Capital Region Civil War Events

Fairfax County Civil War

Capital Region Civil War Events

 

Featured Events

14th Annual Fairfax Civil War Day

Apr 26, The Historic Blenheim Estate

Address: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA
Times: 10am to 5pm
Phone: (703) 591-0560
Admission: $5 for adults and $3 for children age 12 and younger

Living history encampments and demonstrations, period music by "Home Front," tours of the Historic Blenheim House and grounds, talks and more!   Free parking at Fairfax High School (3501 Rebel Run); take shuttle to event site.  Check http://www.fairfaxva.gov/ for updates.


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One-Day Events

“Pohick Church: Civil War Balloon Outpost” Civil War Trails Marker Dedication

Apr 26, Pohick Church

Address: 9301 Richmond Highway, Lorton, VA
Times: 10am-noon
Admission: FREE

The interpretive marker commemorates the launching of an observation balloon by Professor Thaddeus Lowe at Pohick Church, in the first months of the Civil War. The balloon was used by Union forces to gather intelligence on Confederate Forces in the vicinity of the Occoquan River. The ceremony will include Dr. James Green, as balloonist James Allen, speaking on the balloon ascent. A docent from Pohick Church will speak on the damage to the historic church of George Washington inflicted by troops encamped there, where graffiti can still be seen. A reception will follow the ceremony. Tours of the historic church and Civil War graffiti will be given before and after the ceremony. The event is sponsored by Pohick Church, The Fairfax County History Commission, the Lorton Heritage Society, and The Fairfax County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, with contribution by FOFA, The Friends of Fairfax County Archaeology and Cultural Resources.


Merrybrook Civil War Trails Marker Dedication

May 4, Merrybrook

Address: 2346 Centreville Road, Herndon, VA
Times: 1pm-3pm
Phone: (703) 220-4541
Admission: FREE

Friends of Laura Ratcliffe (FOLR) are pleased to invite the public to the dedication of a new Civil War Trails Marker commemorating Laura Ratcliffe and Merrybrook, the last surviving pre-Civil War home on Centreville Rd. and a local treasure.

This is a wonderful opportunity to tour Laura's home and to enjoy a step back in time. This unique antebellum house, tucked amidst the suburban sprawl of Northern Virginia, will delight history enthusiasts and Civil War re-enactors, many of whom will show up in period attire. Guests will be treated to a glimpse of Virginia's fascinating past; Laura's great-grandfather founded the City of Fairfax (then Providence) and she was instrumental in assisting such historical figures such as John S. Mosby and J.E.B. Stuart in their wartime efforts. At times she even secreted parts of Mosby's treasury from the Yankees under a nearby boulder during part of the war.

Speakers will include Assembly Delegate, Tom Rust; Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova; Dranesville Supervisor John Foust; Gretchen Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County History Commission; and Patrick Lennon on historical registry/markers and their importance. Local historian Chuck Mauro will present the keynote address.

Merrybrook is located just south of the Dulles Access Toll Road at 2346 Centreville Road. Directions below:

The ceremony will start at 1:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served. This is a free event; FOLR is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the historic preservation of Merrybrook and other significant historic sites. Donations are appreciated and are tax deductible.

Books on Laura Ratcliffe and on Col. Mosby will be available for sale by noted authors Chuck Mauro and Don Hakenson. Parking is available at the adjacent soccer fields just behind Merrybrook. For public transportation options and other questions please phone 703 489 8543.

A side trip to the actual location of Mosby's Rock where Laura hid purloined Yankee loot for the Confederate cause can be arranged depending on interest. She walked several miles, often in the mud and rain, at great danger to do this and more. She is a prime example of the courageous and daring women, unsung heroines, North and South, who risked their lives for their cause.  She should not be forgotten! We ask your support in helping keep her last home preserved for future generations.

DIRECTIONS: Dulles toll toad to exit 10. Left onto Centrville Rd. Right at first light at Arrowbrook Centre Drive. Up small hill to stop sign. Merrybrook is on your left. Parking assistance will be available.


The Lincoln Assassination

May 13, Sully Historic Site

Address: 3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly, VA
Times: 7PM
Phone: (703) 437-1794
Admission: FREE; Donations Gracefully Accepted

The Lincoln Assassination - The speaker will be Eric Martin, National Park Service Ranger at Ford's Theatre National Historic Site. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, Sully Historic Site presents an evening lecture series. This Civil War Commemorative Program is sponsored by the Sully Foundation, Ltd. in memory of Thom Fitzhugh Hanes, one of the original founders. Each evening, historians present an in-depth look at the life and death of President Abraham Lincoln.


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Slave Dwelling Project at Ben Lomond Historic Site

May 17, Ben Lomond Historic Site

Address: 10321 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA
Times: 11am-4pm
Phone: (703) 367-7872
Admission: $7 per person; children 6 and under FREE
Since 2000 Mr. Joseph McGill, Jr. of the National Trust of Historic Preservation has traveled all across the country sleeping in and interpreting original slave quarters to raise awareness.  Ben Lomond Historic Site is pleased to announce that Mr. McGill will include the Ben Lomond slave quarters to his project as well as costumed historians to interpret enslaved life in Prince William County prior to the Civil War.  Proceeds go towards preservation of the Ben Lomond Slave Quarters.

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Memorial Day Commemoration

May 24, Antietam National Battlefield Park

Address: 5831 Dunker Church Road, Sharpsburg, MD
Times: Time Varies
Phone: (301) 432-5124
Admission: See website

Watch one of the oldest, continuous Memorial Day parades in the Town of Sharpsburg followed by a commemoration held in the National Cemetery


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Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Conference: The American Civil War in a Global Context

May 31, George Mason University Center for the Arts

Address: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax, VA
Times: 9:30am-5pm
Phone: (804) 786-3591
Admission: Registration fee is $15 (conference only) or $25 (conference and lunch)

This program, the sixth installment in the popular annual Signature Conference series, provides the opportunity to look at the Civil War from an intriguing perspective and situates its meaning in the wider currents of world history.

