|Virginia, Stafford — Eleventh Corps Encampment Area — Union Army of the Potomac|
|In 1863, over 135,000 Union Army of the Potomac soldiers established winter camps throughout Stafford County - the largest encampment of any Army during the Civil War. Two-thirds of Civil War deaths occurred while armies were in camp. Many soldiers throughout Stafford compared their camps and experiences to Valley Forge during the Revolution. Unlike Valley Forge however, none of the Stafford camps have been preserved in a park - until now.
The Army of the Potomac reached its lowest point . . . — Map (db m65152) HM|
|Virginia, Stafford — Union Battery|
|The largest and strongest battery in this park; this one contains nearly 300 linear feet of parapet 30 feet thick. The foundation of a large blockhouse also remains. The battery could have supported all three nearby batteries. Its blockhouse also protected the double-track army corduroy road, remains of which can be seen to its rear. The battery contains evidence of multiple gun embrasures and interior structures. its thick walls and large blockhouse indicate possible use of heavy caliber rifled guns from the artillery reserve. — Map (db m65199) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — 11th Corps Road|
|On 15 Feb 1863 Major-General Joseph Hooker directed that the road passing about one mile to the west of Brooke's Station and leading to Stafford Court House be put in condition to be practicable for artillery at all times, corduroying it where necessary with material of sufficient length to form a double-track roadway. A large segment of that road built by Union 11th Corps soldiers and engineers can be seen behind this sign. Nearly 150 years later, the VA Army National Guard's 276th Engineer . . . — Map (db m65213) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E-49 — Accokeek Iron Furnace|
|The Principio Company constructed the Accokeek Iron Furnace nearby about 1726 on land leased from Augustine Washington (father of George Washington), who became a partner. After Washington’s death in 1743, his son Lawrence inherited his interest in the company and the furnace. When he in turn died ten years later, his share descended first to his brother Augustine Washington Jr. and later to William Augustine Washington. The archaeological site is a rare example of an 18th-century Virginia . . . — Map (db m2261) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E-90 — Aquia Church|
|Here is Aquia Church, the church of Overwharton Parish, formed before 1680 by the division of Potomac Parish. It was built in 1757, on the site of an earlier church, in the rectorship of Reverend John Moncure, who was the parish minister from 1738 to 1764. The Communion Silver was given the parish in 1739 and was buried in three successive wars, 1776, 1812, and 1861. — Map (db m7642) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Early Escape Route — Trail to Freedom|
|"For a few moments, silence prevailed. My master [Ellen] looked at me, and I at him, but neither of us dared to speak a word, for fear of making some blunder that would tend to our detection. we knew that the officers had the power to throw us in prison..."
— William Craft, Dec. 24, 1848.
The opening of the rail line to Aquia in 1842 provided opportunity for slaves seeking freedom. In 1848, slaves William and Ellen Craft of Georgia embarked on their dangerous journey to . . . — Map (db m40130) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E-76 — First Roman Catholic Settlement in Virginia|
|The crucifix by sculptor Georg J. Lober, erected in 1930, commemorates the first English Roman Catholic settlement in Virginia. Fleeing political and religious turmoil in Maryland, Giles Brent and his sisters Margaret and Mary established two plantations called Peace and Retirement on the north side of Aquia Creek between 1647 and 1650. Later, they jointly acquired 15,000 acres in Northern Virginia, including the site of present-day Alexandria. Their nephew George Brent, whose plantation . . . — Map (db m2156) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Fleurries|
|Former house of Miss Anne E. Moncure,
The existing portion of the house was moved in 1987 to this site, now owned by the Aquia Church.
Marked by the Bill of Rights Chapter,
National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution,
April 26, 1998. — Map (db m2227) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E-50 — From Indian Path to Highway|
|In 1664, a colonial road here probably followed the trace of an old Indian path. Two years later, the road was extended to Aquia Creek. It became a post road in 1750, and in Sept. 1781 Gen. George Washington passed over it on the march to Yorktown. By 1900, a crude dirt road followed this route. The 1914 American Automobile Association Blue Book described it as mostly “very poor and dangerous; should not be attempted except in dry weather.” By 1925, auto camps and cabins, the . . . — Map (db m2188) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Gateway to Freedom — Trail to Freedom|
|"I bounded across the Gang plank and concealed Myself for a while until the Steamer got off from the Wharf. I then came out and arrived Safe at 6th Street Wharf in Washington D.C. on the Night of September 1st, 1862 in a hard rain."
