannah All of the Hill School for her essay on Civil War medicine, Ben Weimer from Wakefield for his essay on the actions at Thoroughfare Gap and Kelly Mason also from Wakefield for her essay on Mosby’s Rangers.

Certificate of Achievement Presented at the Hill School.  Treavor Lord, Head of School, Hannah All, Childs Burden, MHAA president, and Judy Reynolds, MHAA executive director
Certificate of Achievement Presented at the Hill School.  Treavor Lord, Head of School, Hannah All, Childs Burden, MHAA president, and Judy Reynolds, MHAA executive director

Certificate of Achievement Presented at Wakefield. Carolyn Wyrsch, Chair of the History Department, Judy Reynolds, MHAA executive director, Ben Weimer, Childs Burden, MHAA president, and Kelly Mason
Certificate of Achievement Presented at Wakefield. Carolyn Wyrsch, Chair of the History Department, Judy Reynolds, MHAA executive director, Ben Weimer, Childs Burden, MHAA president, and Kelly Mason


Annual Reports Available

Copies of the 2010 Mosby Heritage Area Association Annual Report, the Mosby Chronicle, is available.  The report is filled with information about MHAA and its many programs.

You can view the full report online by going to www.mosbyheritagearea.org and go to the Annual Report menu selection.  If you would like a hard copy, contact the MHAA office at 540-687-6681.

Annual Report 2010
The 2010 Annual Report


Mosby Stories for a Crisp Fall Night

With the moon near full and a cool snap in the air, members of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group assembled to bring Route 50—once “the Turnpike of Terror” in the last years of the Civil War—alive on Saturday night November 5th After the packed audience in the old hard shell Baptist Church was treated to a music lesson Primitive Baptist style, ca. 1860, with the lovely voice of Kate John leading the congregation, the story telling began.  Kate John told of the experience of nearby farmer’s wife Eliza Davis, whose husband was a Union sympathizer. 

As part of the program, a young enslaved woman played by National Park Service interpreter Colette Carmouche told of the church’s segregation with seating in its balcony for African Americans and its colored cemetery. 

Visitors stood on the exact site of Mosby’s first rendezvous, in late January 1863, with the powerful storytelling help of Clay Steward, a guide at Morven Park.  Eric Buckland, U.S. Army Ranger told of Mosby’s reconnaissance victories along the turnpike as the cavalry Battle of Aldie broke out on June 17, 1863. 

Jessie Brouwer shared the sad story of a NewYork Herald war correspondent that lost his life in a fall from his horse while being chased by Mosby’s men that same month, and of his burial at Mount Zion by the famed wartime artist Alfred Waud. 

Eric Buckland, Fairfax teacher Luke Haen, and former air traffic controller Jim Hildbold presented compelling tales of the fight at Mount Zion from Confederate and Union perspectives in the candlelit church. 

Later, the entire audience assisted in decorating the grave markers of a dozen fallen U.S. cavalrymen from New York and Massachusetts in the back of the cemetery as the moon shone high overhead. 

When the audience retired to the needed warmth of the old church, they learned of its use as a prison for Mosby sympathizers in the winter of 1864 from Mary Washington history student Andrew Masters.

Some four dozen attended this final Cavaliers, Courage, and Coffee of 2011, the end of the seventh season of MHAA’s living history programming.  The next program, opening 2012, will look at the odd story of guerilla warfare amongst the Quaker population of the region, and will appropriately be held at Goose Creek Friends Meeting at Lincoln on February 18th at 7:30 p.m.   

Gray Ghost Interpretive Group (From left to right) Rich Gillespie, MHAA Director of Education, Mike John, Jessie Bouwer, Andrew Masters, Kate John, Clay Steward, Colette Carmouche, Jim Hildbold, Eric Buckland, and Luke Haen.
Gray Ghost Interpretive Group (From left to right) Rich Gillespie, MHAA Director of Education, Mike John, Jessie Bouwer, Andrew Masters, Kate John, Clay Steward, Colette Carmouche, Jim Hildbold, Eric Buckland, and Luke Haen.

