I'm a Virginia historian and legal expert who is related to individuals who rode on the Mayflower ship, American founding father George Mason IV, three Union veterans from the U.S. Civil War, two of whom marched with General Sherman to Atlanta, two Confederate veterans, and President Theodore Roosevelt’s and Franklin Roosevelt’s family.
In the 1700s Thomas Jefferson saw gold, in an area within Fauquier County, Virginia now known as Goldvein, and chronicled his discovery in his only book, “Notes On The State Of Virginia”. Since the discovery of gold 19 mines were established within Fauquier County.
Presently, Goldvein Mining Musuem is located within Monroe Park. The original buildings, for the mining operations, were relocated from other parts of Fauquier county.
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, a lessor known residence of the third United States President, is certainly a historically significant site in Virginia. This is the home where Thomas Jefferson wrote his book, “Notes On The State Of Virginia”.
In 1714, the first set of German miners were sent to the commonwealth of Virginia to establish Fort Germanna in Spotslyvania County. Since the miners did not have the money to make the oassage from Europe, Colonel Nathaniel Blakiston organized an arrangement for Alexander Spotswood to pay for their passage to Virginia. In 1717, a second band of German Lutherans arrived at Fort Germanna in a group that later was known as the “second colony”.
In 1725, Lutheran Germans from Fort Germanna established the congregation that would later form the Hebron Lutheran Church. In 1740, a petite wooden church was established, in Madison County, Virginia, as the first physical structure for the congregation.
In January 1789, 49 years after the church was first built, James Madison and James Monroe came to the church for the purpose of debating the fate of the United States Consitution in a public forum. The debate was held outside, as snow was falling, on the steps of the church.
After that historic debate, the wooden church was been expanded in size in the 1800s. The area were James Madison and James Monroe once stood is where the church’s second set of pews currently stand below their white organ.
In 1744, Michael Holland obtained a land grant, for a tract of land in Albemarle County, from King George II. In 1758, Francis Jerdone purchased the land, from that royal land grant, to establish his Farmington Estate. The first buildings on the estate were built sometime before the start of the American Revolution. As George Washington’s army was combating the British forces in New York, New Jersey and in other states, Francis Jerdone pledged his allegiance to the British. The Commonwealth of Virginia punished Francis Jerdone’s disloyalty by seizing his property in Albemarle County. Francis Jerdone was able to get his seized property back and in 1785 he sold Farmington to George Divers.
In 1802, Thomas Jefferson designed an octagonal building, with two rooms that is now known as the Jefferson Room, for George Divers as an addition for the Farmington Estate.
General Bernard Peyton, the third owner of the estate who served on the Virginia Military Institute’s first Board of Visitors from 1837 to 1841, divided the Jefferson Room into two stories and four rooms.
In 1927, the Farmington Country Club was established within the Farmington Estate. Presently, the Farmington Historical Society Foundation gives tours of both the clubhouse and the grounds.
In 1745, the Grace Episcopal Church was originally established as the Middle Church. While Thomas Jefferson was a child, he attended the “Maury School for Boys”, which was run by the founder of the Middle Church Reverand James Maury. Thomas Jefferson served as the church vestry from 1767 to 1770.
Members of the Maury family were friends with former Governor Alexander Spotswood, who traveled with the grandfather of my relative George Mason IV, to the frontier of Virginia during the “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition” in 1716.
Presently, Reverand James Maury, the founder of the church, is buried near the front door of the stone building.
In 1774, the Pohick Church was relocated to a new location, in a brick building that currently stands in Lorton, Virginia.
In present day, along the church grounds, lie the remains of veterans of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. In addition, John West, a signer of the Fairfax Resolves, is buried on the church grounds.
Inside of the main church building is a flag that is dedicated to the 1774 Pohick Church, George Mason and George Washington.
In 1870, Leander James McCormick, the brother of Cyrus McCormick the inventor of the reaper, considered donating a telescope to an institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In 1870, Leander James McCormick considering gifting the telescope to Washington College, during Robert Edward Lee’s last year as president of that institution. President Lee wrote a letter to the Smithsonian Institute letting that organization know of McCormick’s plan to have a telescope given to an institute of higher education. During the aftermath of the Civil War, Washington College did not have the funds to build a new observatory on campus.
Leander James McCormick would reconsidered gifting the telescope to another college, further away from his brother’s farm in Raphine, Virginia. In 1877, the decision was made to donate the telescope to the University of Virginia that Thomas Jefferson founded.
