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January 3, 2020

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Armies occupy Warrenton

Gen. Edwin Sumner (top center) and his staff use Mecca on Culpeper Street as their headquarters during a Union Army occupation of Warrenton in 1862.

The number of times Warrenton changed hands between Confederate and Union armies during the Civil War (1861-64), according to the Fauquier Historical Society.

“This was second only to Winchester, which changed hands 72 times,” Erin C. Clark, Executive Director of the Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail in Warrenton, said in an email. “Due to (Warrenton’s and Winchester’s) geographic locations within Northern Virginia, both forces constantly traveled through these areas and fought to hold control of the railroad lines.”

Homes and churches in the area served as “makeshift hospitals,” according to a museum display.

“Women were tasked with caring for the sick and dying, as many men who had performed as nurses before the war were fighting on the battlefield,” the placard reads. “They aided in amputations, treated typhoid fever and dysentery — two diseases which were most commonly reported among Warrenton’s Confederate patients.”


Fauquier County’s population on July 1, 2019, according to the latest estimate, which the U.S. Census Bureau released Monday.

That represents an increase of 5,439 — or 8.3 percent — since the April 1, 2000, Census.

This year, the federal government will conduct its 24th Census, as required the Constitution requires every 10 years. The nation’s first official count of residents took place in 1790.

Census results determine the amount of federal funds that flow to states and communities, along with the composition of legislative districts at the national, state and local government levels.

Fauquier’s board of supervisors in August appointed a local Complete Count Committee “to bolster participation in the Census.”


The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office calls for service in 23,707. The represents an average of 65 per day.

Last year, sheriff’s deputies made 684 arrests on felony charges and 1,397 misdemeanor arrests.

Deputies in 2019 also wrote 8,973 traffic tickets, according to the sheriff’s office year-end report.


The starting hourly pay for a Fauquier County school bus driver.

The school system has 157 contracted bus drivers, who work an average five hours per day, according to Transportation Services Director Cheryl Fisher.
They receive a minimum 24 hours of classroom and 24 hours of behind-the- wheel training, Ms. Fischer said in an email.

Drivers also learn CPR, first aid, defensive driving and student management skills and how to transport with students with special needs, she explained.

Job candidates must have a “clean driving record” and pass a physical as well as background and drug tests, Ms. Fisher said.

At the top of the scale, a lead bus driver earns $30.31 an hour.


Total new vehicles in the inventories of Warrenton’s five manufacturer dealerships as of Friday morning, according to their websites:

• 366 at Country Chevrolet.

• 285 at Sheehy Ford.

• 195 at Safford Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram.

• 123 at Warrenton Toyota.

• 95 at Lindsay Buick GMC.
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FairandBalanced · January 8, 2020 at 9:45 am
that is absolutely true DonkeyFarter. and the repubs of today could learn a thing or two from the Democrats of the past.
DonkeyFarmer · January 7, 2020 at 10:17 pm
You want to see Washington Post head explode? Keep reminding him/her that Lincoln was a Republican and the Democrat lead South was in favor of slavery and fought integration all the way into the 1960s.
DonkeyFarmer · January 7, 2020 at 10:13 pm
JDwarrenton- Thank you for the story. Even if some here question the motives or mindset of Lee, I would take the position that would unite rather than divide.
Post Washington · January 7, 2020 at 7:30 pm
action. action, my dear friend BJ. action speaks louder than words. the Confederate leaders were compelled by duty? what duty? to the United States of America? or, to slavery? and, i am not sure slavery was the main theme of the Civil War. it would be romantic if it were. but, money was involved when it came to Southern motivations to break up this great nation. and, the concept of 'unity' is what motivated the North. busting up the Union was not going to happen under their watch.
brandonj · January 6, 2020 at 10:02 am
"They did not want to resolve differences through debate or Democracy in the proper fashion."

