5 years ago

Rappahannock Landing Archaeological Survey ... - Fauquier County

Rappahannock Landing Archaeological Survey ... - Fauquier County

which made these crops

which made these crops easier to transport to larger markets. Several mills were located along nearby Tinpot Run, the first being built in 1804 (Del Rosso 1990). Due to Fauquier County’s geographic location it was difficult to ship large quantities via water, and by 1825 a system of roads from port towns had made their way into the countryside. These roads are depicted in Boÿe’s 1825 Map of the State of Virginia (Figure 4). Because of the new road systems, settlement in the county increased by the 1830s. One of these was known as Mill View or Bowensville, located at the convergence of Tinpot Run and the Rappahannock River just 0.3 miles from the project area. In addition to the network of roads penetrating the interior of the country the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was completed by the 1850s with a station located in the west bank of the Rappahannock River across from present-day Remington Station. The area was known as Rappahannock Station from 1852 and 1890 (Schaepman 1990). Project Area Vicinity Figure 4: Map of the State of Virginia (Boÿe 1828). By 1860 Fauquier County’s population was 21,706 with the blacks outnumbering the whites by 4 percent, as evidenced in the 1860 census. At the outbreak of the Civil War Fauquier County was agrarian-based, making farming the number one occupation in the county. As such 93 percent of the black population were slaves (Scheel 1985:2). Civil War and the Battle of Rappahannock Station The Civil War greatly impacted Fauquier County and more specifically the project vicinity. Because the project area is focused on the Battle of Rappahannock Station, this context will focus on events leading up to the battle, the battle itself, its outcome, and the effect it had on Fauquier County. 14 North

As listed in the Minutes from the 5 th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment’s annual meeting in 1901 (Anderson 1901:28): Nearly all current histories of the late rebellion ignore the story of the storming of Rappahannock Station, or dismiss it with but slight notice. Yet it was an exploit that thrilled the whole country at that time, which called forth unstinted praise from the press and won from the commanding general of the Army of the Potomac special commendation and notice in general orders. Between the spring of 1862 and the fall of 1863 skirmishes and battles between the two armies took place within the project area vicinity. The Orange and Alexandria Railroad and the bridge at Rappahannock Station were crucial to both armies. Knowing the importance of these transportation systems, the Confederate Army destroyed the railway bridge (Figure 5) at Rappahannock Station on March 28, 1863 in the hopes of slowing the Union advance towards Richmond (Scheel 1985:26–27). The Confederate’s kept the Union from holding their position at Rappahannock Station and as such several conflicts took place over the next few months. Figure 5: Burning the Rappahannock Railway Bridge, Oct. 13th 1863 (Library of Congress 1863a). By August 21, 1862 the Union and Confederate armies held both sides of the Rappahannock River, the Confederates in Culpeper County and the Union in Fauquier County. Upon the discovery of General Stonewall Jackson’s flanking maneuver, which threatened supply lines at Manassas Junction and Washington, D.C. General Pope of the Union army was deployed to north and east. This move subsequently shortened the conflict on the Rappahannock. 15

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