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

Confederate Winter Camps

Fighting Boredom and Disease

 
 
Confederate Winter Camps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 12, 2020
1. Confederate Winter Camps Marker
Inscription.  After the Confederate victory at Ball’s 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 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
Confederate Winter Camps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 12, 2020
2. Confederate Winter Camps Marker
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 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.
 
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.
Confederate Winter Camps Marker image. Click for full size.
February 11, 2009
3. Confederate Winter Camps Marker
This is of the original iteration of the marker with different formatting.
Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 Wessex Ct, Woodbridge VA 22191, United States of America. 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.
 
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, 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.
 
Confederate Winter Camps Marker image. 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.

This marker is in its previous location.
Close-up of Map on Marker image. Click for full size.
February 11, 2009
5. Close-up of Map on Marker
Confederate Winter Camps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 28, 2015
6. Confederate Winter Camps Marker
This is a previous iteration of the marker with different formatting.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 11, 2009. This page has been viewed 2,178 times since then and 45 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.
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Jul. 14, 2020