On December 12th, 2022, a month after Judge Cheek ordered that the General Ambrose Powell Hill, Junior monument be sent to the Richmond Black History Musuem, the City of Richmond sent a crew to remove the statue and pedestal. Work ended at 4:00PM and on December 13th the crew will work to remove the base of the pedestal and the grave of the former general.
On December 14th, 1777 George Washington and his troops started camping at Gulph Mills, a site that they would celebrate Thanksgiving on December 18th. On December 19th, 1777, General George Washington marched his troops from Gulph Mills to Valley Forge, which attained its name from the iron forge that had operated there, northwest of Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.
George Washington first established his “war tent” at the “Site of the Marquee”. Nearby, soldiers remained posted at “Rebel Hill” to be on the lookout for the British army.
A foundry in New York created a replica of the George Washington statue, that stands within the Virginia House of Delegates building, to be placed at the site of George Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge.
For a period of time, George Washington’s original “war tent” was placed on display at the Valley Forge National Park. On April 19th, 2017, after Vice President Joseph Biden gave a speech dedicated to the opening of the Musuem of the American Revolution in Philadelphia during the 242 year anniversity of the start of the American Revolution, the “war tent” was relocated to the musuem.
In 1813, after construction of the Casselman River Bridge was completed in Grantsville, Maryland by David Shriver, Junior, the structure became the largest stone arch structure in the United States of America. The Casselman River Bridge was built along the the Cumberland Road, which was part of the first national highway, and is next to present day Highway 40.
Around 300 A.D. Native Americans, who were exploring the Melrose Caverns, carved two indian heads along the cave walls. The Native American carvings are the earliest evidence of Homo Sapiens entering the Melrose Caverns.
Over 1,500 years after the Indian head carvings were created, the Melrose Caverns became a site were both Union and Confederate soldiers placed over 400 signatures, with ash, the deposits from the heated iron from their bayonets as well as through scratching the walls with their bayonets, throughout the cavern. Out of all of the caverns in the Shenandoah Valley, the Melrose Caverns has more signatures, from Civil War soldiers, than any other cave.
In 1929, Colonel Edward Brown, who owned the Endless Caverns within New Market, Virginia, leased Melrose Caverns, which was called Blue Grottos at that time, from Francis Moore Harrison and her husband, Thomas Moore Harrison. With this lease agreement Colonel Edward Brown and constructed a stone lodge, service station and a connecting bridge.
For years the stone lodge served as the “Melrose Caverns Civil War Musuem “, which displayed photos of the Valley Rangers who once traversed the caves and information on the 300 Union soldiers who hid in the caverns before marching north to the Battle of Gettysburg.
During the American Revolution, Benjamin Harrison V, one of the signers of the “Declaration of Independence” resided at the Berkeley One Hundred Plantation. In response British troops occupied the plantation and threw all of the colonial era furniture outside to be burned.
The first of the 10 United States Presidents danced on the floors of the main hall for the residential building of the Berkeley Hundred Plantation, which is in between both the kitchen and the carriage buildings. While Thomas Jefferson visited the plantation, he added decorative wood to multiple rooms on the ground level of the residential building.
During the Civil War, over 100,000 Union troops were stationed along Harrison Landing and at Fort Harrison. President Abraham Lincoln came to visit the Union encampment and ended up firing scores of soldiers, including General George Brinton McClellan, in the hall of the Berkeley Plantation were ten presidents had previously danced in.
Both the Union and the Confederacy established their own balloon corps during the war. The first instance of a balloon being utilized, by the Union army for battlefield surveillance, was when a balloon was launched from the Berkeley Plantation to observe the Confederate forces outside of Richmond.
After the “Seven Days Battles”, that occurred during the Peninsular Campaign, General Daniel Adams Butterfield wrote the song “Taps”. In July 1862, “Taps” was performed for the first time at Harrison Landing and the song was soon replicated by many other Union encampments. Near the present day “Thanksgiving Memorial” is another memorial dedicated to the first performance of “Taps” at the grounds of the Berkeley Hundred Plantation.
In 1870, the River View Farm became the home of two former slaves, Hugh Carr and his wife Texie Mae Hawkins Carr. The farm became one of the largest African-American run homesteads after the passage of the 13th Amendment of the United States Consitution in December 1865.
Hugh Carr and Texie Mae Hawkins Carr are buried, within the property of their farm, next to the gravestones of Conly G. Greer and his wife Mary Carr Greer.
Presently, the River View Farm is part of the Ivy Creek Natural Area, which is jointly owned by the Albemarle County Government and the City of Charlottesville
The Darden Towe Park, which is named after a former Republican Charlotteville City Council member Albert Darden Towe, is also jointly owned by the County of Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville.