During the Civil War, most white Stafford residents greeted the arrival of the Union army in April 1862 with outrage and fear. But many slaves throughout the region rejoiced at the opportunity for freedom. Thousands left their . . . — Map (db m40131) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Government Island — Government Island Orientation|
|Welcome to Government Island. This 17-acre historic site is an early American quarry originally named Brent’s Island or Wiggington’s Island. As early as 1694, stone was quarried from this site for use as architectural trim in Colonial America. The quarry’s fine-grained sandstone was called Aquia (ah qui’ ah) stone, due to its location along the Aquia Creek, or freestone, for its ability to be freely carved without splitting. The stone was a desirable building material for its composition as . . . — Map (db m39550) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E-123 — Historic Aquia Creek|
|The first known permanent English Roman Catholic settlers in Virginia, Giles Brent, his sister Margaret, and other family members, emigrated here from Maryland by 1650. In May 1861, Confederates built artillery batteries on the bluffs overlooking Aquia Landing at the creek’s mouth on the Potomac River. An early clash between U.S. Naval vessels and Confederate land batteries took place here, 30 May and 1 June 1861. After the Confederates withdrew in March 1862, the U.S. Army established a huge . . . — Map (db m2157) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — In Honor of Those Who Served|
men and women
who served in
defense of their
Country — Map (db m6524) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — In Memory of September 11, 2001|
|The Pentagon The World Trade Center
Somerset County, PA
"All Gave Some" "Some Gave All"
For those who were lost
For those who lost family and friends
For those protecting our families
For those protecting our freedoms
God Bless Them All
God Bless America
Dedicated by the Board of Supervisors
and Citizens of Stafford County — Map (db m7293) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — In Memory of the Oklahoma City tragedy — April 19, 1995|
Blue: Statehood (Our Flag)
The Citizens of Stafford County
April 19, 1996
In honor of those who came to their aid — Map (db m7292) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — In the Name of Christ the King|
|To commemorate the first English Catholic Settlers in Virginia: Colonel Giles Brent, Deputy Governor of Maryland 1643; Margaret and Mary Brent who settled at Aquia 1647; George Brent, King’s Attorney General 1686, Member House of Burgesses 1688, who petitioned for and obtained on Feb 10th, 1686 from James II, King of England, a proclamation of religious tolerance for all people settling in the Colony of Brenton.
Nearby rests the remains of those Catholic Pioneers.
(Plaques on . . . — Map (db m2183) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Island Ownership|
|In 1647, Giles Brent established the first English settlement in this area along Aquia Creek. Nearly 50 years later, George Brent, Giles Brent’s nephew, became the island’s first documented owner. George purchased “…a small tongue or neck or Island of Land with small point of marsh…” in 1694. The property remained in he Brent family for almost 100 years, during which time is was used as a private quarry.
In 1791, the property was purchased by the federal government, which . . . — Map (db m39759) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E-48 — Kidnapping of Pocahontas|
|Near here, Pocahontas visited friends among the Patawomecks on the Potomac River in April 1613. Capt. Samuel Argall saw an opportunity to capture Pocahontas and exchange her for English prisoners held by her father Chief Powhatan. Argall sought out Iopassus, the chief of the Indian town of Passapatanzy. After Argall made veiled threats, Iopassus obtained permission from his brother the Patawomeck district chief to aid Argall. Iopassus had one of his wives insist that Pocahontas accompany her on . . . — Map (db m2218) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E-75 — Marlborough|
|Strategically situated at the tip of a peninsula jutting into the Potomac River at Potomac Creek, Marlborough was established under the Town Act of 1691 as a river port town. It served as the county seat of Stafford County from 1691 until about 1718. Marlborough never fully developed. In 1726, noted lawyer John Mercer (1705–1768) moved there and built Marlborough plantation and attempted to revive the town. Mercer had one of the largest private libraries in Virginia, in which the young . . . — Map (db m2219) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E 90-a — Mary Kittamaquund|
|Mary was the only child of Kittamaquund, paramount chief of the Piscataway tribes when Lord Baltimore's settlers arrived in Maryland in 1634. In 1641, seven-year-old Mary became the ward of Maryland governor Leonard Calvert and his sister-in-law Margaret Brent. Three years later Mary was married to Margaret Brent's 38-year-old brother, Giles Brent, who likely intended to gain control of Piscataway lands through the alliance. The Brents moved to Virginia to lands near here in 1647, where Giles . . . — Map (db m41820) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Native American Presence|
|Native American artifacts were recovered in various locations on Government Island. The largest concentration of artifacts was found overlooking Aquia Creek. a rare Clovis projectile point was found, indicating the Paleoindians were present in this area prior to 8000 B.C. Paleoindians likely operated out of temporary camps located near high-quality stone supplies and areas plentiful with game where they carved their points and tools, as well as hunted and gathered food.
