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There is something about the land in and around Fairfax County, Virginia that inspired unusual courage in the women of the Civil War. Here, at the crossroads between North and South, the stakes were higher. The danger more imminent. And the women more heroic.
Directly across the street from the Fairfax Courthouse, Antonia Ford's home was used as a boarding house for Union troops. She casually listened to their conversations, then relayed information to J.E.B. Stuart, most notably before the Second Battle of Manassas. She is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.
Laura Ratcliffe trudged through sucking mud to warn Colonel John Singleton Mosby of a Yankee threat to his well-being. As a result, Mosby evaded capture and lived to be a prominent thorn in the Union's side throughout the war. Her grave is hidden within a hedge in front of the Herndon Marriott Suites in Herndon.
Sojourner Truth was a preacher and hero, helping to bring order and divine sustenance to those who occupied Freedman's Village, a temporary encampment for newly freed slaves at what is now Arlington National Cemetery.
Last, but not least, are the heroic and devoted nurses of the Civil War:
These heroines demonstrate the strength and passion of the era's women. And, for a few difficult years, they all converged in one region to stand up for their ideals. One visit to Fairfax County and Northern Virginia can bring all that history back to life.