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Title: History and Comprehensive Description of Loudoun County, Virginia
Author: Head, James William, 1883-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History and Comprehensive Description of Loudoun County, Virginia" ***

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                     [Illustration: James W. Head]



                       COMPREHENSIVE DESCRIPTION


                            LOUDOUN COUNTY



                             JAMES W. HEAD

                            PARK VIEW PRESS

                           _Copyright 1908
                           by JAMES W. HEAD_


       *       *       *       *       *



"Loudoun County exemplifies country life in about the purest and
pleasantest form that I have yet found in the United States. Not that
it is a rural Utopia by any means, but the chief ideals of the life
there are practically identical with those that have made country life
in the English counties world-famous. As a type, this is, in fact, the
real thing. No sham, no artificiality, no suspicion of mushroom
growth, no evidence of exotic forcing are to be found in Loudoun, but
the culmination of a century's development."

       *       *       *       *       *

"So much, then, to show briefly that Loudoun County life is a little
out of the ordinary, here in America, and hence worth talking about.
There are other communities in Virginia and elsewhere that are worthy
of eulogy, but I know of none that surpasses Loudoun in the dignity,
sincerity, naturalness, completeness and genuine success of its
country life."--WALTER A. DYER, in _Country Life in America_.

Table of Contents.


Descriptive Department.










  Loudoun Formation

  Weverton Sandstone

  Newark System

  Newark Diabase

  Catoctin Schist

  Rocks of the Piedmont Plain

  Lafayette Formation





  Loudoun Sandy Loam
  Penn Clay

  Penn Stony Loam

  Iredell Clay Loam

  Penn Loam

  Cecil Loam

  Cecil Clay

  Cecil Silt Loam

  Cecil Mica Loam

  De Kalb Stony Loam

  Porters Clay








  Round Hill







  Smaller Towns

Statistical Department.







  Animals Sold and Slaughtered

  Neat cattle

  Dairy Products


  Horses, Mules, etc.

  Sheep, Goats, and Swine

  Domestic Wool

  Poultry and Bees



  Corn and Wheat

  Oats, Rye, and Buckwheat

  Hay and Forage Crops

  Miscellaneous Crops, etc.

  Orchard Fruits, etc.

  Small Fruits, etc.

  Flowers, Ornamental Plants, etc.







Historical Department.










  Colonial Assemblies

  State Conventions


  Loudoun's Loyalty

  Resolutions of Loudoun County

  Revolutionary Committees


  Quaker Non-Participation

  Loudoun's Revolutionary Hero

  Army Recommendations

  Court Orders and Reimbursements

  Close of the Struggle

WAR OF 1812

  The Compelling Cause

  State Archives at Leesburg






  Loudoun County in the Secession Movement

  Loudoun's Participation in the War

  The Loudoun Rangers (Federal)

  Mosby's Command in its Relationship to Loudoun County

  Mosby at Hamilton (Poem)

  Battle of Leesburg ("Ball's Bluff")

  Munford's Fight at Leesburg

  Battle at Aldie

  Duffie at Middleburg

  The Sacking of Loudoun

  Home Life During the War

  Pierpont's Pretentious Administration


  Close of the War


  After the Surrender

  Conduct of the Freedmen



I know not when I first planned this work, so inextricably is the idea
interwoven with a fading recollection of my earliest aims and
ambitions. However, had I not been resolutely determined to conclude
it at any cost--mental, physical, or pecuniary--the difficulties that
I have experienced at every stage might have led to its early

The greatest difficulty lay in procuring material which could not be
supplied by individual research and investigation. For this and other
valid reasons that will follow it may safely be said that more than
one-half the contents of this volume are in the strictest sense
original, the remarks and detail, for the most part, being the
products of my own personal observation and reflection. Correspondence
with individuals and the State and National authorities, though varied
and extensive, elicited not a half dozen important facts. I would
charge no one with discourtesy in this particular, and mention the
circumstance only because it will serve to emphasize what I shall
presently say _anent_ the scarcity of available material.

Likewise, a painstaking perusal of more than two hundred volumes
yielded only meagre results, and in most of these illusory references
I found not a single fact worth recording. This comparatively
prodigious number included gazeteers, encyclopedias, geographies,
military histories, general histories, State and National reports,
journals of legislative proceedings, biographies, genealogies,
reminiscences, travels, romances--in short, any and all books that I
had thought calculated to shed even the faintest glimmer of light on
the County's history, topographical features, etc.

But, contrary to my expectations, in many there appeared no manner of
allusion to Loudoun County. By this it will be seen that much time
that might have been more advantageously employed was necessarily
given to this form of fruitless research.

That works of history and geography can be prepared in no other way,
no person at all acquainted with the nature of such writings need be
told. "As well might a traveler presume to claim the fee-simple of all
the country which he has surveyed, as a historian and geographer
expect to preclude those who come after him from making a proper use
of his labors. If the former writers have seen accurately and related
faithfully, the latter ought to have the resemblance of declaring the
same facts, with that variety only which nature has enstamped upon the
distinct elaborations of every individual mind.... As works of this
sort become multiplied, voluminous, and detailed, it becomes a duty to
literature to abstract, abridge, and give, in synoptical views, the
information that is spread through numerous volumes."

Touching the matter gleaned from other books, I claim the sole merit
of being a laborious and faithful compiler. In some instances, where
the thoughts could not be better or more briefly expressed, the words
of the original authors may have been used.

Where this has been done I have, whenever possible, made, in my
footnotes or text, frank and ample avowal of the sources from which I
have obtained the particular information presented. This has not
always been possible for the reason that I could not name, if
disposed, all the sources from which I have sought and obtained
information. Many of the references thus secured have undergone a
process of sifting and, if I may coin the couplet, confirmatory
handling which, at the last, rendered some unrecognizable and their
origin untraceable.

The only publication of a strictly local color unearthed during my
research was Taylor's _Memoir of Loudoun_, a small book, or more
properly a pamphlet, of only 29 pages, dealing principally with the
County's geology, geography, and climate. It was written to accompany
the map of Loudoun County, drawn by Yardley Taylor, surveyor; and was
published by Thomas Reynolds, of Leesburg, in 1853.

I wish to refer specially to the grateful acknowledgment that is due
Arthur Keith's _Geology of the Catoctin Belt_ and Carter's and Lyman's
_Soil Survey of the Leesburg Area_, two Government publications,
published respectively by the United States Geological Survey and
Department of Agriculture, and containing a fund of useful information
relating to the geology, soils, and geography of about two-thirds of
the area of Loudoun. Of course these works have been the sources to
which I have chiefly repaired for information relating to the two
first-named subjects. Without them the cost of this publication would
have been considerably augmented. As it is I have been spared the
expense and labor that would have attended an enforced personal
investigation of the County's soils and geology.

And now a tardy and, perhaps, needless word or two in revealment of
the purpose of this volume.

To rescue a valuable miscellany of facts and occurrences from an
impending oblivion; to gather and fix certain ephemeral incidents
before they had passed out of remembrance; to render some account of
the County's vast resources and capabilities; to trace its geography
and analyze its soils and geology; to follow the tortuous windings of
its numerous streams; to chronicle the multitudinous deeds of
sacrifice and daring performed by her citizens and soldiery--such has
been the purpose of this work, such its object and design.

But the idea as originally evolved contemplated only a chronology of
events from the establishment of the County to the present day. Not
until the work was well under way was the matter appearing under the
several descriptive heads supplemented.

From start to finish this self-appointed task has been prosecuted with
conscientious zeal and persistency of purpose, although with frequent
interruptions, and more often than not amid circumstances least
favorable to literary composition. At the same time my hands have been
filled with laborious avocations of another kind.

What the philosopher Johnson said of his great _Dictionary_ and
himself could as well be said of this humble volume and its author:

"In this work, when it shall be found that much is omitted, let it not
be forgotten that much likewise is performed; and though no book was
ever spared out of tenderness to the author, and the world is little
solicitous to know whence proceeded the faults of that which it
condemns; yet it may gratify curiosity to inform it, that the _English
Dictionary_ was written with little assistance of the learned, and
without any patronage of the great; not in the soft obscurities of
retirement, or under the shelter of academick bowers, but amidst
inconvenience and distraction, in sickness and in sorrow."

If further digression be allowable I might say that in the preparation
of this work I have observed few of the restrictive rules of literary
sequence and have not infrequently gone beyond the prescribed limits
of conventional diction. To these transgressions I make willing
confession. I have striven to present these sketches in the most lucid
and concise form compatible with readableness; to compress the
greatest possible amount of useful information into the smallest
compass. Indeed, had I been competent, I doubt that I would have
attempted a more elaborate rendition, or drawn more freely upon the
language and the coloring of poetry and the imagination. I have
therefore to apprehend that the average reader will find them too
statistical and laconic, too much abbreviated and void of detail.

However, a disinterested historian I have not been, and should such a
charge be preferred I shall look for speedy exculpation from the
discerning mass of my readers.

In this connection and before proceeding further I desire to say that
my right to prosecute this work can not fairly be questioned; that a
familiar treatment of the subject I have regarded as my inalienable
prerogative. I was born in Loudoun County, of parents who in turn
could boast the same distinction, and, if not all, certainly the
happiest days of my life were passed within those sacred precincts. I
have viewed her housetops from every crowning eminence, her acres of
unmatched grain, her Arcadian pastures and browsing herds, her
sun-kissed hills and silvery, serpentine streams. I have known the
broad, ample playgrounds of her stately old Academy, and shared in the
wholesome, health-giving sports their breadth permitted. I have known
certain of her astute schoolmasters and felt the full rigor of their
discipline. Stern tutors they were, at times seemingly cruel, but what
retrospective mind will not now accord them unstinted praise and
gratitude? Something more than the mere awakening and development of
slumbering intellects was their province: raw, untamed spirits were
given into their hands for a brief spell--brief when measured in after
years--and were then sent forth to combat Life's problems with clean
hearts, healthy minds, robust bodies, and characters that might remain
unsullied though beset with every hellish device known to a sordid
world. God bless the dominies of our boyhood--the veteran
schoolmasters of old Loudoun!

But to return to my theme. I have a distinct foresight of the views
which some will entertain and express in reference to this work,
though my least fears of criticism are from those whose experience and
ability best qualify them to judge.

However, to the end that criticism may be disarmed even before
pronouncement, the reader, before condemning any statements made in
these sketches that do not agree with his preconceived opinions, is
requested to examine all the facts in connection therewith. In so
doing it is thought he will find these statements correct in the main.

In such a variety of subjects there must of course be many omissions,
but I shall be greatly disappointed if actual errors are discovered.

In substantiation of its accuracy and thoroughness I need only say
that the compilation of this work cost me three years of nocturnal
application--the three most ambitious and disquieting years of the
average life. During this period the entire book has been at least
three times rewritten.

In the best form of which I am capable the fruits of these protracted
labors are now committed to the candid and, it is hoped, kindly
judgment of the people of Loudoun County.

BARCROFT, VA., _Feb. 1, 1909_.



Loudoun County lies at the northern extremity of "Piedmont
Virginia,"[1] forming the apex of one of the most picturesquely
diversified regions on the American continent. Broad plains, numerous
groups and ranges of hills and forest-clad mountains, deep river
gorges, and valleys of practically every conceivable form are strewn
to the point of prodigality over this vast undulatory area.

[Footnote 1: "Piedmont" means "foot of the mountain." "Piedmont
Virginia," with a length of 250 miles and an average width of about 25
miles, and varying in altitude from 300 to 1,200 feet, lies just east
of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and comprises the counties of _Loudoun_,
Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison, Greene, Orange, Albemarle,
Nelson, Amherst, Bedford, Franklin, Henry, and Patrick. It is a
portion of the belt that begins in New England and stretches thence
southward to Georgia and Alabama.]

The particular geographic location of Loudoun has been most accurately
reckoned by Yardley Taylor, who in 1853 made a governmental survey of
the county. He placed it "between the latitudes of 38° 52-1/2" and 39°
21" north latitude, making 28-1/2" of latitude, or 33 statute miles,
and between 20" and 53-1/2" of longitude west from Washington, being
33-1/2" of longitude, or very near 35 statute miles."

Loudoun was originally a part of the six million acres which, in 1661,
were granted by Charles II, King of England, to Lord Hopton, Earl of
St. Albans, Lord Culpeper, Lord Berkeley, Sir William Morton, Sir
Dudley Wyatt, and Thomas Culpeper. All the territory lying between the
Rappahannock and Potomac rivers to their sources was included in this
grant, afterwards known as the "Fairfax Patent," and still later as
the "Northern Neck of Virginia."

"The only conditions attached to the conveyance of this domain, the
equivalent of a principality, were that one-fifth of all the gold and
one-tenth of all the silver discovered within its limits should be
reserved for the royal use, and that a nominal rent of a few pounds
sterling should be paid into the treasury at Jamestown each year. In
1669 the letters patent were surrendered by the existing holders and
in their stead new ones were issued.... The terms of these letters
required that the whole area included in this magnificent gift should
be planted and inhabited by the end of twenty-one years, but in 1688
this provision was revoked by the King as imposing an impracticable

[Footnote 2: Bruce's _Economic History of Virginia_.]

The patentees, some years afterward, sold the grant to the second Lord
Culpeper, to whom it was confirmed by letters patent of King James II,
in 1688. From Culpeper the rights and privileges conferred by the
original grant descended through his daughter, Catherine, to her son,
Lord Thomas Fairfax, Baron of Cameron--a princely heritage for a young
man of 20 years.


The original boundaries of Loudoun County were changed by the
following act of the General Assembly, passed January 3, 1798, and
entitled "An Act for adding part of the county of Loudoun to the
county of Fairfax, and altering the place of holding courts in Fairfax

     1. _Be it enacted by the General Assembly_, That all that
     part of the county of Loudoun lying between the lower
     boundary thereof, and a line to be drawn from the mouth of
     Sugar Land run, to Carter's mill, on Bull run, shall be, and
     is hereby added to and made part of the county of Fairfax:
     Provided always, That it shall be lawful for the sheriff of
     the said county of Loudoun to collect and make distress for
     any public dues or officers fees, which shall remain unpaid
     by the inhabitants of that part of the said county hereby
     added to the county of Fairfax, and shall be accountable for
     the same in like manner as if this act had not been made.

     2. _And be it further enacted_, That it shall be lawful for
     a majority of the acting justices of the peace for the said
     county of Fairfax, together with the justices of the county
     of Loudoun included within the part thus added to the said
     county of Fairfax, and they are hereby required at a court
     to be held in the month of April or May next, to fix on a
     place for holding courts therein at or as near the center
     thereof (having regard to that part of the county of Loudoun
     hereby added to the said county of Fairfax) as the situation
     and convenience will admit of; and thenceforth proceed to
     erect the necessary public buildings at such place, and
     until such buildings be completed, to appoint any place for
     holding courts as they shall think proper.

     3. This act shall commence and be in force from and after
     the passing thereof.

As at present bounded, the old channel at the mouth of Sugar Land run,
at Lowe's Island,[3] is "the commencement of the line that separates
Loudoun from Fairfax County and runs directly across the country to a
point on the Bull Run branch of Occoquan River, about three eighths of
a mile above Sudley Springs, in Prince William County." The Bull Run
then forms the boundary between Loudoun and Prince William to its
highest spring head in the Bull Run mountain, just below the Cool
Spring Gap. The line then extends to the summit of the mountain, where
the counties of Fauquier and Prince William corner. From the summit of
this mountain, a direct line to a point[4] on the Blue Ridge, at
Ashby's Gap, marks the boundary between Loudoun and Fauquier counties.
A devious line, which follows in part the crests of the Blue Ridge
until reaching the Potomac below Harpers Ferry, separates Loudoun from
Clarke County, Virginia, and Jefferson County, West Virginia, on her
western border. The Potomac then becomes the dividing line between
Loudoun County, and Frederick and Montgomery counties, Maryland; "and
that State, claiming the whole of the river, exercises jurisdiction
over the islands as well as the river."

[Footnote 3: "What is called Lowe's Island, at the mouth of Sugarland
Run, was formerly an island, and made so by that run separating and
part of it passing into the river by the present channel, while a part
of it entered the river by what is now called the old channel. This
old channel is now partially filled up, and only receives the waters
of Sugarland Run in times of freshets. Occasionally when there is high
water in the river the waters pass up the present channel of the run
to the old channel, and then follow that to the river again. This old
channel enters the river immediately west of the primordial range of
rocks, that impinge so closely upon the river from here to Georgetown,
forming as they do that series of falls known as Seneca Falls, the
Great, and the Little Falls, making altogether a fall of 188 feet in
less than 20 miles."--_Memoir of Loudoun_.]

[Footnote 4: Designated in an old record as a "double-bodied poplar
tree standing in or near the middle of the thoroughfare of Ashby's Gap
on the top of the Blue Ridge." It succumbed to the ravages of time and
fire while this work was in course of preparation.]

This completes an outline of 109 miles, viz: 19 miles in company with
Fairfax, 10 with Prince William, 17 with Fauquier, 26 with Clarke and
Jefferson, and 37 miles along the Potomac.


Loudoun County is preeminently a diversified region; its surface
bearing many marked peculiarities, many grand distinctive features.
The broken ranges of hills and mountains, abounding in Piedmont
Virginia, here present themselves in softly rounded outline, gradually
sinking down into the plains, giving great diversity and
picturesqueness to the landscape. They are remarkable for their
parallelism, regularity, rectilineal direction and evenness of
outline, and constitute what is by far the most conspicuous feature in
the topography of Loudoun. Neither snow-capped nor barren, they are
clothed with vegetation from base to summit and afford fine range and
pasturage for sheep and cattle.

The main valleys are longitudinal and those running transversely few
and comparatively unimportant.

The far-famed Loudoun valley, reposing peacefully between the Blue
Ridge and Catoctin mountains, presents all the many varied topographic
aspects peculiar to a territory abounding in foothills.

The Blue Ridge, the southeasternmost range of the Alleghanies or
Appalachian System presents here that uniformity and general
appearance which characterizes it throughout the State, having gaps
or depressions every eight or ten miles, through which the public
roads pass. The most important of these are the Potomac Gap at 500
feet and Snickers and Ashby's Gap, both at 1,100 feet. The altitude of
this range in Loudoun varies from 1,000 to 1,600 feet above
tide-water, and from 300 to 900 feet above the adjacent country. It
falls from 1,100 to 1,000 feet in 4 miles south of the river, and
then, rising sharply to 1,600 feet, continues at the higher series of
elevations. The Blue Ridge borders the county on the west, its course
being about south southwest, or nearly parallel with the Atlantic
Coast-line, and divides Loudoun from Clarke County, Virginia, and
Jefferson County, West Virginia, the line running along the summit.

Of nearly equal height and similar features are the Short Hills,
another range commencing at the Potomac River about four miles below
Harpers Ferry and extending parallel to the Blue Ridge, at a distance
of nearly four miles from summit to summit, for about twelve miles
into the County, where it is broken by a branch of Catoctin Creek.
Beyond this stream it immediately rises again and extends about three
miles further, at which point it abruptly terminates.