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
In 1893, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, which is currently known as Preservation Virginia, purchased 22.5 acres of land within Jamestown Island, the land where Captain John Smith had utilized to establish the first permanent English settlement of “Jamestowne”. The association worked diligently to prepare for the upcoming 300 year anniversity of Jamestown.
The National Society of Colonial Dames of America contracted Boston architects Edmund Wheelwright and Ralph Adams Cram to create a replica of the Jamestown Church where the Virginia General House of Burgesses first met on July 30th, 1619. The church was modeled after St. Luke’s Church in Smithfield, Virginia and used bricks from two historical buildings located within Hampton, Virginia. In 1907, National Society of Colonial Dames of America donated the church to Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and had the building placed on top of the original church building site.
A statue to Captain John Smith, who became the first governor of Virginia, was erected yards away from the enterance of the 1907 Memorial Church.
On Halloween Day 1698, the fifth colonial capital building, established in Jamestown for the colony of Virginia, burnt down. Instead of building a replacement building in Jamestown, the British decided to build a new statehouse in Williamsburg. Between 1701 and 1705, the first colonial capital at Williamsburg was built and the building was utilized until it was destroyed by fire in 1747. In 1751, a second colonial capital building was constructed.
Presently, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which was started by the Rockefeller family, manages the replica of the first colonial capital at Williamsburg, the Governor’s Palace, and various other historical buildings within downtown Williamsburg.
The Governor’s Palace of Williamsburg, Virginia was the former residence of seven Royal British Governors. During the American Revolution this building was the home of Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.
The Governor’s Palace first opened to the public at large, “as part of Colonial Williamsburg on April 23, 1934. Originally decorated with inaccurate Colonial Revival style antiques, the interior was refurnished in 1981 with pieces better representing the Palace’s eighteenth century décor. Additional changes were made in 2006 to reflect the Palace’s appearance during the residency of Lord Dunmore” (Trish Thomas 2021).
As a result of the 2006 restoration, which occurred a year before the 400 year anniversity of the establishment of the British colony of Jamestown, 540 decorative weapons, including knives, swords and various firearms, were placed on display on the wall of the palace. At the time of Lord Dunmore’s rule decorative weapons had been placed on the walls as a show of power for the various guests of the royal governor.
On November 12th, 2022, author Philip Andrew Hamilton saw a color guard, that represented the militia, minutemen and continentals of the American forces, march at the lawn in front of the Governor’s Palace.
John Marshall served as a soldier during the American Revolution. In 1780, John Marshall began taking classes at the College of William and Mary. During his tenure at the college he attended George Wythe’s lectures on Blackstone’s Commentaries, Matthew Bacon’s New Abridgment of the Law and the Acts of Virginia General Assembly. John Marshall also partook in a self-study in law.
One year after General Charles Cornwallis’s surrender at the Battle of Yorktown, John Marshall was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1782. John Marshall was elected again to the same seat in 1787. In 1790, John Marshall moved into his Richmond home which became known as the “John Marshall House”. While residing at his Richmond home, he was elected to his third and last term in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1795. In 1797, he accepted an appointment, as one of three envoys, sent on a diplomatic mission to France. Although offered appointment to the United States Supreme Court in 1798, John Marshall declined to continue his private practice in law.
“President John Adams nominated John Marshall to be Secretary of State on May 12, 1800, the same day that Adams dismissed Timothy Pickering. The U.S. Senate confirmed Marshall as Secretary of State the next day. He served as Secretary of State from June 6, 1800, until February 4, 1801, and then as ad interim Secretary of State until March 4, 1801”.
On January 20, 1801, President John Adams nominated John Marshall to become the fourth Chief Justice of the United States. In January 27th, 1801, the United States Senate confirmed the Presidential appointment. Chief Justice John Marshall continued to serve as Secretary of State throughout the remainder of President John Adams’ term. John Marshall continued to hold the position of Secretary of State, while also serving as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, until shortly after the beginning of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency.
John Marshall served as Chief Justice for over 34 years, the longest tenure of any Chief Justice that has served. In 1803, John Marshall helped establish the legal precedent of “judicial review”, which made the Supreme Court as the final authority on the meaning of the Constitution, in the case Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137. On July 6th, 1835, Chief Justice John Marshall died at the age of seventy-nine.
In 1962, 128 years after the death of John Marshall, the “John Marshall House” was designated as a National Historical Landmark by the United States Department of Interior. The organization, Preservation Virginia, currently owns the historical home.
In 1909, the John Marshall High School, was established nextdoor to the John Marshall House. In 1915, during the onslaught of the First World War, the first military training program within a public school, was established at the John Marshall High School. In 1960, the John Marshall High School closed down and was eventually demolished by the city of Richmond. A historical marker, along with a statue of a military cadet, was placed on the property where the school once stood.
