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

Civil War Star Fort

1861–1865

 
 
Civil War Star Fort - 1861-1865 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 1, 2007
1. Civil War Star Fort - 1861-1865 Marker
Inscription. This six-point, star-shaped earthen fort with a 130-yard perimeter was constructed on the highest point of land in the area. It provided a commanding view of the western and northwestern approaches to Vienna.

Earthwork fortifications, serving as picket posts to protect approaches to Washington, D.C., or to protect railroads, were built throughout northern Virginia during the Civil War. Some of these earthworks can be identified as Union or Confederate, but those in areas such as Vienna, which was occupied at times by both armies, often cannot be. Researchers thus far have been unable to document this redoubt or identify its builder.

Because of the complexity of its design and the time required to construct a star-shaped earthwork, it is a less common example of Civil War field fortifications. This work, with outlying rifle trenches, is thought to have been built between 1863 and 1865 to protect the Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad that ran 100 yards to the northeast. This site is also within 200 yards of Lawyers Road, then a prominent route to the northwest as well as to the City of Fairfax.

This fortification is located on part of the 1745 Northern Neck land grant to John Jenkins, later sold to William Fairfax. During the Civil War the land was owned by the Gunnell family. The Keith and McCandish families, who deeded
Portion of the Works image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 1, 2007
2. Portion of the Works
This is one of the exterior angles of the fort.
the property to the American Legion Post #180 in 1956, were subsequent owners.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 54.325′ N, 77° 16.245′ W. Marker is in Vienna, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on North Center Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. In the parking lot of the Dyer-Gunnell American Legion Post #180. Marker is at or near this postal address: 330 North Center Street, Vienna VA 22180, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Salsbury Spring (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tracks into History (approx. mile away); Vienna Station (approx. mile away); Vienna Centennial Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Freeman Store and Museum (approx. 0.3 miles away); On June 17, 1861 (approx. 0.7 miles away); Electric Trains on the W&OD (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cavalry Engagement near Hunter's Mill (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vienna.
 
More about this marker. The marker features a map detailing Civil War related sites around Vienna, and a newspaper drawing with the caption depicting
Entrance to the American Legion Parking Lot image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, April 1, 2007
3. Entrance to the American Legion Parking Lot
A missile stands guard over the entrance to the parking lot.
Federal soldiers using the railroad. The caption reads, “On June 17, 1861, the First Ohio Infantry, riding in cars along the Loudoun and Hampsire Railroad, was attacked by Confederate forces outside Vienna. For additional information visit the marker located near the Vienna Community Center on Park Street.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Civil War Fortifications - Star Fort. (Submitted on July 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Civil War Sites along the W & OD Railroad Trail. (The Loudoun and Hampshire Rail Road became the Washington and Old Dominion) (Submitted on July 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,215 times since then and 292 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 3, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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