A third range, called "Catoctin Mountain," has its inception in
Pennsylvania, traverses Maryland, is interrupted by the Potomac,
reappears in Virginia at the river margin, opposite Point of Rocks,
and extends through Loudoun County for a distance of twenty or more
miles, when it is again interrupted.

Elevations on Catoctin Mountain progressively diminish southward from
the Potomac River to Aldie, although the rocks remain the same, and
the Tertiary drainage, which might be supposed to determine their
elevations, becomes less effective in that direction.

Probably this mountain does not exceed an average of more than 300
feet above the surrounding country, though at some stages it may
attain an altitude of 700 feet. Rising near the Potomac into one of
its highest peaks, in the same range it becomes alternately depressed
and elevated, until reaching the point of its divergence in the
neighborhood of Waterford. There it assumes the appearance of an
elevated and hilly region, deeply indented by the myriad streams that
rise in its bosom.

On reaching the Leesburg and Snicker's Gap Turnpike road, a distance
of twelve miles, it expands to three miles in width and continues much
the same until broken by Goose Creek and its tributary, the North
Fork, when it gradually loses itself in the hills of Goose Creek and
Little River, before reaching the Ashby's Gap Turnpike.

The Catoctin range throughout Loudoun pursues a course parallel to the
Blue Ridge, the two forming an intermediate valley or baselevel
plain, ranging in width from 8 to 12 miles, and in altitude from 350
to 730 feet above sea level. Allusion to the physiography of this
valley--so called only by reason of its relation to the mountains on
either side--has been made elsewhere in this department.

Immediately south of Aldie, on Little River, near the point of
interruption of Catoctin Mountain, another range commences and extends
into Fauquier County. It is known as "Bull Run Mountain," but might
rightly be considered an indirect continuation of the elevation of the
Catoctin, its course and some of its features corresponding very
nearly with that mountain save only that it is higher than any of the
ranges of the latter, excepting the western.

East of the Catoctin the tumultuous continuity of mountains subsides
into gentle undulations, an almost unbroken succession of sloping
elevations and depressions presenting an as yet unimpaired variety and
charm of landscape. However, on the extreme eastern edge of this
section, level stretches of considerable extent are a conspicuous
feature of the topography.

Three or four detached hills, rising to an elevation of 150 or 200
feet above the adjacent country, are the only ones of consequence met
with in this section.


The hilly character of Loudoun is clearly shown by the following
exhibit of the elevation of points and places above tide-water. The
variations of altitude noted in this schedule are based upon
conflicting estimates and distinct measurements made at two or more
points within a given circumference and slightly removed one from the

Sterling                                  415
Ashburn                                   320
Leesburg                           321 to 337
Clarke's Gap                       578 to 634
Hamilton                           454 to 521
Purcellville                       546 to 553
Round Hill                                558
Bluemont                           680 to 730
Snicker's Gap                           1,085
Neersville                                626
Hillsborough                              550
Waterford                                 360
Mount Gilead                              600
Oatlands                                  270
Little River, near Aldie                  299
Middleburg                                480
Potomac River, near Seneca Dam            188
Potomac River, at Point of Rocks          200
Potomac River, at Harper's Ferry          246

The whole of the county east of the Catoctin Mountain varies from 200
to 350 feet. The eastern base of the Blue Ridge has an elevation of
about 730 feet, and the highest peak of that range in Loudoun rises
1,600 feet above tide-water.

The Short Hills have an approximate altitude of 1,000 feet, while that
of the Catoctin Mountain varies from 300 to 700 feet. The valley
between the Blue Ridge and Catoctin Mountains varies from 350 to 730
feet in elevation.

From many vantage points along the Blue Ridge may be obtained
magnificent views of both the Loudoun and Shenandoah valleys. The eye
travels entirely across the fertile expanse of the latter to where, in
the far distance, the Alleghany and North Mountains rear their wooded
crests. A few of the summits offer even more extensive prospects. From
some nearly all of Loudoun, with a considerable area of Fairfax and
Fauquier, is in full view. Other more distant areas within visionary
range are portions of Prince William, Rappahannock, and Culpeper
counties, in Virginia, Frederick and Montgomery counties, in Maryland,
and even some of Prince George County, east of Washington City.
Westward, the view embraces Shenandoah, Frederick, Clarke and Warren
counties, in Virginia, Berkeley and Jefferson counties, in West
Virginia, Washington County, in Maryland, and some of the mountain
summits of Pennsylvania.


The drainage of Loudoun can be divided into two provinces. One is the
Potomac province, which is drained by a system of small tributaries of
that stream. Its elevations are quite uniform and are referable to
that master stream, whose grade is largely determined by its great
basin beyond the "Catoctin belt." The second province is the region
drained by smaller streams, chief of which is Goose Creek. In this
province the drainage lines head entirely within the "Catoctin belt,"
and the elevations are variable according to the constitution of the
rocks in the belt itself.

The tributaries by which the drainage of the two provinces is effected
are Catoctin Creek, North Fork Catoctin Creek, South Fork Catoctin
Creek, Little River, North Fork Goose Creek, Beaver-dam Creek, Piney
Run, Jeffries Branch, Cromwells Run, Hungry Run, Bull Run, Sycoline
Creek, Tuscarora Creek, Horse Pen Run, Broad Run, Sugarland Run, Elk
Lick, Limestone Branch, and as many lesser streams.

The general slope of the county being to the northeast, the waters,
for the most part, naturally follow the same course, as may be readily
perceived by reference to maps of the section. The streams that rise
in the Blue Ridge mostly flow to the eastward until they approach the
Catoctin Mountain, where they are then deflected more toward either
the north or south to pass that range by the Northwest Fork and Goose
Creek, or by the Catoctin Creek which falls into the Potomac above
Point of Rocks. East of Catoctin Mountain the streams pursue a more or
less direct northern course.

Goose Creek, a right-hand branch of the Potomac River, is a
considerable stream, pursuing a course of about fifty miles from its
source in Fauquier County to its junction with the Potomac four miles
northeast of Leesburg. It once bore the Indian name _Gohongarestaw_,
meaning "River of Swans." Flowing northeastward across Loudoun, it
receives many smaller streams until passing the first range of
Catoctin Mountain, when it claims a larger tributary, the North Fork.
Goose Creek represents subsequent drainage dependent on the syncline
of the Blue Ridge and dating back at least as far as Cretaceous time.
Its length in Loudoun is about thirty miles, and it has a fall of one
hundred feet in the last twenty-two miles of its course. It drains
nearly one-half the county and is about sixty yards wide at its mouth.

Catoctin Creek is very crooked; its basin does not exceed twelve miles
as the crow flies, and includes the whole width of the valley between
the mountains except a small portion in the northeastern angle of the
County. Yet its entire course, measuring its meanders, would exceed
thirty-five miles. It has a fall of one hundred and eighty feet in the
last eighteen miles of its course, and is about twenty yards wide near
its mouth.

The Northwest Fork rises in the Blue Ridge and flows southeastward,
mingling its waters with the Beaver Dam, coming from the southwest,
immediately above Catoctin Mountain, where their united waters pass
through a narrow valley to Goose Creek.

Little River, a small affluent of Goose Creek, rises in Fauquier
County west of Bull Run mountain and enters Loudon a few miles
southwestward of Aldie. It pursues a northern and northeastern course
until it has passed that town, turning then more to the northward and
falling into Goose Creek. Before the Civil War it was rendered
navigable from its mouth to Aldie by means of dams.

Broad Run, the next stream of consequence east of Goose Creek, rises
in Prince William County and pursues a northern course, with some
meanderings through Loudoun. It flows into the Potomac about four
miles below the mouth of Goose Creek.

Sugarland Run, a still smaller stream, rises partly in Loudoun, though
its course is chiefly through Fairfax County, and empties into the
Potomac at the northeastern angle of the County.

In its southeastern angle several streams rise and pursue a southern
and southeastern course, and constitute some of the upper branches of
Occoquan River.

Perhaps no county in the State is better watered for all purposes,
except manufacturing in times of drought. Many of the farms might be
divided into fields of ten acres each and, in ordinary seasons, would
have water in each of them.

There are several mineral springs in the county of the class called
chalybeate, some of which contain valuable medicinal properties, and
other springs and wells that are affected with lime. Indeed, in almost
every part of the County, there is an exhaustless supply of the purest
spring water. This is due, in great part, to the porosity of the soil
which allows the water to pass freely into the earth, and the slaty
character of the rocks which favors its descent into the bowels of the
hills, from whence it finds its way to the surface, at their base, in
numberless small springs. The purity of these waters is borrowed from
the silicious quality of the soil.

The largest spring of any class in the county is Big Spring, a
comparatively broad expanse of water of unsurpassed quality, bordering
the Leesburg and Point of Rocks turnpike, about two miles north of

The springs, as has been stated, are generally small and very
numerous, and many of them are unfailing, though liable to be affected
by drought. In such cases, by absorption and evaporation, the small
streams are frequently exhausted before uniting and often render the
larger ones too light for manufacturing purposes. Nevertheless, water
power is abundant; the county's diversified elevation giving
considerable fall to its water courses, and many sites are occupied.


Because responsible statistical data is usually accorded unqualified
credence, it is without undue hesitation that the following bit of
astonishing information, gleaned from a reliable source, is here set
down as positive proof of the excellence of Loudoun's climate: "It
(Leesburg) is located in a section the healthiest in the world, as
proven by statistics which place the death rate at 8-1/2 per 1,000,
the very lowest in the table of mortality gathered from all parts of
the habitable globe."

The climate of Loudoun, like that of most other localities, is
governed mainly by the direction of the prevailing winds, and, to a
limited extent, is influenced by the county's diversified physical

Though the rainfall is abundant, amounting annually to forty or fifty
inches, ordinarily the air is dry and salubrious. This ample
precipitation is usually well distributed throughout the growing
season and is rarely insufficient or excessive. The summer rainfall
comes largely in the form of local showers, scarcely ever attended by
hail. Loudoun streams for the most part are pure and rapid, and there
appears to be no local cause to generate malaria.

In common with the rest of Virginia the climate of Loudoun corresponds
very nearly with that of Cashmere and the best parts of China. The
mean annual temperature is 50° to 55°.

Loudoun winters are not of long duration and are seldom marked by
protracted severity. Snow does not cover the ground for any
considerable period and the number of bright sunny days during these
seasons is unusually large. In their extremes of cold they are less
rigorous than the average winters of sections farther north or even of
western localities of the same latitude. Consequently the growing
season here is much more extended than in either of those sections.
The prevailing winds in winter are from the north and west, and from
these the mountains afford partial protection.

The seasons are somewhat earlier even than in the Shenandoah Valley,
just over the western border of Loudoun, and the farmers here plant
and harvest their crops from one week to ten days earlier than the
farmers of that region.

Loudoun summers, as a rule, are long and agreeably cool, while
occasional periods of extreme heat are not more oppressive than in
many portions of the North. The mountains of Loudoun have a delightful
summer climate coupled with inspiring scenery, and are well known as
the resort of hundreds seeking rest, recreation, or the restoration of
health. This region, owing to its low humidity, has little dew at
night, and accordingly has been found especially beneficial for
consumptives and those afflicted with pulmonary diseases. The genial
southwest trade winds, blowing through the long parallel valleys,
impart to them and the enclosing mountains moisture borne from the far
away Gulf of Mexico.


The geology of more than half the area of Loudoun County has received
thorough and intelligent treatment at the hands of Arthur Keith in his
most excellent work entitled "_Geology of the Catoctin Belt_,"
authorized and published by the United States Geological Survey.[5]

[Footnote 5: Credit for many important disclosures and much of the
detail appearing in this department is unreservedly accorded Mr. Keith
and his assistants.]

Mr. Keith's analysis covered the whole of Bull Run Mountain, the
Catoctin in its course through Virginia and Maryland to its
termination in southern Pennsylvania, the Blue Ridge and South
Mountain for a corresponding distance, all intermediate ridges and
valleys and contiguous territory lying outside this zone and
paralleling the two flanking ranges.[6]

[Footnote 6: The name "Catoctin Belt" is applied to this region
because it is separated by Catoctin Mountain from the Piedmont plain
as a geographic unit more distinctly than in any other area, and
because its geological unity is completed by Catoctin more fully and
compactly than elsewhere.]

In this important work the Catoctin Belt is shown to be an epitome of
the leading events of geologic history in the Appalachian region. It
contains the earliest formations whose original character can be
certified; it contains almost the latest known formations; and the
record is unusually full, with the exception of the later Paleozoic
rocks. Its structures embrace nearly every known type of deformation.
It furnishes examples of every process of erosion, of topography
derived from rocks of nearly every variety of composition, and of
topography derived from all types of structure except the flat plateau
type. In the recurrence of its main geographic features from
pre-Cambrian time till the present day it furnishes a remarkable and
unique example of the permanence of continental form.

With certain qualifications, a summary of the leading events that have
left their impress on the region is as follows:

1. Surface eruption of diabase.

2. Injection of granite.

3. Erosion.

4. Surface eruption of quartz-porphyry, rhyolite, and andesite.

5. Surface eruption of diabase.

6. Erosion.

7. Submergence, deposition of Cambrian formations; slight oscillations
during their deposition; reduction of land to baselevel.

8. Eastward tilting and deposition of Martinsburg shale; oscillations
during later Paleozoic time.

9. Uplift, post-Carboniferous deformation and erosion.

10. Depression and Newark deposition; diabase intrusion.

11. Uplift, Newark deformation; and erosion to Catoctin baselevel.

12. Depression and deposition of Potomac, Magothy, and Severn.

13. Uplift southwestward and erosion to baselevel.

14. Uplift, warping and degradation to Tertiary baselevel; deposition
of Pamunkey and Chesapeake.

15. Depression and deposition of Lafayette.

16. Uplift and erosion to lower Tertiary baselevel.

17. Uplift, warping and erosion to Pleistocene baselevel; deposition
of high-level Columbia.

18. Uplift and erosion to lower Pleistocene baselevel; deposition of
low-level Columbia.

19. Uplift and present erosion.

Along the Coastal plain reduction to baselevel was followed by
depression and deposition of Lafayette gravels; elevation followed and
erosion of minor baselevels; second depression followed and deposition
of Columbia gravels; again comes elevation and excavation of narrow
valleys; then depression and deposition of low-level Columbia; last,
elevation and channeling, which is proceeding at present. Along the
Catoctin Belt denudation to baselevel was followed by depression and
deposition of gravels; elevation followed and erosion of minor
baselevels among the softer rocks; second depression followed, with
possible gravel deposits; elevation came next with excavation of broad
bottoms; last, elevation and channeling, at present in progress.

The general structure of the Catoctin Belt is anticlinal. On its core
appear the oldest rocks; on its borders, those of medium age; and in
adjacent provinces the younger rocks. In the location of its system of
faulting, also, it faithfully follows the Appalachian law that faults
lie upon the steep side of anticlines.

After the initial location of the folds along these lines, compression
and deformation continued. Yielding took place in the different rocks
according to their constitution.

Into this system of folds the drainage lines carved their way. On the
anticlines were developed the chief streams, and the synclines were
left till the last. The initial tendency to synclinal ridges was
obviated in places by the weakness of the rocks situated in the
synclines, but even then the tendency to retain elevation is apt to
cause low ridges. The drainage of the belt as a whole is anticlinal to
a marked degree, for the three main synclinal lines are lines of great
elevation, and the anticlines are invariably valleys.

In order of solubility the rocks of the Catoctin Belt, within the
limits of Loudoun County, to which section all subsequent geologic
data will be confined, stand as follows:

1. Newark limestone conglomerate; calcareous.

2. Newark sandstone and shale; calcareous and feldspathic.

3. Newark diabase; feldspathic.

4. Granite; feldspathic.

5. Loudoun formation; feldspathic.

6. Granite and schist; feldspathic.

7. Catoctin schist; epidotic and feldspathic.

8. Weverton sandstone; siliceous.

All of these formations are in places reduced to baselevel. The first
three invariably are, unless protected by a harder rock; the next
three usually are; the Catoctin schist only in small parts of its
area; the Weverton only along a small part of Catoctin Mountain.

The Catoctin Belt itself may be described as a broad area of igneous
rocks bordered by two lines of Lower Cambrian sandstones and slates.
Over the surface of the igneous rocks are scattered occasional
outliers of the Lower Cambrian slate; but far the greater part of the
surface of the belt is covered by the igneous rocks. The belt as a
whole may be regarded as an anticline, the igneous rocks constituting
the core, the Lower Cambrian the flanks, and the Silurian and Newark
the adjoining zones. The outcrops of the Lower Cambrian rocks are in
synclines, as a rule, and are complicated by many faults. The igneous
rocks have also been much folded and crumpled, but on account of their
lack of distinctive beds the details of folds can not well be traced
among them.

They are the oldest rocks in the Catoctin Belt and occupy most of its
area. They are also prominent from their unusual character and rarity.

An important class of rocks occurring in the Catoctin Belt is the
sedimentary series. It is all included in the Cambrian period and
consists of limestone, shale, sandstone and conglomerate. The two
border zones of the Catoctin Belt, however, contain also rocks of the
Silurian and Juratrias periods. In general, the sediments are sandy
and calcareous in the Juratrias area, and sandy in the Catoctin Belt.
They have been the theme of considerable literature, owing to their
great extent and prominence in the topography.


The granite in the southern portion of the County is very important in
point of extent, almost as much so as the diabase in the same section.

The areas of granite are, as a rule, long narrow belts, and vary
greatly in width.

The mineralogical composition of the granite is quite constant over
large areas. Six varieties can be distinguished, however, each with a
considerable areal extent. The essential constituents are quartz,
orthoclase and plagioclase, and by the addition to these of biotite,
garnet, epidote, blue quartz, and hornblende, five types are formed.
All these types are holocrystalline, and range in texture from coarse
granite with augen an inch long down to a fine epidote granite with
scarcely visible crystals.

_Loudoun Formation._

Among the various Cambrian formations of the Catoctin Belt there are
wide differences in uniformity and composition. In none is it more
manifest than in the first or Loudoun formation. This was
theoretically to be expected, for first deposits upon a crystalline
foundation represent great changes and transition periods of
adjustment among new currents and sources of supply. The Loudoun
formation, indeed, runs the whole gamut of sedimentary possibilities,
and that within very short geographical limits. Five miles northwest
of Aldie the Loudoun formation comprises limestone, slate, sandy
slate, sandstone, and conglomerate with pebbles as large as hickory
nuts. These amount in thickness to fully 800 feet, while less than
three miles to the east the entire formation is represented by eight
or ten feet of black slate.