During the United States Civil War both Confederate and Union troops visited the cave. Many wrote their name, their regiment and other identifying details.
In 1889, eight years after Luray Caverns had 13 electric arch lights installed, Grand Caverns had its first electric lighting installed. Grand Caverns became the 11th cave in the world to have electric lighting in place. The non-polluting electric lighting was essential in replacing candles, which emitted soot that would damage cave formations, 85 years after the discovery of the Grand Caverns.
In 1804, Meyer’s Cave, which is south of Harrisonburg, was discovered by and became the first ever “Show Cave” in the United States of America. In 1878, Andrew Campbell, Billy Campbell and Benton Stebbins discovered the grand Luray Caverns, which proved to be larger than most other caves that had been discovered previously. The three men kept the cave a secret, until a court auction was held, for the land located along “Cave Hill”.
At the auction the men purchased the land for 17 dollars per acre and set up plans for a “Grand Illumination”, which newspapers in New York and other states reported on.
On April 21st, 1881, in a unanimous decision in the Merchants Bank v. Campbell case, the judges decided that original sale of the cave property was not an “arms length” transaction. Furthermore, it was deemed that there was “superior knowledge of the existence of a cave” during the time of the auction. In a mere three years after the discovery of Luray Caverns, the three men who discovered the cave lost all property ownership of it to William T. Biedler.
In present day, the Luray Caverns continues to be the main attraction for Page County, Virginia.
In 1854, the High Bridge was built in Farmville, Virginia as a railroad trestle, that was part of the South Side Railroad, that ran from Petersburg to Lynchburg.
From April 6th to 7th, the Battle of High Bridge was faught, during the Army of Northern Virginia’s retreat after the end of the months long siege of Petersburg.
Presently, the High Bridge is designated as part of the High Bridge Trail State Park. A Civil War era cannon stands along the earthworks where Camp Paradise was once established. Various historical markers discuss the history of the High Bridge, Camp Paradise and the “Black Confederates” who were on duty at the grounds surrounding the historical structure.
In the basement level of the Nelson County Rural Musuem, there are exhibits about the geological history of Nelson and it’s human history. Nelsonite is the only rock, in the state of Virginia, that is named after a Virginia county.
In the basement, the Nelson County Rural Musuem has additional exhibits about the “Rural Free Delivery” system.
Upstairs there is an exhibit about the electrification of Nelson County. Both President Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin President Franklin Roosevelt’s pushed to electrify various parts of the United States.
Across from the rural electrification exhibit, the musuem has another exhibit on the devastating impact of Hurricane Camila’s landfall between August 19th and 20th in 1969. In a matter of five hours, about thirty inches of rain fell in Nelson county. Over 900 buildings were destroyed, over 100 bridges were destroyed, and 124 lives were lost making it one of the worst natural disasters in Virginia.
Newspaper articles from The Richmond Times Dispatch, and other Virginia newspapers, provided updates of the rescue efforts after the onset of the devastating floods.
In August 2019, fifty years after Hurricane Camille, church services were held, in Nelson County, to honor the victims who lost their lives.
From 1861 to 1865, the Chimborazo Confederate Hospital treated over 78,000 patients through the course of the the “War Between The States”. Sally Tompkins, the only woman to receive a military commission from the Confederate government, was assigned to work at Chimborazo hospital.
After the end of the war, most of the original hospital buildings were destroyed. In 1959, what remained of the Chimborazo Hospital, became part of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. The Chimborazo Medicial Museum was established in a building that was built in the early 1900s, on a hill where the former military hospital was established.
John Mitchell, Junior, a former slave who was born in Henrico County, gained his claim to fame as the “Fighting Editor” while working for the “Richmond Planet” newspaper. In 1892, John Mitchel, Junior ran for Richmond’s Board of Alderman, from the city’s predominantly Black neighborhood Jackson Ward, and was re-elected in 1894. and serving in the Richmond City Council.
During the Republican convention in 1921, John Mitchell, Junior was nominated to be the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first Black Republican candidate for Governor. Since no political party in Virginia, the Whigs, the Federalists, the Republican-Democrats, the Democrats, the Republicans, had ever nominated a Black man to be a candidate for governor before, it made John Mitchell, Junior the the commonwealth’s first ever Black governor candidate for any political party.
This act was passed as an act of reconciliation, decades after the end of the Civil War, after many former Confederates, such as General Joseph Wheeler offered their service to the nation during the course of the Spanish-American War.