Really? WaPo you simply gloss over the facts. Slavery was debated and challenged since the union was formed. What made you think it was going to be resolved democratically/civilly when secession according to the constitution is declared to be illegal (article 1, section 10). Perhaps they could have amended the constitution, but there was nil chance 3/4 of the states would have ratified such an act.

Furthermore, most of the Confederate leaders disagreed with secession, but saw it as inevitable and were compelled by duty rather than your unsupported claim they wanted to dissolve the union in principle. Men will always want more power and sometimes war is the only resolution.
Jim Griffin · January 6, 2020 at 8:22 am
What JD claims as truth -- he did not attend -- is contradicted by other accounts from the time:

Read the above and draw your own conclusions. As one recounts, "Lee's presence at the communion rail reflected defiance and disdain for the black man's actions, not an embrace of them in the mutual brotherhood of Christ."
Post Washington · January 5, 2020 at 6:23 pm
JD, you a russian bot? sounds like a fishy story to me. Can you cite historica proof or evidence?
Post Washington · January 5, 2020 at 5:37 pm
Bottom line, Gone? These secessionists, from here and those other southern areas, joining a violent and, eventually, useless endeavor were interested in busting up the Union. They did not want to resolve differences through debate or Democracy in the proper fashion. After all what is democracy? An alternative to killing wars. They chose, instead, to try to break this country up into pieces. They wanted the United States of America to cease to exist. You know what trump and the Iranians have in common? They both believe god is on their side.
MarkScorze · January 5, 2020 at 3:47 am
It was a good reference for seeing who may be available and fit. I met the woman of my dreams and we have been married now for 2 years after 1 year of dating. We are madly in love and thank God for bringing the two of us to JapanCupid.
Fauqyresident · January 4, 2020 at 9:11 am
The Morrill tariff only passed in the Senate at the end of 1860, and passed because seven states succeeded and thus their senators left and turned over control to the Republican party. If you're talking about the expenditure of the revenues for the tax, which was only signed into law in March of 1861, five weeks before Sumpter, and I cannot find any record of post-war revenue that was collected. Thus, why would any revenue go to southern states?
JDwarrenton · January 4, 2020 at 8:16 am
Thank you for the recount Gonearethedays.

I would add this true story.

Just shortly after the conclusion of the war, Robert Lee was in war ravaged Richmond and attending a church service when a well dressed black man went to the front of the church and knelt to receive communion. The congregation, all white, was taken aback and did not know what to make of this - was it meant to be an affront to them, they were not sure. General Lee went to the front of the church and knelt beside the man, and the situation was diffused.

Gonearethedays · January 3, 2020 at 6:12 pm
In view of so much Union-only history presented in our local papers and heritage preservation institutions in recent years, I have taken the liberty below to post our Fauquier and Virginia Confederate heritage previously denied by the Old Jail Museum for inclusion on their long-running “Sequicentennial Plaques” that were placed in Courthouse Square for the public gaze spanning a number of years, all of which largely only told the Union version of events that happened here, to the exclusion of our Fauquier and Virginia citizens' solemn and overwhelming support for Virginia secession during the War Between the States. Here are some essential truths that were deliberately rejected and left out of the public signage that factually relate the essential truths, fortitude, valor, and many sacrifices of our home town Fauquier County citizens and residents.


MAY 10, 1860: The U.S. Congress passes the Morrill Tariff which provides an astonishing 67 percent increase in import tariff burden, whose impact so heavily penalized Southern consumers, agricultural interests, exporters, and especially cotton-producing states, that it became a major provocation and economic incentive to Southern secession. Nearly 80 percent of these tax revenues were expended on Northern public works and industrial subsidies, thus further enriching the North at the expense of the South in a highly unfair economic relationship.

MARCH 2, 1861: With intense lobbying by President-Elect Abraham Lincoln, the Corwin Amendment to the Constitution is passed by Congress which ordained: "No Amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere with any state with the domestic institutions thereof including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of the said State." Here, in these very words, the protection of slavery was tied to the Union itself. Two days later in his first Inaugural Address, President Lincoln spoke of the Amendment, "...holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."