The name of the Loudoun formation is given on account of the frequent
occurrence of all its variations in Loudoun County. Throughout the
entire extent of the Catoctin Belt, and especially through its central
portions, the Loudoun formation has frequent beds of sandstone,
conglomerate, and limestone. The limestones occur as lenses along two
lines; one immediately west of Catoctin Mountain, the other three or
four miles east of the Blue Ridge. Along the western range the
limestone lenses extend only to the Potomac. There they are shown on
both sides of the river, and have been worked in either place for
agricultural lime. Only the refuse of the limestone now remains, but
the outcrops have been extant until recent years. Along the eastern
line the limestone lenses extend across the Potomac and into Maryland
for about one mile, and it is along this belt that they are the most
persistent and valuable. As a rule they are altered from limestone
into marble, and at one point they have been worked for commercial
purposes. Nearly every outcrop has been opened, however, for
agricultural lime. Where Goose Creek crosses this belt a quarry has
been opened and good marble taken out, but want of transportation
facilities has prevented any considerable development. The relation
between marble and schist is very perfectly shown at an old quarry
west of Leesburg. The marble occupies two beds in schist, and between
the two rocks there is gradation of composition. In none of the
western belts are the calcareous beds recrystallized into marbles,
but all retain their original character of blue and dove-colored
limestone. None of them, however, is of great thickness and none of
great linear extent.

The Loudoun formation, of course, followed a period of erosion of the
Catoctin Belt, since it is the first subaqueous deposit. It is
especially developed with respect to thickness and coarseness to the
west of Catoctin Mountain. Elsewhere the outcrops are almost entirely
black slate. This is true along the Blue Ridge, through almost its
entire length, and also through the entire length of the Catoctin
Mountain. On the latter range it is doubtful if this formation exceeds
200 feet in thickness at any point. Along the Blue Ridge it may, and
probably does, in places, reach 500 feet in thickness.

The distribution of the coarse varieties coincides closely with the
areas of greatest thickness and also with the synclines in which no
Weverton sandstone appears. The conglomerates of the Loudoun formation
are composed of epidotic schist, andesite, quartz, granite, epidote,
and jasper pebbles embedded in a matrix of black slate and are very
limited in extent.

_Weverton Sandstone._

The formation next succeeding the Loudoun formation is the Weverton
sandstone. It is so named on account of its prominent outcrops in
South Mountain, near Weverton, Maryland, and consists entirely of
siliceous fragments, mainly quartz and feldspar. Its texture varies
from a very fine, pure sandstone to a moderately coarse conglomerate,
but, in general, it is a sandstone. As a whole, its color is white and
varies but little; the coarse beds have a grayish color in most
places. Frequent bands and streaks of bluish black and black are added
to the white sandstones, especially along the southern portion of the
Blue Ridge. The appearance of the rock is not modified by the amount
of feldspar which it contains.

From the distribution of these various fragments, inconspicuous as
they are, considerable can be deduced in regard to the environment of
the Weverton sandstone.

The submergence of the Catoctin Belt was practically complete, because
the Weverton sandstone nowhere touches the crystalline rocks. Perhaps
it were better stated that submergence was complete in the basins in
which Weverton sandstone now appears. Beyond these basins, however, it
is questionable if the submergence was complete, because in the
Weverton sandstone itself are numerous fragments which could have been
derived only from the granite masses. These fragments consist of blue
quartz, white quartz, and feldspar. The blue quartz fragments are
confined almost exclusively to the outcrops of the Weverton sandstone
in the Blue Ridge south of the Potomac, and are rarely found on

The general grouping of the Loudoun formation into two classes of
deposit (1), the fine slates associated with the Weverton sandstone,
and (2), the course sandstones occurring in deep synclines with no
Weverton, raises the question of the unity of that formation. The
evidence on this point is manifold and apparently conclusive. The
general composition of the two is the same--i. e., beds of
feldspathic, siliceous material derived from crystalline rocks. They
are similarly metamorphosed in different localities. The upper parts
of the thicker series are slates identical in appearance with the
slates under the Weverton, which presumably represent the upper

A marked change in the thickness of the Weverton sandstone occurs
along Catoctin Mountain, the formation diminishing from 1,000 to 200
feet in a few miles. This plainly indicates shore conditions, and the
nature of the accompanying change of constituent material locates the
direction of the shore. This change is a decrease of the feldspar
amounting to elimination at the Potomac. As the feldspar, which is
granular at the shore, is soon reduced to fine clay and washed away,
the direction of its disappearance is the direction of deep water.
Thus the constitution and thickness of the Weverton sandstone unite in
showing the existence of land not far northeast of Catoctin Mountain
during Weverton deposition.

Aside from this marked change in thickness, none of unusual extent
appears in the Weverton sandstone over the remainder of the Catoctin
Belt. While this is partly due to lack of complete sections, yet such
as are complete show a substantial uniformity. The sections of the
Blue Ridge outcrops range around 500 feet, and those of the Catoctin
line are in the vicinity of 300. This permanent difference in
thickness along the two lines can be attributed to an eastward
thinning of the formation, thus, however, implying a shore to the west
of the Blue Ridge line. It can also be attributed to the existence of
a barrier between the two, and this agrees with the deductions from
the constituent fragments.

_Newark System._

An epoch of which a sedimentary record remains in the region of the
Catoctin Belt is one of submergence and deposition, the Newark or
Juratrias. The formation, though developed in the Piedmont plain,
bears upon the history of the Catoctin Belt by throwing light on the
periods of degradation, deposition, igneous injection, and deformation
that have involved them both.

At the Potomac River it is about 4 miles in width, at the latitude of
Leesburg about 10 miles in width, and thence it spreads towards the
east until its maximum width is, perhaps, 15 miles. The area of the
Newark formation is, of course, a feature of erosion, as far as its
present form is concerned. In regard to its former extent little can
be said, except what can be deduced from the materials of the
formation itself. Three miles southeast of Aldie and the end of Bull
Run Mountain a ridge of Newark sandstone rises to 500 feet. The same
ridge at its northern end, near Goose Creek, attains 500 feet and
carries a gravel cap. One mile south of the Potomac River a granite
ridge rises from the soluble Newark rocks to the same elevation.

As a whole the formation is a large body of red calcareous and
argillaceous sandstone and shale. Into this, along the northern
portion of the Catoctin Belt, are intercalated considerable wedges or
lenses of limestone conglomerate. At many places also gray feldspathic
sandstones and basal conglomerates appear.

The limestone conglomerate is best developed from the Potomac to
Leesburg, and from that region southward rapidly diminishes until it
is barely represented at the south end of Catoctin Mountain.

The conglomerate is made up of pebbles of limestone of varying sizes,
reaching in some cases a foot in diameter, but, as a rule, averaging
about 2 or 3 inches. The pebbles are usually well rounded, but
sometimes show considerable angles. The pebbles of limestone range in
color from gray to blue and dark blue, and occasionally pebbles of a
fine white marble are seen; with rare exceptions also pebbles of
Catoctin schist and quartz occur. They are embedded in a red
calcareous matrix, sometimes with a slight admixture of sand. As a
rule the entire mass is calcareous.

The conglomerate occurs, as has been said, in lenses or wedges in the
sandstone ranging from 1 foot to 500 feet in thickness, or possibly
even greater. They disappear through complete replacement by sandstone
at the same horizon. The wedge may thin out to a feather edge or may
be bodily replaced upon its strike by sandstone; one method is perhaps
as common as the other. The arrangement of the wedges is very
instructive indeed. The general strike of the Newark rocks is a little
to the west of north, while the strike of the Catoctin Belt is a
little to the east of north. The two series, therefore, if extended,
would cross each other at an angle of 20 to 30 degrees. The
conglomerate wedges are collected along the west side of the Newark
Belt and in contact usually with the Weverton sandstone. The thick
ends of the wedges along the line of contact usually touch each other.
Going south by east the proportion of the sandstone increases with
rapid extermination of the conglomerate. The thin ends of the wedges,
therefore, resemble a series of spines projecting outward from the
Catoctin Belt.

The result of weathering upon the conglomerate is a very uneven and
rugged series of outcrops projecting above the rolling surface of the

The ledges show little definite stratification and very little dip.
The topography of the conglomerate is inconspicuous and consists of a
slightly rolling valley without particular features. It approaches
nearer to the level of the present drainage than any other formation,
and decay by solution has gone on to a very considerable extent. Where
the draining streams have approached their baselevel, scarcely an
outcrop of conglomerate is seen. Where the areas of conglomerate lie
near faster falling streams, the irregular masses of unweathered rocks

When but slightly weathered the conglomerate forms an effective
decorative stone and has been extensively used as a marble with the
name "Potomac marble," from the quarries on the Potomac east of Point
of Rocks, Maryland. While it is in no sense a marble, yet the
different reds and browns produced by unequal weathering of the
limestone pebbles have a very beautiful effect.

The thickness of the Newark formation is most uncertain. The rocks dip
at a light angle to the west with hardly an exception, and the
sections all appear to be continuous. Even with liberal deductions for
frequent faults, nothing less than 3,000 feet will account for the
observed areas and dips.

_Newark Diabase._

Description of the lithified deposits would be far from complete
without reference to the later diabase which is associated with the
Newark rocks.

These diabases, as they will be called generically, are usually
composed of plagioclase feldspar, and diallage or augite; additional
and rarer minerals are quartz, olivine, hypersthene, magnetite,
ilmenite, and hornblende. Their structure is ophitic in the finer
varieties, and to some extent in the coarser kinds as well. They are
holocrystalline in form and true glassy bases are rare, rendering the
term diabase more appropriate than basalt.

There is greater variety in texture, from fine aphanitic traps up to
coarse grained dolerites with feldspars one-third of an inch long. The
coarser varieties are easily quarried and are often used for building
stone under the name of granite.

These forms are retained to the present day with no material change
except that of immediate weathering, but to alterations of this kind
they are an easy prey, and yield the most characteristic forms. The
narrow dikes produce ridges between slight valleys of sandstone or
shale, the wide bodies produce broad flat hills or uplands. The rock
weathers into a fine gray and brown clay with numerous bowlders of
unaltered rock of a marked concentric shape.

While the diabase dikes are most prominent in the Newark rocks, they
are also found occasionally in the other terraces. In the Catoctin
Belt they appear irregularly in the granite and schist. Rare cases
also occur in the rocks of the Piedmont plain. The diabase of the
Newark areas is almost exclusively confined to the red sandstone, and
the dike at Leesburg cutting the limestone conglomerate is almost the
only occurrence of that combination.

The diabase occurs only as an intrusive rock in the vicinity of the
Catoctin Belt. Of this form of occurrence, however, there are two
types, dikes and massive sheets or masses. The dikes are parallel to
the strike of the inclosing sandstone as a rule, and appear to have
their courses controlled by it on account of their small bulk. The
large masses break at random across the sandstone in the most
eccentric fashion. No dislocation can be detected in the sandstones,
either in strike or dip, yet of course it must exist by at least the
thickness of the intrusive mass. That this thickness is considerable
is shown by the coarseness of the larger trap masses, which could
occur only in bodies of considerable size, and also by the width of
their outcrops in the westward dipping sandstones. The chief mass in
point of size is three miles wide. This mass fast decreases in width
as it goes north, without losing much of its coarseness, and ends in
Leesburg in a hooked curve. The outline of the diabase is suggestive
of the flexed trap sheets of more northern regions, but this
appearance is deceptive, since the diabase breaks directly across both
red sandstone and limestone conglomerate, which have a constant north
and south strike. An eastern branch of this mass crosses the Potomac
as a small dike and passes north into Pennsylvania. The diabase dikes
in the Catoctin Belt are always narrow, and, while many outcrops occur
along a given line, it is probable that they are not continuous.

At Leesburg the limestone conglomerate next the diabase is indurated,
its iron oxide is driven off, and the limestone partly crystallized
into marble.

_Catoctin Schist._

The Catoctin schist is geographically the most important of the
volcanic rocks of Loudoun.

Throughout its entire area the schist is singularly uniform in
appearance, so that only two divisions can be made with any certainty
at all. These are dependent upon a secondary characteristic, viz, the
presence of epidote in large or small quantities. The epidote occurs
in the form of lenses arranged parallel to the planes of schistosity,
reaching as high as five feet in thickness and grading from that down
to the size of minute grains. Accompanying this lenticular epidote is
a large development of quartz in lenses, which, however, do not attain
quite such a size as those of epidote. Both the quartz and epidote are
practically insoluble and lie scattered over the surface in blocks of
all sizes. In places they form an almost complete carpet and protect
the surface from removal. The resulting soil, where not too heavily
encumbered with the epidote blocks, is rich and well adapted to
farming, on account of the potash and calcium contained in the epidote
and feldspar.

Except along the narrow canyons in the Tertiary baselevel the rock is
rarely seen unless badly weathered. The light bluish green color of
the fresh rock changes on exposure to a dull gray or yellow, and the
massive ledges and slabs split up into thin schistose layers. It is
quite compact in appearance, and as a rule very few macroscopic
crystals can be seen in it.

A general separation can be made into an epidotic division
characterized by an abundance of macroscopic epidote and a
non-epidotic division with microscopic epidote. These divisions are
accented by the general finer texture of the epidotic schist.

The schists can be definitely called volcanic in many cases, from
macroscopic characters, such as the component minerals and basaltic
arrangement. In most cases, the services of the microscope are
necessary to determine their nature. Many varieties have lost all of
their original character in the secondary schistosity. None the less,
its origin as diabase can definitely be asserted of the whole mass. In
view of the fact, however, that most of the formation has a well
defined schistosity destroying its diabasic characters, and now is not
a diabase but a schist, it seems advisable to speak of it as a schist.

Sections of the finer schist in polarized light show many small areas
of quartz and plagioclase and numerous crystals of epidote, magnetite,
and chlorite, the whole having a marked parallel arrangement. Only in
the coarser varieties is the real nature of the rock apparent. In
these the ophitic arrangement of the coarse feldspars is well defined,
and in spite of their subsequent alteration the fragments retain the
crystal outlines and polarize together. Additional minerals found in
the coarse schists are calcite, ilmenite, skeleton oblivine, biotite,
and hematite.

_Rocks of the Piedmont Plain._

The Piedmont plain, where it borders upon the Catoctin Belt, is
composed in the main of the previously described Newark strata, red
sandstone, and limestone conglomerate. East of the Newark areas lies a
broad belt of old crystalline rocks, whose relations to the Catoctin
Belt are unknown.

The rocks, in a transverse line, beginning a little to the east of
Dranesville, in Fairfax County, and extending to the Catoctin
Mountain, near Leesburg, occur in the following order, viz: Red
sandstone, red shale, greenstone, trap, reddish slate, and
conglomerate limestone.

Heavy dykes of trap rock extend across the lower end of the County,
from near the mouth of Goose Creek to the Prince William line. "These,
being intrusive rocks, have in some places displaced the shale and
risen above it, while in other places a thin coat of shale remains
above the trappean matter, but much altered and changed in
character."[7] A large mass of trap rock presents itself boldly above
the shale at the eastern abutment of the Broad Run bridge, on the
Leesburg and Alexandria turnpike. Not far to the east the shale is
changed to a black or blackish brown color, while at the foot of the
next hill still farther eastward the red shale appears unchanged. The
summits of many of these dykes are "covered with a whitish or
yellowish compact shale, highly indurated and changed into a rock very
difficult to decompose."[8]

[Footnote 7: Taylor's _Memoir_.]

[Footnote 8: Ibid.]

_Lafayette Formation._

A great class of variations due to rock character are those of surface
form. The rocks have been exposed to the action of erosion during many
epochs, and have yielded differently according to their natures.
Different stages in the process of erosion can be distinguished and to
some extent correlated with the time scale of the rocks in other
regions. One such stage is particularly manifest in the Catoctin Belt
and furnishes the datum by which to place other stages. It is also
best adapted for study, because it is connected directly with the
usual time scale by its associated deposits. This stage is the
Tertiary baselevel, and the deposit is the Lafayette formation, a
deposit of coarse gravel and sand lying horizontally upon the edges of
the hard rocks. Over the Coastal plain and the eastern part of the
Piedmont plain it is conspicuously developed, and composes a large
proportion of their surfaces. As the formation is followed westward it
is more and more dissected by erosion and finally removed. Near the
area of the Catoctin Belt it occurs in several places, all of them
being small in area. One is three miles northeast of Aldie. Here, a
Newark sandstone hill is capped with gravel. This gravel is much
disturbed by recent erosion and consists rather of scattered fragments
than of a bedded deposit.

The materials of the Lafayette gravel are chiefly pebbles and grains
of quartz, with a considerable admixture of quartzite and sandstone.
The large quartz pebbles were probably derived from the large lenses
of quartz in the Catoctin schist, for no other formation above water
at the time contained quartz in large enough masses to furnish such
pebbles. On the hypothesis that they were of local origin and merely
worked over during submergence, they might be connected with the
quartz veins of the Piedmont plain. That theory, however, with
difficulty accounts for their well-rounded condition, which shows
either beach action or long carriage. The quartz sand may well have
been derived from the granitic quartzes, but that is an uncertain
matter. The sandstones and quartzites are usually massive and pure
white, of the variety found along Catoctin and Bull Run mountains.
Other varieties of sandstone--the blue-banded type, for instance--are
derived from the Weverton sandstone on the Blue Ridge. The white
sandstone pebbles in the terraces along Bull Run Mountain can be
traced from the ledges to the deposits. In this region, therefore, an
absolute shore can be seen. In other areas along Catoctin Mountain a
shore can be inferred, because the mountain projects above the
baselevel plane and contains no gravel deposits. In fact, only a few
points at the stream gaps are cut down to the baselevel.


Dynamic metamorphism has produced great rearrangement of the minerals
along the eastern side of the Catoctin Belt, and results at times in
complete obliteration of the characters of the granite. The first step
in the change was the cracking of the quartz and feldspar crystals and
development of muscovite and chlorite in the cracks. This was
accompanied by a growth of muscovite and quartz in the unbroken
feldspar. The aspect of the rock at this stage is that of a gneiss
with rather indefinite banding. Further action reduced the rock to a
collection of angular and rounded fragments of granite, quartz, and
feldspar in a matrix of quartz and mica, the mica lapping around the
fragments and rudely parallel to their surfaces. The last stage was
complete pulverization of the fragments and elongation into lenses,
the feldspathic material entirely recomposing into muscovite,
chlorite, and quartz, and the whole mass receiving a strong
schistosity, due to the arrangement of the mica plates parallel to the
elongation. This final stage is macroscopically nothing more than a
siliceous slate or schist, and is barely distinguishable from the end
products of similar metamorphism in the more feldspathic schists and
the Loudoun sandy slates. The different steps can readily be traced,
however, both in the hand specimen and under the microscope.

The Weverton sandstone has suffered less from metamorphism than any of
the sediments. In the Blue Ridge it has undergone no greater change
than a slight elongation of its particles and development of a little
mica. Along Catoctin Mountain, from the Potomac River south, however,
increased alteration appears together with the diminution in
thickness. What little feldspar there was is reduced to quartz and
mica, and the quartz pebbles are drawn out into lenses. Deposition of
secondary quartz becomes prominent, amounting in the latitude of Goose
Creek to almost entire recrystallization of the mass. A marked
schistosity accompanies this alteration, and most of the schistose
planes are coated with silvery muscovite. Almost without exception
these planes are parallel to the dip of the formation.

Metamorphism of the Loudoun formation is quite general. It commonly
appears in the production of phyllites from the argillaceous members
of the formation, but all of the fragmental varieties show some
elongation and production of secondary mica. The limestone beds are
often metamorphosed to marble, but only in the eastern belt. The
recrystallization is not very extensive, and none of the marbles are
coarse grained.

The metamorphism of the igneous rocks is regional in nature and has
the same increase from west to east as the sediments.