On June 14th, 1914, President Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who was a child during the course of the Civil War, spoke at a dedication to Confederate Soldiers at the Arlington National Cemetery. President Wilson accepted the Confederate monument, on behalf of the United States, and stated, “I am not so much happy as proud to participate in this capacity on such an occasion; proud that I should represent such a people”. Confederate veteran Bennett Henderson Young, who entered Vermont from Canada on October 19th, 1864 to conduct a raid on the town of Saint Albans with 17 other Confederates, and other Confederate veterans also spoke at the dedication with President Wilson.
In 1848, the Virginia General Assembly formed a committee to pursue the creation of a new burial ground in Staunton, Virginia. On February 24, 1849, the Thornrose Cemetery Company was chartered by an act of the Virginia Legislature. Twelve acres west of Staunton were bought and designated as either lots, roads and walkways. On March 29th, 1853, the first recorded interment, within the Thornrose Cemetery, was that of a slave worker. Two months later, the new cemetery being formally dedicated on May 28, 1853.
During the United States Civil War, also known as the “War Between The States”, Staunton had a military hospital, just as Charlottesville and other nearby cities in the valley had. On July 9th, 1861, Private D.C. McLeaeray, of the 3rd Arkansas Infantry, was killed in an accident involving the detachment of one of the cars from Staunton’s trian depot. Private D.C. McLeaeray became the first Confederate soldier, several hundred, to be buried in the Thornrose Cemetery. Appreciably 1,800 Confederate soldiers were buried at Thornrose Cemetery in unmarked graves.
On June 9th, 1883, a Thornrose Confederate Monument Committee was formed, per a suggestion made by Colonel John Doak Lilley, for the, “erection of a monument for the memory of the dead”. Captain J. N. MacFarland became the head of the committee that was raising funds for a monument. After the funds were raised, the contract for the proposed monument and the Confederate soldier statue was given to C. E. Ehmann of Baltimore, Maryland.
On August 15th, 1840, John Echols entered the Virginia Military Insititute as a cadet. A year later he resigned from his post and was made an honorary graduate of the institution on July 2nd, 1870. Before the start of the Civil War, John Echols was serving as a Virginia State Legislator and as an attorney. During the first vote on secession convention John Echols voted no to Virginia joining the Confederacy. However, after shots were fired on Fort Sumter he joined the second session convention to vote yes to Virginia seceding from the United States.
After Virginia joined the Confederacy, John Echols was appointed as Lieutenant Colonel of the 27th Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel John Echols led his regiment in the First Battle of Bull Run and served in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. On April 18th, 1862, he was commissioned a Brigadier General commander of the Army of Southwest Virginia. In June 1863, he served on the court of inquiry to examine the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi and led his brigade in the battle at Cold Harbor, November 1863. He took command of the Confederate Department of Western Virginia in 1864.
After General Robert Edward Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, General John Echols helped escort Confederate President Jefferson Davis to Augusta, Georgia. Soon after, General John Echols surrendered command of his corps, to Union forces, in Augusta, Georgia shortly before Jefferson Davis was captured in Irwin County, Georgia. After the war, John Echols served again in the Virginia General Assembly, opened another legal practice, became the President of the National Valley Bank, worked as a general manager for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and became one of the founding members of the Stonewall Jackson Camp of Confederate Veterans. In 1886, John Echols moved to Louisville, Kentucky.
On May 24th, 1896, John Echols passed away while visiting his son Virginia State Senator Edward Echols, who later became the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, while in Staunton. was buried at the Thornrose Cemetery on a hill next to the one where the Confederate War Dead monument was erected eight years prior.
In 1888, “The Oaks”, the last home of Jedediah Hotchkiss, General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s mapmaker, was completed on a plot of land in Staunton, Virginia. In the last years of his life, Jedediah Hotchkiss spoke out against General A.P. Hill, Henry Kyd Douglas, and General James Longstreet, specifically regarding passages in his post war book, about their critical statements about General “Stonewall” Jackson.
In 1896, Jedediah Hotchkiss became the commander of the Stonewall Jackson Camp of Confederate veterans, which was designated as Camp No. 25 of the Grand Camp of Confederate Veterans of Virginia. The Stonewall Jackson Camp of Confederate veterans was the fourth such camp to be established in the Shenandoah Valley and regularly met at the first YMCA building established in Staunton. On January 17th, 1899, Jedediah Hotchkiss passed away, due to poor health, and was interred at the grounds of the Thornrose Cemetery.
In 1719, Scotchtown was built and soon became the girlhood home of future First Lady Dolly Madison. American patriot Patrick Henry moved his wife Sara and his children into Scotchtown in 1771, four years before the start of the American Revolution. In 1775, Sara Henry would pass away inside of that home and Patrick Henry gave his famous, “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech, at the Saint John’s Church, during his time living at that residence.
