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Vienna in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Civil War Action at Vienna

 
 
Civil War Action at Vienna Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, January 22, 2010
1. Civil War Action at Vienna Marker
Inscription.  On June 17, 1861, at this bend in the railroad, a Union train carrying 271 men of the 1st Ohio Volunteers was ambushed by nearly 700 South Carolina infantry and cavalry. Amid artillery fire, the Ohioans jumped from the platform cars and took cover in the woods.

The engineer immediately sped the locomotive Clarke, minus the troops and cars, back to Alexandria. Anticipating Union reinforcements, the Confederates burned the abandoned cars and retreated. Eight Federal soldiers were killed in the indecisive clash.

War came to the Alexandria, Loudoun & Hampshire Railroad (predecessor of the W&OD) shortly after Virginia seceded from the Union. Before Federal forces confiscated the railroad on May 24, 1861, Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee tore up the track and bridges west of Vienna and sent two of the three locomotives south.

After the skirmish at Vienna, the Clarke and other locomotives shuttled troops and supplies to Union encampments between Alexandria Vienna. The AL&H saw little further action other than occasional harassment by Col. John Mosby's men.
 
Erected by Northern Virginia
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Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks, and the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1856.
 
Location. 38° 54.051′ N, 77° 15.384′ W. Marker is in Vienna, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from Park Street (County Route 675), on the right when traveling north. Located along the W&OD Trail, roughly a quarter mile from the intersection with Park Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Vienna VA 22180, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Electric Trains on the W&OD (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); On June 17, 1861 (approx. 0.2 miles away); James C. ("Jim") Martinelli (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Great Falls Line (approx. ¼ mile away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Arlington & Fairfax Railway (approx. half a mile away); Freeman House (approx. half a mile away); Freeman Store and Museum (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vienna.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a drawing from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper which documents
Civil War Action at Vienna Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, January 22, 2010
2. Civil War Action at Vienna Marker
The marker is located at a bend in the trail which, as cited in the text, was the location of the "Battle of Vienna."
the 1861 "Battle of Vienna."
An inset photo on the upper right is captioned, Built in 1859 by the William Mason Works in Taunton, Mass., the Clarke was one of three original locomotives on the Alexandria, Loudoun & Hampshire Railroad. The 25-ton, wood-burning, 8-wheeler served the U.S. Military Railroads during the Civil War.
 
Railroad Cut image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, January 22, 2010
3. Railroad Cut
The trail passes through a "cut" used by the railroad when in operation. The location of the cut matches to the details of the drawing on the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 22, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,854 times since then and 204 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 22, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Apr. 15, 2024