In the granite it consists of various stages of change in form,
attended by some chemical rearrangement. The process consisted of
progressive fracture and reduction of the crystals of quartz and
feldspar, and was facilitated by the frequent cleavage cracks of the
large feldspars. It produced effects varying from granite with a rude
gneissoid appearance, through a banded fine gneiss, into a fine quartz
schist or slate. These slaty and gneissoid planes are seen to be
parallel to the direction and attitude of the sediments, wherever they
are near enough for comparison.

Dynamic alteration of the Catoctin diabase is pronounced and
wide-spread. Macroscopically it is evident in the strong schistosity,
which is parallel to the structural planes of the sediments when the
two are in contact. In most areas this alteration is mainly chemical
and has not affected the original proportions of the rock to a marked
extent. Its prevalence is due to the unstable composition of the
original minerals of the rock, such as olivine, hypersthene, and
pyroxene. Along Catoctin Mountain, however, both chemical and
mechanical deformation have taken place, so that the original rock
structure is completely merged into pronounced schistosity. This was
materially assisted by the weak lath shapes of the feldspar and the
mobility of the micas.

The average dip of the schistose planes is about 60°; from this they
vary up to 90° and down to 20°. In all cases they are closely parallel
to the planes on which the sediments moved in adjustment to folding,
namely, the bedding planes. In regions where no sediments occur, the
relation of the schistose planes to the folds can not be discovered.

Parallel with the micas that cause the schistosity, the growth of the
quartz and epidote lenses took place. These, too, have been deformed
by crushing and stretching along Bull Run Mountain and the south part
of Catoctin Mountain. From this fact, taken in connection with the
folding of the schistose planes at Point of Rocks, it would appear
that the deformation was not a single continuous effort.

The ratios of schistose deformation in the igneous rocks are as
follows: diabase, with unstable mineral composition and small
mechanical strength, has yielded to an extreme degree; granite, with
stable composition and moderate mechanical strength, has yielded to
the more pronounced compression.


In point of mineral wealth Loudoun ranks with the foremost counties of
the State. Iron, copper, silver, soapstone, asbestos, hydraulic
limestone, barytes, and marble are some of the deposits that have been
developed and worked with a greater or lesser degree of success.

A large bed of compact red oxide of iron lies at the eastern base of
the Catoctin Mountain, on the margin of the Potomac River. Long before
the Civil War a furnace was erected here by Samuel Clapham, Sr., for
the reduction of this ore, and considerable quantities of it were
formerly transported moderate distances to supply other furnaces. The
Clapham furnace continued in operation until all the fuel at hand was
consumed and then went out of blast. Water power was supplied by the
Catoctin Creek, which flows into the river immediately above the
mountain. To obtain this a tunnel was cut through a spur of the
mountain projecting into a bend of the creek. This tunnel, about five
hundred feet long and sixty feet beneath the summit of the hill, was
cut through almost a solid wall of rock, and, at that day, was
considered a great work.

Magnetic iron ore has been found in certain places, and this or a
similar substance has a disturbing effect upon the needle of the
surveyor's compass, rendering surveying extremely difficult where
great accuracy is required. In some instances the needle has been
drawn as much as seven degrees from its true course. This effect is
more or less observable nearly throughout the Catoctin Mountain, and
has been noted elsewhere in the County.

Chromate of iron was long ago discovered along Broad Run, and, about
the same time, a bed of micaceous iron ore on Goose Creek below the
Leesburg turnpike. Copper ore is associated with the last-named

In 1860, the output of pig iron in Loudoun was 2,250 tons, and its
value $58,000. Rockbridge was the only Virginia County to exceed these

In several localities small angular lumps of a yellowish substance,
supposed to contain sulphur, have been found, embedded in rocks. When
subjected to an intense heat, it gives forth a pungent sulphurous

Small quantities of silver ore are discovered from time to time; but
the leads have never been extensively worked and many of the richest
veins are still untouched.

Deposits of copper in the schists have long excited interest and led
to mining operations. The amount of ore, however, appears not to have
justified any considerable work.

Near the base of the Catoctin Mountain, where it is first approached
by Goose Creek, marble of an excellent quality is found but has been
little worked. Among the varieties at the quarry are included pure
white, white and pink, blue and white, white and green, serpentinized
and chloritic serpentinized marble. These marbles are of great beauty
and susceptible of a good polish. The calcareous bed here is about
fifty feet thick and reaches southward for three miles with increasing
thickness. At its southern end it is not entirely metamorphosed into
marble, but retains its original character of fine blue limestone.
Northward along this range the thickness of the marble constantly
diminishes and rarely exceeds ten feet. Sometimes there are two beds,
sometimes only one. At Taylorstown, just south of the Potomac, the bed
is about three feet thick; on the north side of the Potomac about
four or five feet. Here, as elsewhere, the beds of marble are inclosed
in a bluish green micaceous schist, which has been thoroughly
transformed by mechanical pressure.

In the vicinity of Leesburg and north of that town, and between the
Catoctin Mountain and the Potomac River, the conglomerate limestone or
brecciated marble is found in abundance, associated with red shale. It
is a calcareous rock, apparently formed in part of pebbles cemented
together and, when burned, produces an inferior lime. It is commonly
known as Potomac marble. Of this variegated marble were formed the
beautiful columns in the old Representatives' chamber of the Capitol
at Washington. The soil in which this rock occurs is extremely
productive and valuable.

The exhibition at the World's Fair, at New Orleans, of the following
specimens of Loudoun minerals claimed much interest from visiting

1. _Specular Iron Ore_, from near Leesburg, said to be in quantity.
From Professor Fontaine.

2. _Chalcopyrite_, from near Leesburg, said to be a promising vein.
From Professor Fontaine.

The following were contributed by the "Eagle Mining Company," of
Leesburg; F. A. Wise, general manager:

1. _Carbonate of Copper_, from vein 3' wide, developed to 25' deep.
Assays by Oxford Copper Company of New York give 51 per cent of copper
and 27 ounces of silver per ton.

2. _Sulphuret of Copper_, from vein 10" wide, developed to 50' deep.
Assays by Oxford Copper Company of New York give 12-1/2 per cent of

3. _Iron Ore_, from vein 4' wide and 50' deep. Yields 55 per cent
metallic iron by assay of W. P. Lawver, of U. S. Mint.

4. _Sulphuret of Copper_, from vein developed 50'. Yields 11 per cent
of copper and 1 ounce of silver per ton by assay of W. P. Lawver, U.
S. Mint.

5. _Carbonate of Copper_, red oxide and glance, from vein 3' wide,
developed to 25' deep. Yields 50 per cent metallic copper and 27
ounces silver per ton by assays.

6. _Iron Ore_, from vein 2' to 4' wide, developed 50'. Yield 55 per
cent metallic iron.

7. _Oxide of Copper_, from Carbonate vein, developed 60' on 4' wide
vein; 25' deep.

8. _Sulphuret of Copper_, from vein 8" to 15" wide, developed 50'.

9. _Iron Ore._

10. _Barytes_, heavy spar, vein undeveloped.

11. _Iron Ore_, from 50' level of Eagle Mining Company's shaft.

12. _Marble_, from quarry of "Virginia Marble Company," three miles
east from Middleburg. The deposit has been demonstrated to be of great
extent; the marble has been pronounced of a very superior quality.
Contributed by Major B. P. Noland.

13. _Marble_, from same as above.

14.   "        "    "    "   "

       *       *       *       *       *

17. _Copper Ore_, James Pinkham, from Virginia Department of

In the "_Handbook on the Minerals and Mineral Resources of Virginia_"
prepared by the Virginia Commission to the St. Louis Exposition,
Loudoun is credited with the three comparatively rare minerals given
below. The two first-named occur nowhere else in the State.

"ACTINQLITE: _Calcium-magnesium-iron, Amphibole_,

Ca (Mg Fe)_{3}(Si O{4}){3}.

Specific Gravity, 3-3.2. Hardness, 5-6. Streak, uncolored.... Fine
radiated olive-green crystals are found ... at Taylorstown...."

"TREMOLITE: _A variety of Amphibole. Calcium._

_Magnesium Amphibole._ Ca Mg{2}(Si O{4}){3}.

Specific Gravity, 2.9-3.1. Hardness, 5.6. Long bladed crystals; also
columnar and fibrous. Color, white and grayish. Sometimes nearly
transparent. Found in the greenish talcose rocks at Taylorstown."

_Chromite_, of which no occurrence of economic importance has yet been
discovered in the County or elsewhere in Virginia.

"[9]On the eastern flank of the Catoctin rests a thin belt of mica
slate. This rock is composed of quartz and mica in varying
proportions, and this belt, on reaching the Bull Run Mountain, there
expands itself, and forms the whole base of that mountain, and where
the mica predominates, as it does there, it sometimes forms excellent
flagging stones."

[Footnote 9: Taylor's _Memoir_.]

       *       *       *       *       *

"Immediately at the western base of the Catoctin Mountain, a range of
magnesian or talcose slates occur traversing its whole length.... In
this range a vein of magnesian limestone is met with, and is exposed
in several places. It however is narrow, in some places only a few
feet in thickness, and being difficult to obtain is not much sought
after for burning."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Along the eastern side of the valley (Loudoun) gneiss is frequently
met with on the surface, and where the larger streams have worn deep
valleys, it is sometimes exposed in high and precipitous cliffs. This
is more particularly the case along Goose Creek and Beaver Dam.
Associated with it, however, is clay slate, not so much in rock as in
soil, for it being more readily decomposed is seldom found on the
surface, except as soil. These two varieties are often met with side
by side in thin layers, and their combination at the surface forms a
peculiarly favorable soil for agricultural purposes. The gneiss from
the quartz it contains makes a sandy soil, while the clay slate gives
it tenacity. This happy combination is a prevailing feature of this
entire valley, and renders it one of the best farming sections in

"Another rock that is a valuable acquisition is hornblende. This kind
when first taken from the ground, is always covered as with a coat of
rust. This is doubtless the fact, for the oxydasion of the iron it
contains gives it that appearance, and colors the soil a reddish hue
in its immediate vicinity. Wherever this rock abounds, the soil is
durable and the crops are usually heavy. It is sometimes met with
having a fine grain, and so very hard as to be almost brittle, though
generally very difficult to break, and when broken strongly resembling
cast-iron, and will sometimes ring, on being struck, almost as
clearly. It was used very much formerly for making journals to run
mill-gudgeons upon. When found on the surface, it is usually of a
rounded form...."

However, much of the rock of the valley partakes of the nature of both
hornblend and gneiss, and has been aptly termed a "hornblend gneiss

Beds of magnesian or talcose slate, sometimes containing crystals of
sulphuret of iron, are frequently met with in this section, and at the
base of Black Oak Ridge, which is composed chiefly of chlorite slate
and epidote, another bed of magnesian limestone is found. Containing
about 40 per cent of magnesia, it makes an excellent cement for walls,
but is of little or no value as a fertilizer.


The soils of Loudoun vary greatly in both geological character and
productiveness, every variety from a rich alluvial to an unproductive
clay occurring within her boundaries. In general the soils are deep
and rich and profitably cultivated.

The heavy clay soils of Loudoun are recognized as being the strongest
wheat and grass soils. The more loamy soils are better for corn on
account of the possibility of more thorough cultivation. However, the
lands all have to be fertilized or limed to obtain the best results,
and with this added expense the profit in wheat growing is extremely
uncertain on any but the clay soils. The loamy soils are especially
adapted to corn, stock raising, and dairying, and they are largely
used for these purposes. The mountain sandstone soils, which are rough
and stony, are not adapted to any form of agriculture; but for some
lines of horticulture--as, for instance, the production of grapes,
peaches, apples and chestnuts--or forestry they seem to offer
excellent opportunities. The schist soil of the mountains, although
rough and stony, is productive, easily worked, and especially adapted
to apples, peaches, and potatoes. The shale and mica soils, although
thin and leachy, are especially adapted to grapes, vegetables, and
berries, and other small fruits. These soils should be managed very
carefully to obtain the best results. They are easily worked and very
quickly respond to fertilization and thorough cultivation. It is very
probable that market gardening and fruit raising on these types would
prove profitable. It seems, however, that peach trees are short lived
on these soils. The meadow lands are low and subject to overflow,
although otherwise well drained. They are best adapted to the
production of corn, grass, and vegetables.

[Footnote 10: For the bulk of the information appearing under this
caption the author is indebted to Carter's and Lyman's _Soil Survey of
the Leesburg Area_, published in 1904 by the United States Department
of Agriculture.]

That part of the County lying east of a line drawn from the Potomac
River near Leesburg, by Aldie to the Fauquier line, is much more
unproductive than the western portion, partly on account of an
inferior soil, and partly in consequence of an exhausting system of
cultivation, once so common in eastern Virginia, i. e., cropping with
corn and tobacco without attempting to improve the quality of the
soil. When impoverished, the lands were thrown out to the commons.

Large tracts that formerly produced from thirty to forty bushels of
corn to the acre, still remain out of cultivation, though many of the
present proprietors are turning their attention to the improvement of
these soils and are being richly rewarded.

In this section, particularly along Goose Creek, trap-rock occurs,
sometimes covering large surfaces, at other times partially covered
with indurated shale, formed from the red shale of this region which
has become hardened by the heat of the intruding trap. Where this rock
occurs covering large surfaces, nearly level, "the soil is a dark
brown colored clay, very retentive of moisture and better adapted to
grass than grain.... A deficiency of lime probably occurs here, and
there may be some obnoxious ingredient present. Minute grains of iron
sand are generally interspersed through this rock, and as it is not
acted upon by atmospheric influences, its combination may contain some
acid prejudicial to vegetation. Where this rock is thrown into more
irregular elevations, and is apparently more broken up, the soil is

Near the Broad Run Bridge the soil is deplorably sterile. "In many
places it is but a few inches in thickness, and the rock below, being
compact, prevents the water from penetrating much below the surface,
thus causing an excess of water in rainy weather, and a scarcity of it
in fair weather. The red shale does not appear to decompose readily,
as it is found a short distance beneath the surface, and the strata
dipping at a low angle, prevents the water from freely descending into
this kind of soil."[12]

[Footnote 11: Taylor's _Memoir_.]

[Footnote 12: Ibid.]

There is a huge belt of red land, known as "the red sandstone
formation," extending from the Potomac through a part of each of the
counties of _Loudoun_, Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier, Culpeper,
and Orange, which, with judicious cultivation, might be rendered
liberally productive. Professor W. B. Rogers, in his report to the
legislature of Virginia, in 1840, described it under the head of the
"secondary formation in the northern district." "The general form of
this area," he wrote, "is that of a prolonged triangle, extending in a
direction from SSW. to NNE., having its apex at the southern
extremity, and gradually expanding until it reaches the Potomac.
Measured at a point on the Potomac between the mouths of Goose Creek
and Broad Run, its length is about 80 miles. Its greatest breadth, as
measured near the Potomac, and parallel to the road leading from
Leesburg to Dranesville, is about 15 miles. This, in round numbers,
gives 600 square miles for the area of this region."

Bottom lands of inexhaustible fertility and rich upland loams are
commonly met with north and south of Leesburg for a considerable
distance on either side of the turnpike leading from Point of Rocks,
Md., at one extremity of the County to Middleburg at the other.

Limestone occurs in vast quantities throughout this zone, and there
are present all the propitious elements that will be enumerated in the
treatment of the soils of other areas.

The land here is in a high state of cultivation and, according to its
peculiarly varying and unalterable adaptability, produces enormous
crops of all the staple grains of the County.

The soil in the vicinity of Oatlands, included in this zone, is stiff
and stony, except such as is adjacent to water courses, or the base of
hills, where it is enriched by liberal supplies of decayed matter,
which render it loamy and inexhaustible. In the main, it is of a
generous quality, so pertinaciously retaining fertilizers as to
withstand the washing of the heaviest rains. Still it is an anomaly
that some of the richest areas in this region will not produce wheat;
while, in the cultivation of rye, oats, and corn, satisfactory results
are almost invariably obtained. Likewise there are but a few parcels
whereon white clover does not grow spontaneously and in the greatest
abundance. Than these, better pasture lands are found nowhere east of
the Blue Ridge. Limestone occurs here in vast quantities.

In the Valley of Loudoun, between the Catoctin and Blue Ridge
mountains, the soil is formed from gneiss, clay-slate, hornblend,
greenstone, and quartz. The happy combination of these materials
produces a most excellent and durable soil, containing, in fair
proportions, alumina, silex, potash, lime, and other fertilizing
minerals. Certain fertilizers have been successfully employed in
improving its natural fertility, and when it is partially exhausted by
excessive tillage, rest alone will restore it.

_Loudoun Sandy Loam._

The Loudoun sandy loam consists of from 8 to 12 inches of a heavy
brown or gray sandy loam, underlain by a heavy yellow or red loam or
clay loam. Often the subsoil contains a considerable quantity of
coarse sand, making the texture much the same as that of the soil. The
sand of the soil and subsoil is composed of very coarse rounded and
subangular quartz particles. The surface material is not a light sandy
loam, but is more like a loam containing considerable quantities of
very coarse quartz fragments. It is generally quite free from stones,
but small areas are occasionally covered with from 5 to 20 per cent of
angular quartz fragments several inches in diameter.

The Loudoun sandy loam occurs in irregular areas of considerable size
in the intermediate valley between the Blue Ridge, Short Hill, and
Catoctin mountains. The largest area of the type is found in the
vicinity of Round Hill.

The topography of this soil in the valley varies from gently rolling
to hilly, the slopes being long and gently undulating, while along the
valley walls and in the uplands it is ridgy. Owing to the position
which this type occupies, surface drainage is good. The light texture
of the soil admits of the easy percolation of water through it, and,
except where the subsoil contains considerable sand, the soil moisture
is well retained. In dry weather, if the ground is cultivated, a mulch
is formed, which prevents the evaporation of the soil moisture and
greatly assists the crops to withstand drought.

Nearly the whole of this type is in cultivation. Where the forest
still stands the growth consists chiefly of oak. The soil is easy to
handle, and can be worked without regard to moisture content. It is
considered a good corn land, but is too light-textured for wheat,
although a considerable acreage is devoted to this crop. Corn yields
at the rate of 40 or 50 bushels per acre, wheat from 12 to 15 bushels
and occasionally more, and grass and clover at the rate of 1 or 2 tons
per acre. The productiveness of the soil depends greatly on the sand
content of the subsoil. If the quantity be large, the soil is porous
and requires considerable rain to produce good yields. If the clay
content predominates, a moderate amount of rain suffices and good
yields are obtained. Apples, pears, and small fruits do well on this

_Penn Clay._

The Penn clay consists of from 6 to 12 inches of a red or
reddish-brown loam, resting upon a subsoil of heavy red clay. The soil
and subsoil generally have the Indian-red color characteristic of the
Triassic red sandstone from which the soil is in part derived. From 1
to 10 per cent of the soil mass is usually made up of small sandstone
fragments, while throughout the greater part of the type numerous
limestone conglomerate ledges, interbedded with Triassic red
sandstone, come to the surface. In other areas of the type numerous
limestone conglomerate bowlders, often of great size, cover from 10 to
25 per cent of the surface.

