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

First Clash On Loudoun Soil

Dawn Ambush on the Potomac River Frontier

 
 
First Clash On Loudoun Soil Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Stahl, January 1, 2017
1. First Clash On Loudoun Soil Marker
Inscription. You are standing within the foundation of a shed used for a bunkhouse early in the war. In the spring and summer of 1861, twenty-one men of Capt. William W. Mead's Loudoun Cavalry (Co. K, 6th Virginia Cavalry) were posted here. The lane behind you which goes to McKimmey's Landing, then let to the Point of Rocks toll bridge over the Potomac River. Mead's men partly burned the bridge on June 9 on orders of Col. Thomas J. (later "Stonewall") Jackson, then kept their eyes on the Union troops on the Maryland side of the river.

On the evening of August 4, Loudoun County Unionist Samuel Means of Waterford guided sixty men of the 28th New York Infantry across the Potomac from Maryland below Berlin (present-day Brunswick). On reaching the Lovettsville Road, they turned east toward this outpost.

At dawn, Sgt. Boyd Barrett and Pvt Cumberland George Orrison emerged from the shed to feed their horses. Barrett shouted, "There are the Yankees!" as the Federals charged across the field behind you. Barrett and Orrison dashed for the cover of Furnace Mountain just across the road to your right; however, Orrison was killed, and Barrett was wounded. He and thirteen others escaped, but the Federals captured six men, twenty horses, and two civilians at the bridge tollhouse.

The next day, the New Yorkers burned the tollhouse
Detail of Inset image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Stahl
2. Detail of Inset
View from Maryland toward McKimmey's Landing showing the Point of Rocks bridge before it was destroyed. Harper's Weekly, June 19, 1861
and bridge remains as Orrison was buried at nearby New Valley Church. The minister there intoned, "Every soldier that gives his life in this cause will go straight to heaven. George Orrison is in heaven today." The heaven-bound Orrison was the first man killed in Loudoun County in the war.

(Sidebar)
With crucial roadways, twelve fords, and four ferries across the Potomac River, Loudoun County was "the highway of the armies" during the war. Confederate Col. John S. Mosby's Partisan Rangers crossed here at McKimmey's Landing on July 4, 1864, during Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early's campaign on Washington. Mosby's men cut telegraph wires and looted the Point of Rocks village in what became known as the Calico Raid. You can walk down to the water and see that the river is shallow here.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 16.277′ N, 77° 32.936′ W. Marker is near Taylorstown, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is on Lovettsville Road (County Road 672) west of James Monroe Highway (U.S. 15), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. The marker is a few feet off the road towards the lane leading to McKimmey's
Detail of Inset image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Stahl
3. Detail of Inset
Pvt. C. George Orrison. The 28-year-old widower left a small family behind at nearby Goresville to work his farm with out him.
Landing. Marker is in this post office area: Lovettsville VA 20180, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Loudoun County / Maryland (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battle at Point of Rocks (approx. 0.3 miles away in Maryland); Point of Rocks (approx. half a mile away in Maryland); A Canal Home (approx. 0.7 miles away in Maryland); Lockhouse 28 (approx. 0.7 miles away in Maryland); a different marker also named Point of Rocks (approx. 0.8 miles away in Maryland); a different marker also named Point of Rocks (approx. 0.8 miles away in Maryland); Taylorstown (approx. 1.9 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  The Brothers' War: Mosby and the Unionists. Stops 10, 11, 14, and 15 provide more information about McKimmey's Landing and Captain Samuel Means (Submitted on January 8, 2017, by Brandon Stahl of Fairfax, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsPatriots & PatriotismWar, US Civil
 
First Clash On Loudoun Soil Marker and foundation area of the bunkhouse shed image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Stahl, January 1, 2017
4. First Clash On Loudoun Soil Marker and foundation area of the bunkhouse shed
Point of Rocks from McKimmey's Landing image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Stahl, circa 2016
5. Point of Rocks from McKimmey's Landing
The field the Federals charged across image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Stahl, January 7, 2017
6. The field the Federals charged across
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 10, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 8, 2017, by Brandon Stahl of Fairfax, Virginia. This page has been viewed 204 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 8, 2017, by Brandon Stahl of Fairfax, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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