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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Leesburg in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Swann's Castle

Morven Park in the Civil War

 
 
Swann's Castle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2008
1. Swann's Castle Marker
Inscription. You are standing in the midst of the drilling and review grounds for Confederate soldiers between the summer of 1861 and March 1862. Former Baltimore mayor and future Maryland governor Thomas Swann, Jr. owned the 1,200-acre plantation but was absent. Confederate forces fortified nearby Leesburg, located close to the Potomac River and its many fords, to keep the Union army from crossing the river. Morven Park became an encampment and training site for Confederate forces until they abandoned Leesburg early in March 1862. Until then, the 4th South Carolina Infantry, 8th Virginia Infantry, and 17th Mississippi Infantry called "Swann's Castle" home.

Officers of the 17th Mississippi ordered their troops to build winter quarters shortly after they arrived at Morven Park on Christmas Eve 1861. The log huts with canvas or plank roofs held four to six soldiers, with fireplaces or, in some instances, wood stoves purchased in Leesburg. The remnants of more than fifty hut sites are located on the property nearby.

"War excitement & reenlistment are higher than ever. Formed in front of Swan[n]'s house & listened to an able speech on the subject of reenlistment." - Sgt. Exekiel Armstrong, Co. K, 17th Mississippi Infantry

"Tuesday, Dec. 24th, 1861, camp near Swan[n]'s. Moved this morning to this place which is north of Leesburg
Swann's Castle Marker in Front of the Governor's Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2008
2. Swann's Castle Marker in Front of the Governor's Mansion
& but a short distance from the beautiful residence of the ex-mayor of Baltimore, Swan's. We are camped in his park, see a number of deer feeding around us. This is one of the prettiest places in the state. I suppose we will remain here for the winter if the Yankees do not molest us."
- Pvt. Robert A. Moore, Co. G, 17th Mississippi Infantry

"Wednesday, Feb. 5th, camp near Swan[n]'s. Have been working on our house again to-day. ...Have built bunks & are well pleased with the idea of sleeping as if we were in beds." - Pvt. Robert A. Moore, Co. G, 17th Mississippi Infantry
 
Erected 2008 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 8.371′ N, 77° 34.345′ W. Marker is near Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is on Southern Planter Lane, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located in Morven Park, just north of Leesburg. The grounds are reached from Old Waterford Road. Marker is in this post office area: Leesburg VA 20176, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1862 Antietam Campaign (approx. 0.9 miles away); Mile Hill (approx. 0.9
The Mansion as it Appears Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2008
3. The Mansion as it Appears Today
miles away); Early’s Washington Campaign (approx. 1.1 miles away); Charles Fenton Mercer (approx. 1.4 miles away); Goose Creek Chapel (approx. 1.4 miles away); Morven Park (approx. 1.4 miles away); Fighting for Freedom (approx. 1.5 miles away); In Memory of Richard Owings (approx. 1.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Leesburg.
 
More about this marker. In the upper center is an illustration of Morven Park as it appeared at the time of the Civil War. On the right is a portrait of Pvt. Moore. In the lower center is a photograph of Reconstructed log huts.
 
Also see . . .  Morven Park. A history of the grounds. (Submitted on November 19, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
One of the Recreated Cabins image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 16, 2008
4. One of the Recreated Cabins
On the hills around the grounds, several depressions are indications of the cabins built by the Confederates during their stay. Equipment around the cabin was part of a living history demonstration.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,425 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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