APRIL 12, 1861: Ignoring gentlemanly warnings not to attempt to resupply Fort Sumter, the Lincoln Administration draws a bloodless first bombardment by Southern forces to open the war. The immediate effects of President Lincoln's call for the Southern States to provide 75,000 troops, and the resupply attempt, drove four more states out of the Union and required further military occupation to forestall the secession of three other states.

APRIL 17, 1861: Fauquier delegates to the Virginia State Convention, John Quincy Marr and Robert Eden Scott, vote with the majority to pass the Virginia Ordinance of Secession "To repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution."

MAY 23, 1861: Citizens ratify the Virginia Ordinance of Secession by a statewide referendum vote of 132,201 for and 37,451 against. Fauquier citizens vote for the Ordinance by a margin of 1,809 to 4. With this vote to peacefully, legally secede from the voluntary union of the Founders, the carefully considered official act of secession, a solemn act of the sovereign people representing the consent of the people, represented the most fundamental principal of American government.

JULY 21, 1861: The Battle of First Manassas saw the conversion of many Fauquier homes, schools and churches into makeshift hospitals. The decisive Confederate victory ensured the War Between the States would not end swiftly for the North.

JULY 22, 1861: The U.S. Congress issues a "Joint Resolution on the War," the Crittenden Resolution, passed by two-thirds majority of both Houses, that echoed Lincoln's reasons for the invasion of the Southern states: "Resolved: That this war is not being prosecuted upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those states, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws made in pursuance thereof and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality and rights of the several states unimpaired; and that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease." (CONTINUED BELOW)

Gonearethedays · January 3, 2020 at 6:00 pm

FEBRUARY 22, 1862: The Confederate States of America are established to form a purer version of the constitutional government of the American Founders in an alternate, independent federative polity. The Confederate States of America seek to leave the northern Union states intact and their Federal Government untrammeled; and it is between two constitutionally organized governments that the war is waged.

JANUARY 1, 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation is issued by President Lincoln to free all slaves held in the Confederate States of America, but the Proclamation does not apply to those enslaved in the northern Union States actually under control of the Federal Government.

WINTER, 1863: Approximately 600 Confederate soldiers who died in Warrenton homes and hospitals following the Battle of Second Manassas and who were buried in the Old Warrenton Cemetery with wooden identification markers made by local schoolchildren, lose their identities when Union troops callously burn the markers for firewood. In 1996, 520 of the names are rediscovered on an old roster in the National Archives by researcher Robert E. Smith of Carpentersville, Illinois.

MARCH 9, 1863: In a spectacular and daring night raid at Fairfax Court House 10 miles behind Union lines and thousands of enemy soldiers, Confederate Major John S. Mosby with 29 Rangers capture Union General E.H. Stoughton, arriving the next morning at Court House Square in Warrenton in a column of prisoners consisting of two Union captains, 30 enlisted men, 58 horses, numerous weapons and the Union General. Notified by advance party, Warrenton residents turn out en masse to cheer Mosby and his Rangers and to supply food and refreshment to all including the Union prisoners before they are marched south to Culpeper.

MAY 30, 1863: Major John S. Mosby and his Rangers halt the flow of supplies to Union forces on the Orange & Alexandria R.R. near Catlett Station, by moving a rail to stop the train and destroying it with a small mountain howitzer. Vermont guard troops flee the train into the woods and fighting continues with nearby New York cavalry troops in pursuit of the Virginians. Earlier in the month, "The Gray Ghost," Major Mosby, narrowly escapes capture at a barber shop on Culpeper Street when a Union search party quickly enters and interrogates the barber and a lone man covered in shave cream reclined in the chair of the whereabouts of Mosby.
Gonearethedays · January 3, 2020 at 5:57 pm

JUNE 9, 1863: The Battle of Brandy Station was the greatest cavalry engagement ever to take place in the Western Hemisphere with over 20,000 Union and Confederate troops participating, including 17,000 cavalry troops. Union General Alfred Pleasanton initiates the cavalry attack from Southern Fauquier upon the Confederate cavalry concentrated in Culpeper County. The surprise Union advance was repelled and Confederate forces remained in control of the high ground of Fleetwood Hill after 12 hours of fierce fighting. Union troops retreated to the north side of the Rappahannock River. For the first time in the War Between the States, Union cavalry matched the Confederate horsemen in skill and determination. 1,447 casualties.

