Stafford County Winter Encampment Site

Tip of the hat to Eric Wittenberg for a mention of an article from the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star.  A fellow marker hunter at HMDB, who lives in that area also passed along an earlier article discussing this “Valley Forge” of the Civil War.  The site includes about six hundred feet of earthworks, winter encampment sites, and (are you sitting down?) sections of corduroy road.  Non-Civil War structures include bridge abutments and quarry sites. The locations of the structures are detailed in a County Board of Supervisors memo (PDF).

Friends of Stafford Civil War Sites (FSCWS), a local preservation organization, is very active in this effort.  The bite I like from the March article:  “Having waited two years for officials to act, FSCWS is now “impatient” to see the sites made into a park, said Glenn Trimmer, the group’s director.” Unfortunately, their web site is off the net currently, otherwise I’d pass a link.  Stafford County, much like Culpeper County, contains many sites related to winter quarters of the Army of the Potomac.  If I’m not mistaken, the grass roots efforts there were galvanized when a section of the XII Corps campsite was destroyed by developers.  FSCWS efforts included adding interpretation for that site.

Another site in Stafford County, outside of those directly related to the Fredericksburg Battlefield, is White Oak Church.  There, a memorial indicates the Federal VI Corps winter camp.  As seen from a map of the Civil War markers in the county, sort of a “triangle” exists with Aquia Landing, Chatham Heights, and Hartwood forming points, and the winter encampments in the middle.  Wouldn’t be a bad investment of $10,000 to start development of a park, with interpretive resources, in the middle of that triangle.

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