Leesburg is the county seat of Loudoun County, regarded as one of the most picturesque towns in America. It was built circa 1740 and occupied by some of Virginia’s most famous families, being named for Thomas Lee, ancestor of Robert E. Lee. In the War of 1812, it became the temporary seat of the United States government, in the Civil War, it changed hands several times; the town is situated at the base of Catoctin Mountain and adjacent to the Potomac River, 33 miles west of Washington, D. C. for which it has become a commuter suburb. Its population is 52,607, as of 2016. Leesburg is 33 miles west-northwest of Washington, D. C. along the base of Catoctin Mountain and adjacent to the Potomac River. Its population according to the 2016 United States Census is 52,607 The town is the northwestern terminus of the Dulles Greenway, a private toll road that connects to the Dulles Toll Road at Washington Dulles International Airport. Leesburg, like the rest of Loudoun, has undergone considerable growth and development over the last 30 years, transforming from a small, piedmont town to a suburban bedroom community for commuters to the national capital.
Growth in the town and its immediate area to the east concentrates along the Dulles Greenway and State Route 7, which parallels the Potomac River between Winchester to the west and Alexandria to the east. The Federal Aviation Administration's Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center is in Leesburg. Leesburg was named to honor the influential Thomas Lee and not, as is popular belief, his son Francis Lightfoot Lee who lived in Loudoun and brought up the bill to establish Leesburg, nor as is sometimes thought, Robert E. Lee. Prior to European settlement, the area around Leesburg was occupied by various Native American tribes. John Lederer testified that the entire Piedmont region had once been occupied by the "Tacci, alias Dogi", but that the Siouan tribes, driven from the northwest, had occupied it for 400 years. In 1699, the Algonquian Piscataway moved to an island in the Potomac in the environs of Leesburg, were there when the first known Europeans visited what is now Loudoun. What would become known as the Old Carolina Road was a major route of travel between north and south for Native tribes.
According to local historians, a pitched battle was fought near present Leesburg between the warring Catawba and Lenape tribes, neither of whom lived in the area. A war party of Lenape had traveled from their home in New Jersey and neighboring regions, all the way to South Carolina to inflict a blow on their distant enemies, the Catawba; as they were returning northward, a party of Catawbas overtook them before they reached the Potomac, but were defeated in a pitched battle two miles south of Leesburg. The surviving Lenape buried their dead in a huge burial mound, early settlers reported that they would return to this mound to honor their dead on the anniversary of this battle for many years thereafter; the date of this conflict is unknown, but it seems the Lenape and Catawba were indeed at war in the 1720s and 1730s. European settlement of near Leesburg began in the late 1730s as tidewater planters moved into the area from the south and east establishing large farms and plantations. Many of the First Families of Virginia were among those to settle in the area including the Carters and Masons.
The genesis of Leesburg occurred sometime before 1755 when Nicholas Minor acquired land around the intersection of the Old Carolina Road and the Potomac Ridge Road and established a tavern there. Despite lack of growth around the tavern, upon Loudoun's formation in 1757, Minor dubbed the sparse collection of buildings about his tavern "George Town" in honor of the reigning monarch of Great Britain; the village's prosperity changed the following year when the British Colonial Council ordered the establishment of the county Court House at the crossroads. Accordingly, Minor had a town laid out on the traditional Virginia plan of six criss-cross streets. On October 12 of that year the Virginia General Assembly founded the town of Leesburg upon the 60 acres that Minor laid out. Leesburg was renamed to honor the influential Thomas Lee and not, as is popular belief, his son Francis Lightfoot Lee who lived in Loudoun and brought up the bill to establish Leesburg, nor as is sometimes thought, Robert E. Lee.
When the post office was established in Leesburg in 1803 the branch was named "Leesburgh". During the War of 1812, Leesburg served as a temporary haven for the United States Government and its archives when it was forced to flee Washington, D. C. in the face of the British Army. Some websites have claimed that this resulted in Leesburg temporarily becoming the capital of United States, however these claims are not true as none of the U. S. Government bodies were present in Leesburg at the time; when reconstruction began on the Capitol, Potomac Marble from quarries just south of Leesburg was used. Early in the American Civil War Leesburg was the site of the Battle of Ball's Bluff, a small but significant Confederate victory; the battlefield is marked by one of America's smallest national cemeteries. The town changed hands over the course of the war as both armies traversed the area during the Maryland and Gettysburg campaigns; the Battle of Mile Hill was fought just north of the town prior to its occupation by Robert E. Lee in September 1862.
