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

Confederate Winter Camps

Fighting Boredom and Disease

 
 
Confederate Winter Camps Marker Photo, Click for full size
February 11, 2009
1. Confederate Winter Camps Marker
Inscription. After the Confederate victory at Ballís Bluff in October 1861, the Union and Confederate armies settled into winter camps between Washington and Richmond. Confederate forces withdrew from Fairfax County to Prince William County and defended a line from Manassas to Quantico. Batteries on the Potomac River blockaded shipping to Washington. Many units constructed log huts with clapboard roofs for their winter quarters in the Neabsco and Quantico Creek area.

Gen. John Bell Hoodís Texas Brigade constructed its winter camp, Camp Wigfall, here late in the summer of 1861. When not on picket duty, the men cooked and cleaned the camp. For amusement, they played cards, foraged, and visited brigade sutlers or friends and relatives at nearby camps. They also built The Lone Star Theater for the newly formed Hoodís Minstrels, a group of actors, brass band, and choir. The theater was popular and featured performances by banjoist Sam Sweeney and “The Bonnie Blue Flag” lyricist Harry McCarty.

Unsanitary conditions and crowding in the camps contributed to outbreaks of measles, dysentery, diarrhea, and typhoid fever, causing more deaths than by combat. Most soldiers were from far away in the Deep South and relied on local citizens for care while the army doctors struggled to control the epidemics.

Early in March 1862, the
Confederate Winter Camps Marker-new installation Photo, Click for full size
By Don Morfe, February 28, 2015
2. Confederate Winter Camps Marker-new installation
Confederates withdrew closer to Richmond. They took what supplies they could, but bad roads, not enough wagons and their hurried departure forced them to destroy provisions and munitions. Federal troops later occupied some of the camps, but most soon disappeared.

“Our losses in the winter of 1861 from sickness and exposure, incident to camp life were very heavy. I had the measles; had a relapse and developed a case of typhoid-pneumonia, and my fate was uncertain for about six weeks. For ten or twelve days I did not eat a mouthful of anything.” –Pvt. James M. Polk, 4th Texas Infantry
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 36.445′ N, 77° 17.68′ W. Marker is in Woodbridge, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is at the intersection of Donald Curtis Drive and Sindlinger Way, on the right when traveling west on Donald Curtis Drive. Click for map. Marker is located near the Ferlazzo Government Building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge VA 22191, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies.
Confederate Winter Camps Marker-new installation distant shot Photo, Click for full size
By Don Morfe, February 28, 2015
3. Confederate Winter Camps Marker-new installation distant shot
“Leesylvania” (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); Neabsco Iron Works (approx. ľ mile away); Events Along Neabsco Creek (approx. 0.3 miles away but has been reported missing); Dumfries Rest Area (approx. 0.9 miles away); Neabsco Mills Ironworks (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Leesylvania (approx. 0.9 miles away); Freedom High School Sundial Memorial (approx. one mile away); Rippon Lodge ~ Latrobe's View (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Woodbridge.
 
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a portrait captioned, Senator (breifly Gen.) Louis T. Wigfall of Texas. On the upper middle of the marker is a photo captioned, Texans in winter camp near Dumfries, early 1862. On the right side of the marker is a photo captioned, Typical evacuated Confederate camp, March 1862. The marker also features an area map with red stars and dots denoting Civil War Trails Sites and Confederate Camp locations.
 
Additional comments.
1. Marker Relocation
This marker has been moved to a new location, and is now displayed along with a new Leesylvania marker.
It is located at 15875 Neabsco Drive,
Confederate Winter Camps Marker Photo, Click for full size
February 11, 2009
4. Confederate Winter Camps Marker
This area along Neabsco Creek was the center of Confederate winter camps and fortifications in 1861–1862. These troops were used to support the Potomac River batteries that successfully blockaded the Potomac River in the winter of 1861–1862. Only a few of these camps and fortifications remain today.
Woodbridge VA. 22191, about .7 mile from the entrance to Leesylvania State Park at the parking lot of the Julie J. Metz Wetlands Mitigation Bank area. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted August 3, 2014, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida.

 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Close-up of Map on Marker Photo, Click for full size
February 11, 2009
5. Close-up of Map on Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 1,812 times since then and 117 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on .   2, 3. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234.   4, 5. submitted on . • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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