This latter phase occurs in the vicinity of the Potomac River near
Point of Rocks, Md., and near the Potomac, 3 miles north of Leesburg,
and in these places the heavier phase of the type occurs, the clay
often being very near the surface. In other parts of the County, where
the limestone conglomerate is not so preponderant, or where it lies
deeper and is mostly unexposed, the surface soil is deeper, often
consisting of 18 inches of loam. The land is locally termed "limestone
land." Near Catoctin Mountain the rocks seem to have weathered to
considerable depth, there being no exposures or outcrops. Here the
soil has been washed away from some of the more elevated small areas,
and the heavy red clay subsoil is exposed.

In a great many places along the base of the mountain the formation of
this type is somewhat complicated by the wash from the mountain, which
consists principally of subangular quartz fragments, from 1 to 4
inches in diameter. This rock sometimes forms as much as 30 or 40 per
cent of the soil mass. This phase is called "gravelly land," and is
hard to cultivate on account of its heavy texture and stony condition,
although it is inherently productive.

This type occurs in one irregular-shaped area, about 15 miles long,
varying from less than 1 mile to 3 or 4 miles in width, being cut by
the Potomac River just east of Point of Rocks, Md. It thus lies in the
central part of the County, in the Piedmont Plateau, extending from
immediately north of Leesburg, and skirting the eastern foot of
Catoctin Mountain.

The general surface drainage is good, there being many small streams
flowing through the type and emptying into the Potomac River. The
stream beds are but little lower than the surface of the surrounding
land, while the slopes are long and gentle. Excessive erosion scarcely
ever occurs. The heavier phase of the type would undoubtedly be
improved by tile draining, as it is usually lower lying than the
lighter phase. The heavier phase bakes and cracks in dry weather much
the same as the heavy limestone soils of the Shenandoah Valley, but
with the lighter phases, where the soil covering is deeper, good tilth
is easily maintained throughout the growing season.

Corn, wheat, clover, and grass are the crops grown, of which the
yields are as follows: Corn, from 40 to 60 bushels per acre; wheat,
from 15 to 25 bushels per acre, and clover and grass, from 1-1/2 to
2-1/2 tons of hay per acre.

The Penn clay is the most highly prized soil of the Piedmont region of
Loudoun and brings the highest prices.

_Penn Stony Loam._

The Penn stony loam consists of from 8 to 12 inches of a red or
grayish heavy loam, somewhat silty, underlain by a heavier red loam.
From 10 to 60 per cent of gray and brown fragments of Triassic
sandstone, ranging from 1 to 6 inches in thickness, cover the surface
of the soil. The color is in general the dark Indian-red of the other
soils derived from Triassic sandstone, being particularly marked in
the subsoil.

This type occurs in the southeastern part of Loudoun, on the Piedmont
Plateau. It occupies three small areas whose total extent probably
does not exceed two and one-half square miles. It is closely
associated with the Penn loam and grades gradually into that type. The
only great difference between the two is the presence of sandstone
fragments in the Penn stony loam.

The topography varies from gently rolling to hilly and ridgy, with
slopes that are sometimes rather steep. However, the surface is not so
broken as to interfere with cultivation, and the slopes are usually

The type is well drained, the slopes allowing a rapid flow of water
from the surface, while the soil water passes readily through the soil
and subsoil. On the other hand, the texture is sufficiently heavy to
prevent undue leaching and drought.

Little of the land is in cultivation, on account of its stony
character, which makes cultivation difficult. Where unimproved it is
covered with a heavy growth of chestnut, oak, and pine. The land is
locally called "chestnut land." In a few small areas the larger stones
have been removed and the land is cultivated, corn and wheat being the
principal crops. The yield of corn ranges from 20 to 35 bushels and of
wheat from 8 to 15 bushels per acre. Apples and small fruits and
vegetables do well.

_Iredell Clay Loam._

The soil of the Iredell clay loam consists of from 6 to 18 inches of
light loam, usually brown or gray, although sometimes of a yellowish
color, with an average depth of about twelve inches. The subsoil
consists of a heavy yellow to yellowish-brown waxy clay. This clay is
cold and sour, almost impervious to moisture and air, and protects the
underlying rock from decay to a great extent. Often the clay grades
into the rotten rock at from 24 to 36 inches. In the poorly drained
areas a few iron concretions occur on the surface. Numerous rounded
diabase bowlders, varying in size from a few inches to several feet in
diameter, are also scattered over the surface of the soil. Occasional
slopes of the type have had the soil covering entirely removed by
erosion, and here, where the clay appears on the surface, the soil is
very poor. In other places, where the soil covering is quite deep, as
from 12 to 18 inches, the type is fairly productive, and its
productiveness is generally proportional to the depth of the soil.

The local name for the Iredell clay loam is "wax land," from the waxy
nature of the subsoil, or "black-oak land," from the timber growth. A
few small, isolated areas of this soil occur in the intermediate
valley of the Catoctin Belt, and here the texture is much the same as
that described above; but the soil usually consists of from 6 to 10
inches of a drab or brown loam, underlain by a heavy mottled yellow
and drab silty clay. This phase has few stones on the surface or in
the soil. The local names for this phase are "cold, sour land" and
"white clay."

The greater part of the Iredell clay loam occurs in the southern or
southeastern corner of the County and occupies one large,
irregular-shaped but generally connected area, extending from
Leesburg, in a southeasterly and southerly direction along Goose Creek
to the southern boundary of the County, the most typical development
of the soil being at Waxpool. The phase already described occurs in
small, disconnected areas, usually quite far apart, the general
relative direction of these areas being northeast and southwest. They
all lie in the intermediate valley of the Catoctin Belt, and are
usually near the foot of the Blue Ridge or Short Hills. The most
typical development of this phase occurs just southeast of Bluemont.

Where rolling and sloping the surface drainage is good, the water
passing rapidly from the surface into the numerous small streams
flowing into Goose Creek, which is the main drainage way of this type.
In the low, flat lands the water stands or flows very slowly from the
surface. Owing to the impervious nature of the clay subsoil,
underdrainage is very slow, and the land is often cold and sour.

Corn, wheat, and grass are the principal crops grown on this soil
type, the average yields per acre being as follows: Corn, from 20 to
40 bushels; wheat, from 8 to 15 bushels; and grass, from 1-1/2 to
2-1/2 tons. Apples do fairly well.

The greater part of the type is tilled, while the uncultivated areas
are used for pasturage and wood lots, the forest growth being black
oak. In dry seasons, where the soil covering is not deep, the land
bakes and cracks, and in this condition it can not be cultivated. In
wet seasons the soil becomes too wet and sticky to work.

_Penn Loam._

The Penn loam consists of from 8 to 12 inches of a dark, Indian-red
loam, underlain by a heavier loam of the same color. This peculiar red
color is distinctive of the formation wherever found, and,
consequently, the type is one easily recognized. The texture of the
type is very uniform, with the exception of a few small areas where
the subsoil is a clay loam. The soil is locally termed "red-rock
land," on account of the numerous small red sandstone fragments which
occur in the soil and subsoil in quantities varying from 5 to 20 per
cent of the soil mass. The soil is free from large stones or other
obstructions to cultivation.

This type occurs in several large, irregular areas on the Newark
formation of the Piedmont Plateau in the eastern part of the County.
The areas have a general northeast and southwest trend. A few small
areas occur in close proximity to the larger ones. One of the larger
areas is situated just south of Leesburg, while another occurs east of

The topography consists of a gently rolling to nearly level plain, and
there are no steep slopes or rough areas. Drainage in this type is
excellent, the easy slopes allowing a gradual flow of water from the
surface without undue erosion, except with very heavy rains on the
steeper slopes. The loamy subsoil allows a ready but not too rapid
percolation of surplus soil moisture, and never gets soggy or in a
cold, sour condition. Numerous small streams extend throughout the
area of this type, allowing a rapid removal of all surplus water into
the Potomac River, the chief drainageway of the County. Along these
streams, which in all cases have cut out beds some 10 to 30 feet below
the surrounding plain, the slopes are gradual.

The original growth on the Penn loam was a forest of oak, hickory, and
walnut, but at the present time nearly all of the type is cleared and
farmed. The soil is not naturally very productive, but is prized on
account of its great susceptibility to improvement, its quick
responsiveness to fertilization, and its easy cultivation and
management. The surface is smooth and regular, and the absence of
stones, together with the loamy texture of the soil, makes it easy to
maintain good tilth. Any addition of fertilizers or lime is
immediately effective, and by judicious management the type may be
kept in a high state of productiveness. Many fine farms with good
buildings are to be seen on this type. The crops grown are corn,
wheat, grass, clover, apples, and small fruits. Grazing, stock
raising, and dairying are practiced to some extent. The land yields
from 40 to 60 bushels of corn, from 10 to 15 or more bushels of wheat,
and from 1 to 2 tons of hay per acre.

_Cecil Loam._

The soil of the Cecil loam consists of from 8 to 12 inches of a brown
or yellow loam. The subsoil consists of a heavy yellow or red loam, or
occasionally clay loam. The soil and subsoil are usually free from
stones, but occasional areas have from 5 to 30 per cent of angular
quartz or schist fragments on the surface. Often a mica-schist enters
into the composition of the subsoil, giving it a soft and greasy feel.

The greater part of the intermediate valley or baselevel plain of the
Catoctin Belt consists of the Cecil loam, and it occurs here as one
large, connected area, inside of which are small areas of Cecil clay,
Loudoun sandy loam, and Iredell clay loam. A considerable portion of
the Catoctin Mountain also consists of the Cecil loam. In extent this
is the most important soil type in Loudoun, covering about 33 per cent
of the total area.

The Cecil loam, owing to its rolling character, is well drained
throughout. Many small streams traverse it, affording ample outlets
for surface water. The gently rolling areas are not generally subject
to excessive erosion, but the steeper slopes wash badly, deep gullies
and ditches being formed on the hillsides. Especially subject to
erosion are the areas in which the subsoil contains a relatively large
proportion of mica fragments. The soil and subsoil, though quite
loamy, retain enough moisture in seasons of moderate rainfall to
supply all growing crops.

The Cecil loam is devoted entirely to general farming. The crops grown
are corn, wheat, grass, clover, vegetables, apples, and pears. The
agricultural interests are further diversified by the practice of
dairying and stock raising. The land is one of the best corn soils of
Loudoun, being loamy and easily cultivated throughout the growing
season. The average yield per acre ranges from 40 to 60 bushels. Wheat
does very well, producing from 12 to 20 bushels per acre, and more in
favorable seasons. Grass and clover yield at the rate of from 1 to 2
tons of hay per acre and form good grazing during a considerable part
of the year. Apples and pears are grown everywhere on the type,
usually in small orchards, and good yields of these fruits are
obtained. Oats were at one time grown, and can be produced at the rate
of from 35 to 50 bushels per acre, but the present acreage is small,
the farmers claiming that this crop rapidly reduces the productiveness
of the soil.

Nearly all of the type is in cultivated crops or pasture. The original
timber growth was oak, hickory, and walnut; but little of this stands
now, except on occasional woodlots. The Cecil loam is a soil which
with careful treatment makes a fine farming land; but carelessly
managed it very quickly deteriorates.

_Cecil Clay._

The soil of the Cecil clay consists of a heavy loam, red or brown in
color, and having an average depth of 8 inches. The subsoil generally
consists of a red clay, although it is sometimes a heavy clay loam.
The surface is generally free from stones, though occasional small
areas have a few quartz and granite or schist fragments. In the
Piedmont areas small rounded diabase fragments occur on the surface.
Occasionally on steep slopes or high knobs the soil covering has been
washed away, leaving the heavy red clay exposed on the surface. These
areas, however, are small.

The type occurs principally in the intermediate valley of the Catoctin
Belt, between the Blue Ridge and the Catoctin Mountain, and on the
west slopes of the Catoctin Mountain. In the valley it occupies
several small, disconnected areas scattered throughout this region,
while on the west slope of the mountain it is found in one of two
long, broad areas, extending in a northeast and southwest direction.
Three small areas occur near the southeastern corner of the County,
and the type is here closely related to the Iredell clay loam.

The most typical areas of this soil occur in the Piedmont Plateau and
on the gentle slopes at the foot of the Blue Ridge in the vicinity of

This soil type has excellent surface drainage and is well watered and
drained throughout by small streams. Few of the slopes are so steep as
to wash badly. The heavy clay subsoil retains ample moisture for plant
growth and the soil is rarely so wet as to necessitate tile draining,
although this would undoubtedly be very beneficial in the case of the
heavier phases.

The whole of this soil is under cultivation and it is highly esteemed
wherever found, being naturally a strong soil and susceptible of
improvement. The original forest growth consisted of oak, hickory, and
walnut. The land is easily improved, retentive of moisture and manure,
and with careful management makes an excellent soil for general
farming. Owing to its tendency to bake, crops are liable to suffer
during drought.

The land produces wheat, corn, grass, clover, apples, and pears. It is
a strong wheat soil, and yields from 15 to 25 bushels per acre and
occasionally more. Grass and clover hay yield at the rate of 1-1/2 to
2-1/2 tons per acre, while from 40 to 60 bushels of corn per acre are
usually produced in good seasons.

All things considered, the Cecil clay is best adapted to the
production of wheat and grass. The more loamy phases are adapted to
corn, but the type as a whole is a much better wheat land than corn
land. The soil is also well adapted to apples and pears. Bluegrass
grows well and makes fine pasturage, and stock raising and dairy
farming are other industries to which the Cecil clay is well suited.
Care has to be used in the cultivation of this soil, for if worked
when too wet it dries in large, hard clods that give trouble
throughout the season and interfere with cultivation for a long time

_Cecil Silt Loam._

The surface soil of the Cecil silt loam consists of 12 inches of a
light gray or white silt loam. This material is underlain by a subsoil
of yellow silt loam slightly heavier than the soil. The type is
locally termed "white land," and is closely related to the Penn loam
and the Iredell clay loam, these types surrounding and grading
gradually into it. In some areas the soil is quite free from stones,
while in others from 10 to 30 per cent of the soil mass is composed of
small rock fragments.

The type occupies several small areas in the Piedmont region, in the
southeastern part of the County. The largest of these areas lies about
2 miles east of Leesburg, and a considerable part of the type is
adjacent to the Potomac River. It occupies high, rolling, ridgy, or
hilly lands, and has some rather steep slopes, though in general the
surface is only gently sloping.

The drainage is good, but wherever the slopes are steep erosion
proceeds rapidly, making gullies and washed-out places that hinder or
entirely prevent cultivation. The type is well watered by small
streams which flow the year round.

Probably one-half of this type is cultivated. The remainder is
covered with a growth of scrub oak, pine, and some cedar. The soil is
thin and only fairly productive, and consequently is not greatly
desired for agriculture. It is very easy to work, but has to be
cultivated carefully to avoid washing. The crops raised are corn,
wheat, grass, and some apples. Corn yields from 25 to 35 bushels,
wheat from 12 to 15 bushels, and clover and timothy hay from 1 to 2
tons per acre. Small fruits and vegetables do well.

Although naturally a thin soil, the Cecil silt loam is fairly well
adapted to the production of the crops just named. Of the small
fruits, peaches, plums, and berries do best. On the whole the type is
considered much better adapted to wheat than to corn. It is limed and
fertilized to a considerable extent, and responds well to such

_Cecil Mica Loam._

The Cecil mica loam consists of 12 inches of a friable, micaceous
yellow or yellowish red loam, underlain by a yellow or yellowish-red
loam, whose mica content increases with the depth until at 24 to 30
inches the subsoil is little more than a mass of small mica flakes
which gives it a loose texture. Occasionally the subsoil is a clay
loam for several inches before grading into the unweathered mica

On the surface there is from 5 to 40 per cent of angular quartz
fragments, ranging from 1 to 6 inches in diameter, some being much

The Cecil mica loam occurs as one long, narrow strip, occupying the
lower, gentle eastern slopes of the Catoctin Mountain. The southern
end of the strip begins a short distance north of Leesburg, and
extends in a northeasterly direction to the Potomac River, opposite
Point of Rocks, Md.

The topographic features of the Cecil mica loam consist of gentle and
occasionally steep rolling slopes. The surface is well drained and on
the steeper slopes the soil washes badly and deep gullies are formed.
In a season of moderate rainfall the soil and subsoil retain
considerable moisture, but in dry weather crops suffer from drought.

No farms are found entirely on the Cecil mica loam, but those farms of
the Piedmont, extending up the mountain slopes, generally include some
of this soil. Such areas are often farmed, but more generally used as
woodlots. Where cultivated the yields are scant, except where the soil
is heavily fertilized. Corn yields from 10 to 30 bushels per acre and
sometimes more, and wheat from 6 to 12 bushels per acre. The type is
best adapted to forestry, chestnut orcharding, and grape growing.

_De Kalb Stony Loam._

The soil of the De Kalb stony loam consists of a yellow or gray sandy
loam of coarse texture, having an average depth of 12 inches. The
subsoil consists of a heavy yellow sandy loam to a depth of 24 inches
or more, where it rests upon a mass of sandstone fragments. These
sandstone fragments and bowlders occur in varying quantities
throughout the soil and subsoil. Where the fewer stones are found the
soil is not so sandy, but a light loam, yellow or brown in color,
underlain by a deep yellow loam subsoil.

The De Kalb stony loam is a mountain soil, occurring in long, parallel
bands of varying width, extending in a general northeast and southwest
direction, and mainly occupies the crests and slopes of the Blue Ridge
and Short Hill mountains. It also occurs in smaller areas on the crest
and east slope of Catoctin Mountain.

On the Blue Ridge and Short Hills the De Kalb stony loam covers the
whole of the mountains, and here the physiography consists of long,
sharp, rock-crested ridges, with steep, rugged slopes and occasional
cliffs and huge ledges. There are occasional benches on the mountain
sides, and here there is an accumulation of two or three inches of a
black mold, resting on the broken sandstone fragments, and covered
with a growth of locust, oak, and berry vines.

Owing to the steep and rugged surface of this soil, together with its
stony character, superficial drainage is rapid and thorough, the water
rushing in torrents from the mountain slopes, while as a result of
the loose texture and the large number of stone fragments in the soil
the water passes rapidly through it, and there is never an excess of
moisture in the soil or subsoil.

On account of the steep and stony nature of the De Kalb stony loam
little of the type can possibly be cultivated. The soil is naturally a
very thin one, and is not capable of producing fair yields except in
its less stony phases.

The principal growth on the type is chestnut, oak, and some pine.
Probably 95 per cent of the type is uncultivated, and is valuable only
for the timber growth it supports. Where cultivated the average yields
per acre are as follows: Corn, from 10 to 20 bushels; wheat, from 6 to
10 bushels. Apples and especially peaches do fairly well on the
mountain phase where not too stony.

The greater part of the De Kalb stony loam is not adapted to
agricultural purposes at all, and it is not likely that the land will
ever be valuable except for forestry. It is locally termed "mountain
land," and is the poorest agricultural soil of the County.