Click here to see more photos of the event.


When Locomotives Rolled Down Route 50
Art Candenquist Brings the Great Train Raid of 1861 Back to Life

Art Candenquist, Civil War and railroad historian, definitely had his audience’s attention during the Conversations in History talk at historic Mount Zion Church on Sunday November 13th.  In co-sponsorship with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, MHAA sponsored this third in a series of history talks for 2011. 

As Confederate Quartermaster Captain Thomas Sharp, Candenquist sketched the amazing Confederate plan to seize hundreds of rail cars and dozens of locomotives from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in June of 1861 by forcing all east-west rail traffic to go between Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg during a two-hour period each day, then closing the trap. 

That was the easy part after a key bridge on the railroad was destroyed.  How to get the heavy locomotives to the Virginia Central Railroad at Staunton or to the Manassas Gap Railroad at Strasburg was the great problem to solve.  With 32-ox teams, the problem was solved, bringing the partially dismantled engines and cars over turnpikes to their destinations. 

Two locomotives seized on June 9, 1861 from the Alexandria, Loudoun, and Hampshire Railroad at Leesburg had to be brought down the Carolina Road to the Little River and Ashby’s Gap Turnpikes (today’s Route 50) to get to Piedmont Station, Delaplane today.  This explains why Ida Dulany of Oakley, just east of Upperville, writes in her journal that she stood at her gate along the turnpike to watch locomotives roll by in August.  If she had ever hoped for rail service to Upperville, however, it never came! 

Candenquist spent much time after the talk speaking with the nearly three dozen attendees and answering their questions.  Look for him to return in November 2012 with another talk.

Art Candenquist as Captain Thomas Sharp
Art Candenquist as Captain Thomas Sharp


History Comes Alive in 2012
Mark your calendars with the following dates!

March 11 – The Star-Spangled Banner, 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812,
Talk by Marc Leepson at Oatlands followed by a Tour of Rokeby
May 19 – Andrea Wulf returns to Oak Hill with her new release Chasing Venus; The
Race to Measure the Heavens
June 5 – Mosby Ride
June 24 – In the Shadows of the Enemy, at Avenel, book signing and tours
July 27 & 28 – The Second Battle of Manassas with John Hennessy, talk at Hill School
and battlefield tour
October 5-7 – Fifteenth Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War
October 19 & 20 – Roads to Antietam with Dennis Frye, talk and bus tour
November 2 - From Unison to Fredericksburg with Frank O'Reilly

Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee Programs
February 18 – Old Quaker Meeting House in Lincoln
May 12 – Sky Meadows State Park at Paris
August 4 – Burwell Morgan Mill in Millwood
November 10 – The Village of Aldie

Scout Along the Turnpike Programs
April 14 – Mount Zion Church, Aldie Mill, Rector House
October 13 – Mount Zion Church, Aldie Mill, Rector House

Conversations in History Series
Mount Zion Church
March 7 – Doug Batson speaking on D.H. Hill and the Confederate Withdrawal from
Northern Virginia
March 25 – Rich Gillespie speaking on The Potomac Frontier: The Mosby Heritage Area
in the Winter of 1861-62
May 10 – Paul Gilbert speaking on Lead Like a General: Lessons for Today’s Leaders
from the Civil War
September 27 – Dr. Jim Hershman speaking on Two Counties, Two Different
Experiences: Virginians Tackle Civil Rights, 1961-63
November 18 – Art Candenquist speaking on Does Anybody Really Know What
Time It Is?

Rendezvous at Rector’s Crossroads (New Program)
June 16 - Rector House in Atoka
July 28 - Rector House in Atoka
September 22 - Rector House in Atoka

Details about these events will soon be listed on the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org on its Calendar Page.  Keep checking for added information.

