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

Battle of Lewinsville

Union Reconnaissance Party Attacked

 
 
Battle of Lewinsville marker image. Click for full size.
By Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr., June 21, 2012
1. Battle of Lewinsville marker
Inscription. On September 11, 1861, Lt. Orlando Poe led a party of U.S. Army Topographical Engineers to map the area around Lewinsville for military use. Col. Isaac Stevens and 1,800 men protected the engineers. Stevensís command included the 79th New York (Highlanders) Infantry, detachments from four other regiments, 90 cavalrymen, and Capt. Charles Griffinís Battery, 5th U.S. Artillery. Ordered not to bring on a general engagement, the expedition marched from Camp Advance on Chain Bridge Road to Lewinsville, arriving at 10 A.M. Skirmishers and artillerymen guarded the surveyors while Confederate cavalry pickets observed from a safe distance.

About four hours later, having completed their mission, the Federals were forming columns to withdraw when about 400 Confederates under Col. J.E.B. Stuart attacked from two sides with Maj. James B. Terrillís 13th Virginia Volunteers, a company of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, and two guns of the Washington Artillery. Confederate Capt. Thomas L. Rosserís artillery, posted 600 yards southwest of John Gilbertís farmhouse, rained shot and shell on the retiring Federals, while Griffinís guns responded from the road and from opposite Mackallís Hill. Alarmed by the cannonading, Union General William F. Smith, division commander, hurried to the field with a battery, but the fight was essentially over. Stevens
View of Battle of Lewinsville marker from parking lot at Lewinsville Park image. Click for full size.
By Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr., June 21, 2012
2. View of Battle of Lewinsville marker from parking lot at Lewinsville Park
The marker looks south towards the location of the John Gilbert House (now Meadowbrook), beyond the baseball field. During the battle, Confederate artillery positioned to the southwest of the Gilbert House opened fire on the retiring Union soldiers.
and the Highlanders formed the rear guard as the Union forced returned to Camp Advance.

Three Union soldiers were killed, several were wounded, and four were taken prisoner. The Confederates claimed no casualties. This small engagement became known as the “Battle of Lewinsville.”
 
Erected 2012 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 55.783′ N, 77° 11.386′ W. Marker is in McLean, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from Chain Bridge Road. Touch for map. The marker is located on the edge of the parking lot inside Lewinsville Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1659 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA 22101, Mc Lean VA 22101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. William Whann Mackall (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Laughlin Building (approx. 0.7 miles away); McLean (approx. 0.7 miles away); Benvenue (approx. one mile away); Salona (approx. one mile away); William Watters (approx. 1.5 miles away); Chesterbrook (approx. 2 miles away); Langley Fork (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McLean.
 
More about this marker.
Civil War Trails sign at entrance to Lewinsville Park image. Click for full size.
By Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr., June 21, 2012
3. Civil War Trails sign at entrance to Lewinsville Park
On September 11, 1861, a reconnaissance force under Col. Isaac Stevens proceeded down the road to the left, towards Lewinsville. Around two in the afternoon, recall was sounded. As the Union troops prepared for the return to camp, a much smaller Confederate force under Col. Jeb Stuart attacked from the area around today's Lewinsville Park
The marker features an engraving of "The Village of Lewinsville, Virginia, now occupied by U.S. Troops," from the Dec. 14, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly and an engraving entitled "Briging in the Federal Wounded after the Skirmish at Lewinsville" from the Oct. 12, 1861 edition of the Illustrated London News.
 
Also see . . .
1. 79th New York at Lewinsville, Part 1. Additional information about the 79th New York's role in the Battle of Lewinsville. (Submitted on June 23, 2012, by Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr. of McLean, Virginia.) 

2. 79th New York at Lewinsville, Part 2. (Submitted on June 23, 2012, by Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr. of McLean, Virginia.)
3. Lecture on the battle. A video of a lecture on the battle given at a meeting of the McLean Historical Society. (Submitted on June 23, 2012, by Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr. of McLean, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Gilbert House, Lewinsville Park image. Click for full size.
By Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr., June 4, 2011
4. Gilbert House, Lewinsville Park
A current view of the Gilbert House, where the Confederate attack on pickets of the 79th New York unfolded at Lewinsville. Jeb Stuart placed his guns to the southwest of the house and opened fire on the retiring Union soldiers. Known today as "Meadowbrook," the home is located in Lewinsville Park off Chain Bridge Road in McLean. The Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites lists the date of construction as circa 1860, although according to local historian Carole Herrick's book on McLean, the farmhouse dates to 1847. The house was damaged during the Civil War, and in 1941, the owners made numerous additions. Fairfax Country acquired the property in 1973.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2012, by Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr. of McLean, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,046 times since then and 124 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 22, 2012, by Ronald J. Baumgarten, Jr. of McLean, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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