Leesburg in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
From Paradise to Peril
—Antietam and Gettysburg Campaigns —
A prosperous Southern town of about 2000 at the outbreak of the Civil War, Leesburg was strategically located on the border between the Union and Confederacy. By war’s end, the town had endured bombardment, the passage of Union and Confederate armies, Federal occupation, disintegration of civil authority, frequent raids and multiple combats in its streets.
More information on the Civil War in Leesburg and Loudoun County can be found at The Loudoun Museum.
The following selected chronology gives some idea of the danger and uncertainty of life in Civil War Leesburg.
Secession Vote (May 23, 1861) – Leesburg men support the Virginia Secession Ordinance, voting in favor 400-22.
Citizens Enlist (April-May 1861) – The Loudoun Artillery, Leesburg Cavalry (Co. A, 6th Va. ), Loudoun Guard (Co. C., 17th Va. Infantry) and Potomac Greys (Co. H, 8th Va. Infantry) muster into Confederate service.
Battle of Ball’s Bluff (October 21, 1861) – Many local men of the
Confederate Forts (Winter, 1861-1862) – Gen. D. H. Hill oversees the completion of Forts Evans, Beauregard, and Johnston on the heights surrounding Leesburg. The Richmond Howitzers and Mississippi troops build winter camps.
Confederate Evacuation (March 4, 1862) – Supplies, mills, bridges and other items helpful to the Union are burned as Confederate forces fall back on Richmond.
Union Occupation (March, 1862) – Union troops under Col. John Geary seize Leesburg. Geary orders impressments of citizens into the Union army. Many Southerners take the oath of allegiance to avoid impressments.
Mile Hill Fight (September 2, 1862) – Col. Thomas Munford and the 2nd Va. Cavalry surprise and route a mixed Federal force composed of Cole’s Maryland Cavalry and the Loudoun Rangers.
Army of Northern Virginia (September 4-6, 1862) – Gen. Robert E. Lee leads his army through Leesburg
The Shelling (September 14, 1862) – Union Col. Judson Kilpatrick bombards Leesburg after encountering Capt. Elijah V. White’s Comanches (35th Battalion Va. Cavalry). Subsequently the Federals charge into Leesburg. After a sharp fight, in which White is badly wounded, both sides retreat.
Army of the Potomac (post-Antietam, Fall 1862 and pre-Gettysburg, Jun 1863) – The Union Army of the Potomac crossed Loudoun County three times, each time sending forces through Leesburg. Between June 17 and 28, 1863, more than 100,000 troops crossed the Potomac at Edwards Ferry east of Leesburg. On June 19 three Union soldiers were executed in town for desertion.
Early’s Army (June 13-16, 1864) – After his raid on Washington, Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederate Army crossed back into Virginia at White’s Ford. Union Gen. H. C. Wright’s Sixth Corps caught up with them at Leesburg, shelling Early’s rear guard while cavalry patrols clashed.
Mosby’s Rangers (January 1863-April 1865) – During the last two years of the war, Federal cavalry made frequent raids on Leesburg in search of Col. John Mosby’s Partisan Rangers,
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 6.884′ N, 77° 33.979′ W. Marker is in Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is on Loudoun Street SW, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located at the Loudoun County Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16 Loudoun Street, Leesburg VA 20175, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1862 Antietam Campaign (here, next to this marker); Old Stone Church Site (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Loudoun County Courthouse (about 600 feet away); The Tolbert Building (about 700 feet away); Loudoun County Court Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ealry Methodism in Leesburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); Leesburg Passenger Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); In Memory of Richard Owings (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leesburg.
More about this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Welcome to the Loudoun Museum. (Submitted on June 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Loudoun County - Divided in the Civil War. (Submitted on July 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Additional keywords. Civil War Trails
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,304 times since then and 89 times this year. Last updated on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. Photos: 1. submitted on June 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on June 8, 2007. 3. submitted on June 8, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. 4. submitted on June 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5, 6. submitted on July 14, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.