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

The Independent Loudoun Rangers

Serving the Union

 
 
The Independent Loudoun Rangers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 3, 2010
1. The Independent Loudoun Rangers Marker
Inscription. The Independent Loudoun Rangers consisted of two small cavalry companies recruited by Waterford miller Samuel Means from Lovettsville's and Waterford's Unionists. Mustered into Federal service starting June 20, 1862, the Rangers were the only organized body of Union troops raised in Confederate Virginia. The Rangers totaled fewer than 200 men who operated in small groups as "border police" along the Potomac River, intercepting war material smuggled southward and protecting pro-Union residents.

On August 27, 1862, 50 troopers of Confederate Lt. Col. Elijah V. White's 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, the "Comanches," trapped 25 of Lt. Luther Slater's Rangers in Waterford Baptist Church. Losing nearly a dozen killed and wounded, the Rangers fought until their ammunition was nearly exhausted, then surrendered. Slater was among the wounded. Five days later, other Rangers captured several of White's men near Hillsboro, thereby gaining a measure of revenge.

Both the Loudoun Rangers and White's Comanches were local men, sometimes from the same families. The two units clashed several times, and the Confederates generally prevailed over their Unionist friends and relatives.

Capt. Daniel Keyes of Lovettsville led the Rangers after Means resigned in 1864, and the unit later merged with the 3rd West Virginia Cavalry. On April
Loudoun Rangers at a 1903 Reunion image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 3, 2010
2. Loudoun Rangers at a 1903 Reunion
6, 1865, 350 of Col. John S. Mosby's partisans attacked the remaining 65 Rangers near Harpers Ferry and effectively destroyed the unit. Three days later at Appomattox Court House, the war in Virginia came to an end. Nearly 40 Rangers died in the service of the Union (half in Confederate prison camps), and about the same number were wounded.
 
Erected 2009 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 16.497′ N, 77° 38.366′ W. Marker is in Lovettsville, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is at the intersection of Berlin Pike (County Route 287) and Broadway (County Route 673) on Berlin Pike. Touch for map. Located in the central traffic round-about in the center of Lovettsvile. Marker is in this post office area: Lovettsville VA 20180, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. James United Church of Christ (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lovettsville in the Civil War (approx. 0.2 miles away); First German Reformed Church Site and Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Water Power (approx. 2.6
The Independent Loudoun Rangers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 3, 2010
3. The Independent Loudoun Rangers Marker
miles away in Maryland); Berlin (approx. 2.6 miles away in Maryland); Brunswick (approx. 2.6 miles away in Maryland); a different marker also named Brunswick (approx. 2.7 miles away in Maryland); Train No. 286 Bell Memorial (approx. 2.7 miles away in Maryland). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lovettsville.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of surviving Loudoun Rangers at a reunion in 1903. In the upper right are portraits of Lt. Luther Slater, Capt. Samuel Means, and Capt. Daniel Keyes, all from History of the Independent Loudoun Virginia Rangers (1896) by Briscoe Goodhart. On the lower right is a 1864 map of Loudoun County and surrounding area, with a red star indicating the the location of Lovettsville.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Loudoun Rangers. An independent Civil War cavalry unit drawn from the largely Quaker and German farming communities of northern Loudoun County. (Submitted on January 3, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. America’s Civil War: Loudoun Rangers. An article discussing the Ranger's wartime service. (Submitted on January 3, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Short Hill Mountain image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 3, 2010
4. Short Hill Mountain
Looking west past the marker location toward Short Hill Mountain. The Rangers operated often in what was known as the "German Settlements" between Short Hill Mountain and Catoctin Ridge to the east.
 

3. Independent Loudoun Rangers. Rosters of the companies. (Submitted on January 3, 2010, 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 January 3, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,707 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 3, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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