Near Woodbridge in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Confederate Winter Camps
Fighting Boredom and Disease
Gen. John Bell Hood’s 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 Hood’s 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
Early in March 1862, the 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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1862.
Location. 38° 36.329′ N, 77° 16.642′ W. Marker is near Woodbridge, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is at the intersection of Neabsco Road and Kenilworth Court, on the right when traveling west on Neabsco Road. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. War in the Chesapeake (here, next to this marker); Leesylvania (within shouting distance of this marker); Julie J. Metz Amphitheater (within shouting distance of this marker); Neabsco Ironworks & Mills (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Collo. Richard Blackburn (approx. half a mile away); Stones, but No Bones (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Burying Ground (approx. 0.6 miles away); Neabsco Creek (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map 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.
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, 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.
— Submitted August 3, 2014, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 11, 2009. This page has been viewed 2,328 times since then and 83 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 12, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 11, 2009. 6. submitted on March 7, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.