_Porters Clay._

The Porters clay consists of from 6 to 12 inches of a brown or
reddish-brown loam, underlain by a heavy red loam or clay loam. The
type consists of fairly rough mountain land, and is very stony, having
from 15 to 60 percent of small and large schist fragments on the
surface, some of which are several feet in diameter. The soil is light
and easy to work wherever it is not so stony as to interfere with

This soil is a strictly mountain type and not of great extent. It
follows the crest and part of the east slope of the Blue Ridge
Mountains for several miles, extending in a northeasterly direction
and ending at the areas of sandstone formation.

The type is well drained throughout, while the texture of the subsoil
is sufficiently heavy to retain considerable moisture through quite
extended dry spells. The steeper slopes are uncultivated, and hence
are not subject to erosion.

A considerable proportion of this soil type is under cultivation,
especially on the broad mountain top. Those areas not cultivated are
covered with a heavy growth of oak, hickory, locust, and walnut. Corn
and wheat can be grown on the type with fair yields, but little of the
latter is grown on account of the stony nature of the land. Corn
yields from 20 to 35 bushels, wheat from 8 to 15 bushels, and grass
and clover from 1 to 2 tons per acre. Irish and sweet potatoes give
good yields, and fine apples and peaches are produced. Peaches are
liable to winterkill, and the crop is uncertain for this reason. This
type is peculiarly adapted to fruit growing, and especially to the
production of apples.


The Meadow of Loudoun is usually a brown silty or sandy loam, with a
depth of several feet. The type occurs in narrow bands along the
larger streams, forming a bottom or low terrace a few feet above the
mean water level. The nature of the soil depends greatly on the
surrounding soils, as it is formed from sediment of the wash from
these types and partakes of their textural characteristics to some

The type, while low and flat, is generally well enough drained for
cultivation, although this is somewhat hindered by overflows;
consequently the land is chiefly used for grazing. The soil is
alluvial in origin, being built up by successive overflows of the
streams. Little of the type is forested. Where cultivated it is
generally used for corn, which yields from 50 to 75 bushels an acre.
Little wheat is grown, although the soil is capable of producing fair
yields of this crop. It also produces from 2 to 3 tons of hay per
acre, and affords excellent pasturage. The crops are somewhat
uncertain, however, on account of overflows which sometimes occur
after the planting season, though in the case of the River the danger
from flood is usually past before the time for corn planting. Where
the areas are in grass the floods usually do little damage.
Productiveness is in a great measure maintained by the addition of the
sediments left by the overflow waters.


FLORA.--Records of the days of early settlement point to a
scarcity and an inferiority of large timber in Loudoun (then Prince
William) and contiguous counties. The responsibility for this
condition has been traced to the hunters who frequented this region
prior to its settlement and wantonly set fire to the forests in order
to destroy underbrush, the better to secure their quarries. A
comparatively dense and vigorous new growth followed the
discontinuance of this pernicious practice.

At the present time, after the encroachment of field and pasture for
nearly two centuries, a large portion of the county's area is still
under forest cover. The stand, in the main, is somewhat above average
size and quality.

The total value of forest products cut or produced on farms in 1899
was $51,351. This includes only the wood, lumber, railroad ties, etc.,
which the farmers cut in connection with their ordinary farming
operations. The reports of persons making lumbering or wood cutting
their principal business are not included.

The trees common to Loudoun are four varieties of the white oak, i.
e., common, swamp, box, and chestnut-leaved, the latter, however,
appearing only along the margin of the Potomac River; black, Spanish,
and red oak, chestnut oak, peach or willow oak, pin oak; and in the
eastern parts of the county, black jack, or barren oak, and dwarf oak,
hickory, black and white walnut, white and yellow poplar, chestnut,
locust, ash, sycamore, wild cherry, red flowering maple, gum,
sassafras, persimmon, dogwood, red and slippery elm, black and white
mulberry, aspin (rare), beech, birch, linn, honey-locust, sugar maple,
sugar nut, yellow and white pine, hemlock, and red cedar.

Among the smaller trees and shrubs are the white thorn, maple-leaved
or Virginia thorn (suitable for hedging), hawthorn, wild May cherry,
or service berry, water beech, fringe tree, red bud, black alder,
common alder, sumach, elder, laurel, witch-hazel, hazel-nut, papaw,
chinkapin, burnish bush, nine bark, button-bush, honeysuckle, several
varieties of the whortleberry or huckleberry, and wild gooseberry.

A few of the brambles met with are the greenbrier, high blackberry,
dewberry, or low blackberry, and raspberry.

A list of the vines and creepers would comprise the fox grape, three
varieties; pigeon, or raccoon grape, chicken grape, a wild bitter
grape, sarsaparilla, yellow parilla, poison-vine, or poison-oak,
clematis, trumpet-flower, and wild potato vine.

The medicinal herbs found in Loudoun are the rattlesnake root, Seneca
snakeroot (also called Virginia snakeroot), many varieties of mint,
liverwort, red-root, May apple, butterfly-weed, milk weed,
thorough-stem, trumpet-weed, Indian-physic, _lobelia inflata_, and
_lobelia cardinalis_, golden-rod, skunk-cabbage, frost-weed,
hoar-hound, and catnip.

The injurious plants with which the careful farmer must contend are
the wild garlic, tribby weed, dog fennel, two varieties of the common
daisy, oxeye daisy, St. John's wort, blue thistle, common thistle,
pigeon-weed, burdock, broad and narrow-leaved dock, poke-weed,
clot-bur, three-thorned bur, supposed to have been introduced from
Spain by the Merino sheep, Jamestown or "jimson" weed, sorrel, and, in
favorable seasons, a heavy growth of lambs quarter and rag-weed.

Of introduced grasses, Loudoun has red clover, timothy, herd's-grass,
orchard-grass, and Lucerne to which last little attention is now
given. Native grasses are the white clover, spear grass, blue grass,
fox-tail and crab grass, the two last-named being summer or annual
grasses. Several varieties of swamp or marsh grass flourish under
certain conditions, but soon disappear with proper drainage and

Although some of the wild flowers of Loudoun merit the attention of
the florist, as a whole they have no commercial value or significance
and, for this reason, an enumeration of the many varieties has not
been thought expedient.

FAUNA.--Wild ducks, geese, and turkeys, pheasants (English
and Mongolian), partridges and woodcock are among the game fowls of
Loudoun, and eagles, crows, buzzards, owls, and hawks among the
predatory. The usual list of songbirds frequent this region in great
numbers and receive some protection under the stringent fish and game
laws in force here.

Red and gray foxes, raccoons, opossums, woodchucks, squirrels, hares
and smaller animals are quite general.

In pioneer days the county abounded in the larger species of game
common to the forests of North America. Among these were the beaver
and otter, buffalo, deer, wolf, wild-cat, panther, bear, fox, and elk
or wapiti (_Cervus canadensis_), noble herds of which ranged the
mountain sides and valleys of this section.


Good roads, always of immeasurable importance to the farmer, were
early made necessary by the tremendous crops of marketable products
harvested from Loudoun lands. Though this need, in time, became
imperative the roads were never hastily and imperfectly constructed;
they were built with an eye single to permanence and with due
allowance for generations of unintermittent and augmentative traffic.

These roads yielded their promoters modest dividends, but with the
completion in 1832 of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, bordering the
county just across the Potomac, transportation to and from Washington
(Georgetown) and Alexandria was materially cheapened and the earnings
of the turnpike companies suffered a corresponding decrease, the
income, in many cases, being barely sufficient to defray the expense
of maintenance. Tolls are now collected at only two points, in the

[Footnote 13: No apology is offered for the omission of vital
statistics that might and would have been included in this department
had earnest appeals addressed to State officers and the State
Corporation Commission met with more courteous and, I might add,
dutiful consideration. Not the least assistance was vouchsafed by any
of them.--THE AUTHOR.]

The turnpike craze spread to Loudoun not long after the War of
Independence and culminated about forty years later. It wrought a
revolution in public travel, relatively nearly as great as that
brought about by the railway craze in more recent years. The corporate
names of some of the roads constructed through Loudoun before its
subsidence were, the Goose Creek and Little River Turnpike, Loudoun
and Berlin (now Brunswick, Md.) Turnpike, Ashby's Gap Turnpike,
Leesburg Turnpike, Leesburg and Snicker's Gap Turnpike, Little River
Turnpike and Snicker's Gap Turnpike. Their combined authorized capital
stock was $637,325, of which amount more than two-thirds was
subscribed by individuals, the State assuming the balance.

The system did not originate solely in a local want or demand along
the lines contemplated. Other causes were also at the bottom of the
movement. The settlement of the County was necessarily by progressive
though, at times, apparently simultaneous steps. First came the
settlement and location of one or two towns, and the opening of
communication between them; then the advent of the trapper, hunter,
and scout into the unsettled portion; then came the land grants and
the settlement in isolated localities; then the blazed trail to the
parent towns and to the cabin of the pioneer or the outposts; then the
drift-ways, cart-ways, and the local roads winding from cabin to
cabin; then the town-ways and county roads, with here and there the
"provincial" highways.

Today, the public roads and turnpikes of Loudoun are unquestionably
better than those of most counties and, in obedience to a popular
demand, are kept in a fair state of repair. One or two of the
main-traveled thoroughfares would compare favorably with the best
rural roads in the country.

Long before the Civil War, Little River was rendered navigable from
its mouth to Aldie by means of a lock and dam system, this and more
far-reaching improvements having been undertaken by the "Goose Creek
and Little River Navigation Company" capitalized at $100,000. The dams
were destroyed by Federal invaders and never reconstructed.

Loudoun is traversed by the Washington and Ohio Division of the
Southern Railway, which penetrates the County centrally from east to
west and furnishes an outlet for her immense shipments of cattle,
grain and miscellaneous products. No less than twelve stopping points
are recognized within her limits, at all but three of which commodious
stations have been erected.

The original purpose of the promoters was to extend this road to the
coal-fields of Hampshire County, West Virginia (then in Virginia). The
name under which it was incorporated was the "Alexandria, Loudoun and
Hampshire Railroad." During the Civil War its bridges and tracks were
destroyed by order of General Lee and for some years afterward Loudoun
was without adequate railway communication with the outside world.

The cost of construction between Alexandria and Leesburg, the first
division of the work, was $1,538,744. The line, many years afterward,
was extended to Round Hill and still later to Bluemont, at present the
Westernmost terminal. Stages, affording communication with Winchester
and intermediate towns of the Shenandoah Valley, are operated from
this point and between Leesburg and Middleburg and Point of Rocks.
Liveries are conducted in all the important towns.

The northern edge of the County is in easy communication with the main
line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio
canal just across the Potomac.

Large steel bridges, spanning the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, Brunswick
and Point of Rocks, afford convenient ingress into West Virginia,
Maryland and the not far-distant state of Pennsylvania.

Further communication with the north is made possible by a ferry
(White's) in constant operation between Loudoun and the Maryland



Leesburg, a fine old town, the county-seat of Loudoun, lies at the
eastern base of Catoctin Mountain, 2-1/2 miles from the Potomac River
at Balls Bluff, and 3-7/8 miles west of Goose Creek. It is in the
northern part of the County, 40 miles northwest of Washington, 153
miles in a like direction from Richmond, the State capital, within a
few miles of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains and the celebrated
Valley of Virginia, 12 miles from Point of Rocks, Md., and about 22
miles from historic Harpers Ferry, W. Va. It occupies a high and
healthy plain, the environs of which are waving and well cultivated
and delightfully variegated by hill and dale.

The town derives its name from the Lees, who were among the early
settlers of the County, and was established by act of the General
Assembly, in September, 1758, in the thirty-second year of the reign
of George II. Nicholas Minor, who owned sixty acres of land about the
court-house, had subdivided this tract and some of the lots had been
built upon prior to the passage of the act. This instrument
constituted "the Hon. Philip Ludwell Lee, Esq., Thomas Mason, Esq.,
Francis Lightfoot Lee (father of 'Light Horse Harry' of subsequent
Revolutionary fame), James Hamilton, Nicholas Minor, Josias Clapham,
Æneas Campbell, John Hugh, Francis Hague, and William West,
gentlemen," trustees for the newly established town. Prior to its
establishment it had borne the name Georgetown, bestowed in honor of
the then reigning English monarch.

[14]"In its birth and infancy the town was destined to win renown, for
it was first founded as a fort or outpost of the then struggling
colony of Virginia, as its narrow streets and close, little red brick
houses still testify, and for many years was the most westerly post of
the colony. At one time the entire town was enclosed by stockades...."

"Following its establishment the little fort became the principal
outfitting post for the British and colonial forces in the French and
Indian war. Tradition still fondly points to the stone house, famous
as the headquarters of General Braddock, who, it is claimed, passed
through the place on his last fatal march to the wilderness; but in
the light of thorough investigation this claim is found to be
unsubstantiated. While a division of his army, under command of the
eccentric old Sir Peter Halkett, did undoubtedly spend the night at
the plantation of Nicholas Minor, the principal founder of the town,
General Braddock is found to have gone in another direction."

[Footnote 14: Mrs. A. H. Throckmorton in the Richmond _Times_.]

Leesburg is governed by a mayor and common council and had at the time
of the last government census (1900) a population of 1,513. An unusual
percentage of its people are well educated, and all proverbially

The houses, many of which are of brick and stone construction, are
built in a compact and substantial manner. In the town and its
environs are many of the most palatial residences to be seen in
Virginia. There are several well-kept public roads leading from the
town to the surrounding country seats and stock farms, nearly all of
which are modernized reminders of the old plantation days.

With an elevation less than most points in the County, Leesburg,
nevertheless, shares with them the distinction of being unsurpassed
for healthfulness and picturesqueness of surroundings.

Crossing at right angles, its streets are regular and spacious and
lighted by electricity. Many of its dwellings and business houses are
also equipped with electric lighting facilities, power for which is
generated at a plant located near Belmont, on Goose Creek, and
controlled by Leesburg capitalists. In almost every quarter of the
town are brick and granolithic sidewalks, fringed with the usual
varieties of shade trees.

Some of the municipal advantages not already enumerated are a sewerage
system, a fire department, a public library, police protection and a
thoroughly modern system of water-works of a capacity sufficient to
supply the entire corporation with absolutely pure water from a noted
spring issuing near the base of Catoctin Mountain.

Some of the public buildings are a town hall, one of the largest brick
edifices in Northern Virginia; a comparatively new court-house and a
clerk's office,[15] both venerable structures with imposing façades
lending them an exquisite air of Colonialism, the two liberally
disposed over a fenced area with sloping lawns and umbrageous shade; a
brick jail (County) containing eight steel cells, commodious
residential quarters for the jailer and his family and having, as an
humanitarian feature, a sunny court with towering walls; a remodelled
brick academy and a colored school, both comprising primary,
intermediate, and high school divisions, and provided with ample
educational facilities and extensive playgrounds.

[Footnote 15: Prior to 1873, the Leesburg Academy.]

The town has 7 churches representing all the leading denominations, a
Young Men's Christian Association branch, 5 fraternal orders and a
weekly newspaper. Eight trains arrive at and depart from Leesburg

Among the local enterprises are two handsome banking houses (the
"Loudoun National Bank" and "Peoples National Bank"), 2 large hotels
affording accommodations for 130 guests, several boarding houses,
stores handling every class and grade of merchandise, an artificial
ice plant with a daily capacity of 5 tons, a large race course on the
outskirts of the town where are held annually a horse show, races and
other like events, a confectionery and bakery, an ice cream factory, a
pop factory, two harness factories, a lumber and planing mill, 2
private schools, 3 cobblers' establishments, 2 livery stables, 3
blacksmith shops, 2 furniture houses, 2 undertaking establishments, 2
grain elevators, a lime quarry, 3 wheelwright shops, 2 tinning
establishments, a concrete construction plant, monument works, wood
and coal yard, Standard Oil Company's branch and packing house.

Leesburg probably has more than the usual number of resident
physicians, lawyers, and mechanics to be found in towns of a
corresponding size.

_Round Hill._

Round Hill, a thriving railway town in the western part of the County,
lies 3 miles east of Bluemont, 3 miles west of Purcellville, and 53
miles from the city of Washington. It is the second largest town in
Loudoun, has an elevation of about 600 feet above mean tide and is in
the midst of a rich farming region abounding with streams of pure
water from mountain water-courses. The town's name is derived from a
conical hill projecting from the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 2
miles away. It has a population of 450, 20 of which number are
merchants and mechanics, and a newly established bank.


Waterford, a thriving Quaker settlement, is situated on Catoctin Creek
in the northern part of the County, 6 miles south of Taylorstown, 7
miles northwest of Leesburg, 47 miles in a like direction from
Washington and 159 miles north of Richmond. It was named after the
town of Waterford, in Ireland, where some of its founders had formerly
resided. The first house within the town limits was built by one Asa
Moore, and remains standing at the present day. In common with the
other towns and villages of the famous Loudoun Valley, Waterford is
noted for its numerous and inexhaustible wells of the purest and best
water, bracing air and low mortality rate. It has 383 inhabitants, 14
of whom are merchants and mechanics.


Hamilton, one of the prettiest towns in the County, is spread over a
considerable area and occupies one of the highest points in the
beautiful Loudoun Valley. It is about 46 miles by rail from
Washington, 3 miles from Purcellville and only a few miles from both
the Catoctin and Blue Ridge mountains, walling the valley to the east
and west, and is the center of a group of seven towns and villages
within a radius of 5 miles. It has 364 inhabitants, of which number 18
are merchants and mechanics.


Purcellville, in the western part of the County with an approximate
elevation of 500 feet, is about 50 miles from Washington, 3 miles
from both Round Hill and Hamilton, and 2-1/2 miles from Lincoln. It is
delightfully situated in the center of one of the finest agricultural
districts in the Loudoun Valley and has a population of 300, 17
merchants and mechanics and a national bank.


Middleburg, situated on Goose Creek in the southwestern part of
Loudoun, is 12 miles from the summit of the Blue Ridge at Ashby's Gap,
5 miles west of Aldie, 1/4 of a mile from the Fauquier line, and 16
miles by stage from Leesburg, the seat of government. It is a growing
and prosperous community, elevated and airy and overlooking a broad
expanse of rich territory. Fourteen of its 296 inhabitants are
merchants and mechanics.


Ashburn, a railway town in lower Loudoun, formerly known as
_Farmwell_, is 34 miles from Washington, 31 miles from Alexandria, 4
miles northwest of Sterling, and 6 miles from Leesburg. It is in the
heart of one of the richest and most extensive dairying sections of
the State, and has become somewhat famous as a resort for anglers, the
bass fishing in Goose Creek, near by, being eminently satisfying and
attracting many devotees of the sport from Washington and other more
distant points.


