Woodbridge in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Confederate Winter Camps
Fighting Boredom and Disease
Gen. John Bell Hoodís Texas Brigade constructed its winter camp, Camp Wigfall, here late in the summer of 1861. When not on picket duty, the men cooked and cleaned the camp. For amusement, they played cards, foraged, and visited brigade sutlers or friends and relatives at nearby camps. They also built The Lone Star Theater for the newly formed Hoodís Minstrels, a group of actors, brass band, and choir. The theater was popular and featured performances by banjoist Sam Sweeney and “The Bonnie Blue Flag” lyricist Harry McCarty.
Unsanitary conditions and crowding in the camps contributed to outbreaks of measles, dysentery, diarrhea, and typhoid fever, causing more deaths than by combat. Most soldiers were from far away in the Deep South and relied on local citizens for care while the army doctors struggled to control the epidemics.
Early in March 1862, the
“Our losses in the winter of 1861 from sickness and exposure, incident to camp life were very heavy. I had the measles; had a relapse and developed a case of typhoid-pneumonia, and my fate was uncertain for about six weeks. For ten or twelve days I did not eat a mouthful of anything.” –Pvt. James M. Polk, 4th Texas Infantry
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 36.445′ N, 77° 17.68′ W. Marker is in Woodbridge, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is at the intersection of Donald Curtis Drive and Sindlinger Way, on the right when traveling west on Donald Curtis Drive. Touch for map. Marker is located near the Ferlazzo Government Building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge VA 22191, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Neabsco Iron Works Dumfries Rest Area (approx. 0.9 miles away); Neabsco Mills Ironworks (approx. 0.9 miles away); Leesylvania (approx. 0.9 miles away); Freedom High School Sundial Memorial (approx. one mile away); Rippon Lodge ~ Latrobe's View (approx. one mile away); Rippon Lodge ~ Neabsco Creek (approx. one mile away); Potomac Path (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Woodbridge.
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a portrait captioned, Senator (breifly Gen.) Louis T. Wigfall of Texas. On the upper middle of the marker is a photo captioned, Texans in winter camp near Dumfries, early 1862. On the right side of the marker is a photo captioned, Typical evacuated Confederate camp, March 1862. The marker also features an area map with red stars and dots denoting Civil War Trails Sites and Confederate Camp locations.
1. Marker Relocation
This marker has been moved
It is located at 15875 Neabsco Drive, Woodbridge VA. 22191, about .7 mile from the entrance to Leesylvania State Park at the parking lot of the Julie J. Metz Wetlands Mitigation Bank area.
— Submitted August 3, 2014, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 11, 2009. This page has been viewed 1,991 times since then and 99 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on February 11, 2009. 2, 3. submitted on March 7, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. 4, 5. submitted on February 11, 2009. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.