Vintage Pepsi and Barber Shop

Vintage Pepsi and Barber Shop
Vintage plastic sign for Pepsi hanging over the Central Barber Shop, 119 Main Street (U.S. Route 11) in Woodstock, Virginia. Because if there’s one thing I think about while getting my haircut, it’s cracking open a refreshing Pepsi Cola.

Bristoe Station Battlefield in Prince William County, Virginia

A chance to inflict a devastating blow on their opponent turned into a disaster for Confederates at this Northern Virginia historic site.

The Battle of Bristoe Station was fought on October 14, 1863 between Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren and Confederate forces commanded by Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill in Prince William County, Virginia during the American Civil War. The battle resulted in approximately 1,920 total casualties and was a tactical Union victory, although Union forces ultimately withdrew and the Confederates destroyed the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.

Bristoe Station was a stop on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, an important rail line running north-south from Alexandria, Virginia to Gordonsville. It formed the northern half of the only rail link between the Union and Confederate capitals at Washington, D.C. and Richmond. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate armies sought to either control this railroad for themselves or deny its use to the enemy.

In October 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee tried to catch Union Maj. Gen. George G. Meade’s Army of the Potomac off guard and get around his flank. If successful, he potentially could have destroyed a large portion of the Union army and prolonged the war. Meade smartly withdrew, and Lee’s pursuit resulted in the culminating Battle of Bristoe Station, after which the little-remembered Bristoe Campaign was named.

Continue reading “Bristoe Station Battlefield in Prince William County, Virginia”

Is Peyton Randolph House the Most Haunted House in America?

A colonial-era home sits on a quiet plaza in America’s most historic town, but storytellers say something sinister lurks inside.

Without the misfortune of dying right before the Declaration of Independence, Peyton Randolph (1721-1775) would be considered one of our country’s most prominent founding fathers. He was elected president of the First and Second Continental Congress, before dying of a stroke while dining with Thomas Jefferson. His home, expanded and modified over the intervening decades, still stands in Colonial Williamsburg.

The Georgian-style house, at least the western wing at the corner of Nicholson and North England Streets, was built in 1715 by William Robertson. Sir John Randolph, Peyton’s father, purchased it in 1721 and willed it to his son, who took ownership at the age of 24. John had built a second house, what became the east wing, in 1724, and Peyton connected the two homes with a spacious hall, though the east wing still had to be accessed from outside.

Peyton’s sister, Susannah Beverley, lived in the home until her death circa 1754, and Peyton’s window retained it after his death. It served as temporary headquarters to French general Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau during the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. It was sold at auction in 1783, and served as a military hospital at the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862 during the American Civil War.

Continue reading “Is Peyton Randolph House the Most Haunted House in America?”

Yorktown Battlefield in Colonial National Historical Park

In this decisive Revolutionary War battle, George Washington triumphed over British General Charles Cornwallis, effectively ending the war in North America.

The Siege of Yorktown was fought from September 28 to October 19, 1781 between American and French forces commanded by General George Washington and Marshal Comte de Rochambeau, and British forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis during the American Revolutionary War. The battle was a complete American and French victory, with Cornwallis and his army surrendering. Approximately 1,200 soldiers from either side were killed or wounded.

In July 1781, American forces commanded by George Washington met French forces commanded by Comte de Rochambeau north of New York City, where they faced a decision. They could either use their combined force to besiege British controlled New York City, or move south to confront a British army under Charles Cornwallis, which had won a costly victory in North Carolina at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse before marching north into Virginia. They chose to move south.

Cornwallis, commanding approximately 7,000 British and 3,000 Hessian troops, had been ordered to build a deep water port at Yorktown on the Virginia Peninsula. On September 26, Washington and De Rochambeau consolidated a force of 18,900 men in nearby Williamsburg. With help from François Joseph Paul, comte de Grasse’s fleet, they bottled up Cornwallis’ men and settled in for a siege.

Continue reading “Yorktown Battlefield in Colonial National Historical Park”

Glory Denied

Monument to Maj. Gen. George Edward Pickett in Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S. Cherry Street in Richmond, Virginia. George E. Pickett (1825-1875) was a US Army officer who joined the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War. Pickett was wounded at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill in 1862 but is mainly known for leading an ill-fated attack at the Battle of Gettysburg popularly known as Pickett’s Charge.

His career ended ignominiously when he lost the Battle of Five Forks in 1865, just eight days before General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Pickett was married three times. His third wife, LaSalle Corbell Pickett, was 18 years his junior.

George E. Pickett (1825-1875)

Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia

Designed by William H. Pratt and dedicated in 1849, Hollywood Cemetery at 412 S. Cherry Street in Richmond, Virginia, contains a veritable who’s who of Virginia history, including two U.S. presidents, two Supreme Court justices, six governors, and 22 Confederate generals. Its 130 undulating acres are the final resting place for approximately 65,000 people, including up to 18,000 Confederate veterans who fought in the American Civil War. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

James Monroe (1758-1831)

This lovely, open air mausoleum contains the body of President James Monroe. Monroe (1758-1831) served in the Revolutionary War and was fifth president of the United States, from 1817 to 1825. He is best known for presiding over the “Era of Good Feelings,” when political partisanship was low. He supported recolonization of freed black slaves back to Africa, resulting in the country of Liberia, which named its capitol Monrovia after him. He was married to Elizabeth Kortright Monroe and the couple had three children.

Continue reading “Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia”