Monday, September 24, 2012

Fauquier Heritage Day

This past Saturday was Fauquier Heritage Day.  Though it includes all history there is a strong focus on the Civil War era. Or, as I was corrected later that day, "the war of Northern Aggression".
Moving on...

There were several lectures and tours around the town that we didn't see.  It is hard to get a 4 year old and almost 3 year old to take a real interest in lectures about the 'Union Occupation of Warrenton' or 'Robert E. Lee's Strategy and Defensive Plan in the Battle of Fredericksburg'.  They were however excited about the parade.

Color Guard

Town Council Limo

Scottish bagpipes

Iraq & Afganistan Veterans

Confederate Cavalry


After the parade we walked over the the Warren Green building. Here they were holding a re-enactment of General McClellan's farewell speech to his army.  

Before the General spoke President Lincoln gave a speech thanking McClellan for his service. This was not a re-enactment, considering that Lincoln was relieving McClellan on his command I'm not sure if he did thank him for his service but if he did it wasn't from the Warren Green building. 

President Lincoln's speech

General McClellan on the balcony of the Warren Green building
General McClellan's farewell speech to his soldiers

hospital tent with medical supplies
Did someone say trains?
 On June 29, 2012 we were hit by the Derecho storm that caused so much damage on the east coast. During the storm a large tree was blown over, hitting the Mosby memorial and knocking it off of the base.  Fortunately the monument wasn't broken and was able to be re-seated.  A re-dedication ceremony was held for the re-seating on the monument.

  Later that afternoon we headed to historic Buckland Farm to continue the festivities. This is a private residence normally closed to the public.  It is a stunningly beautiful farm, acres and acres of beautiful fields with horses running across the pastures. Buckland Farm is known for its horses, going back over 200 years.  One of their thoroughbreds, Pleasant Colony, won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 1981, he is buried in the field at Buckland Farm.

 The owner was at the house to answer questions and talk about the history of the house and farm. The house has been visited by many historic figures over the years.  In October of 1863 the Battle of Buckland took place here.  While shielding Robert E. Lee's army J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry attacked the Union cavalry, chasing them nearly five miles in a running cavalry battle. In the words of Stuart, "I pursued them from within 3 miles of Warrenton to Buckland, the horses at full speed the whole distance, the enemy retreating in great confusion."  This battle was later referred to as the "Buckland Races".
Buckland Hall built in 1774

driveway leading to the house

cavalry demonstration at Buckland Farm

I bet this tree could tell a tale or two...

 The owner was at the house to answer questions and talk about the history of the house and farm. The house has been visited by many historic figures over the years.  In October of 1863 the Battle of Buckland took place here. 

After touring the house there were a couple of guest speakers, both Civil War historians. Robert Trout spoke first, he spoke about his new book "After Gettysburg: Cavalry Operations in the Eastern Theater July 14 1863 to Dec 31 1863" and discussed in more detail some the roles the cavalry played in the war.  Lt. Col. Joe McKinney spoke next, more about the role of Buckland during the war.  Unfortunately I missed most of his lecture because I had to pull myself back to 2012 and tend to my children. They were behaving beautifully, playing quietly in the grass for the past 45 minutes while the adults listened to the speakers. But then my daughter tripped and fell, skinning up her knees again and by the time we got her cleaned and bandaged up the lecture was over. 

After the lecture everyone walked to the cemetery for a short ceremony. 

cemetery at Buckland Farm
   During the battle of Buckland Mills the dead soldiers were buried in the field. The U.S. government later removed the Union dead but several Confederate were left.  The area has always been preserved by the owners but there was never any gravestones or markers.  Due to the work and efforts of an Eagle Scout they were able to put up a monument to the Battle of Buckland Mills and the soldiers buried there.

revealing the monument - David Blake, owner and Alex Grey, Eagle Scout

 The soldiers are buried in front of the monument. They now believe there may be a few more soldiers buried behind the monument but that is something they are still working on establishing.  The house was used as a hospital at one point and supposedly fighting broke out here at the field hospital before the second Manassas engagement. They believe there are dead buried behind the monument from that skirmish.
After the dedication ceremony they fired three shots from this cannon.  I wasn't able to get a picture of the firing because my hands were busy protecting my children's ears. As my children are frightened of the noise of a hair dryer I believe this artillery fire may have taken a few years off their life.

Buckland Hall

That ceremony was the end of the activities for the day. We were all tired, my kids had been incredibly cooperative in indulging their parents in over eight hours of Civil war history!
walking through the pasture, all tired out
'til next time...

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