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Rappahannock County Civil War Trails

The Gettysburg Campaign John Pope's Union Army of Virginia African-Americans
Mosby's Rangers 2nd Manassas and Antietam Campaigns Miscellaneous Sites

The Gettysburg Campaign
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1. Hittle's Mill
Leading Lee's Second Northern Invasion
Clark's Surveying, Flint Hill
N 38° 47' 30.3, W 78° 06' 17.3
Confederate Gen. Robert Rodes’ division, the vanguard of Lee’s Army, camped here
June 11, 1863, on the march to Gettysburg.

2. Woodville
First Waypoint to Gettysburg
St. Paul's Cemetery, Woodville
N 38° 36' 19.2, W 78° 10' 30.3
This was a frequent campground for both Union and Confederate Armies. Approximately half of
Lee's Army of Northern Virginia passed here en route to and from the Battle of Gettysburg.

3. Sperryville
Important Crossroads
The Schoolhouse, Sperryville
N 38° 39' 30.9, W 78° 13' 33.0
With its strategic location near one of the gaps in the Blue Ridge leading to the
Shenandoah Valley Sperryville saw much Civil War troop activity.

4. Music, Omens, and Destiny
Heth's Camp
Rappahannock County High School, US 211
N 38° 41' 12.3, W 78° 11' 20.9
Henry Heth’s division of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia camped here en route to Pennsylvania
in the summer of 1863. Heth’s men would initiate the Battle of Gettysburg. The band of the 26th
N.C. accompanied Heth’s men on the march.

5. Gaines Crossroads
The Animal must be very Slim
Ben Venue Intersection – US 211 & VA 729
N 38° 43' 08.5, W 78° 04' 02.1
Lee’s entire army passed through this intersection on the march to Gettysburg; two-thirds passed
again on the retreat. Gen. Richard Ewell used Ben Venue mansion as his headquarters.

6. Encounter with Lee
“Don't You Ever Forget It'”
Newby's Crossroads
N 38° 38' 57.8, W 78° 04' 29.3
When a Confederate officer asked a young boy where to find a drink, the child had no idea of
the man's identity. As the soldiers departed another turned to the boy and said, “That’s Robert
E. Lee, and don’t you ever forget it!”

7. Minding The Gaps
A Fatal Oversight
Chester Gap
N 38° 51' 43.3, W 78° 07' 54.3
A day-long skirmish took place here on July 21-22, 1863, as Union forces attempted but failed to
block Lee’s army on the retreat from Gettysburg.

8. Battle Mountain
Custer's Early Last Stand
Newby's Crossroads
N 38° 38' 57.8, W 78° 04' 29.3
On the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg, Union Gen. George Custer attacked portions of A.P.
Hill’s and Longstreet’s corps at this intersection. Rebel troops south of here doubled back and
nearly flanked Custer, who narrowly escaped to Amissville by bushwhacking cross-country. 

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John Pope's Union Army of Virginia
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9. Union Army of Virginia
John Pope's Pronouncements
Visitor Center Kiosk, Washington
N 38° 42' 51.7, W 78° 08' 49.9
Two corps of Gen. John Pope’s short-lived Army of Virginia occupied Rappahannock County in the
summer of 1862. Pope became infamous for a series of bombastic orders directed against civilians.

10. Chester Gap
Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley
Chester Gap
N 38° 51' 43.3, W 78° 07' 54.3
Chester Gap was an important strategic passage between the Piedmont and the northern Shenandoah
Valley. Its first major use was by Banks 2nd Corps of Pope’s Army of Virginia in July 1862.
The gap was a major Confederate route in the Gettysburg Campaign.

11. Banks's Camp
Lull Between the Storms
Visitor Center Kiosk, Washington
N 38° 41' 28.7, W 78° 10' 30.6
The Union 2nd Corps of Nathaniel Banks camped here in the summer of 1862 following its defeat
by Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley. The corps would move on in August to bear a major
portion of the fighting at Cedar Mountain, just south of Culpeper.

12. Charles Czaky Nordendorf
Changing Sides
Visitor Center Kiosk, Washington
N 38° 42' 51.7, W 78° 08' 49.9
Charles Nordendorf was an Austrian engineer and musician who served as an aide to Gen. Nathaniel
Banks in the summer of 1862. That fall Nordendorf switched sides and later performed engineering
work for the Confederacy and wrote many Southern patriotic songs.

13. A Tale of Two Mill
Trading and Burial Ground
Old Mill Road, Washington
N 38° 42' 49.0, W 78° 09' 03.1
During the Civil War, at least two mills stood along the Rush River in this area. This one served
as a neutral trading spot, and a second one about a half mile downstream had a Union burial
ground nearby.