Join us for all or some of our programs in 2012!


Site of the Month
Along Route 50; Into the Shenandoah Valley

Over the past 6 months, we’ve traveled west along the John S. Mosby Highway from Mount Zion Church to Ashby Gap. This month we cross over the Gap and enter the Shenandoah Valley. When we started this journey, it was early spring and the flowers and trees were in full bloom. Now it is late autumn and again the trees are in full color.

It’s amazing that we can get into our cars and hurriedly pass this same distance in an hour or so, but when we slow down and look closely as we’ve done here, the Mosby Heritage Area clearly reveals its many hues that are reflected in its rich history, culture, and landscape.

Now we find ourselves in Clarke County at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the Shenandoah River and viewing one of the most beautiful agricultural valleys in America.

Walk Along the Shenandoah

Clarke County began as a part of Frederick County, first designated by the House of Burgesses to include all lands from the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. But it would be another hundred years before Clarke County became a separate political entity.

In the meantime, early settlers to the area came from Pennsylvania and New Jersey and settled along the Valley’s many rivers and creeks. One of the earliest settlers on record was Joseph Hampton and his two sons, who in 1744 came from the eastern shore of Maryland and lived the greater part of that winter in a hollow sycamore tree on Buck Marsh near what is now Berryville.

Among the settlers from New Jersey was a young Daniel Morgan, a poor boy who had to work as a laborer at first but later was to become an American Revolutionary War hero and wealthy businessman. In his youth Morgan was an Indian fighter, a hooligan who frequented the tavern at Battletown (now Berryville), and once was ordered to receive 500 lashes for an offense against a British Officer.  He later would claim that he only got 499, and that they still owed him one.  

By 1760 he had married and bought a farm near Battletown to focus his youthful energy on farming, but that wasn’t to be. Instead, over the next 20 years he followed the call of this young nation in military duty and eventually gained the rank of Brigadier General. When he died in 1802, his will reflected the large tracts of land in the Shenandoah Valley that he either purchased or was granted for his military services in the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars. 

Millwood and the Burwell-Morgan Mill

Established in 1785, the Burwell-Morgan Mill in Millwood is the oldest operable merchant mill in the Shenandoah Valley.  Surprisingly it escaped destruction during the Civil War and remained active through World War II. Now owned by the Clarke County Historical Association, it is included on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

Today the mill is operated by volunteers.  A variety of grains are ground which are available for purchase at the mill and at the local farmer’s market.  Visitors can tour the historic structure, view the unusual interior water wheel and wooden gears, and watch the millers grind wheat and corn just as it was done more than 200 years ago.

Art Candenquist as Captain Thomas Sharp

The mill’s owner, Colonel Nathaniel Burwell, was a grandson of King Carter and grew up at Carter’s Grove in James City County. Like many Tidewater Virginia planters, he was attracted to the fertile lands of the lower Shenandoah Valley, and decided to establish his family seat on the 5,800 acres he inherited in and around present day Millwood. With his neighbor Gen. Daniel Morgan, Burwell established the town of Millwood and successfully built and operated the Burwell-Morgan Mill. 

During its peak in the mid-1800s, the Burwell-Morgan Mill operated 24 hours a day and produced barrels of flour and cornmeal that were floated on barges down the Shenandoah River to Harper’s Ferry, then loaded onto canal boats and shipped to the ports of Georgetown and Alexandria for export.

The mill played a huge role during the Civil War. Confederate soldiers manned threshing machines in the fields and operated the mill to produce flour and cornmeal for the army until Generals Grant and Sheridan devastated the crops.  The mill operated commercially until 1953.

Nathaniel Burwell built Carter Hall as his family’s home just north and east of Millwood. Carter Hall served as the headquarters for Stonewall Jackson during the fall of 1862 following the Battle of Sharpsburg. Except for a short period of time in 1902 – 1908, Carter Hall remained in the Burwell family until 1930, when it was bought by pharmaceutical giant Gerard Lambert who restored the mansion and grounds. It is presently the headquarters for Project Hope.