In 1986, the Sycamore Society placed a plaque about the location was General Robert Edward Lee’s horse Traveler was tethered to during his church service at the grounds of the Grace Episcopal Church. Six years later, in 1992, the E.V. White Chapter, Mosb and Sons of Confederate Veterans Camps #21 and #1567 erected a replacement plaque at the grounds of the Grace Episcopal Church.
On August 30th, 1884, during the one year anniversity of the Association of the Survivors of the Clarke Calvary, a Confederate group that was formed in 1883, the group passed a resolution to create a monument to honor the Confederate dead of Clarke County. Less than two years later, on March 1st, 1886, an act of the Virginia General Assembly, to incorporate the Association of the Survivors of the Clarke Cavalry, passed in both the House of Delegates and in the Senate. This incorporation of this private veteran group allowed the organization to both hold real estate and to be exempt from taxation.
Members of the Association of the Survivors of the Clarke Calvary commissioned Burns & Campbell to create a monument based off of John Adams Elder’s 1888 painting named “Appomattox”.
Due to the Confederate soldier’s resemblance to the historical painting the monument was hence named “Appomatox”.
On July 21st, 1900, Berryville’s “Appomatox” monument was dedicated in front of the Clarke County Courthouse at a ceremony that began at 11:45AM.
In May 1903, the only other “Appomattox” monument, that was erected in Virginia, was named “To All Confederates” and was placed in the cemetery on Rude’s Hill in Mount Jackson, Virginia. The Mount Jackson Chapter of the U.D.C. raised the funds for Virginia’s second “Appomattox” monument.
In the fall of 2021, the Turner Ashby Confederate Camp No. 1567, filed a lawsuit against the Clarke County Government over the ownership of the Berryville Appomatox monument. The original Confederate group that erected the monument dissolved in the 1900s, and the Turner Ashby Confederate camp has argued that, since their group consists of Confederate decendants, they are the private organization with the greatest interest in the monument, besides the Daughters of the Confederacy. However, during a jury trail ruled in favor of the Clarke County Government, by giving the county ownership of the monument, and the case is currently being reviewed under an appellate court.
While the United States Navy had four vessels named U.S.S. Shenandoah, during the course of the “War Between the States” the Confederacy commissioned the shipbuilders “Alexander Stephen and Sons” to construct the C.S.S. Shenandoah. On August 17th, 1863, the C.S.S. Shenandoah was launched from a shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland to Confederate service.
During the United States Civil War, Doctor William Henry Amiss’s medical practice was located in Sperryville, Virginia and his brother Doctor Thomas Amiss worked in Page County. Both doctors served as surgeons for the Army of Northern Virginia, and were involved with the treatment of Major Richard Snowden Andrews, who was disemboweled during the Battle of Cedar Mountian near Culpeper. After what was considered a mortal wound, both doctors stitched Major Andrews bowels back together it was deemed a medical miracle when Major Andrews survived the surgery. Major Andrews was wounded again during the Second Battle of Winchester and would live until 1903.
Within the second floor, of the exhibits, is a set of newspaper articles about the election of the first ever all female town council in the state of Virginia. Starting in 1950, a female mayor and five other female councilwomen have managed the affairs of Rappohannock County, for over two decades.
On December 14th, 1790, the Virginia General Assembly created Bath County from parts of Augusta, Botetourt and Greenbrier Counties. A stone Courthouse and a log jail was built in then town of Warm Springs. In 1842, a second courthouse was built out of brick in Warm Springs. In 1908, a third courthouse was built out of brick but it was destroyed by fire in 1912. After the fire, the T.J. Collins and Sons designed what would become the fourth courthouse. In 1914, the Classical-Revival style courthouse was completed on the same site where the third courthouse once stood.
In 1922, one hundred years ago, the Bath County Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, erected a memorial to the Confederate war dead.
“There are many spy stories that can out of the Civil War. One of the earlier occurred in the Kanawha Valley.
Because the Union Army had no intelligence service at that time, General George McClellan hired a civilian to gather information regarding enemy’s troop movements and disposition. The man he hired was Allan Pinkerton, a famous private detective.
Pinkerton sent a 29-year old British subject, Pryce Lewis, one of his employees, who was to pose as the son of Lord Tray of England.
Lewis left Cincinnati with a servant on June 27, 1861 on the streamer Cricket. They landed at Guyandotte the next day, and Lewis decided to drop his disguise and get by as an ordinary English citizen.