14. Banks Grand Review
Bluster, Heat, Disease, and Drill
Union First Market Bank, US 211, Washington
N 38° 39' 30.3, W 78° 13' 31.8
The Union 2nd Corps of Gen. Nathaniel Banks camped to the east and south of Little Washington and
conducted daily drills in the fields directly to the southeast of this location, including massive
Grand Reviews by Banks and Pope. An army telegraph line to Sperryville ran past this point.

15. Advent of the “German” Corps
“I 'm going to Fight mit Sigel”
Copper Fox Antiques, Sperryville
N 38° 39' 29.4, W 78° 12' 59.6
When Lincoln called for volunteers in the summer of 1862, he looked to Franz Sigel, a German, to
rally European immigrants, and gave him command of the 1st Corps of the Army of Virginia just prior
to its occupation of Sperryville. With fellow ex-revolutionaries Carl Schurz, Alex Schimmelfennig
and other immigrants with clearly “foreign” names such as Wlodzmierz Krzyzanowski, Gustave Cluseret
and Hungarian Julius Stahel, a distinctive “German” corps emerged.

16. Rehearsals for Fame
Notable Footprints from the German Corps
Copper Fox Antiques, Sperryville
N 38° 39' 29.4, W 78° 12' 59.6
In the fall of 1862, Sigel’s forces became the 11th Corps in the Army of the Potomac. The corps
would be blamed for the union defeat at Chancellorsville the following spring, acquiring the
nickname “Flying Dutchmen.” Despite later displays of courage, the soldiers would never completely
shake this stigma. Nonetheless, a number of the “German” Corps members who left footprints here
would rise to prominence later in the war.

17. A Hint of Total War
“Pope Must Be Suppressed”
The Schoolhouse, Sperryville
N 38° 39' 30.9, W 78° 13' 33.0
Union Gen. John Pope and his Army of Virginia brought “total” war to Rappahannock County in July
and August 1862, two years before Gen. William Sherman’s more destructive “March to the Sea.”
This Union policy was designed to inflict intense pain on civilians who supported the Southern cause,
pain that was particularly acute in Sperryville. Pope’s threats against civilians evoked the
wrath of Robert. E. Lee.

18. Milroy's Camp
St. Paul's Cemetery, Woodville
N 38° 36' 19.2, W 78° 10' 30.3
The independent brigade of Gen. Robert Milroy camped here during the Union occupation of 1862.
Numerous slaves flocked to his camp, where he employed them as cooks, teamsters, pioneers and
laborers. Milroy rounded up much of the local white population whom he forced to take loyalty
oaths. A large mock battle involving Sigel’s Corps took place near here during the encampment.

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19. Kitty Payne
Freedom Lost and Regained
Courthouse Grounds, Washington
N 38° 42' 40.8, W 78° 09' 34.0
Katherine “Kitty” Payne, born into slavery in 1816 near present-day Huntly in northern
Rappahannock County, was freed and then captured in Pennsylvania by “slave catchers” and returned
here, where she endured a year-long court proceeding to determine her status. Eventually freed
once more, she returned to Gettysburg, Pa., where her second husband, Abraham Brian, would own
a farm on the future battlefield.

20. Twilight of Slavery
Enlightened Accommodations No Match for Freedom
Ben Venue Intersection, US 211 & VA 729
N 38° 43' 08.5, W 78° 04' 02.1
The Ben Venue slave cabins are among the most sophisticated examples of such quarters in Virginia.
Most housing for slaves consisted of shacks or log cabins with stick-and-mud chimneys and little
ventilation. During the antebellum period, prosperous owners often constructed more substantial
quarters in prominent locations as visible expressions of wealth.

21. Sister Caroline
From Slavery to Freedom
The Schoolhouse, Sperryville
N 38° 39' 30.9, W 78° 13' 33.0
Caroline Terry, known locally as “Sis-tah Cah-line” (1833-1941) was born a slave, perhaps in
Southampton County, but spent most of her life in Rappahannock County. During the Civil War,
she worked at the Sperryville Hotel and acquired several military relics when soldiers camped nearby.
Three of her children were likely fathered by her owner and his son.

22. Dangerfield Newby
Tragic Journey To Harper's Ferry
Newby's Crossroads
N 38° 38' 57.8, W 78° 04' 29.3
Dangerfield Newby was one of John Brown’s raiders at Harper’s Ferry. Newby had attempted to buy the
freedom of his enslaved wife, Harriett, but could not raise sufficient funds. He joined Brown’s
raid in futile hope of freeing her and was the first raider killed. The Newby ancestral home is
located at this crossroads.

23. Eliza Brown and the Custers
“Standin' up for Liberty”
Hackley's Store, Amissville
N 38° 40' 17.4, W 77° 59' 44.1
Eliza Brown, a slave on a local plantation, met Union Gen. George Custer here in 1862 and became
the long-time cook and servant for his family, traveling west with them following the war. She was
known for her outspokenness and bravery under fire.