Bluemont, formerly known as _Snickersville_, is an attractive village,
snugly and advantageously situated at the southeastern base of the
Blue Ridge Mountains, about 3 miles from Round Hill, 54 miles by rail
from Washington, and 165 miles from Richmond. It is on the western
edge of the most densely populated section of Loudoun, and boasts
modern hotels and boarding houses, two liveries, a grain elevator, and
many handsome dwellings. Two turnpikes, leading from Washington and
Alexandria to Winchester, intersect at this point. Bluemont is a
popular summer resort, and lies within a very short distance of both
the "Bears' Den" and "Raven Rocks," jutting points on the western
slope of the Blue Ridge, from which magnificent views may be had of
the Shenandoah valley and river and the Alleghany and North mountains.
The town has a population of 200, 14 of which number are merchants and

_Smaller Towns._

Other towns, post villages and settlements in the County are:
_Airmont_, 2-1/2 miles from Bluemont, population 25; _Aldie_, on
Little River, 5 miles from both Middleburg and Oatlands and 12 miles
from Leesburg, the County seat, population 155, 7 merchants and
mechanics; _Arcola_, 6 miles from Sterling and 12 miles from Leesburg,
population 100, 4 merchants and mechanics; _Belmont Park_, a small
railway station on the east bank of Goose Creek about 4 miles east of
Leesburg, formerly a picturesque resort and popular excursion point
managed by the old Richmond and Danville Railroad Company, attracting,
during the few years of its operation, many thousands of visitors;
_Bloomfield_, 7 miles from Round Hill, population 50; _Britain_, 8
miles from Purcellville, population 15; _Clarkes Gap_, one of the
highest and healthiest points in the County and an important shipping
point, draining a large extent of fertile country, 4 miles west of
Leesburg, population 25; _Conklin_, 10 miles from Sterling, population
10; _Daysville_, 2 miles from Sterling, population 20; _Elvan_, 1 mile
from Lovettsville, population 18; _Evergreen Mills_, 7 miles from
Leesburg, population 10; _Georges Mill_, in the extreme northwestern
part of the County; _Hillsboro_, 5 miles by stage from Purcellville,
population 131, 9 merchants and mechanics; _Hughesville_, 7 miles from
Leesburg, population 12; _Irene_, on the Southern Railway one mile
from Hamilton and the railroad station for that town, population 20;
_Leithton_, 8 miles from Purcellville and Round Hill, population 25;
_Lenah_, 3 miles west of Arcola, population 25; _Levy_, on Bull Run,
3 miles south of Aldie; _Lincoln_, 2-1/2 miles southeast of
Purcellville, in the heart of the "Quaker Settlement," population 200,
3 merchants and mechanics; _Lovettsville_, 2-1/2 or 3 miles south of
Brunswick, Md., and 7 miles from both Waterford and Harpers Ferry, W.
Va., in an industrious and progressive German neighborhood, population
97, 16 merchants and mechanics; _Luckets_, 5 miles from Point of
Rocks, Maryland, and 7 miles from Leesburg, population 50, 8 merchants
and mechanics; _Lunette_, 4 miles south of Arcola, population 10;
_Mahala_, 2 miles from Ashburn, population 15; _Mechanicsville_;
_Mountain Gap_, 4-1/2 miles by stage from Leesburg, population 25;
_Mount Gilead_, a centrally and charmingly situated village on
Catoctin Mountain about 8 miles respectively from the towns of
Leesburg, Middleburg and Aldie, population 50; _Mountville_, a small
settlement in a neighborhood abounding with best quality lime and
other minerals, 2-1/2 miles southeast of Philomont and about 1-1/2
miles from both the waters of Goose Creek and Beaver Dam, population
25; _Morrisonville_, 6 miles by stage from Brunswick, Maryland, and 4
miles from Lovettsville, population 20; _Neersville_, 5 miles by stage
from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., population 25; _North Fork_, 6 miles from
Purcellville, population 26; _Oatlands_, bordering on Catoctin
Mountain 7 miles southwest of Leesburg and 5 miles north of Aldie,
population 20; _Pæonian Springs_, 1 mile northwest of Clarke's Gap,
population 112, 6 merchants and mechanics; _Paxson_, an exceptionally
healthy community 2 miles east of Bluemont, population 15;
_Philomont_, a Quaker settlement lying 3 miles southeast of Silcott
Springs in a fertile and wealthy wheat-growing neighborhood,
population 161; _Royville_, 2 miles north of Arcola; _Ryan_, 2 miles
south of Ashburn, population 50; _Silcott Springs_, a one-time noted
resort 3-1/2 miles southwest of Purcellville, population 25; Sycoline,
between 4 and 5 miles south of Leesburg; _Stumptown_, 2 miles from
Luckets, population 20; _Taylorstown_, 3 miles southwest of Point of
Rocks, Md., population 50; _Trapp_, 5 miles from Bluemont, population
36; _Unison_, 6 miles from Bluemont and 9 miles from Purcellville,
population 100, 3 merchants and mechanics; _Watson_, 9 miles from
Leesburg, population 10; _Waxpool_, 2-1/2 miles north of Royville and
8 miles from Leesburg, population 25; _Welbourne_, about 5 miles
northeast of Upperville, in Fauquier county; _Wheatland_, 5 miles from
both Hamilton and Purcellville, population 25; _Willard_, 5 miles
southwest of Herndon, in Fairfax county, and _Woodburn_, 3 miles from
Leesburg, population 15. [Blank Page]



The area of Loudoun County is variously reckoned at 460, 468, 495,
504, 510, 519, 520, and 525 square miles. The approximate accuracy of
any single estimate in this confused assortment can not easily be
determined, none, so far as is known, having been officially
confirmed. Yardley Taylor, who, in 1853, made a most careful survey of
the County, fixed its area at 525 square miles. By far the most
trustworthy authority in this and certain other connections, his
findings have been adopted with little uncertainty or hesitation.

Of this number, 207 square miles lie east of Catoctin Mountain and are
of the upper secondary formation, while the remaining 318 square miles
to the westward are of primitive formation.

The longest line across the County is 35 miles, and extends from the
lower end of Lowe's Island at the old mouth of Sugarland Run, to the
summit of the Blue Ridge at Ashby's Gap; the second longest, 34 miles,
extends from the corner of Jefferson County, West Virginia, at the
margin of the Potomac River below Harpers Ferry, to the corner of
Fairfax County on Bull Run, within half a mile of Sudley Springs in
Prince William County.

Within the limits of Loudoun are included 313,902[16] acres of the
finest farm land to be found in any county of the State. The farms
number 1,948, the average size being 162 acres. They are smallest in
the northwestern portion of the county and of moderate size in the
central portions, the largest occurring in the southern and eastern
portions. In 1900, 1,754, or 90 per cent, were operated by white
farmers, and 194, or 10 per cent, operated by colored farmers.

[Footnote 16: It will be understood that the total land in farms by no
means equals the total area of the County.]

TABLE I.--_Summary by Decades of the Improved and Unimproved
Land in Farms, with per cent of Increase and Decrease._

       |      Acres of Land in Farms.      |     Per cent of Increase.
Census |         |           |             |  Total  | Improved | Unimproved
 Year. |  Total. | Improved. | Unimproved. |  Land.  |  Land.   |   Land.
 1900  | 313,902 |  251,874  |   62,028    |    6.4  |    6.9   |      4.8
 1890  | 294,896 |  235,703  |   59,193    | [*]1.3  |    1.4   |  [*]11.
 1880  | 298,869 |  232,391  |   66,478    |    8.2  |   15.1   |  [*]10.7
 1870  | 276,291 |  201,888  |   74,403    | [*]6.7  | [*]8.3   |  [*] 1.9
 1860  | 296,142 |  220,266  |   75,876    |     .5  |    5.7   |  [*] 1.2
 1850  | 294,675 |  208,454  |   86,221    |    -    |    -     |      -

[* - Decrease.]

The most striking fact to be noted concerning the reported farm areas
is the comparatively great decrease in the decade 1860 to 1870. This
was, of course, one of the disastrous effects of the Civil War, from
which the South, in general, after more than forty-five years, has not
yet fully recovered, as is shown by the fact that in some of the South
Atlantic states the reported acreage of farm land in 1900 was less
than it was in 1860.

A continuous increase is shown in the area of improved farm land
except in the decade 1860-1870. The decrease in the amount under
cultivation, reported in the census of 1870, was due to conditions
growing out of the change in the system of labor which prevented a
complete rehabilitation of agricultural industry.

Only three other of the 100 Virginia counties reported larger improved
areas in 1900, viz: Fauquier, 291,734 acres; Pittsylvania, 280,456 and
Augusta, 276,459.

TABLE II.--_Number of Farms by Decades: Summary, 1850 to

1900     1,948
1890     1,818
1880     1,841
1870     1,238
1860     1,207
1850     1,256

Comparison of the number of farms reported in 1850 with the number at
the last census shows an addition in fifty years of 692 farms.

The great increase between 1870 and 1880 is seen at a glance. During
this period the large plantations were steadily undergoing partition,
in consequence of the social and industrial changes in progress after
the Civil War.

TABLE III.--_Farms Classified by Area--1900._

Under 3 acres                 22
3 and under 10 acres         155
10 and under 20 acres        171
20 and under 50 acres        246
50 and under 100 acres       264
100 and under 175 acres      396
175 and under 260 acres      324
260 and under 500 acres      274
500 and under 1,000 acres     88
1,000 acres and over           8

TABLE IV.--_Number of Farms of Specified Tenures, June 1,

Owners                1,116
Part owners             173
Owners and tenants       18
Managers                 48
Cash tenants            232
Share tenants           361
  Total               1,948


The persistent high price of Loudoun lands has discouraged increase of
population by immigration. Indeed, in more than eighty-five years,
except for the slight fluctuations of certain decades, there has been
no increase through any medium.

The last census (1900) fixed Loudoun's population at 21,948, of which
number 16,079 were whites, 5,869 negroes, and the remaining 101
foreign born. This aggregate is even less than that shown by the
census of 1820, which gave the county a population of 22,702, or 754
more than in 1900.

The succeeding schedules, giving complete statistics of population for
Loudoun County by the latest and highest authority, were taken from
United States Census reports, collected in 1900 and published in 1902.

_Population, Dwellings, and Families:_

      _1900._                 _Private Families._
Population    21,948        Number           4,195
Dwellings      4,157        Population      21,690
Families       4,231        Average size         5.2

_Private Families Occupying Owned and Hired and Free and Encumbered
Homes, 1900._

Total private families       4,195

_Farm Homes Owned._        _Other Homes Owned._
  Free          959          Free          622
  Encumbered    257          Encumbered    147
  Unknown       120          Unknown        81
Hired           648        Hired         1,169
Unknown           7        Unknown         185
              -----                      -----
    Total     1,991            Total     2,204

_Native and Foreign Born and White and Colored Population, Classified
by Sex, 1900._

        _Native born._              _Native White--Foreign Parents._
Male                     10,634     Male                         114
Female                   11,213     Female                       121

        _Foreign born._                     _Foreign White._
Male                         59     Male                          58
Female                       42     Female                        42

_Native White--Native Parents._             _Total Colored._
Male                      7,583     Male                       2,938
Female                    8,161     Female                     2,931

In 1860, one year before the outbreak of the Civil War, the County
held within its boundaries 21,774 souls: 15,021 white, 5,501 slave,
and 1,252 free colored. In number of slaves at this period Loudoun
ranked thirty-sixth in the list of Virginia counties which then also
included the counties now in West Virginia. This number was
distributed amongst 670 slave-holders in the following proportions:

  1 slave                  124
  2 slaves                  84
  3 slaves                  61
  4 slaves                  83
  5 slaves                  46
  6 slaves                  39
  7 slaves                  35
  8 slaves                  27
  9 slaves                  22
 10 and under 15 slaves     80
 15 and under 20 slaves     36
 20 and under 30 slaves     23
 30 and under 40 slaves      4
 40 and under 50 slaves      4
 50 and under 70 slaves      1
100 and under 200 slaves     1

The following table gives the population of Loudoun County
decennially, from and including the first official census of 1790:

1900       21,948
1890       23,274
1880       23,634
1870       20,929
1860       21,774
1850       22,079
1840       20,431
1830       21,939
1820       22,702
1810       21,338
1800       20,523
1790       18,952

The reports of population by magisterial districts given below, with a
single exception, show an appreciable decrease between the years 1890
and 1900:

                      | 1900. | 1890.
Broad Run district    | 3,309 | 3,463
Jefferson district    | 3,106 | 3,307
Leesburg district     | 4,299 | 4,246
Lovettsville district | 3,104 | 3,210
Mercer district       | 4,010 | 4,570
Mt. Gilead district   | 4,120 | 4,478

The following incorporated towns for the same period are charged with
a corresponding decrease in the number of their inhabitants:

             | 1900. | 1890.
Hamilton     |   364 |   407
Hillsboro    |   131 |   156
Leesburg     | 1,513 | 1,650
Lovettsville |    97 |
Middleburg   |   296 |   429
Waterford    |   383 |   385

These circumstances of fluctuation and actual decrease might appear
singular if it could not be shown that practically the same conditions
obtain elsewhere in the State and Union, or wherever agriculture is
the dominant industry. Especially is this true of the counties of
Clarke, Fauquier, Prince William, and Fairfax, in Virginia, and
Jefferson, in West Virginia. All these farming communities adjoin
Loudoun and exhibit what might be called corresponding fluctuations of
population between the above-named periods.

A decrease then in the population of any of these districts is
obviously due, in a large measure, to the partial or total failure of
the crops which causes the migration of a portion of the population to
large cities or other parts of the country. If the failure occurs
immediately preceding a census, the decrease shown will, of course, be

As another contributing cause, it can be positively stated that the
disfavor in which agriculture is held by the young men of Loudoun, who
seek less arduous and more lucrative employment in the great cities of
the East, is, in part, responsible, if not for the depletion,
certainly for the stagnation of the county's population.

The white population of Loudoun County in 1880, 1890, and 1900 was as

_Census._   _Population._

  1880         16,391
  1890         16,696--305 increase.
  1900         16,079--617 decrease.

The negro population of Loudoun County for the same periods was:

_Census._   _Population._

  1880       7,243
  1890       6,578--665 decrease.
  1900       5,869--709 decrease.

The figures show that the negro population has steadily decreased,
while the white population increased from 1880 to 1890, and decreased
from 1890 to 1900. The proportion of decrease for the negroes was much
greater than for the whites. As the occupations of the negroes are
almost entirely farming and domestic services, crop failures
necessarily cause migration to other localities, and as Washington and
Baltimore are not far distant and offer higher wages and sometimes
more attractive occupations, there can be no doubt that the decrease
is principally due to the migration to those cities.


Agriculture, in many of its important branches, is by far Loudoun's
leading industry, and is being annually benefited by the application
of new methods in cultivation and harvesting. The farmers are thrifty
and happy and many of them prosperous.

During the Civil War agriculture received a serious set-back, as the
County was devastated by the contending armies, but by hard work and
intelligent management of the people the section has again been put
upon a prosperous footing.

The agricultural methods in use throughout the County are very
uniform, notwithstanding the fact that there are a comparatively large
number of soil types in the area.

A system of general farming, with few variations, is practiced,
although some of the soils are much better adapted to the purpose than
are other soils of the area. The system of rotation practiced consists
of drilling in wheat and timothy seed together on the corn stubble in
the fall, and sowing clover in the following spring. The wheat is
harvested in the early summer, leaving the timothy and clover, which,
after obtaining a good growth, is grazed or cut the next year for hay.
This land is then plowed, and the following spring corn is planted, to
be followed by wheat again the next fall, thus completing the

Loudoun's gently sweeping hills and broad valleys support great herds
of cattle and flocks of sheep, and yield immense crops of corn, wheat,
oats, and other cereals. More corn is produced and probably more live
stock marketed by Loudoun than by any other of the 100 counties of

The wheat is either sold for shipment or ground into flour by the many
mills of the County, which mainly supply the home demand. The surplus
is shipped chiefly to Washington and Baltimore. The major portion of
the corn is used locally for feeding beef cattle, dairy stock, and
work animals. Hay is shipped in large quantities and the rye, oats,
and buckwheat are mostly consumed at home. Considerable pork is
fattened in the County and many hundred head of cattle are annually
grazed to supply the Washington and Baltimore markets.

A Government statistician was responsible for the following statement,
based, no doubt, on the creditable showing made by Loudoun in the
census of 1880: "Taken as a whole, probably the best farming in the
State is now done in this (Loudoun) County." Of Virginia counties, it
stood, at that time, first in the production of corn, butter, eggs,
and wool, and in numbers of milch cows and sheep, and second only to
Fauquier in the number of its stock cattle.

The breeding of superior stock and horses is an important branch of
the County's agricultural activities. A contributor to _Country Life
in America_, in an article entitled "Country Life in Loudoun County,"
says of it: "And the raising of animals is here not the fad of men of
wealth who would play at country life. It is a serious business,
productive of actual profit and a deep-seated satisfaction as
continuous and well grounded as I have ever seen taken by men in their

The wealthier class of citizens of course specialize, each according
to his personal choice. One, with 1,500 acres, all told, does a large
dairying business and raises registered Dorset horn sheep, large white
Yorkshire swine, registered Guernsey cattle, and Percheron horses.
Another, with a like acreage, specializes in hackneys. A third, on his
300 or more acres, raises thoroughbreds and Irish hunters. A fourth,
with 1,000 acres, fattens cattle for market and breeds Percheron
horses, thoroughbreds, hackneys, and cattle. A fifth, owning several
thousand acres, fattens cattle for export. A half dozen others, on
farms ranging from 200 to 1,000 acres, raise thoroughbreds or draft
animals. These are the specialties; on all the farms mentioned the
owners have their secondary interests.

Some of the farmers whose capital will not permit the purchasing of
high-priced breeding stock, have long been engaged in the business of
finishing cattle for the market, animals being shipped from Tennessee,
West Virginia, and elsewhere to be fattened on the wonderful grasses
of Loudoun County. These steers are pastured from several months to
two years, or according to their condition and the rapidity with which
they fatten.

Sheep are to be found on most every large farm and are kept for both
wool and mutton. Buyers visit these farms early in the winter and
contract to take the lambs at a certain time in the spring, paying a
price based on their live weight. When far enough advanced they are
collected and shipped to eastern markets.

The rapid growth of near-by cities and the development of
transportation facilities have exerted a great influence in the
progress of the dairy industry in Loudoun County, increasing the
demand for dairy produce, making possible the delivery of such
produce in said cities at a profit to the farmer, and thereby inducing
many to adopt dairy farming as a specialty instead of following it as
incidental to general agriculture.

The dairy cows in Loudoun, June 1, 1900, numbered 8,563, of which
7,882, or 92 per cent were on farms, and 681, or 8 per cent, were in
barns and enclosures elsewhere.

If the number of dairy cows, June 1, 1900, be taken as a basis, the
five most important Virginia counties arranged in order of rank are as
follows: _Loudoun_, 8,563; Augusta, 7,898; Rockingham, 7,312; Bedford,
6,951; and Washington, 6,792.

If prime consideration be given to the gallons of milk produced on
farms only in 1899, the counties rank in the following order:
_Loudoun_, 3,736,382; Fairfax, 3,310,990; Bedford, 3,244,800;
Rockingham, 3,141,906; and Augusta, 2,993,928.

If greatest weight be given to the farm value of dairy produce, the
order is as follows: Fairfax, $301,007; Henrico, $247,428; _Loudoun_,
$242,221; Pittsylvania, $200,174, and Bedford, $194,560.