Leesburg served as a base of operations for Col. John S. Mosby and his partisan Raiders, for whom the Loudoun County High School masco
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia; this province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. To the west of the Blue Ridge, between it and the bulk of the Appalachians, lies the Great Appalachian Valley, bordered on the west by the Ridge and Valley province of the Appalachian range; the Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for having a bluish color. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color. Within the Blue Ridge province are two major national parks – the Shenandoah National Park in the northern section, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the southern section – and eight national forests including George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Cherokee National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest and Chattahoochee National Forest.
The Blue Ridge contains the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile long scenic highway that connects the two parks and is located along the ridge crest-lines with the Appalachian Trail. Although the term "Blue Ridge" is sometimes applied to the eastern edge or front range of the Appalachian Mountains, the geological definition of the Blue Ridge province extends westward to the Ridge and Valley area, encompassing the Great Smoky Mountains, the Great Balsams, the Roans, the Blacks, the Brushy Mountains and other mountain ranges; the Blue Ridge extends as far north into Pennsylvania as South Mountain. While South Mountain dwindles to mere hills between Gettysburg and Harrisburg, the band of ancient rocks that form the core of the Blue Ridge continues northeast through the New Jersey and Hudson River highlands reaching The Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Green Mountains of Vermont; the Blue Ridge contains the highest mountains in eastern North America south of Baffin Island. About 125 peaks exceed 5,000 feet in elevation.
The highest peak in the Blue Ridge is Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet. There are 39 peaks in North Tennessee higher than 6,000 feet. Southern Sixers is a term used by peak baggers for this group of mountains; the Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles along crests of the Southern Appalachians and links two national parks: Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains. In many places along the parkway, there are metamorphic rocks with folded bands of light-and dark-colored minerals, which sometimes look like the folds and swirls in a marble cake. Most of the rocks that form the Blue Ridge Mountains are ancient granitic charnockites, metamorphosed volcanic formations, sedimentary limestone. Recent studies completed by Richard Tollo, a professor and geologist at George Washington University, provide greater insight into the petrologic and geochronologic history of the Blue Ridge basement suites. Modern studies have found that the basement geology of the Blue Ridge is made of compositionally unique gneisses and granitoids, including orthopyroxene-bearing charockites.
Analysis of zircon minerals in the granite completed by John Aleinikoff at the U. S. Geological Survey has provided more detailed emplacement ages. Many of the features found in the Blue Ridge and documented by Tollo and others have confirmed that the rocks exhibit many similar features in other North American Grenville-age terranes; the lack of a calc-alkaline affinity and zircon ages less than 1,200 Ma suggest that the Blue Ridge is distinct from the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, the New York-New Jersey Highlands. The petrologic and geochronologic data suggest that the Blue Ridge basement is a composite orogenic crust, emplaced during several episodes from a crustal magma source. Field relationships further illustrate that rocks emplaced prior to 1,078–1,064 Ma preserve deformational features; those emplaced post-1,064 Ma have a massive texture and missed the main episode of Mesoproterozoic compression. The Blue Ridge Mountains began forming during the Silurian Period over 400 million years ago.
320 Mya, North America, Europe collided, pushing up the Blue Ridge. At the time of their emergence, the Blue Ridge were among the highest mountains in the world and reached heights comparable to the much younger Alps. Today, due to weathering and erosion over hundreds of millions of years, the highest peak in the range, Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, is only 6,684 feet high – still the highest peak east of the Rockies; the English who settled colonial Virginia in the early 17th century recorded that the native Powhatan name for the Blue Ridge was Quirank. At the foot of the Blue Ridge, various tribes including the Siouan Manahoacs, the Iroquois, the Shawnee hunted and fished. A German physician-explorer, John Lederer, first reached the crest of the Blue Ridge in 1669 and again the following year. At the Treaty of Albany negotiated by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, of Virginia with the Iroquois between 1718 and 1722, the Iroquois ceded lands they had conquered south of the Potomac River and east of the Blue Ridge to the Virginia Colony.