The Civil War was an intense regional struggle, but it was also an international event in many ways. Considering it from this standpoint provides a number of unexpected connections between the American crisis and the wider world, while shedding new light on the war itself.

The conference will juxtapose the Civil War with other internal conflicts during the same period—the national unifications in Europe, the struggles over identity in Japan, rebellions in China and in India. Each case has distinctive features, which comparison helps to highlight, but there were some common issues that provide fresh insights into the American experience.

Dr. Peter N. Stearns, Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University, chairs the program, which brings together historians of international acclaim to discuss the war's wider impacts in areas ranging from the global cotton trade, to international abolition efforts, to changes in the future of military operations, to the implications of the Civil War as one of the first wars fought in an industrial age.


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Hell is being Republican in Virginia: The Post-War Relationship between John Mosby and Ulysses Grant

Jun 26, The Historic Blenheim Estate

Address: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA
Times: 2pm
Phone: (703) 591-0560
Admission: FREE

David Goetz, owner and guide for Mosby's Confederacy Tours, will relate the powerful and mutually beneficial relationship that formed between these two former enemies:  Mosby and then President Grant following the Civil War. Book sales and signings will follow the talk. 


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The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom will be Theirs by the Sword

Jun 26, Old Manassas Courthouse

Address: 9248 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA
Times: Lectures begin at 7 p.m.
Phone: (703) 792-5618
Admission: FREE

Timothy Webster, best known for his work as a spy for the Union during the Civil War, began his career as a New York City police-man. Webster was involved in a number of cases but perhaps his biggest contribution to National Security was exposing a plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1861. For a time he was considered the Union's top spy, until in 1862 when he was betrayed by fellow spies and became the first Union spy executed in the Civil War. Author and historian Corey Recko will give a detailed overview of the life of Timothy Webster and have copies of his book available for sale.


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The Civil War Balloon Corps

Jun 26, The Historic Blenheim Estate

Address: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA
Times: 2pm
Phone: (703) 591-0560
Admission: FREE

Balloons were used for surveillance and reconnaissance by the Union Army from 1861 through 1863 and by Confederate Army in 1862.  Join Kevin Knapp as he shares oral and living history as the  Union Army's chief aeronaut, Thaddeus Lowe, and discusses the technological innovations that were at the birth of U.S. military aviation.


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150th Anniversary of the Attack on Fort Stevens

Jul 12, Fort Stevens

Address: 13th & Quackenbos Street, NW, Washington, DC
Times: 12:30pm-4pm
Contact: Park Ranger Kenya J. Finley
Phone: 2024267723 x 101
Admission: FREE

19th Century Crafts and Games, Civil War Re-enactments, Live Time Period Music and Historic Talks and Walks.  The Battle of Fort Stevens was an American Civil War battle fought July 11-12, 1864, in Northwest Washington, D.C., as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 between forces under Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early and Union Maj. Gen. Alexander McD. McCook. Although Early caused consternation in the Union government, reinforcements under Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright and the strong defenses of Fort Stevens minimized the military threat and Early withdrew after two days of skirmishing without attempting any serious assaults. The battle is noted for the personal presence of President Abraham Lincoln observing the fighting.


150th Anniversary of the Attack on Fort Stevens Memorial Service

Jul 13, Battleground National Cemetery

Address: 6625 Georgeia Ave NW, Washington, DC
Times: 2pm-4pm
Contact: Park Ranger Kenya J. Finley
Phone: 2024267723 x 101
Admission: FREE

Service honoring the 38 Soldiers interred on the grounds and others who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Civil War.


"Civil War Balloon Corps"

Aug 23, Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center

Address: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA
Times: 2pm
Phone: (703) 591-0560
Admission: Free
Balloons were used for surveillance and reconnaissance by the Union Army from 1861 through 1863 and by Confederate Army in 1862. Join Kevin Knapp as he shares oral and living history as the Union Army's chief aeronaut, Thaddeus Lowe, and discusses the technological innovations that were at the birth of U.S. military aviation.

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"The Little Women of Virginia: The Adventures of a Navy Widow & her Daughters during the Civil War"

Oct 25, Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center

Address: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA
Times: 2pm
Phone: (703) 591-0560
Admission: Free
In the vein of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," Jennie Forrest Richardson wrote a loving tribute about the ordeal of her penniless and widowed mother, Anna Henderson Forrest, and her five sisters during the Civil War. Adele Air will relate how the family survived while living in several states and Washington, DC.

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Brother Against Sister: Rape in the Civil War

Nov 22, Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center

Address: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA
Times: 2pm
Phone: (703) 591-0560
Admission: Free
While nearly 30 soldiers were executed for the crime of rape during the Civil War, hundreds of women came forward with horror stories of rape and attempted rape. In many cases, the judicial system worked against them. Based on her book, "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War," award-winning author Kim Murphy will contradict many historians' claims that the American Civil War was a "low-rape" war to show the atrocities against women, both white and black. Book purchase and signing to follow.

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"Christmas in Camp" - Civil War Living History

Dec 7, Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center

Address: 3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA
Times: 12pm - 4pm
Phone: (703) 591-0560
Admission: Free
Discuss Civil War-era holiday customs, make Victorian ornaments, and participate in camp drills with Company D, 17th VA Infantry, "Fairfax Rifles" C.S.A. Guided tours of Historic Blenheim House.

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