The next morning, Lewis and his servant started towards the east, asking the way to White Sulphuric Springs. Near the mouth of the Coal River they were picked up by Confederate pickets, taken to Camp Tompkins and brought before Captain George S. Patton, second-in-command.
Lewis acted indignant about his detention, stating that he wanted to travel though the area to view the natural beautify before returning to England.
The next morning, Lewis and his servant started towards the east, asking the way to White Sulphur Springs. Near the mouth of the Coal River that were picked up by the Confederate pickets, taken to Camp Tompkins and brought before Captain George Smith Patton second-in command.
Patton was impressed by his guest and wrote him a pass to Charleston. The. The captain and the spy say down to support in the antebellum mansion at the camp. Patton boasted about his fortifications in the area and invited Lewis to inspect them, but Lewis declined in order not to appear to eager to se them. ￼
At Charleston, the Union spy was introduced to General Wise, who proved to be a very inhospitable host. He refused to issue a pass for a trip to Richmond, and Lewis and his servant were stranded in town for many days. Lewis tried pretending to write to the British Consul in Richmond, but that didn’t work.
So the two agents put the delay to good use and picked up whatever information. They could on Confederate forces in the area. When General Wise left for a raid on Ripley on July 4th, Lewis went to his friend Colonel C.Q. Tompkins, who informed him that a pass was not even needed to get to Richmond! Tompkins said that the road east was open for travel.
The two doors left Charleston immediately, but they did not head back to Richmond. They wanted to report back to McClellan’s headquarters as soon as possible and traveled south through Boone and Logan Counties in Kentucky and then south to Cincinnati.
They had been away 19 days and traveled many miles through hundreds of enemy troops. When they returned. Lewis was sent back to Red House, Putnam County, to give his report on Confederate activity.”
This passage about Union spy activity, shortly after the U.S. Civil War began, is an excerpt from page 34 of Stan Cohen’s book, “The Civil War in West Virginia”.
Reverend James Maury ran a school in Gordonsville, Virginia which became known simply as Maury’s School. As a child Thomas Jefferson was a student of that school. James Maury was the grandfather of Matthew Fontaine Maury, who became known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas”.
In April 1865, Brigadier General James Dearing was the last Confederate general to die, of battle wounds that he sustained, before the end of the U.S. Civil War. Before his passing, a Union soldier, whom James Dearing had trained with before the war, paroled him. James Dearing was buried at a family cemetery in Altavista, Virginia, which with connected to the Lynch part of his family. In 1902, James Dearing was reinterred to the Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia, a plot of land that General Jubal Early had stationed his reserve troops to, from June 17th to 18th, 1864.
The Avoca estate was designed by J.M.B. Lewis, as an American Queen Anne-style house and built in 1901.
In 1841, after graduating from West Point, Robert Selden Garnett earned a 2nd Lieutenant commission in artillery and served in Buffalo and Fort Ontario, New York. Lieutenant Garnett would later serve in Fort Monroe and was sent to fight in the Battle of Buena Vista and the Battle of Monterey during the Mexican-American War. Lieutenant Garnett was sent to fight, under the command of General Zackary Taylor, during the Second Seminole War and served during the briefer Third Seminole War. After the Indian wars in Flordia ended, Lieutenant Garnett was sent back to Monterey, California to guard a post where he ending up drawing a design that became the first seal of California.
After Garnett’s superiors promised to promote him to major, he was sent to the Washington Territory to assist in the building of Fort Simcoe. Garnett sent to join the 1856 Yakima Expedition and served in the Yakima War against the Puget Sound Native Americans until 1858.
When the first states seceded to the Confederacy, Garnett was traveling through Europe. In April of 1861, Garnett resigned his commission with the U.S. Army and decided to join the Confederate army. On July 13th, 1861, shortly after ordering a retreat to Laurel Hill, after a defeat at the Battle of Rich Mountain, Confederate Brigadier General Robert Selden Garnett was killed by a cannonball, that struck him while he was on his horse, during the Battle of Corrick’s Ford in western Virginia. Brigadier General Robert Selden Garnett became the first general to die during the U.S. Civil War, after taking command of the West Virginia Confederate army after their defeat at the Battle of Philippi. After the Battle of Corrick’s Ford, Union soldiers found Brigadier General Garnett’s body, placed it in a wooden coffin, and gave him back to the Confederate army for burial. Brigadier General Garnett’s body was sent to his family in Baltimore, Maryland where he was initially buried. In 1865, Bridgader General Garnett was reinterred to the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
Patrick Henry’s father gave him property, in Louisa County, Virginia, in which he built his Roundabout home. While living in Louisa, Form 1765 to 1768, Patrick Henry was elected to the colonial Virginia House of Burgess.
