Categories
Historic America

Buckland Mills Battlefield in Fauquier County, Virginia

Visit the scene of J.E.B. Stuart’s last decisive victory in Virginia before it is erased forever by suburban sprawl.

The Battle of Buckland Mills was fought on October 19, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in Fauquier County, Virginia during the American Civil War. The skirmish, though small, was the last decisive Confederate victory in Virginia, resulting in 230 total casualties and the route of Kilpatrick’s cavalry.

Following the Gettysburg Campaign, both the Union Army of the Potomac and Confederate Army of Northern Virginia were exhausted and needed time to recover, and both Maj. Gen. George G. Meade and Gen. Robert E. Lee sent units to reinforce Tennessee. This resulted in the often overlooked Bristoe Campaign, when Lee decided to go on the offensive against a depleted Union army. After being bruised at the Battle of Bristoe Station on October 14th, Lee tasked his cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart to cover their retreat.

Categories
Mysterious America Photography

Belle Isle Power Plant

Belle Isle, in the James River in downtown Richmond, Virginia, opened as a public park in 1973. During the American Civil War, it was a prison camp for Union POWs. Disease, starvation, and exposure took a toll, and as many as 1,000 prisoners died on the island. In the twentieth century, the Virginia Electric Power Company operated a hydroelectric power plant on Belle Isle. The ruins of the power plant and the nail factory can still be seen to this day. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

Categories
Historic America

Coffee Hill Battlefield in Fauquier County, Virginia

Visit the site where Confederate cavalry general J.E.B. Stuart and his men escaped capture in this little-known Civil War skirmish.

The First and Second Battles of Auburn (aka Coffee Hill) were fought on October 13-14, 1863, between elements of the Union Army of the Potomac commanded by Maj. Gen. William H. French and Brig. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren and elements of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell in Fauquier County, Virginia during the American Civil War. The minor battles were part of the Bristoe Campaign and resulted in approximately 163 total casualties. Both were inconclusive.

Following the Gettysburg Campaign, the opposing forces were exhausted and needed time to recover, and both Maj. Gen. George G. Meade and Gen. Robert E. Lee sent units to reinforce Tennessee. This resulted in the often overlooked Bristoe Campaign, when Lee decided to go on the offensive against a depleted Union army. He sent his cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart north to distract Meade from his movements. Stuart caught up with the Union left flank in Fauquier County on October 13th.

Categories
Historic America

Aldie Battlefield in Loudoun County, Virginia

This little-known Civil War cavalry battle in northern Virginia played a key role in the Gettysburg Campaign’s opening phase.

The Battle of Aldie was fought on June 17, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and Confederate cavalry commanded by Col. Thomas T. Munford in Loudoun County, Virginia during the American Civil War. An inconclusive prelude to the Battle of Middleburg, the Battle of Aldie was part of the Gettysburg Campaign and resulted in approximately 424 casualties.

On June 1, 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia slipped away from the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and headed north to invade Pennsylvania. Lee entrusted his cavalry commander, Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, to screen his army’s movement from the enemy. Stuart’s cavalry fanned out across the Loudoun Valley in northern Virginia.

Categories
Photography Roadside America

Silver Diner Neon Sign

Gorgeous neon sign for the Silver Diner, 6592 Springfield Mall in Springfield, Virginia. The Silver Diner is a chain of 1950s style diner-restaurants founded by Bob Giaimo and Ype Von Hengst in 1989 in Rockville, Maryland.

Categories
Historic America

Middleburg Battlefield in Loudoun County, Virginia

Visit Civil War-era buildings and a brand-new historic park at the heart of this little-known cavalry battlefield.

The Battle of Middleburg was fought on June 17 and 19, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Col. Alfred N. Duffié and Brig. Gen. David M. Gregg and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in Loudoun County, Virginia during the American Civil War. This inconclusive skirmish immediately followed the Battle of Aldie and was part of the Gettysburg Campaign. It resulted in approximately 250 total casualties.

On June 1, 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia slipped away from the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and headed north to invade Pennsylvania. Lee entrusted his cavalry commander, Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, to screen his army’s movement from the enemy. Stuart’s cavalry fanned out across the Loudoun Valley in northern Virginia.

Categories
Historic America

Unison Battlefield in Loudoun County, Virginia

Thanks to the effort of preservationists, you can visit key sites in this running cavalry fight from the Civil War.

The Battle of Unison was fought from October 31 to November 2, 1862 between elements of the Union Army of the Potomac commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in Loudoun County, Virginia during the American Civil War. This inconclusive battle halted the Union pursuit of Robert E. Lee’s retreating army following the Battle of Antietam and resulted in several hundred casualties.

In late September 1862, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia limped back into Virginia from Maryland. From October 10-12, Lee’s trusted cavalry commander, Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, rode around McClellan’s Army of the Potomac to distract him from his pursuit. McClellan settled onto the Loudoun Valley, where Stuart caught up with him and fell upon and scattered a small Union force at Mountville on Halloween.