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

Martin Buchanan, USCT

A Place of Hopes and Dreams - Gleedsville

 
 
Martin Buchanan, USCT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 7, 2018
1. Martin Buchanan, USCT Marker
Inscription. Loudoun County experienced continuous Union and Confederate activity during the war. Carter's Mill Road, in front of you, provided access to the agricultural abundance of Oatlands and other farms south and east of here, where the use of slave labor was common. The first Union troops arrived in Loudoun County in March 1862, when Col. John W. Geary, 28th Pennsylvania Infantry, led his regiment down this road after retreating Confederate soldiers in March 1862. Soon, escaped slaves -- "contrabands" -- sought refuge with the Federals.

After the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, the U.S. Army began recruiting both free blacks and slaves in occupied areas. More than 5,000 men were mustered into six United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiments raised in Virginia. Among the 250 from Loudoun County was 19-year-old Martin Van Buren Buchanan, born of a free mother and a father enslaved at nearby Oatlands. Buchanan enlisted on September 30, 1863, for three years in Co. G, 2nd USCT, organized in Arlington. The regiment served in Florida until the end of the war and fought engagements at Cedar Keys and Fort Taylor. Buchanan was promoted to corporal in November 1863. He was mustered out January 5, 1866, and returned here to his family.

(Sidebar):
After the war, former Oatlands slaves and other African Americans
Martin Buchanan as a soldier and a map of Gleedsville image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 7, 2018
2. Martin Buchanan as a soldier and a map of Gleedsville
established the Gleedsville community here at the intersection of the Carter's Mill and Mountain Gap Roads. Newly freed families - Gleeds, Buchanans, Days, Turners, Allens, Valentines, Johnsons, and Murrays - cooperated to create a town. Jack Gleed, a community advocate, purchased land across the street in 1881 for $175 and led the fight for a school, which was established in 1899.

In 1890, Gleedsville residents including trustee Martin Buchanan built the Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church behind you. They worked at night by candlelight, using rocks from the fields for the foundation and cutting pines and oaks for the siding, floor, and pews. The walls are covered with wainscoting in a shiplap pattern that gives the church the appearance of an ark inside. It is the only surviving building in this postwar freedman's village.
 
Erected 2015 by Loudoun County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee and Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 3.054′ N, 77° 36.179′ W. Marker is near Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is at the intersection of Gleedsville Road (County Road 650) and Stone Fox Court, on the right when traveling north on Gleedsville Road
Portrait of Martin Buchanan image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 7, 2018
3. Portrait of Martin Buchanan
. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 20460 Gleedsville Road, Leesburg VA 20175, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oatlands (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Oatlands (approx. one mile away); Carriage House (approx. 1.1 miles away); Rokeby (approx. 1.6 miles away); Saving the Declaration of Independence / The War of 1812 (approx. 2.6 miles away); Electric Trains on the W&OD (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Great Falls Line (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Leesburg Lime Company (approx. 4.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leesburg.
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches & ReligionWar, US Civil
 
Building the Church by Candlelight image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 7, 2018
4. Building the Church by Candlelight
Martin Buchanan, USCT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 7, 2018
5. Martin Buchanan, USCT Marker
The Church image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 7, 2018
6. The Church
Today the church is Unitarian Universalist Church.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 8, 2018, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 8, 2018, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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