Burke in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Wood Choppers and Teamsters
In 1863, the U.S. Military Construction Corps built an additional siding here to facilitate the loading of wood onto railroad cars. Wood choppers moved up to 1,000 cords of lumber a month in the Burke area alone. Army teamsters hauled the wood here in mule-drawn wagons. There were as many as 100 wagons in the wagon master’s brigade at Burke’s Station. Many of the wood choppers and teamsters were escaped slaves called “contrabands” who had fled to Alexandria. Because they risked capture and reenslavement by working here outside Union lines, Federal cavalry and infantry camped nearby to protect both the contrabands and the wood stockpiles.
On October 28, 1863, Confederate guerillas captured about 25 mules, a wagon master, and several contrabands at work near here. When the Confederates ordered the wagon master to lead them to the station guard, one of the contrabands
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 47.584′ N, 77° 16.343′ W. Marker is in Burke, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from Old Burke Lake Road south of Burke Road (Virginia Route 652), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located near the front entrance of the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9501 Old Burke Lake Rd, Burke VA 22015, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Burke's Station (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Burke Station (about 400 feet away); Copperthite Racetrack (approx. ¼ mile away); Silas Burke House (approx. half a mile away); The Huldah Coffer House (approx. 1.1 miles away); Bog Wallow Ambush (approx. David R. Pinn Community Center (approx. 1.7 miles away); Keene’s Mill (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Burke.
Regarding Burke's Station. The marker displays four photos captioned African American Teamster hauling wood in Virginia Courtesy Library of Congress, Aerial photo, 1937, showing original location of railroad through Burke (red line); tracks were moved north ca. 1901Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wood chopper huts on Orange & Alexandria Railroad Courtesy National Archives & Records Administration and Railroad track, including the track at Burke's Station, was periodically destroyed and African Americans were employed to repair the track- Library of Congress. The marker also displays a map of the area indicating the location of the marker with a red You Are Here star.
Categories. • African Americans • Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 3, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2015. This page has been viewed 611 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 13, 2015. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.