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Rectortown in Fauquier County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Rectortown
McClellan’s Demise, Mosby’s Raffle

— Mosby's Confederacy —
 
Rectortown Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 16, 2007
1. Rectortown Marker
 
Inscription. On November 5, 1862, several weeks after a tainted victory at Antietam, the Army of the Potomac's Commander-in-Chief Gen. George Brinton McClellan established his headquarters here. That same day President Abraham Lincoln wrote the orders relieving McClellan of command. On the snowy evening of November 7, Gen. C.P. Buckingham arrived at McClellan’s tent with Gen. Ambrose Burnside. Buckingham handed McClellan the dispatch. When he finished reading, McClellan declared, “General Burnside, you are now in command of the Army.” After bidding farewell to his troops in nearby Warrenton on Nov. 10, Gen. McClellan returned to civilian life. In 1864 he ran against Lincoln as the Democratic Party candidate for president.

Rectortown was also the site of a deadly raffle on November 6, 1864. Because Col. John S. Mosby’s men attributed the execution of seven of his Confederate rangers to Union Gen. George Custer, Mosby ordered the execution of an equal number of Federals, to be selected by lot from among 27 prisoners. Two drummer boys were among the prisoners, and one of them drew a fatal slip. When Mosby was informed of the circumstances he heeded the plea of a young artillery officer to allow a second drawing for a substitute. Ironically, the death lot was drawn by the officer who made the request. Ultimately, that officer and
 
Rectortown Station Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 16, 2007
2. Rectortown Station
The building here was used for a time to hold prisoners of war. Graffiti from those soldiers is said to be visible inside.
 
three others survived. Three were hanged.

The depot at this site was in use during the war and the building which houses farm equipment was one of Mosby’s headquarters. The stone building in front of you was used as a Federal prison and still has traces of graffiti drawn by prisoners.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Manassas Gap Railroad, and the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 54.974′ N, 77° 52.138′ W. Marker is in Rectortown, Virginia, in Fauquier County. Marker is on Maidstone Road, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Off VA 710 going through Rectortown, turn onto Maidstone Road (headed Southwest). After about 2000 feet, the marker and station are at the bend of a sharp right hand turn. Marker is in this post office area: Rectortown VA 20140, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Emmanuel Episcopal Church (approx. 2.6 miles away); Piedmont Station (approx. 2.8 miles away); Oak Hill (approx. 2.8 miles away); Delaplane (approx. 2.8 miles away); Death of 2d Lt. James “Big Yankee” Ames (approx. 3 miles away); Mosby’s Rangers Disband (approx. 3.5 miles away); McClellan Relived From Command (approx. 3.5 miles away); Salem (approx. 3.6 miles away).
 
Railroad side view of station Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 16, 2007
3. Railroad side view of station
 

 
More about this marker. Marker has two newspaper drawings depicting scenes described on the marker. The first is a picture of McClellan’s encampment, with the caption, “Gen. McClellan is relieved of command at his Rectortown headquarters by Gen. Burnside. Drawing by A. R. Waud in Harper’s Weekly.” The second depicts Mosby’s raffle with the caption, “Mosby’s Rangers supervise the death raffle on November 6, 1864. Drawing by Sidney W. Riesenberg.”
 
Also see . . .  Civil War Traveler. Fauquier County (Submitted on February 12, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Additional keywords. Mosby's Confederacy
 
Mosby’s Death Raffle site Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, September 14, 2005
4. Mosby’s Death Raffle site
 
 
Prisoner graffiti in Rectortown Depot. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, September 14, 2005
5. Prisoner graffiti in Rectortown Depot.
 
 
Prisoner's sketch of the new Union commander, Gen. Burnside. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, September 14, 2005
6. Prisoner's sketch of the new Union commander, Gen. Burnside.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on June 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,053 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on January 30, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on January 29, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
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