Other recovered . . . — Map (db m39946) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — E-79 — Peyton’s Ordinary|
|In this vicinity stood Peyton’s Ordinary. George Washington, going to Fredericksburg to visit his mother, dined here, March 6, 1769. On his way to attend the House of Burgesses, he spent the night here, October 31, 1769, and stayed here again on September 14, 1772. Rochambeau’s Army, marching north from Williamsburg in 1782, camped here. — Map (db m2187) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Z-158 — Prince William County / Stafford County|
|Prince William County, named for William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and third son of King George II, was officially formed from Stafford and King George Counties in 1731. Manassas was designated the county seat in 1892. Previously the county seat had been located at Occoquan Creek, Cedar Run, Dumfries, and Brentville. The two battles of Manassas took place here on 21 July 1861 and 28-30 August 1862. Both battles resulted in Confederate victories over the Union army. Several sites here are . . . — Map (db m2160) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Quarrying the Stone|
|Quarrying stone during the late 18th and early 19th centuries was very labor intensive. Stone quarried here was cut and shipped with the use of simple machines and animal power. Various workers were needed to extract the stone. A master-mason, usually a European who was a master in all aspects of stone work, would oversee the entire quarrying operation. Skilled workers included stone cutters and stone carvers who extracted and rough-cut the stone into desired sizes. . . . — Map (db m39751) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Redoubt No. 2 / Fort No Name — Federal Defenses of Aquia Creek Landing|
|Twelfth Corps / Army of the Potomac, USA
Stafford County, Virginia
National Historic Registry
Virginia Historic Registry
DHR # 089-5057/44ST0082 — Map (db m55988) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Sandstone Quarry|
|On the trail to the right of the picnic area beyond this sign are the remains of a late 18th and early 19th century sandstone quarry. Archaeological reports on this site noted that stone quarried here was loaded onto scows or shallow boats and taken down the small tributary to the larger and deeper Accokeek Creek. Quarrying operations have been key to Stafford County growth since the 1700s. In 2011-2012 Vulcan Materials Co. donated nearly 6,000 tons of Stafford stone and gravel to this park's construction. — Map (db m65228) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Site Selection / Architectural Features|
In 1791, President George Washington (who was raised in Stafford County 10 miles south of this site at Ferry Farm) appointed three Commissioners to oversee construction of the new federal capital city (later named Washington, D.C.). The Commissioners sent Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant to survey the lands along the Potomac River for adequate deposits of freestone.
L'Enfant selected Brent's Island for its bountiful supply of good-quality freestone, proximity to the . . . — Map (db m39788) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Stafford County Tri-Centennial|
|August 7, 1964
In celebration of its 300th Birthday, here is buried a capsule by order of the Circuit Court, to be opened on August 7, 2064. Planted by the Stafford County Lions Club and Stafford County Board of Supervisors — Map (db m6522) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Steamships, Stages and Slave Trade — Trail to Freedom|
|"In the forenoon the steamer reached Aquia Creek. There the passengers took stages — Burch and his five slaves occupying one exclusively. ...He told me to hold up my head and look smart. That I might, perhaps, get a good master if I behaved myself. I made him no reply."
— Solomon Northrup, 1841
Aquia Landing (pronounced 'uh kwhy' yuh'), here at the junction of Aquia Creek and the Potomac River (to your right) was once a vital hub in Virginia's transportation . . . — Map (db m40129) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — The Robertson Quarry|
|In the 1800s, the Robertson Quarry was one of many quarries in Stafford County which provided stone for government buildings, private homes, and public buildings, not only in Washington, D.C., but across the nation. The Robertson Quarry, along with the quarries on Government Island, contributed the stone for the United States Capitol. In 1818, the area was known as the Towson Quarry.
Both slave and white laborers worked in the Quarry. They loaded the heavy Aquia sandstone into ox carts and . . . — Map (db m35394) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — The Robertson-Towson House — Circa 1820|
|When Benjamin Henry Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol, visited Stafford in 1806, he found on this “beautiful little knoll in the midst of the woods close to his quarry…a log house,” the home of quarryman William Robertson. Robertson’s quarry was, and had been, contributing Aquia stone, or sandstone, for construction of the United States Capitol.
After Robertson’s death in 1818, Baltimore architect and stone carver, Thomas Towson, acquired the land. Towson designed and . . . — Map (db m31209) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Transporting the Stone|
|A historic road is visible to the right. It was created by skids or "stone boats" that were loaded with stone and dragged by oxen to the wharf. The stone was very heavy. One cubic foot of stone weighed 120 pounds.
In addition to moving the stone by skids, a canal was needed to transport the stone. The canal was "cut about 18 feet wide to let scows [flat-bottom boats] into the quarry..." (Commissioners Records, 1793). Although the exact location of the canal is unknown, Benjamin Henry Latrobe . . . — Map (db m39799) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Trooper Jessica Jean Cheney|
— In Memory of —
Jessica Jean Cheney
January 17th 1998
"What she lacked in experience, she made up for in hard work and spirit."
-E. Futrell — Map (db m4935) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Union Battery|
|At 200 feet above sea level, this is the highest of the three batteries in this park. Its three-faced parapet allowed it to support other nearby batteries and encampments against attacks from multiple directions. Its very steep approaches would have been cleared of trees in 1863 and, combined with its well-preserved 182' of parapet and ditches, would have proved exceedingly difficult to attack from the Accokeek Valley. It is estimated to have held from four to five guns. — Map (db m65217) HM|
|Virginia (Stafford County), Stafford — Union Infantry Winter Camp|
|These woods contain remains of hut sites, chimneys and defenses of a large Army of the Potomac winter camp, soldiers of the 11th Corps 1st and 3rd Divisions moved to this area from Belle Plain and Stafford Courthouse in late Feb/early Mar, 1863, in camps like this throughout Stafford 135,000 plus soldiers in 8 Corps recovered from the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Mud March and and Chancellorsville, many called these camps their "Valley Forge," NY, OH, CT, PA, IL and WI units camped in or near . . . — Map (db m65151) HM|