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Paris in Fauquier County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Mount Bleak Farm

The Settles Anticipate War

 
 
Mount Bleak Farm Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 19, 2008
1. Mount Bleak Farm Marker
Inscription. Mosby's Confederacy and First Manassas Campaign

In the early morning hours of July 19, 1861, thousands of campfire lights burned in the camp of Col. Thomas J. Jackson's brigade which occupied the fields surrounding nearby Paris. Many thoughts must have raced through the minds of Abner and Mary Kyle Settle, who resided here at Mount Bleak. Those fires may have been a reminder that war was now imminent and perhaps it would leave them mourning the loss of one of their sons. The First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) was two days away.

Abner's oldest son, Dr. Thomas Settle, whose mother Isabella had died when he was very young, was now a member of Turner Ashby's militia troop and would certainly be off to war very soon. In December 1859, Thomas was present at the execution of abolitionist John Brown, who was captured during his ill-fated raid on Harper's Ferry. As a physician, he was called to feel for Brown's pulse and declare him legally dead before Brown was cut from the gallows. Thomas heard Brown's grim prediction that, "the sins of this guilty land can only be purged with blood." As the regimental surgeon for Ashby's 7th Virginia Cavalry as well as the 11th, 12th, and 13th Cavalries during his four years of service, Thomas would see more than his fair share of the blood which Brown foretold.

Thomas' brothers,
Marker with a Snow Covered Blue Ridge in the Background image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 19, 2008
2. Marker with a Snow Covered Blue Ridge in the Background
especially Isaac and Abner, no doubt had dreams of adventure in the Confederate army. They both would serve under the command of Col. John S. Mosby. To the rest of the Settle children, war would perhaps remain a mystery; but in the coming four years they would witness and experience the deprivations and losses of their family and neighbors and learn that war was less than glorious.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 59.504′ N, 77° 57.947′ W. Marker is in Paris, Virginia, in Fauquier County. Marker is on Edmonds Lane, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located in the main parking lot for Sky Meadows State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Paris VA 20130, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jackson’s Bivouac (approx. 1.2 miles away); Clark County / Fauquier County (approx. 1.5 miles away); Ashby’s Gap (approx. 1.8 miles away); Signal Station (was approx. 1.8 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Mt. Carmel Fight
Mount Bleak Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 19, 2008
3. Mount Bleak Mansion
(approx. 2.9 miles away); Lee Moves North Again (approx. 4 miles away); Battle of Upperville (approx. 4 miles away); Fight at Berry's Ferry (approx. 4.3 miles away).
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a photo of "Dr. Thomas Settle and his first cousin, Amanda Virginia Edmonds." On the right is a portrait of Abner and Mary Kyle Settle.
 
Also see . . .  Sky Meadows. (PDF) National Register documentation for Sky Meadows and Mount Bleak. (Submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Fields around Sky Meadows and Ashby's Gap image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 19, 2008
4. Fields around Sky Meadows and Ashby's Gap
These fields became a favored campground for Confederate forces throughout the war.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,749 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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