Other interesting historical sites in or near Millwood include the early 1900s Locke Store, originally a general store that has kept its historic charm, the Clark house where the surrender of Colonel John Mosby was unsuccessfully negotiated, and Christ Episcopal Church of Cunningham Parish built in 1832 by Bishop William Meade.

Three miles north of Millwood on Route 255 is the Old Chapel (built in 1793), one of the earliest Episcopal Churches west of the Blue Ridge and where Nathaniel Burwell is buried.

Virginia State Arboretum, Blandy Experimental Farm

old quarters

Enterprising Nathaniel Burwell also established a tanning yard in Millwood in 1785, which he leased to a Mr. Tuley for 99 years at $10 a year. Tuley and his son, Colonel Joseph Tuley, made a fortune in this tanning business. In 1833, Colonel Tuley built a large estate west and south of Millwood that he named Tuleyries.

Graham F. Blandy bought Tuleyries in 1903. Upon his death in 1926, Blandy deeded 700 acres to the University of Virginia. The University established Blandy Experimental Farm as an educational center. In 1927, 170 acres of the farm was set aside as the Orland E. White Arboretum, which in 1986 was designated the State Arboretum of Virginia.

The Arboretum is an amazing place to visit during all seasons. A nice loop drive enables visitors to see most of the 8,000 tree and shrub species that live there. For a more comprehensive look, there are trails for hiking, dog walking, or horseback riding. Wetlands, savannas, tallgrass prairies, and forests encourage a variety of fauna to live there as well.

Displays at the Arboretum include more than half of the world’s pine species, North America’s largest collection of boxwood varieties, the largest grove of ginkgo trees planted for research outside of their native China, a grove of American Chestnuts, Cedars of Lebanon, plus many maples, oaks, dogwoods, hickories, hollies, magnolias, roses, azaleas, irises, daylilies, herbs, and various perennials.

Click here for more photos of the area described above by local photographer J. Riley Stewart.


MHAA Store
Fall Clearance Special

MHAA is offering a discount on selected items in its store through the end of the year. 

Check out the items listed below:

Brother Gardener’s, by Andrea Wulf, SIGNED, Was $35, Now $28
(Add $7 postage and handling)

Desperate Engagement, by Marc Leepson, SIGNED, Was $16, Now $9
(Add $5 postage and handling)

 Saving Monticello, by Marc Leepson, SIGNED, Was $20, Now $16
(Add $5 postage and handling)

2 Leepson Books, Was $41, Now $30
(Add $5 postage and handling)

Click Here to purchase these books in our online store

To save on postage, purchase these books while visiting the Rector House during the week, Monday through Friday from 10 am until 4 pm.  It is best to call ahead if coming to the Rector House, 540-687-6681.

Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - December 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Board of Directors, members and volunteers of the Mosby Heritage Area Association!

Leesburg - photo by J. Riley Stewart
Leesburg - photo by J. Riley Stewart


MHAA’s 2012 Heritage Heroes: Hope Porter and Janet Whitehouse

“You have heard it said that someone is so involved in a subject that he or she has “written the book” on it, well, Hope Porter did write the book on the North Wales proposal in the 1960s.”  Holding up a copy of that book, Doug Larson, vice president of the Piedmont Environmental Council, began his presentation on the accomplishments Hope Porter has made to the preservation of Fauquier County. She has been attending meetings, campaigning for candidates, and leading the charge when preservation issues arise in her native Fauquier County almost non-stop for decades

Hope Porter and Janet Whitehouse received Mosby Heritage Area Association’s 2011 Heritage Hero Awards at a gathering at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg on December 14.  Friends, family, and members of the community came to Middleburg for the event to recognize the selfless preservation and conservation work these two women have accomplished in Fauquier County and the Mosby Heritage Area.

