And another marker for Loudoun County early in the Sesquicentennial!
June July 16, in conjunction with groundbreaking for the Ankers Family Memorial Garden, Northern Virginia Community College unveils a Civil War Trails marker interpreting the battle of Ankers’ Shop, or Second Dranesville. I posted the full event notice over on the Loudoun Civil War Roundtable Website.
Just a bit of background on the battle: On February 22, 1864 Confederates under Lieutenant Colonel John S. Mosby ambushed a detachment of Federal cavalry under Captain J. Sewell Reed, consisting of elements of the 2nd Massachusetts and 16th New York Cavalry. Mosby’s men killed 12 (including Reed), wounded 25 and captured 70, with a loss of one killed and five wounded.
From an operational standpoint, study of this battle offers an example of Federal operations against Mosby and how Mosby countered those patrols. Just two days earlier Mosby had blunted an attack by Cole’s Maryland Cavalry near Piedmont Station (modern Deleplane) in Fauquier County. Hearing of Reed’s patrol into eastern Loudoun, Mosby moved to stop that incursion on February 21. Covering the better part of two of Virginia’s larger counties, Mosby stopped both patrols.
Sitting just off Leesburg Pike, the Ankers’ Shop and the family home “Ankerage” saw much traffic during the war and of course even more so today. Indeed I drive past the site almost every work day. The site is today on the campus of the Northern Virginia Community College – Loudoun Campus. A memorial plaque currently notes the family cemetery were both Federal and Confederate were buried during the war. This spot was long on my “Needs a Marker” list. So thanks to efforts by the college and the Ankers Family Memorial Gardens, I’ll be able to check this one off.
Let me also note that the college is accepting donations to complete the memorial garden. Details are posted on the Roundtable website.