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Fairfax County Take Out Trail
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Civil War Era Buildings


Day 1

Start your day at the Freeman Store and Museum in the historic Town of Vienna which was occupied by both sides during the war and used as a stable and hospital. Now the Freeman Store and Museum houses historical books, souvenirs, a museum on local history, and other products that can be purchased to commemorate your visit. Then head to Dranesville Tavern which was once one of Virginia's "finest roadside inns." Both sides have Civil War Trails markers that tell their stories.

Next, head into the Town of Herndon and visit the Herndon Depot Museum which houses various railroad memorabilia and artifacts from local residents A Civil War Trails marker nearby details a successful 1863 St. Patrick's Day raid near the depot by famed Confederate Ranger John Singleton Mosby, known as the Gray Ghost.

End your day by visiting the famed historic Fairfax Courthouse and historic downtown Fairfax City. A monument on the grounds of the courthouse tells the story of the first Confederate officer killed in the Civil War. The nearby museum and visitor center is the origin of tours to the other Civil War era buildings that are scattered throughout the city which includes Blenheim. Blenheim's walls were used as an easel on which Union soldiers drew their art, wrote their signatures, and crafted poetry. The visitor center here tells the story of this famed attraction and sells books, artwork, and souvenirs which tell the story of the Civil War in the greater Capital Region.

Day 2 

Start your day at Saint Mary's Church, the site of heroic actions by Clara Barton in which she nursed wounded troops after the battles of Ox Hill and Second Manassas. It was here that she first gets her inspiration to form the civilian society that would eventually be founded as the American Red Cross. Then take a short trip to Pohick Church. Known as "Washington's Church" by occupying Union Soldiers, who stripped the inside of valuables for souvenirs while occupying the area.

The next stop on your trip lands you at Woodlawn. During the Civil War, Woodlawn was owned by Quakers who sold land on their plantations to free black and white farmers to dispel the myth that slave labor was needed to produce bountiful crops in the south.

Day two finishes up at George Washington's iconic Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. During the Civil War troops from both sides would come to Mount Vernon to visit General Washington's tomb and pay tribute to "The Father of our Country". You can visit the tomb today and pay tribute in much the same way as the soldiers of the 19th century did.

Day 3 

Begin by exploring the Centreville Historic District which is home to Civil War era structures Mount Gilead, the Old Stone Church, and St. John's Episcopal Church. Centreville was a hub of activity during the war because of its strategic location across Bull Run from the Manassas Battlefield. Then make plans to visit Sully Historic Site. Sully was the home of Richard Bland Lee, Robert E. Lee's uncle, and during the war was owned and run by Union sympathizers. Guided tours are given on a daily basis that tells of the family's life in the 19th century.

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