Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter--July 2016
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"Sunset over Snicker's Gap and Round Hill" by Kevin Pawlak
Welcome, New Members!

John M. Abbott
Jack and Leah Ferguson
Stacey Hawkins
Paula Horne
Stephanie Kenyon
Priscilla O'Donnell
Tom Schubert
John and Bronwen Souders


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Upcoming Events
SAVE THE DATE--October 7-9, 2016

MHAA will host its 19th Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War.  This year's focus is July 3, 1863--the third day at Gettysburg.  Highlights include talks and a panel discussion of the nation's finest Gettysburg historians on Friday and Saturday, followed by a day-long tour of the Gettysburg battlefield on Sunday, October 9.
For more information or to register, click here.  Full registration is $450 while admission to attend the Friday and Saturday talks only is $225.

Members of the Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group at the August 2014 in Berryville (left); Grace Episcopal Church in Berryville (right)

Saturday, August 13, 7:30 p.m.
Legends by Lanternlight: Using a Virginia County Seat to View the Civil War

Clarke County Historical Association
32 East Main Street
Berryville, VA 22611

Mark your calendars for the next installment of the popular Legends by Lanternlight series, which will be held in downtown Berryville, VA on August 13.  The Legends by Lanternlight series features interpreters in period-dress giving first-person vignettes of life and history in the Mosby Heritage Area.  The August 13 installment is titled “Using a County Seat to View the Civil War.”  
The program will start at 7:30pm at the Clarke County Historical Association at 32 East Main Street, Berryville, VA. Participants will view the Civil War experience of Berryville and how the war affected life in the Shenandoah Valley. The period-dressed Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group will offer their story-telling ability against the backdrop of historic Berryville, featuring stories of Clarke County’s commissioner to the Virginia Secession Convention, the visits of two famous Civil War generals, Mosby’s Wagon Train Raid in Berryville, and the story of Eugene Ferris, a Medal of Honor recipient from his days of fighting Mosby’s Rangers.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students. Walking is involved; dress comfortably. For more information, call 540-687-6681 or email us at  This program is sponsored jointly by the Mosby Heritage Area Association and the Clarke County Historical Association.
Herman Melville, author of "The Scout Toward Aldie" and Moby Dick (left);
Mt. Zion Church, passed by Herman Melville during his trip into Mosby's Confederacy
and site of the August 20 program (right)

Saturday, August 20, 7:00 p.m.
The Scout Toward Aldie: Herman Melville's Famous Poem and its 150th Anniversary

Mt. Zion Historic Park
40309 John Mosby Highway
Aldie, VA 20105

The Mosby Heritage Area Association is partnering with NOVA Parks to bring famous author and poet Herman Melville’s “The Scout toward Aldie” to life on the 150th Anniversary of its publication as part of the two organizations’ Conversations in History series.  Melville’s poem recounts his trip into Mosby’s Confederacy from April 18 to 20, 1864 with Union troops to find and capture John Singleton Mosby and his Rangers.
The program will start at 7:00pm at Mt. Zion Historic Park, 40309 John Mosby Highway, Aldie, VA 20105.  Dr. Jonathan Cook of Middleburg Academy will begin the evening with commentary on Melville, his poem, and the poem’s significance.  Following Dr. Cook’s talk, there will be a group reading of the poem by lantern light in the 165-year-old church, which Melville and the Union troopers passed during their scout.  Melville’s piece was published on August 17, 1866, as part of his book Battle Pieces (and Aspects of the War).
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the door.  For more information: 540-687-6681 or .  This program is sponsored jointly by the Mosby Heritage Area Association and NOVA Parks.

Friday, August 26, 3:00 p.m.
Art Explosion!

National Sporting Library & Museum
102 The Plains Road
Middleburg, VA 20117

Come to the National Sporting Library & Museum to show your support for MHAA and other local organizations.  Bring your family and friends to this event and make your mark on the town banner at the Middleburg Community Center.

For more information, please go here.

Saturday, September 10, 9:00 p.m.
Adventures in History: Tales for the Night

Mt. Zion Historic Park
40309 John Mosby Highway
Aldie, VA 20105

Join MHAA and NOVA Parks in a co-sponsored, unique event at historic Mt. Zion Church.  This event is for the night owls--a historical program focused on engaging your senses in the dead of night, using only the light of a candle to guide you along.  Bring a companion along for the program, which will take you inside the 165 year old church, on the July 6, 1864 battlefield, into two historic cemeteries, and along an 18th century road trace.

Refreshments will be served at the event.  This program is not suggested for children--only adults 16 or older.  It is both an indoor and outdoor program.  Please dress accordingly and for the night.  Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Purchase them below.  For more information, email or call 540-687-5188. 
Purchase your tickets here

SAVE THE DATE--November 12, 2016 
when we will hold our annual fundraiser.  This year we will delight our guests with intimate supper parties in private, historic homes throughout the Mosby Heritage Area--a completely unique experience.  Invitations will be mailed in the late summer, but in the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars.
Since Our Last Newsletter
Top: The elegant interior staircase at Pelham;Middle, left: The front facade of Pelham; Middle, right: (from L to R) Rich Gillespie of MHAA, Matt Lamotte of Middleburg Academy, Jana Shafagoj of Morven Park, Steve Price of MHAA, and Colley Bell of Middleburg Academy; Bottom, left: Jana Shafagoj points out Pelham's architecture; Bottom, right: Michelle Rouse and Marion Lee at Pelham
(all photos courtesy of Douglas Lees)

Sunday, July 10
Pelham: A Look at the Victorian Era

Middleburg Academy Ball Room and Pelham
Middleburg, VA 20117

Historic Pelham opened its doors to nearly 100 people interested in seeing the home. Pelham's architecture is unique for the Mosby Heritage Area, as outlined by Morven Park Director of Education and Preservation Jana Shafagoj, who shared her expertise on Victorian architecture with the crowd at Middleburg Academy before proceeding to Pelham for a walk through of the home.

Pelham was built by Colonel Richard H. Dulany of Welbourne as a wedding gift for his eldest child, Mary Carter Dulany.  Mary was wed on November 1, 1876 to Irishman Robert Neville.  They returned from their honeymoon to find their new home, along with 500 acres, carved from the neighboring farm, Crednal, another Dulany-Carter family property.  Robert and Mary Neville named their new home Pelham, in honor of Confederate Major John Pelham, who Mary became fond of during his visit to Welbourne when she was 13.

Saturday, July 23
Legends by Lanternlight: Tales of War and Peace, 1859-1867

John Wesley Church
Waterford, VA 20197

Two days before the 125th Anniversary of the dedication of the John Wesley Church, the Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group (MHAIG) gathered at the historic church in Waterford on a very warm summer night.  Over 50 people joined the group and walked about the well-preserved town in the waning light.

Members of MHAIG regaled the crowd with stories of the Quaker experience in Waterford during the Civil War.  Stories included the Quaker reaction to John Brown's Raid and the beginning of the war; Loudoun's first death as a result of the war; the ordeal and subsequent Unionist actions of Waterford miller Samuel Means; the imprisonment of several Waterford citizens by the Confederate Army; the visit of Mosby's Rangers in May 1864; and, the story of James Lewis, a member of the all-black 55th Massachusetts Infantry and one of the builders of the John Wesley Church.

All proceeds went to the host Waterford Foundation.  This program was co-sponsored by the Waterford Foundation and the Mosby Heritage Area Association.

MHAIG's next program will be at the Clarke County Historical Association's headquarters in downtown Berryville on Saturday, August 13 at 7:30 pm.  See above for details.
Frank Stringfellow during the war (left),
and a contemporary portrayal of Frank Stringfellow by Jack Falahee (right)
Sunday, July 31
Conversations in History: Frank Stringfellow, Confederate Scout and Mosby Ranger

Mt. Zion Historic Park
Aldie, VA 20105

Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Stringfellow was a scout and spy for the Confederate Army in the Civil War.  He has most recently come to light thanks to Jack Falahee's portrayal of him in the PBS series Mercy Street.  Eric Buckland helped the crowd of 43 people sort through the cloud of fiction surrounding Stringfellow and presented a well-rounded biography of this interesting soldier, scout, spy, and post-war minister.

Buckland, a retired Lt. Colonel from the United States Army, is the author of five books focusing on the individuals who rode with John Singleton Mosby during the Civil War.  "The stories that I have found about the men who rode with Mosby have put a 'face' to the war and to the America that developed after it," says Buckland.  

Buckland particularly looked at Stringfellow's connection with Mosby's Rangers, and examined in detail Stringfellow's controversial role in the failed Loudoun Heights Raid on January 10, 1864.  Mosby never forgave Stringfellow for the beating his command received at the hands of the Federals in that raid, and supposedly the two never spoke again.  Mosby came to believe Stringfellow was a liar because of the tales he spun following the war, but Buckland pointed out that Stringfellow may have stretched the truth of some of his stories for entertainment purposes in the hopes of raising money not for himself, but for the churches where he served as pastor.

This program was a part of the jointly sponsored Conversations in History series.  MHAA cosponsors these programs with NOVA Parks.  The next program in the series will be held September 10 at Mt. Zion Church.  The program will begin at 9:00 pm.
Top: Civil War campers pose atop Henry House Hill at Manassas National Battlefield (Rich Gillespie); Middle, left: Campers man a Civil War cannon at Ball's Bluff Regional Park (Kevin Pawlak); Middle, right: The rising 7th grade girls tell their parents and the camp sponsors about women's clothing during the Civil War (Rich Gillespie); Bottom, left: Camper Alex Weathington heavily examines a book of Civil War photographs (Tracy Gillespie); Bottom, right: Campers learn how to communicate using Civil War signal flags at Temple Hall Farm Regional Park (Tracy Gillespie) 
MHAA and NOVA Parks co-hosted a week-long Civil War Camp that attracted 10 students from Loudoun County schools.  The students ranged from rising 5th to rising 7th graders.  

Throughout the week, the students were able to experience the rigors and tedium of military drill; play Civil War era games, including baseball; hold historic objects from the Civil War era; dress in the clothes of the 19th century; and, among other activities, visit several historic Civil War sites within the Mosby Heritage Area.  Field trips throughout the week included visits to Taylorstown and the Potomac River; Ball's Bluff Regional Park and Fort Evans; Bull Run Regional Park, Manassas National Battlefield, and Ben Lomond Historic Site; White's Ferry; and, Aldie Mill and Mt. Zion Historic Park, as well as a trip into historic Welbourne, a Mosby safe house.

On Thursday night, the campers were able to show off and share what they had learned during the week as part of an evening program at Mt. Zion Church in Aldie attended by parents and camp sponsors.

"There was nothing I disliked about the camp," said one camper.  "There are no other camps better than this one!"  As for one of the camp sponsors: the camp was "a very valuable experience for all who attended."

MHAA would like to thank its partner organization, NOVA Parks, as well as thank all of the camp sponsors, which included the Aldie Heritage Association; Aldie Ruritan Club; the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable; Mrs. Mona McClanahan; Sons of Confederate Veterans, Clinton Hatcher Camp #21; Sons of Union Veterans, Lincoln Cushing Camp #2; and, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Loudoun 170.
From the Window of MHAA's Executive Director...
Let me share with you an adventure on a gorgeous sunny June day in the heritage area with not a cloud in the sky.  It points to the depth of historical sites in our heritage area and how important it is to preserve them.
An old colleague from my teaching days had a grand idea.  Jim Person, the just-retired principal of Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, thought it would be fun to bring two old friends up from Richmond who write travel and exploration articles for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.    On June 7, Jim arrived here at Atoka’s Rector House with writer Bill Lohmann and photographer Bob Brown in tow. 
We sat on the porch to get grounded and oriented, watching the village traffic as we did so.  My mind was racing:  They want to write on this region—the Mosby Heritage Area, essentially—but slanted toward fast-growing Loudoun.  Yes—the heritage area with some of Old Virginia’s most lovely scenery and valuable historic landscapes sits cheek by jowl with Northern Virginia suburbia and expanding exurbia.  Yet to help them understand what is truly special about this local landscape, which of many possibilities should I show them? 
Of course we spoke of Colonel John Singleton Mosby, since we were sitting on a Southern porch in the tiny crossroads village that was the Colonel’s favorite for mission rendezvous, where Mosby’s Command was formalized in June 1863.  But from there, Middleburg drew us. We went to see the gaunt yet beautiful statue of a battered war horse at the National Sporting and Library and Museum, illustrating the intersection of our region’s history and horses with the devastating Civil War.   Look at the statue sometime; it is painful to think of what it represents.
Just south, we drove past Springfield Farm, the site of one of the largest slave escapes before the War.   At Christmas 1855, six enslaved people fled with a carriage, two posing as a white couple. They fought off attackers in Maryland near the Pennsylvania’s border, and four made it to freedom.  Frank Wanzer later returned to rescue more of the enslaved from the farm.  What a lovely road they must have trod—lovely enough to lure the Kennedys to rent Glen Ora here in the first two years of his Presidency.  Historical intersections often  occur in the Mosby Heritage Area.  A lover of antebellum and Civil War history, Kennedy was just down the road from the Wanzer escape during two key years of the Civil Rights era.  Bob Brown took a number of photos along the still-unpaved Fauquier road, fascinated with the region’s iconic stone fences as he would be throughout our exploration.
North of Middleburg, we toured rural, winding Snake Hill Road with its hills and walls and lovely indigenous architecture.  Over a stunning landscape, we motored on to tiny Unison, a Loudoun village once known as Union that voted 150-0 for secession in 1861.  We walked the road for a bit, imagined the Methodists in their 1832 church stopping the sermon on November 2, 1862 when a battery of J.E.B. Stuart’s horse artillery exploded in a salvo across the street.  The Unison church soon became a hospital, and a visitor can still view the wounded soldiers’ graffiti. 
At Lincoln we sat in silence in the Goose Creek Friends Meetinghouse contemplating the moral wrestling match local Quakers faced with the issues of slavery and Civil War.  We saw their ancient lanes, largely unpaved by choice to this day, their carefully-sited prim stone houses, and their silent, simple gravestones.  Not far away in Waterford, we saw where a Second Street Quaker family fought their own war, likely welcoming runaway slaves and producing a Unionist newspaper to bolster minority morale during the late war.  We also saw a simple one-room schoolhouse of 1867, once Colored School A, which still works to teach students about the past through living history as the Second Street School.
As twilight came, we ended at a small-town baseball game in Purcellville with the new Cannons semi-pro team, so aptly named for our region.  We dined in the 1905 mill that was once the heart of the town, still mindful of its history.  Over Virginia whiskey, I told them stories of Millwood and Paris, Rectortown and Warrenton, Front Royal and Browntown, Brentsville Courthouse and Buckland Mills, Aldie and the memorable Snickersville Turnpike, and of the stories and preserved structures in between that comprise the amazing Mosby Heritage Area.  The heritage area is vast but our time was not.
The article they wrote was the lead piece in the Sunday Richmond Time-Dispatch appeared July 24th in the “Flair” (style and travel) section.  It captures the heritage area with photos and stories and an apt title:  “Unpaved Beauty.”  The article will appear in Lohmann and Brown’s next book detailing their Virginia travel adventures.  A beautiful day, and a day well spent imparting a special place and encouraging us all to see the value of our local preservation efforts.
The article can be seen at here.
Copyright © 2016 Mosby Heritage Area Association, All rights reserved.

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