This treaty made the Blue Ridge the new demarcation point between the areas and tribes subject to the Six Nati
Mount Zion Old School Baptist Church
Mount Zion Old School Baptist Church known as Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church and Mount Zion Old School Predestinarian Baptist Church, is a historic Primitive Baptist church located at Gilberts Corner, Loudoun County, Virginia. It is now maintained by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority: the property including the adjoining cemetery is open from dawn to dusk and the church itself open on the fourth Sunday of various months, or by reservation for weddings and events; the current brick building was built in 1851 and used as a place of worship for Old School Baptists until the 1980s. During the American Civil War, it served as a gathering place for Mosby's Rangers, as well as a hospital and prison. Both Union and Confederate soldiers are buried in the cemetery, as is a War of 1812 veteran, several from more recent wars. More than 200 graves from the 19th and 20th centuries are marked with inscribed stones. Sixty African Americans are buried in the segregated section located outside of the enclosed white section.
There are only two tombstones with the names intact, Lou Green. On Lucina's headstone it reads that she was a "longtime member of the Old School Baptist Church." Outside the cemetery gate is a monument to a battle correspondent who died in the church/hospital after falling from his horse while covering a cavalry engagement in nearby Aldie. The current two-story, rectangular brick building was built in 1851, has a gable roof, it measures 46 feet, 2 inches, by 36 feet, 2 inches, sits on a stone foundation. Located on the property is the contributing church cemetery with more than 200 graves from the 19th and 20th centuries marked with inscribed stones, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998
National Park Service
The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior; the NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment. As of 2018, the NPS employs 27,000 employees who oversee 419 units, of which 61 are designated national parks. National parks and national monuments in the United States were individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior; the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior.
They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that mandated the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS. On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933; the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasn't until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright had suggested to President Roosevelt that the historic sites from the American Civil War should be managed by the National Park Service, rather than the War Department.
President Roosevelt issued two Executive orders to make it happen. These two executive orders not only transferred to the National Park Service all the War Department historic sites, but the national monuments managed by the Department of Agriculture and the parks in and around the capital, run by an independent office. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected; the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery and unique natural features to making parks accessible to the public.
Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States' national parks, which have grown in number over the years to 60. Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States. In 1872, there was no state government to manage it, so the federal government assumed direct control. Yosemite National Park began as a state park. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership. At first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the civilian staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the federal government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, the National Park Service, to manage all national parks and some national monuments.
Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. The agency was given authority over other protected areas, many with varying designations as Congress created them; the National Park System includes. The title or designation of a unit need not include the term park; the System as a whole is considered to be a national treasure of the United States, some of the more famous national parks and monuments are sometimes referred to metaphorically as "crown jewels". The system encompasses 84.4 million acres, of which more than 4.3 million acres remain in private ownership. The largest unit is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. At 13,200,000 acres, it is over 16 percent of the entire system; the smallest unit in the system is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acre. In addition to administering its units and other properties, the National Park Service provides technical and financial assistance to several "affiliated areas" authorized by Congress.
The largest affiliated area is New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve at 1,164,025 acres. The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at less than 0.01 acres. Although all units of the Nat
Institute Farm known as the Loudoun Agricultural and Mechanical Institute, was the first agricultural school in Virginia and one of the earliest institutions devoted to agronomy in the United States. Located near Aldie, the school was established as the Loudoun County Agricultural Institute and Chemical Academy around 1854 on a former portion of U. S. President James Monroe's Oak Hill plantation; the institute was established by Benjamin Hyde Benton, Harmon Bitzer and James Gulick, who were active in the Agricultural Society of Loudoun, on land belonging to Gulick's family. The school lasted for only six years, suffering from the Panic of 1857 and failing in 1860. Gulick put the property up for sale, but with the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, was unable to sell. Gulickjoined the Confederate Army and was killed in 1864 at the Battle of Upperville; the property was by his estate to Isabella Turner. Turner's estate sold the property to the Institute Corporation in 1916, whereupon the property became the headquarters for the National Beagle Club of America, which retains the property.
