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Brentsville in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Brentsville

”The houses generally are in ruin …”

 
 
Brentsville - <i>”The houses generally are in ruin …”</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
1. Brentsville - ”The houses generally are in ruin …” Marker
Inscription. Brentsville was the Prince William County seat during the Civil War. In response to John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, the Prince William Cavalry (Co. A, Virginia Cavalry) was formed here on the courthouse lawn in January 1860. The ladies of Brentsville made a flag and presented it to the company. Other Confederate units from Prince William County, such as the Ewell Guards (Co. A, 49th Virginia Infantry), were organized and drilled here.

        Like many Virginia towns, Brentsville suffered heavily at the hands of both armies. Confederate Gen. Eppa Hunton, a Brentsville resident and lawyer, had his house and other buildings destroyed. The Hampton Legion, among other units, was posted here on scouting missions, and several homes and churches served as hospitals. The county clerk’s office was torn down and its bricks used for camp chimneys. Part of the ca. 1822 courthouse roof was torn off, and many county records were either destroyed or taken by soldiers as souvenirs. Capt. Andrew McHenry of the 13th Pennsylvania Infantry wrote of Brentsville in 1864, “The houses generally are in ruin.”

        The Battle of Bristoe Station, fought three miles west on October 14, 1863, brought combat to Brentsville’s doorstep. During the battle, Federal Gen. John Buford’s cavalry was posted here to protect
Nineteenth-century map of Brentsville image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
2. Nineteenth-century map of Brentsville
Closeup picture of map in upper right, a 19th-century map of Brentsville and vicinity.
the Federal supply train. Confederate partisan units operated in Brentsville until the end of the war.

(caption of picture in upper right) Nineteenth-century map map (sic) of Brentsville and vicinity, with nearby Bristoe Station and Manassas Junction, the focus of several campaigns and battles- Courtesy Library of Congress

(caption of center picture) Prince William Cavalry (Co. A, 4th VA. Cav.) flag – Courtesy Manassas Museum

(captions in photos in lower left)
Gen. Eppa Hunton – Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. John Buford – Courtesy Library of Congress

(sidebar) Brentsville was founded in 1820 to be the Prince William County seat. The town never fully recovered from the war, and the economic center of the county shifted to Manassas because of the railroad junction there. In 1893, the county seat moved to Manassas. The ca. 1822 Brentsville courthouse and jail still stand.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 41.386′ N, 77° 29.985′ W. Marker is in Brentsville, Virginia, in Prince William County. Click for map.
Brentsville - <i>”The houses generally are in ruin …”</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
3. Brentsville - ”The houses generally are in ruin …” Marker
The ca. 1822 Brentsville courthouse is behind the marker.
Marker is at or near this postal address: 12235 Bristow Road, Bristow VA 20136, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brentsville - County Jail (a few steps from this marker); Brentsville - County Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Brentsville - The Public Lot (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville - One-Room School (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville – Clerks’ Office (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Brentsville (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville - The Gallows (within shouting distance of this marker); John W. Hall Home (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Brentsville.
 
More about this marker. This marker is adjacent to the parking lot behind the courthouse and jail buildings.

 
Categories. Notable BuildingsWar, US Civil
 
Rear of Brentsville Jail image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
4. Rear of Brentsville Jail
The ca. 1822 Brentsville jail - still standing.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,342 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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