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Mosby's Rangers
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24. Albert Gallatin Willis
A Life Laid Down for a Friend
Flint Hill Baptist Church
N 38° 45' 51.0, W 78° 05' 58.5
During a mortal feud in the fall of 1864 between Confederate ranger John Mosby and Union generals
Sheridan and Custer, Willis, one of Mosby’s men, was captured with a comrade at Ben Venue. The men
were brought north of Flint Hill where one was to be hanged. In an ultimate gesture of sacrifice,
Willis offered to take the place of his comrade. He is buried on the grounds of the Flint
Hill Baptist Church.

25. Mosby and Sneden
The Gray Ghost and the Artist
St. Paul's Cemetery, Woodville
N 38° 36' 32.7, W 78° 10' 53.7
New York City native Robert Knox Sneden, an architect and engineer, was captured by Mosby Rangers
at Brandy Station and passed through Woodville on a route that would eventually take him to
Andersonville Prison in Georgia. Sneden left a detailed account of this experience as well as
100s of color drawings of scenes from the war.

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2nd Manassas and Antietam Campaigns
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26. Hinson's Ford
Important River Crossing on a Historic March
Mayhugh's Store, Amissville
N 38° 40' 53.2, W 78° 00' 25.8
Nearby lays Hinson’s Ford, the first large crossing on the Rappahannock River above Waterloo
Bridge. On August 25, 1862, Stonewall Jackson crossed this ford en route to the Union rear at
Manassas Junction. He was followed a day later by Longstreet’s Corps and Robert E. Lee. After
destroying Union supply trains there on August 27, Jackson moved just west of Groveton. One day
later his attack on a Union column marching north from Warrenton initiated the 2nd Battle of Manassas.

27. Corbin's Crossroads
Stuart's Close Shave
Amissville Baptist Church, VA Rt 642, Amissville
N 38° 40' 07.5, W 77° 59' 45.5
In November 1863, about 1 mile south of Amissville, JEB Stuart and John Pelham had a day-long
skirmish with Union forces during which a portion of Stuart’s mustache was shot away.

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Miscellaneous Sites
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28. The Rappahannock Old Guard
The Black Flag
Visitor Center Kiosk, Washington
N 38° 42' 51.7, W 78° 08' 49.9
This unit, composed almost exclusively of county residents, played a key role in the final action
of the Battle of Front Royal on May 23, 1862, at Cedarville. Despite enormous casualties, the unit
made a charge at Union cavalry that led to the capture of a large number of prisoners.

29. Honored in Their Generation
Confederate Monument ca. 1900
Courthouse Grounds, Washington
N 38° 42' 42.8, W 78° 09' 33.7
This monument commissioned by the Rappahannock County Chapter of the United Daughters of the
Confederacy in 1900 was the work of Herbert Barbee (1848-1936), a son of famed sculptor William
Randolph Barbee. The names of 115 county soldiers killed in the war are inscribed on the monument.

30. The Maples
Host to Generals
Middleton Inn, Washington
N 38° 42' 35.9, W 78° 09' 38.9
Middleton Miller built this residence circa 1840. Miller owned a woolen factory on the Rappahannock
River near Waterloo, about 15 miles to the east, which manufactured “Confederate Gray” cloth. The
factory was destroyed by Union troops early in the Civil War. Nonetheless, Miller was a generous
host to both Northern and Southern officers who passed through Little Washington.

31. Medical Miracle
“A Chance in Twenty”
Haley Gallery, Main Street, Sperryville
N 38° 39' 28.9, W 78° 13' 39.6
When Confederate Maj. Richard Snowden’s abdomen was ripped open by a shell at the Battle of
Cedar Mountain, his wound was deemed fatal. Two brothers from Rappahannock County, Dr. Thomas
Amiss and Dr. William Amiss, nursed Andrews back to life in what was and still is considered a
medical miracle. This marker recognizes the office of William Amiss.

32. Thornton Gap
Tactical Mountain Pass
Panorama parking lot, US 211, Thornton Gap
N 38° 39' 36.3, W 78° 19' 16.8
This gap in the Blue Ridge was used as a thoroughfare for both Northern and Southern troops.
It’s visibility to both the East and the West made it an important location for a signal station.
Union forces held the gap during the occupation of Rappahannock County in the summer of 1862.
Ewell’s Corps of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia crossed here on the retreat from Gettysburg.

33. Slate Mills
Reconnaissance, Advance, Retreat
FT Baptist Church, Slate Mills Road
N 38° 32.801', W 78° 13.351'
This area often was patrolled by both Union and Confederate forces reconnoitering near the
Blue Ridge. Confederate forces camped near here on the retreat from Gettysburg. A.P. Hill’s
Corps used this relatively protected route during the Bristoe Station campaign.

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