Childs Burden, president of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, praised Janet Whitehouse for her bristlely determination to fight for this special place, the Mosby Heritage Area.” Mrs. Whitehouse, a founding member of MHAA, is like a pebble thrown into water that ripples out and ripples out, growing and spreading,” Mr. Burden noted.

In May of 1995, Mrs. Whitehouse called on her childhood friend, David McCullough, to be the association’s keynote speaker at its initial event. Mr. McCullough, like many others, could not refuse Janet Whitehouse’s request to help a worthy cause---the preservation of the Northern Virginia Piedmont.

Past recipients of the Heritage Hero Award, presented to individuals and organizations who have contributed to the preservation of the Mosby Heritage Area, include Robert Smith, Karen Hughes White, Senator John Warner, Linda Newton, and the Unison Preservation Society.

Childs Burden and Janet Whitehouse
Janet Whitehouse and Hope Porter recipients of MHAA’s 2011 Heritage Hero Award with Childs Burden, president.

Doug Larson presents roses to Janet Whitehouse and Hope Porter.
Doug Larson presents roses to Janet Whitehouse and Hope Porter.

Click here to see more photos.


News Shorts

Facebook 

MHAA has a new Facebook Page. We have improved our old Facebook page thanks to MHAA Board Member Marc Leepson. We will be posting events and updates from MHAA on the page regularly.  Go to the Mosby Heritage Area Assocation’s Facebook Page–the one with the logo of Mosby’s silhouette on horseback, and take a look. While you’re there, please “Like” us.

Facebook

Lost in Loudoun

Check out Episode 9 of Lost in Loudoun on the Home Page of MHAA’s website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org.  This entertaining episode in history can be found in the lower left-hand column of the home page. MHAA’s Rich Gillespie stars as the history guy, helping two teams with historic background for their scavenger hunts along Route 50.

Lost in Loudoun

Annual Reports

The 2010 MHAA Annual Report is available for viewing or as a download on the MHAA website.  Hard copies can be ordered from the MHAA office by calling 540-687-6681. 

Volunteers

MHAA is very thankful for its many volunteers. The hours that they contribute are very much appreciated. We are planning another Volunteer Appreciation Day in the spring. 

If you have not been a volunteer and would like to find out more about opportunities to volunteer, please call Judy Reynolds at 540-687-6681. If you are interested in volunteering as a member of the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group, call Rich Gillespie at 540-687-5578. 

Geographically Correct

It was pointed out to MHAA that the map of Virginia displayed on its home page did not show Virginia’s Eastern Shore. This has been corrected and we proudly welcome Virginians on the Eastern Shore back to the Commonwealth.

MHAA Director of Education to Offer Local History Course at Northern Virginia Community College

Rich Gillespie, MHAA’s Director of Education, will once again be teaching a course exploring the portion of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground that roughly correlates to the Mosby Heritage Area. History 205—Local History is offered through Northern Virginia Community College Loudoun Campus, and will take place from January 12-April 27. 

It will provide a series of Thursday evening field experiences and discussions, based at the historic Aldie Mill, courtesy of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. The course is open to those 17 and older. Three undergraduate credits are offered with the course. Registration as a community college student with NVCC is necessary, which you may do online at www.nvcc.eduThen register for the class.

This must be done before the first week of January.  Students will explore local colonial, antebellum, Civil War, Reconstruction, and early 20th century history through historic sites and landscapes largely in Loudoun, but also in Prince William, Jefferson, and Fauquier counties.  


