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

Little Fork Episcopal Church

“The peaceful parish became an entrenched camp”

 
 
Little Fork Episcopal Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 19, 2013
1. Little Fork Episcopal Church Marker
Inscription. In the spring of 1861, the Little Fork Rangers (Co. D, 4th Virginia Cavalry), mustered in the yard of Little Fork Episcopal Church. On July 4, the Rangers were presented with a battle flag as they left Rixeyville for the First Battle of Manassas. Capt. Robert E. Utterback called on them to follow the flag "into the face of the enemy, defending it with the last drop of your blood!" Utterback's call proved all too prophetic as the Rangers served under Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and other commanders from Manassas, to Gettysburg, to Appomattox Court House.

The church also suffered from the war as armies fought and camped nearby. The Reverend Philip Slaughter later wrote, "The peaceful parish became an entrenched camp and a highway for the marching and countermarching of grand armies." Cannonball holes in the sheathing in the attic still testify to the contested ground.

During the Army of the Potomac's winter camp in 1863-1864, a detachment of the 17th Pennsylvania cavalry camped in the churchyard while guarding the fords on the Hazel River. Faced with dwindling supplies of firewood, they burned the box pews and pulpit from the 1776 building. After the war, Lt. David G. Bruce, regretting the damage that his unit had done to a fine church, contributed #100 for the much-needed repairs. Little Fork Church remained dear to the hearts of
Map: Brandy Station vicinity, 1863 image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 19, 2013
2. Map: Brandy Station vicinity, 1863
Note location of the church indicated by the red star.
the Confederate veterans. On May 25, 1904, the surviving Rangers gathered for a memorial service here when their monument was dedicated.

(Sidebar): Little Fork Church was used only sporadically after the war. In 1976, two hundred years after it first opened, a restoration effort began that restored the church to its original appearance. Today it has an active congregation. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 2012 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 35.98′ N, 77° 57.26′ W. Marker is in Rixeyville, Virginia, in Culpeper County. Marker is at the intersection of Oak Shade Road (County Route 624) and Little Fork Church Road (Route 726), on the right when traveling east on Oak Shade Road. Touch for map. Marker is on the front lawn of the Little Fork Episcopal Church which is half a mile east of Rixeyville Road (Va Route 229). Marker is in this post office area: Rixeyville VA 22737, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Little Fork Rangers Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Little Fork Church (approx.
Church Interior image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 19, 2013
3. Church Interior
0.4 miles away); Culpeper County / Rappahannock County (approx. 5.1 miles away); Campaign of Second Manassas (approx. 5.2 miles away); Corbin's Crossroads (approx. 5.3 miles away); a different marker also named Campaign of Second Manassas (approx. 5.7 miles away); Hinson's Ford (approx. 6.3 miles away); a different marker also named Campaign of Second Manassas (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rixeyville.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Little Fork Rangers, 1904 image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 19, 2013
4. Little Fork Rangers, 1904
Courtesy The Museum of Culpeper History.
Little Fork Episcopal Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 19, 2013
5. Little Fork Episcopal Church Marker
Little Fork Episcopal Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 19, 2013
6. Little Fork Episcopal Church Marker
Little Fork Episcopal Church with Ranger Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 19, 2013
7. Little Fork Episcopal Church with Ranger Memorial
Little Fork Episcopal Church image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 19, 2013
8. Little Fork Episcopal Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 9, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 416 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on March 9, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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