Fairfax Rifles Color Guard
A year ago this weekend I was exploring Manassas National Battlefield Park and the line of the never finished Manassas Gap Railroad. I learned from Susan that this Saturday there would be the dedication of a new historical marker in Annandale. The marker commemorates a Civil War skirmish nearby as well as Annandale remnants of the Manassas Gap Railroad project. I had to check this out and I was on the grounds of the George Mason Regional Library before 10:00 a.m. A group of local Civil War reenactors, the Fairfax Rifles, was there to provide a color guard and add atmosphere to the event. Promptly at 10:00 a.m., the color guard trooped the colors and the historical marker was unveiled. "Action at Annandale" it is called. It describes both a nearby stone bridge abutment built ca.
Unveiling the historical marker
1857 for the railroad and the skirmish that took place on Little River Turnpike on December 2, 1861. Union Troops from New York had established a barricade across the turnpike, where the built-up grade of the railway line crossed it. They were challenged by 200 Confederate troops. The Confederates overran the barricade, protecting the highway route to Alexandria
, but were eventually driven back to Centreville
After the dedication, a program followed at the library's meeting room. Two local Fairfax County historians spoke and dignitaries, including Congressman Gerry Connolly, made brief remarks. Photos of the stone bride abutment were displayed.
Dedicating the historical marker
As I had hiked to see the similar, though larger, bridge abutment in Centreville the year before, I was determined to see this one, too. I learned it was located across the street from the library, some distance inside Poe Terrace Park. Crossing the street, I entered the park and found Indian Run, the stream the bridge was intended to span. Following the stream's course was no easy task! The way was all overgown with shrubs, berries, bamboo, and poison ivy. But, I made my way along the stream and through the undergrowth about 150 yards. I could then see where teh structure was located. It was on my side of the stream. Taking a photo would mean crossing the stream or being in
it. Well, that's just what I did! I climbed down the bank of the stream, lined with modern rip-rap stones. I was able to walk on the stones up the middle of the stream until I could get a good photo.
(See my Virginia blog entry for October 11, 2009 for more information and photos of the remnants of this railway.)