History Comes Alive in 2012

New events have been added to this list since our November Newsletter.  Mark your calendars with the following dates:

March 11 – The Star-Spangled Banner, 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812,
Talk by Marc Leepson at Oatlands followed by a Tour of Rokeby

May 19 – Andrea Wulf returns to Oak Hill with her new book, Chasing Venus; The
Race to Measure the Heavens

June 5 – Mosby Ride

June 24 – In the Shadows of the Enemy, at Avenel, book signing and tours

July 27 & 28 – The Second Battle of Manassas with John Hennessy, Talk at Hill School
and Battlefield Tour

October 5-7 – Fifteenth Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War
The Chancellorsville Campaign

October 19 & 20 – Roads to Antietam with Dennis Frye, Talk and Bus Tour

November 2 – From Unison to Fredericksburg, Talk by Frank O’Reilly

Cavaliers, Courage and Coffee Programs

February 18 – Old Quaker Meeting House in Lincoln

May 12 – Sky Meadows State Park at Paris

August 4 – Burwell Morgan Mill in Millwood

November 10 – The Village of Aldie

Scout Along the Turnpike Programs

April 14 – Mount Zion Church, Aldie Mill, Rector House

October 13 – Mount Zion Church, Aldie Mill, Rector House

Conversations in History Series
Mount Zion Church

March 7 – Doug Batson speaking on D.H. Hill and the Confederate Withdrawal from
Northern Virginia

March 25 – Rich Gillespie speaking on The Potomac Frontier: The Mosby Heritage Area
in the Winter of 1861-62

May 10 – Paul Gilbert speaking on Lead Like a General: Lessons for Today’s Leaders
from the Civil War

September 27 –Jim Hershman speaking on Two Counties, Two Different
Experiences: Virginians Tackle Civil Rights, 1961-63

November 18 – Art Candenquist speaking on Does Anybody Really Know What
Time It Is?

Rendezvous at Rector’s Crossroads (New Program)

June 16 - Rector House in Atoka

July 28 - Rector House in Atoka

September 22 - Rector House in Atoka

Details about these events will soon be listed on the MHAA website, www.mosbyheritagearea.org on its Calendar Page. Keep checking for added information.


Site of the Month
Along Route 50

Our terrific chroniclers of the Heritage Area, Jim and Ryan Stewart, are taking the month of December off. Jim’s outstanding photographs and Ryan’s historical narratives have given our readers a fresh and entertaining look at historic and scenic sites along Route 50, the John S. Mosby Highway.

They will be back in 2012 with new projects that explore the Mosby Heritage Area through the eyes of Jim’s camera and Ryan’s love of history.

We thought you would like to take a look back at this photographic tour of the John S. Mosby Highway.  To do so, click on the links below to take a look at the entire journey from Mount Zion Church near Aldie to the State Arboretum in Clarke County.

Click on each link to explore the Mosby Heritage Area along the John S. Mosby Highway:

Part I:  Along the Mosby Highway; Mount Zion Church and Aldie Village
Part II: Along the Mosby Highway; From Aldie Village to Middleburg
Part III: Along the Mosby Highway; Village of Middleburg
Part IV: Along the Mosby Highway: Between Middleburg and Upperville
Part V: Along the Mosby Highway; Village of Upperville
Part VI: Along the Mosby Highway; Between Upperville and Ashby Gap
Part VII: Along the Mosby Highway; Into the Shenandoah Valley


MHAA Store
Fall/Winter Clearance Special

Check out the MHAA Store for those last minute Christmas gifts.  There are shirts and hats, Maps, CDs and many books.  The store will be open through December 22nd from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  It is best to call ahead, 540-687-6681.

MHAA is offering a discount on selected items in its store through the end of the year. 

Brother Gardener’s, by Andrea Wulf, SIGNED, Was $35, Now $28
(Add $7 postage and handling)

Desperate Engagement, by Marc Leepson, SIGNED, Was $16, Now $9
(Add $5 postage and handling)

Saving Monticello, by Marc Leepson, SIGNED, Was $20, Now $16
(Add $5 postage and handling)

All 2 Leepson Books, Was $46, Now $28
(Add $7 postage and handling)

You can order these items from our website store www.mosbyheritagearea.org.

To save on postage, purchase these books while visiting the Rector House during the week, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

 

 

 
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