Near Washington in Rappahannock County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Banks’s Grand Review
Ruffles, Flourishes, Drills and Heat
In July and August, 1862, the Union Army of Virginia’s 2nd Corps under Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks camped in and around Little Washington. Col. Charles E.F. Collis’s Zouaves, noted for their French-style red and blue uniforms, served as Banks’s bodyguard. The army’s commander, Gen. John Pope, remained near Washington, D.C., until the end of July but communicated with Banks by U.S. Military Telegraph. Army construction crews strung lines from Warrenton to Little Washington and on to Sperryville.
Banks’s corps conducted lengthy daily drills in the fields directly southeast of here, often in oppressive heat. On July 28, Banks held one of several massive ‘Grand Reviews” of his troops. Banks, whose command Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson had thrashed during Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley campaign in May and June, wrote to his wife that this was the first time he had ever given drilling orders to so many men. Banks held another massive review a few days later, in honor of the Army of Virginia’s commander, Gen. John Pope. On August 9, Banks’s men bore the brunt of fighting at the Battle
“Yesterday we had a splendid review of my troops. After the review I drilled them all myself in the evolutions of the line. It was the first time I had ever [done so], and to some 10,000 men, I was astonished I felt I had been doing it all my life and I think the officers were surprised. They all said it could not be done by one man, and I suppose had not seen it. I was delighted but didn’t say a word to anyone about it.” —Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, letter to his wife, July 29, 1862.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1862.
Location. 38° 41.466′ N, 78° 10.512′ W. Marker is near Washington, Virginia, in Rappahannock County. Marker is at the intersection of Bank Road and Lee Highway (U.S. 211) on Bank Road. It is at the Union First Market Bank parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7 Bank Rd, Washington VA 22747, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Music, Omens, and Destiny (approx. 0.8 miles away); Washington, Virginia (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ellerslie (approx. 1½ miles away); The Maples Historic Stone Marker (approx. 1.6 miles away); Kitty Payne (approx. 1.6 miles away); Washington Graded School (approx. 1.7 miles away); Honored In Their Generation (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Washington.
More about this marker. On the lower left of this interpretative panel a photograph is reproduced captioned, “military telegraph construction crew.” The center has a photograph captioned, “Banks’s grand review, with infantrymen in a hollow square at right defending against a mock cavalry attack.” Just below and to the left of that photograph is a portrait of “Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks.” On the lower right is a color photograph of “Collis’s Zouaves.”
Credits. This page was last revised on May 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 514 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 28, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.