JANUARY 1, 1864: Major General William "Extra Billy" Smith, owner of the Monte Rosa estate in Warrenton, is inaugurated for a second term as Governor of Virginia, having previously served in 1846-49. Among the many accomplishments of his long and consequential life, Smith was the oldest Confederate General to serve at the Battle of Gettysburg.

DECEMBER 21, 1864: Near Atoka on a freezing winter evening, Colonel John S. Mosby accompanied by Ranger Thomas Love, stop for a rare opportunity for a warm dinner at the home of Ludwell Lake and his daughter, Mrs. Skinner. Union cavalrymen soon overrun the house and nearly capture the famed Confederate commander, who was gravely wounded by a gunshot wound through a window, but fail to notice anything amiss with the fictitious soldier lying in the floor in an adjoining bedroom, playing the part of a dying man with his own blood smeared over himself after pulling off his coat with Colonel insignia and hiding it under a bureau. Mosby recalled in his memoirs, "I overheard the soldiers ask Mrs. Skinner who I was- I was well acquainted with her, and her brother was in my command- and I listened with fear and trembling for her answer. She declared that I was a stranger- that she had never seen me before- that I was not one of Mosby's men, and she did not know my name. I am sure that in the eternal records there is nothing registered against that good woman who denied my name and saved my life." Mosby recalled in his memoirs decades later, "I overheard the soldiers ask Mrs. Skinner who I was- I was well acquainted with her, and her brother was in my command- and I listened with fear and trembling for her answer. She declared that I was a stranger- that she had never seen me before- that I was not one of Mosby's men, and she did not know my name. I am sure that in the eternal records there is nothing registered against that good woman who denied my name and saved my life."

APRIL 9, 1865: General R.E. Lee surrenders to General U.S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Courthouse, VA. Grant allows Confederate officers to keep their side arms and permits soldiers to keep horses and mules. Lee's General Orders No. 9, bidding farewell to his Army of Northern Virginia at the surrender, becomes one of the most fabled documents in world military history, "After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources..."

1876: In June, Alderman James V. Brookes moves for a committee of five to solicit funds to complete a memorial monument to Warrenton's unknown Confederate Dead. In the hotly disputed aftermath of the November, 1876 U.S. Presidential Election, former Confederate Brigadier General and U.S. Congressman Eppa Hunton of Warrenton provides key leadership as the appointed Southern member of the U.S. Electoral Commission to decide the final outcome of the historic national vote.

MAY, 1877: General Wade Hampton of South Carolina gives an eloquent dedicatory address at the unveiling of Warrenton's Confederate War Memorial, "Dedicated with reverence, with love, and with solemn prayer to the martyred dead of a fallen but still a just and righteous cause." Inscriptions on the monument include "Go tell the Southrons we lie here for the rights of their States," and "God shall judge the right."

1904: Fabled former Commander of the 4th Virginia Cavalry, Brigadier General William H.F. Payne of Fauquier County, is laid to rest in Warrenton. His headstone includes the inscription, "Not for Empire or renown but for right and Commonwealth." William R. Helm, who served in the Black Horse with three brothers who died in the war, wrote a eulogy in behalf of the unit: "Oh death thou are indeed a thief, to steal away from us so great a man; our idolized, beloved leader, the pride and boast of our command. He was a man; take him for all in all. We ne'er shall look upon his like again. Peaceful be thy slumbers and happy thy eternity. "

1998: The names of Warrenton's unknown Confederate Dead having been recently rediscovered, a memorial wall naming the fallen is erected around the extant monument.
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