At the time of the American Revolution, Patrick Henry moved to his “Scotchtown” residence in Beaverdam, Virginia. While living in Beaverdam, Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in at the Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia.
From 1779 to 1784, Patrick Henry lived in the Leatherwood estate in Axton, Virginia, an area formerly called Old Center. From 1780 to 1784, Patrick Henry served in the Virginia House of Delegates. During his last term as delegate, Patrick Henry was elected as Virginia governor, for the fourth time, and moved to the Salisbury hunting lodge in Chesterfield County.
Red Hill, was the final home of American patriot Patrick Henry. During his time there he spoke out against President John Adam’s “Alien and Sedition Acts” and ran for the Virginia House of Delegates again. Patrick Henry was offered another term as Virginia Governor, as an ambassador in Spain, and other positions, but due to his many debts he declined those offers.
In the beginning of June 1799, Patrick Henry had a doctor treat him for his intestinal complications. However, on June 6th, 1799, Patrick Henry passed away from his ailments and was buried in his last property.
At the entrance of Red Hill, rests a replica of a bust that sculptor Frederick William Sievers made of Patrick Henry. Frederick William Sievers made other prominent works of art, including the Virginia monument for the Gettysburg National Battlefield. In 1932, the Virginia General General Assembly commissioned multiple replicas of Patrick Henry busts for the state capital. This replica bust was casted from the original one located inside Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown residence in Beaverdam, Virginia.
In 1851, Peter Frederick Rothermel created a painting of Patrick Henry at the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1766. The original painting is displayed within the E. Stuart James Grant Museum room within the visitor center for Red Hill.
In 1853, the Monticola estate was designed as a Greek revival style mansion and built in Howardsville, Virginia, within southern Albemarle County’s border with Nelson County. Howardsville is an unincorporated area which was named after James Howard, a man who settled the northern bank of the James River, at the tributary where the Rockfish River begins.
“The Burning” was the period in 1864, where the Union was committed to burning the farms, mills and other buildings associated with the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy” in order to weaken General Robert Edward Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. On October 4th, 1864, the ninth day of the burning, Union troops attempted to burn down Abigail Lincoln’s home. Abigail told the troops that she was the cousin of the President, and the troops refrained from their order to destroy her home.
That day many women and children, living within Dayton, pleaded with Union Lieutenant Colonel Thomas F. Wildes to not burn down their down. Lieutenant Colonel Wildes defied General Philip Henry Sheridan’s burn order, with the risk of a court m-martial. General Sheridan, after hearing his subordinate’s concerns, rescinded the burn order.
Next to a World War I cannon, in downtown Dayton, is a plague dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas F. Wildes.
In 1898, fifty nine years after the establishment of the Virginia Military Insititute, the Fork Union Military Academy was established by Baptist minister Dr. William E. Hatcher in Fluvanna County, Virginia. The Fork Union Military Academy was not affiliated with the Army, the Coast Guard, the Navy, nor the Marines. Rather it was established as a boarding school for boys aged 14 to 17. Military curriculum was not added until 4 years after the school was founded.
In 1937, the American Legion Post 140, which was commanded by Hunter Bransford, dedicated a World War I era artillery gun to the Fork Union Military Academy. Next to the field gun are various plaques dedicated to the Fork Union Military Academy members who served during the “First Great War”.
One of the plaques is in honor of Earle Davis Gregory, who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor through his actions during the during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France.
In 1865, Confederate Veteran Charles Summerville Roller established the Augusta Male Academy, near the Old Stone Church, located within the Fort Defiance military installation in Virginia. In 1880, the male academy transitioned to a military academy. However, in 1984, the Augusta Military Academy closed due to financial issues rooted from a lack of enrollment during and after the Vietnam War. The former Augusta Military Academy exists as a museum honoring the alumni who attended there, whereas the Fork Union Military Academy still has its doors open, training teenage boys to become outstanding Virginian men.
Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather, Abraham “Linkhorn” Lincoln, lived at the farm until his friend Daniel Boone convinced him to move to Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln served as a captain during the American Revolution. In May of 1786, Abraham “Linkhorn” Lincoln was working by his cabin, near Eastwood, Kentucky, and was shot dead by a Native American. Abraham “Linkhorn” Lincoln was buried near the grounds of his cabin, which is located within the present day Long Run Baptist Church and Cemetery.
While Captain Abraham “Linkhorn” Lincoln, and some of his decendants were buried in Kentucky, some relatives of President Abraham Lincoln are buried in a gravesite, surrounded by an iron dense, near the home that the former President’s great-uncle, Captain Jacob Lincoln, built.