The Battle of Ball’s Bluff in Loudoun County, Virginia on October 21, 1861, was one of the early battles of the American Civil War, where Union Army forces under Major General George B. McClellan, suffered a humiliating defeat.
The operation was planned as a minor reconnaissance across the Potomac to establish whether the Confederates were occupying the strategically important position of Leesburg. A false report of an unguarded Confederate camp encouraged Brigadier General Charles Pomeroy Stone to order a raid, which clashed with enemy forces. A prominent U.S. Senator in uniform, Colonel Edward Baker, tried to reinforce the Union troops, but failed to ensure that there were enough boats for the river crossings, which were then delayed. Baker was killed, and a newly-arrived Confederate unit routed the rest of Stone’s expedition.
The Union losses, although modest by later standards, alarmed Congress, which set-up the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, a body which would provoke years of bitter political infighting.
Take advantage of the trails. I took one of the trails north of the parking lot. Bug spray is highly recommended.
Confederate Casualties at First Bull Run (approximate) Beauregard and Johnston’s combined force of 30,800 had 390 killed, 1,600 wounded, and about a dozen missing, a total of approximately 2,000 or about 6.5 percent. Both sides suffered about the same number of killed and wounded.
The Stone House was built to be both a wagon stop and a private residence, on the 2nd floor. As it was strategically located right across from the toll gate located on the new 1828 Warrenton Turnpike, it was used as place to rest, grab a bite to eat and enjoy some hard drinking before traveling down this marvelous private, paved road. In the early part of the 19th century, many goods were taken to cities by horse and wagon; driven by drovers and teamsters; the 19th century version of the 20th century truck drivers. The owners had living quarters on the second floor and did very well indeed for the 22 years that they owned it.
Starting in 1850, the next owners of The Stone House were Henry and Jane Matthews. Unfortunately, they were not as successful because of the building of the new railroad stop in the city of Manassas in the 1850’s, causing their road business to steadily decline. The Matthews family turned to farming corn, oats and hops to make ends meet. During the Civil War, the Matthews family found that the location of the Stone House was not an income enhancer, and down right dangerous.
In 1861 and 1862, they found that their Stone House and their farm property was swallowed up by the two battles of Bull Run. Despite the two invasions of wounded soldiers into their establishment, they held onto their property.
The Stone House became a field hospital for wounded men of both sides, because of its location.
During Stonewall Jackson’s attack at Henry House Hill, the Confederate soldiers charged with their bayonets and screamed a terrifying high pitch battle cry that later became known as the “rebel yell.”
The Battle of Saratoga, comprising two significant battles during September and October of 1777, was a crucial victory for the Patriots during the American Revolution and is considered the turning point of the Revolutionary War. The Battle was the impetus for France to enter the war against Britain, re-invigorating Washington’s Continental Army and providing much needed supplies and support.
Recognized as one of the fifteen most decisive battles in world history, the Saratoga National Historic Park commemorates the site where a new Nation emerged.
A Brief Overview of the Crucial Battles of Saratoga
The turning point in the Revolutionary War began as a plan by the British to strategically control Upstate New York and isolate New England from the Southern colonies in an effort to decisively put an end to the Revolution. It ended as an opportunity the Patriots were waiting for.
British troops led by General John Burgoyne, planned to drive south from Montreal to Albany, NY along the historic water route of Lake Champlain, Lake George and the Hudson River. Once in Albany, they would join forces with two other British commands, one coming north from New York City and the other coming east along the Mohawk River valley.