The main house is a 3-1/2-story stuccoed stone building. The large plain building is six bays wide with a sunken basement; the main entrance is through a small porch offset to the right to the first floor, replacing the original entrance, on the opposite side facing a tiered garden. The interior remains as it was when the property was a school, with a central hallway on each level running the length of the building; the second floor and attic levels are partitioned into smaller rooms used as dormitories. The property features 13 log cabins built between 1917 and 1971, used by the club during beagle shows and trials for lodging; the property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 8, 1982. National Beagle Club of America page on the property
The Gettysburg Campaign was a military invasion of Pennsylvania by the main Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee in summer 1863; the Union won a decisive victory at Gettysburg July 1–3, with heavy casualties on both sides. Lee managed to escape back to Virginia with most of his army, it was a turning point in the American Civil War, with Lee pushed back toward Richmond until his surrender in April 1865. After his victory in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia moved north for a massive raid designed to obtain needed supplies, to undermine civilian morale in the North, to encourage anti-war elements; the Union Army of the Potomac was commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker and by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade. Lee's army slipped away from Federal contact at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on June 3, 1863; the largest predominantly cavalry battle of the war was fought at Brandy Station on June 9. The Confederates crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains and moved north through the Shenandoah Valley, capturing the Union garrison at Winchester, Virginia, in the Second Battle of Winchester, June 13–15.
Crossing the Potomac River, Lee's Second Corps advanced through Maryland and Pennsylvania, reaching the Susquehanna River and threatening the state capital of Harrisburg. However, the Army of the Potomac was in pursuit and had reached Frederick, before Lee realized his opponent had crossed the Potomac. Lee moved swiftly to concentrate his army around the crossroads town of Gettysburg; the Battle of Gettysburg was the largest of the war. Starting as a chance meeting engagement on July 1, the Confederates were successful in driving Union cavalry and two infantry corps from their defensive positions, through the town, onto Cemetery Hill. On July 2, with most of both armies now present, Lee launched fierce assaults on both flanks of the Union defensive line, which were repulsed with heavy losses on both sides. On July 3, Lee focused his attention on the Union center; the defeat of his massive infantry assault, Pickett's Charge, caused Lee to order a retreat that began the evening of July 4. The Confederate retreat to Virginia was plagued by bad weather, difficult roads, numerous skirmishes with Union cavalry.
However, Meade's army did not maneuver aggressively enough to prevent Lee from crossing the Potomac to safety on the night of July 13–14. Shortly after Lee's Army of Northern Virginia defeated Hooker's Army of the Potomac during the Chancellorsville Campaign, Lee decided upon a second invasion of the North; such a move would upset Union plans for the summer campaigning season, give Lee the ability to maneuver his army away from its defensive positions behind the Rappahannock River, allow the Confederates to live off the bounty of the rich northern farms while giving war-ravaged Virginia a much needed break. Lee's army could threaten Philadelphia and Washington, encourage the growing peace movement in the North. Lee had numerous misunderstandings. Lee misread Northern opinion by his reliance on anti-war Copperhead newspapers for northern public opinion. Reading them, he assumed the Yankees must be just as war weary as southerners, did not appreciate the determination of the Lincoln Administration.
Lee did know he was short of supplies for his own army, so he planned the campaign as a full-scale raid that would seize supplies. He wrote: If we can baffle them in their various designs this year & our people are true to our cause...our success will be certain.... Next year there will be a great change in public opinion at the North; the Republicans will be destroyed & I think the friends of peace will become so strong as that the next administration will go in on that basis. We have only therefore to resist manfully. Lee was overconfident of the equipment of his "invincible" veterans. I shall throw an overwhelming force on their advance, crush it, follow up the success, drive one corps back on another, by successive repulses and surprises, before they can concentrate, create a panic and destroy the army; the war will be over and we shall achieve the recognition of our independence. The Confederate government had a different strategy, it wanted Lee to reduce Union pressure threatening their garrison at Vicksburg, but he rejected its suggestions to send troops to provide direct aid, arguing for the value of a concentrated blow in the Northeast.
In essence, Lee's strategy was identical to the one he employed in the Maryland Campaign of 1862. Furthermore, after Chancellorsville he had supreme confidence in the men of his army, assuming they could handle any challenge he gave them. Lee's movement started on the first of June and within a short time was well on its way through Maryland, with Union forces moving north along parallel lines. Lee's cavalry, under General Jeb Stuart had the primary mission of gathering intelligence on where the enemy position was, but Stuart failed and instead raided some supply trains, he did not rejoin Lee. Stuart had taken all Lee's best cavalry, leaving the main army with two third-rate, ill-equipped, poorly led brigades that could not handle the reconnaissance challenge in hostile country. Lee's armies threatened Harrisburg, Washington and Philadelphia. Local militia units hurriedly formed to oppose Lee, but they were inconsequential in the face of a large, battle-hardened attack force. Gettysburg was a crossroads junction in wooded ar
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal