War History Hidden in Mills

The Arlington Mill of northern Virginia is finally on the map, thanks to a group of Civil War enthusiasts who convinced the county board to erect a trail sign commemorating a June 1861 skirmish. Although this early engagement was short-lived, it proved to the Federal government how vulnerable the U.S. Capital was, and Union forts were constructed all around Washington City as a result.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Veteran’s Day 2017, a Civil War Trails sign unveiling ceremony began with a presentation of colors by members of the Army of the Potomac Living History Society, accompanied by fife and drummers from the Union Army Honor Guard. In attendance were Virginia State Delegate Alfonso Lopez, County Board Member John Vihstadt, local historian Beth DeFrancis Sun, and keynote speaker Peter Vaselopulos, who helped spearhead the project and produced a short companion film titled Skirmish at Arlington Mills.

During times of war, the mills of the Mid-Atlantic took on special significance. They either helped or hindered armies and often played a role in battle strategy. Many mills served as military staging grounds, hosted hungry troops, or/and served as post-battle hospitals. Millers in southern Pennsylvania helped feed General Braddock’s army during the French Indian Wars, while others sustained George Washington’s troops throughout the American Revolution. During the Civil War, southern mills that were believed to be assisting rebel forces were often wrecked. Many were burned, others taken apart plank by plank. The recycled wood was used to kindle warmth, stoke bonfires, or create make-shift shelters.

skirmish3

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s