Help Make Us Better
Please take our short survey and you will be entered into a $2,500 drawing!

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.  Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.

Agree & Dismiss
Your handy guide to everything Fall in Fairfax County! 🍂
The country's most visited historic estate invites you visit and explore.
This Smithsonian museum is the sister facility to the museum on the National Mall.
From July 26-September 29 under the big top in Tysons. Get your tickets today!
At EagleBank Arena September 21-22!
Enjoy the best beer Fairfax County has to offer at Mustang Sally's on September 21.
Find a pet-friendly spot in Fairfax County!
Find hotels close to a Metro station.
Looking for a hotel in a specific area? Use our handy hotel map!
When you're in the mood to dine al fresco, look no further than our list of restaurants offering a range of outdoor seating options.
Browse our dining deals to save some dough on your next meal.
Try your hand at one of our local chef’s recipes.
Fly to Fairfax County!
From metro stations to hotels to attractions, find the map you need most.
Carry all there is to see and do right in the palm of your hand.
Check out our calendar of seasonal festivities happening around the region!
From Civil War battlefields to DC monuments, here's your guide to the area.
The urban center of Fairfax County, Tysons is a destination of its own.
George Washington's Mount Vernon

George Washington's Mount Vernon

In February of 1860 the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association gained possession of George Washington's Mount Vernon. Ann Pamela Cunningham and her secretary, Miss Sarah Tracy of New York, moved in and set about preserving the property. In that moment, they could not have predicted the heroic turns their stewardship would take. A year later, the Civil War broke out throughout Fairfax County, Virginia.

Miss Tracy remained at Mount Vernon without Miss Cunningham who was forced to return home to South Carolina due to the death of her father. According to legend, canon fire from Bull Run rattled the windows of Mount Vernon. Due to the nearby fighting, Tracy demanded an audience with General Winfield Scott, who agreed to forbid armed soldiers to enter the property. She got a similar promise from Confederate forces and gained passage through military encampments to get the provisions she needed to make ends meet. Mount Vernon was declared neutral territory by both sides and was the only such designated property during the Civil War. Despite this declaration, rumors of "bands of rebels" on the historic property persisted during the early stages of the war.

For the most part, soldiers adhered to their promises, choosing rather to occupy other nearby properties. Those who wanted to tour Mount Vernon in order to pay tribute to General Washington at his tomb agreed to put down their guns. Some who could afford it even paid the twenty-five cent admission fee. Those who misbehaved while on site were shown no tolerance and immediately reported to their superiors.

Later in the war Sarah Tracy, trying to get to a bank, reportedly snuck some of the mansion's meager revenue into DC in the bottom of her egg basket to protect it from Union seizure. Two months later her pass was revoked and she was told only the President could reinstate it. So she found her way into Washington DC, insisted a meeting with Lincoln himself, and demanded from that point on his troops stand aside while she passed with her groceries. This kind of spunk and heroism kept a national treasure unscathed during a tumultuous time when battle raged all around.

Make plans today to visit George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens and learn more about this key site on the dividing line between North and South.

Like Visit Fairfax on Facebook!

Like Fairfax Civil War on Facebook

Be sure to visit our Civil War Facebook page for information on the Civil War in the Capital Region. More
The Civil War in Fairfax County and the Capital Region

Download the Fairfax County Civil War Brochure

This downloadable brochure has an amazing amount of Civil War information regarding Fairfax County and the Civil War. More
YouTube Logo

Visit the Fairfax Civil War YouTube Channel

Visit us on YouTube and see videos related to Fairfax County's Civil War stories. More