From every point of view but the last, Loudoun ranked as the leading
dairy county of Virginia. The relative rank of other near competitors
varied according to the basis of arrangement. The value of dairy
produce is materially influenced by nearness to markets and also by
the average production per farm, and these factors assisted in
modifying the rank of Loudoun with reference to farm values of dairy

The good prices obtained for apples during recent years have led some
to plant this fruit on a larger scale than heretofore, and the result
is so far quite gratifying. Apples do well on most of the soils of
Loudoun. The best are sold to buyers who ship to large markets. The
poorer qualities are kept for home consumption, used for cider and fed
to hogs. Pears are grown in small quantities throughout the County.
Peaches do well on most of the soils, but yield irregularly on account
of frosts. All indigenous vegetables succeed well, but are mostly
grown for home consumption, market gardens being conspicuously scarce.

Hosts of summer boarders give to Loudoun a large transient population
requiring for its accommodation numerous hotels and countless boarding
houses. This trade brings considerable money into the County and is a
factor in its prosperity not to be ignored.

Scattered over Loudoun may be found great numbers of small industries,
many of them employing steam, water, or motor power. These comprise
grist mills, grain elevators, quarries, canneries, packing houses, saw
mills, an artificial ice plant, and miscellaneous enterprises. Though
comparatively insignificant taken singly, viewed collectively they
show an aggregate of energy and thrift wholly commendable.

Several of Loudoun's more important enterprises were launched
subsequent to the last general census and this circumstance renders
its reports of manufactures, at no time complete or entirely reliable,
of uncertain value as a symposium of the County's manufacturing
interests at the present time. However, they are the latest reports
obtainable and constitute the only official statistical exhibit of
this subordinate source of wealth. They afford at least a partial
insight into the present status of the manufacturing interests of
Loudoun and, to this end, are reprinted below:

Number of establishments                   164
Number of proprietors and firm members     197

Capital:                           Expenses:
  Land                   $25,957     Fuel and rent of power
  Buildings               79,350       and heat                 $8,811
  Machinery, etc         104,402     Miscellaneous              12,935
  Cash and sundries      141,548     Cost of materials used    424,538
                        --------                              --------
    Total               $351,257       Total                  $446,284

      Value of products                             $638,136


The tables appearing under this and the two succeeding kindred
headings were constructed from the latest general census reports, and
are a most complete and trustworthy statistical exhibit of the
agricultural resources and products of Loudoun County. TABLE
I.--_Value of all farm property, including implements and
machinery and live stock, with increase and decrease, and per cent of
increase and decrease, by decades: Summary 1850 to 1900._

Census  |    Value of    |   Increase in   |  Per cent  |   Average
year.   |    all farm    |     decade.     |     of     |  value per
        |    property.   |                 |  increase. |    farm.
1900    | $11,056,109 00 |     $971,459 00 |      9.6   |  $5,675 62
1890    |  10,084,650 00 |   [#]729,731 00 |   [#]6.7   |   5,547 11
1880    |  10,814,381 00 | [#]1,437,636 00 |  [#]11.7   |   5,874 19
1870[##]|  12,252,017 00 |      323,187 00 |      2.7   |   9,896 62
1860    |  11,928,830 00 |    2,446,073 00 |     25.7   |   9,883 04
1850    |   9,482,757 00 |                 |            |   7,549 97

[##: Values in gold.]

[#: Decrease.]

An especially great increase in the total value of farm property will
be noted in the decade from 1850 to 1860. Then followed the Civil War
with its great destruction of farm property, and from this disaster
the County did not fully recover before 1890.

The average value per acre of all farm property in Loudoun increased
from $32.18 in 1850 to $35.22 in 1890.

TABLE II.--_Value of farms with improvements, including
buildings, with increase and per cent of increase, by decades: Summary
1850 to 1900._

Census  |    Value of    |   Increase in   |  Per cent  |   Average  | Average
year.   |     farms.     |     decade.     |     of     |  value per |  value
        |                |                 |  increase. |    farm.   |per Acre.
1900    | $9,138,560 00  |     $518,830 00 |       6.0  | $4,691 25  | $29 11
1890    |  8,619,730 00  |   [#]911,524 00 |    [#]9.6  |  4,741 33  |  29 23
1880    |  9,531,254 00  | [#]1,345,752 00 |   [#]12.4  |  5,177 22  |  31 89
1870[##]| 10,877,006 00  |      368,795 00 |       3.5  |  8,785 95  |  39 37
1860    | 10,508,211 00  |    2,158,840 00 |      25.9  |  8,706 06  |  35 48
1850    |  8,349,371 00  |                 |            |  6,647 59  |  28 33

[##: Values in gold.]

[#: Decrease.]

In 1900 there were only two counties of Virginia with higher farm
values than Loudoun. They were Rockingham, with $11,984,440, and
Augusta, with $11,464,120.

TABLE III.--_Value of land and buildings, with the per cent
of the total represented by the value of buildings, June 1, 1900._

Land and improvements (except buildings)    $6,649,690 00
Buildings                                    2,488,870 00
  Total                                     $9,138,560 00
Per cent in buildings                               37.4

TABLE IV.--_Number of farms and number and per cent of those
with buildings, June 1, 1900, with average values of land and

Number of farms:
  Total                                      1,948
  With buildings                             1,933
  Per cent with buildings                       99.2
Average value of--
  Land, per farm                            $3,414 00
  Land, per acre                                21 18
  Buildings, per farm                        1,278 00
  Buildings, per farm with buildings         1,288 00

TABLE V.--_Total and average value per farm of farm
implements and machinery, with increase and decrease and per cent of
increase and decrease in the total value, by decades: Summary 1850 to

        | Value of farm |              |             |
        |  implements   |   Increase   | Per cent    | Average
 Census |      and      |     by       |    of       | value per
 year.  |  machinery.   |    decade.   | increase.   | farm.
1900    |  $295,910 00  |  $103,000 00 |     53.4    |  $151 90
1890    |   192,910 00  |     9,683 00 |      5.3    |   106 11
1880    |   183,227 00  | [#]23,473 00 |  [#]11.4    |    99 53
1870[##]|   206,700 00  | [#]31,564 00 |  [#]13.2    |   166 96
1860    |   238,264 00  |    42,470 00 |     21.7    |   197 40
1850    |   195,794 00  |              |             |   155 89

[##: Values in gold.]

[#: Decrease.]

The percentage of increase was least for the decade 1880 to 1890.
After 1870 the farmers did not, until 1900, report as large
investments in machinery as they did prior to the war.

Only two other Virginia counties reported higher values of farming
implements and machinery in 1900. They were Augusta, with $439,090,
and Rockingham, with $436,340.



The total value of the live stock _on farms_ only, June 1, 1900, was
$1,621,639, or 14.7 per cent of $11,056,109, the reported value of all
farm property. Of the live stock value, domestic animals, worth
$1,556,935, constituted 96 per cent; poultry, worth $58,276, 3.6 per
cent; and bees, worth $6,428, .4 per cent.

TABLE I.--_Reported value of live stock on farms with
increase and decrease and per cent of increase and decrease, by
decades, and average values per farm and acre._

Census  |     Value.    | Increase of | Per cent  |  Average  |  Average
year.   |               |   value.    |    of     | value per |   value
        |               |             | increase. |   farm.   | per Acre.
1900    | $1,621,639 00 | $349,629 00 |     27.5  |  $832 46  |  $5 17
1890    |  1,272,010 00 |  172,110 00 |     15.6  |   699 68  |   4 31
1880    |  1,099,900 00 |[#]68,411 00 |  [#] 5.9  |   597 45  |   3 68
1870[##]|  1,168,311 00 |[#]14,044 00 |  [#] 1.2  |   943 71  |   4 23
1860    |  1,182,355 00 |  244,763 00 |     26.1  |   979 58  |   3 99
1850    |    937,592 00 |     -       |      -    |   746 49  |   3.18
[##: Values in gold.]

[#: Decrease.]

_Animals Sold and Slaughtered._

The census enumerators and special agents secured reports of the
amounts received from the sale of live animals in 1899, and of the
value of animals slaughtered on farms. With reference to reports of
sales, they were instructed to deduct from the amount received from
sales the amount paid for animals purchased.

TABLE II.--_Receipts from sales of live animals and value of
animals slaughtered on farms, in 1899, with averages and number of
farms reporting._

Farms reporting domestic animals                     1,911
Amount of sales                                $392,852 00
Average amount of sales per farm                    205 57
Value of animals slaughtered                    109,618 00
Average value of animals slaughtered per farm        57 36

_Neat Cattle._

The total number of neat cattle in Loudoun County reported June 1,
1900, was 30,277, of which 29,432 or 97.2 per cent were on farms, and
845 or 2.8 per cent in barns and inclosures elsewhere.

Fauquier, with 34,098, led all counties in the number of neat cattle,
Loudoun ranking second, with 30,277. In the number of dairy cows,
Loudoun headed the list of Virginia counties with 8,563, or 665 more
than its nearest competitor, Augusta county.

Of calves, Augusta reported 5,476; Rockingham, 5,416; Washington,
4,177, and _Loudoun_, 4,090.

TABLE III.--_Number of Heifers and Cows on Farms, June 1,
1900, with Percentages._

Heifers 1 and under 2 years     1,917
Dairy cows 2 years and over     7,882
Other cows 2 years and over       588
    Total                      10,387
Per cent:
  Heifers                          18.5
  Dairy cows                       75.9
  Other cows                        5.6

_Dairy Products._

TABLE IV.--_Gallons of milk produced on farms in 1899, and
gallons sold and estimated gallons consumed on the farm for specified

Produced                            3,736,382
Sold                                  875,780
Utilized in the production of--
  Butter                            2,198,542
  Cream sold                          181,566
Consumed on farms:
  Total                             2,380,108
  Per farm reporting milk               1,321
Uses not reported                     480,494

The reported quantity of butter produced on farms in 1899 was 628,155
pounds, an average of 349 pounds per farm reporting, and an increase
of 12.4 per cent over the production in 1889. 330,785 pounds were sold
during the year 1899.

The four counties of Virginia which produced the greatest quantity of
butter on farms were, in the order named, Bedford, 727,680 pounds;
Rockingham, 658,063; Augusta, 633,360, and _Loudoun_, 628,155.


Of the 26,187 neat cattle 1 year old and over in Loudoun June 1, 1900,
14,597, or 55.7 per cent, were steers. Of this number a few only were
working oxen, as the great majority were kept exclusively for beef.

_Horses, Mules, Etc._

The number of horses reported on Loudoun farms in 1900 comprised 797
colts under 1 year old; 1,048 horses 1 and under 2 years, and 7,722
horses 2 years and over. The numbers not on farms were, for the three
classes named, 22, 13, and 684, respectively. There was, therefore, a
total for Loudoun County of 8,406 work horses, and 1,880 too young for
work, making a grand total of 10,286 horses, of which 93 per cent were
on farms and 7 per cent in barns and inclosures elsewhere.

Only two counties of Virginia, _i. e._, Augusta and Rockingham,
reported more horses than Loudoun, and the last-named County led all
in number of colts.

The total number of mules of all ages in the County in 1900 was 109.

_Sheep, Goats, and Swine._

There were reported in Loudoun June 1, 1900, 31,092 sheep, of which
15,319 were lambs under one year, 15,040 ewes one year and over, and
733 rams and wethers one year and over. All but 0.2 per cent of that
number were on farms.

Loudoun headed the list of Virginia counties in number of lambs under
one year and ranked second in number of ewes one year and over.

The total number of goats of all ages in Loudoun June 1, 1900, was

The total number of swine of all ages June 1, 1900, was 17,351, of
which 15,554, or 89.6 per cent, were on farms and 1,797, or 10.4
per cent, in barns and inclosures elsewhere.

_Domestic Wool._

Tazewell headed the list of Virginia counties in 1900 in both number
and weight of fleeces shorn, and was followed by Loudoun with a total
of 15,893 fleeces, weighing, unwashed, 87,410 pounds. Almost double
this amount in pounds was sheared in the fall of 1879 and spring of

_Poultry and Bees._

The total value of all the poultry raised on Loudoun farms in 1899 was
$114,313, an average value per farm of $58.68.

The number of chickens three months old and over, including guinea
fowls, on farms in Loudoun County June 1, 1900, was 132,627; turkeys,
7,218; ducks, 2,171, and geese, 1,036.

The total value of all poultry on hand, including the value of all
young chicks unreported, as well as that of the older fowls, was
$58,276, an average of $29.92 per farm reporting.

Shenandoah was the banner county of Virginia in egg production,
reporting 1,159,000 dozens; Rockingham ranked second, with 1,150,500
dozens, and _Loudoun_ third, with 771,780 dozens, the fourth highest
competitor, Augusta county, lacking 60,580 dozens of this last number.

Of Virginia counties at the last census Loudoun ranked third in the
number of chickens on farms, third in number of turkeys, third in
value of poultry products in 1899, and second in value of poultry on
hand June 1, 1900.

There were in the County June 1, 1900, 2,225 swarms of bees, valued at
$6,428. They produced the same year 24,970 pounds of honey and 1,110
pounds of wax.


The total and average values of Loudoun's farm products of 1899, with
percentages, are set forth in the following table:

Value of products:
  Fed to live stock                           $1,018,434 00
  Not fed to live stock                        1,817,414 00
    Total                                     $2,835,848 00
  Per cent not fed to value of farm property          16.4
Average value per farm:
  Fed to live stock                                 $523 00
  Not fed to live stock                              933 00
    Total                                         $1,456 00
Average value per acre:
  Products fed                                        $3 24
  Products not fed                                     5 79
Average value per acre of improved land:
  Products fed                                        $4 04
  Products not fed                                     7 22

_Corn and Wheat._

Of the 100 counties in Virginia, Loudoun ranked third in corn acreage
in 1899, reporting 46,248 acres, and, the same year, headed the list
in the production of corn with 1,538,860 bushels, an excess of 350,830
bushels over its nearest competitor, Fauquier county, which had
planted in corn 981 more acres.

Loudoun ranked third in wheat area in 1899, Augusta taking the lead in
area as well as in production. The next three counties in the order of
production were Rockingham, Shenandoah, and _Loudoun_, the product of
the last-named being 447,660 bushels. The same order prevailed in

_Oats, Rye, and Buckwheat._

The area reported under oats in 1900 was 765 acres and the product
13,070 bushels. In 1890, 4,504 acres were planted in this crop and
produced 69,380 bushels. No barley was reported in 1899.

The reported area under rye in 1900 was 597 acres and the yield 5,560
bushels. The preceding census reported 1,830 acres and a product of
13,137 bushels.

Loudoun reported but two acres of buckwheat under cultivation in 1899,
as against 232 acres in 1879. The yield at the last census was only 12
bushels, and in 1879, 2,338 bushels.

_Hay and Forage Crops._

The total area in clover in 1899 was 1,555 acres and the yield 1,598
tons. Loudoun reported only 2 acres planted in alfalfa or Lucern and a
corresponding number of tons. The total area sown in millet and
Hungarian grasses was 70 acres and the product 86 tons. Twelve
thousand four hundred and ninety-five acres were planted in other tame
and cultivated grasses in 1899, and 11,364 tons cut therefrom. The
principal grass included under this designation is timothy. In grains
cut green for hay Loudoun reported 1,342 acres under cultivation in
1899 and a product of 1,503 tons.

The reported acreage in forage crops in 1899 was 867 and the product
2,473 tons. The principal crops included under this head are corn and
sorghum cane cut green for forage. The production of Loudoun exceeded
the tonnage of every other county in the State. The report of the
tonnage of the cornstalks cut where the crop had been allowed to
mature for the grain was 21,614 tons.

_Miscellaneous Crops, Etc._

Four hundred and eighty-four acres planted in miscellaneous crops in
1900 produced 33,312 bushels.

Seven hundred and twenty-nine acres were devoted to miscellaneous
vegetables (exclusive of Irish and sweet potatoes, and onions), and
the product valued at $41,136.

From the 11 acres devoted to sorghum cane, 7 tons were sold and 789
gallons of syrup produced.

The number of square feet of land under glass used for agricultural
purposes June 1, 1900, was 48,310.

_Orchard Fruits, Etc._

The reported value of the orchard products of 1899 was $51,363.

The following table shows the number of each class of orchard trees of
bearing age, June 1, 1900, with products by bushels:

                            | Number of |   Number of
          Trees.            |   trees.  | bushels grown.
Apple                       |   83,027  |    195,406
Peach and Nectarine         |   22,446  |      3,900
Pear                        |    4,983  |      2,828
Cherry                      |    4,179  |      3,930
Plum                        |    1,589  |        534
Apricot                     |      117  |         30
Unclassified orchard fruits |       42  |         20

The farms of Loudoun produced in 1899 2,304 barrels of cider, 388
barrels of vinegar, and 13,530 pounds of dried and evaporated fruits.

_Small Fruits, Etc._

The total value of small fruits was $3,574, the number of acres under
cultivation 40, and the product 62,280 quarts.

There were in Loudoun June 1, 1900, 9,742 grapevines of bearing age.
They produced in 1899, 171,921 pounds of grapes, from part of which
yield were made 766 gallons of wine.

The number of pecan, Persian or English walnut and other nut trees of
bearing age reported was 35.

_Flowers, Ornamental Plants, Etc._

The total area devoted to flowers and ornamental plants for commercial
purposes in 1899 was eight acres, the amount of sales therefrom
$15,400, and the square feet of glass surface reported by florists'
establishments 53,300. Of Virginia counties Loudoun ranked fourth in
amount of sales and third in area of glass surface.

The total area devoted to nursery products in 1899 was 10-1/4 acres
and the amount of sales therefrom $2,225.



The scarcity of efficient labor is one of the most serious troubles
with which the farmers of this County have to cope. In the northern
portion the labor is principally white, while in the southern part
there is a greater proportion of the negro race.

Some farmers employ men by the month, paying from $15 to $18 and
board, but at a distance from centers of population this transient
labor is hard to secure, and even fancy wages sometimes fail to
attract a sufficient supply. In other cases a laborer and his family
are allowed to live on the farm, and he is paid by the day for such
work as is required of him, the usual wage being 75 cents or $1, with
the opportunity of working throughout a considerable part of the year.
The laborer usually pays a small rent for his cottage, but is allowed
a piece of ground free for a garden. Where the farms are small the
greater part of the work is done by the farmer and his family, and the
situation is less difficult; but with the large farms it is often
impossible to secure sufficient labor, especially during harvesting.

The total and average expenditures for labor on farms in 1899,
including the value of the board furnished, was $292,150, an average
of $149.97 per farm and 93 cents per acre.


Commercial fertilizers are used extensively throughout Loudoun. These
consist chiefly of phosphatic fertilizers, although some nitrogenous
mixtures are used. Barnyard and green manures are employed to a
considerable extent. Lime is applied freely to many of the soils. It
is brought into the area in cars, hauled from there to the farms by
wagon, and thrown in small piles over the land, the usual application
being twenty-five or thirty bushels to the acre. It is almost always
put on the land in the fall, and after becoming thoroughly slaked by
air and rain, is spread over the land as evenly as possible.
Applications are made every fifth or sixth year. Where farms are
situated at considerable distances from the railroads but little lime
is used on account of the difficulty of transportation.

The total amount expended for fertilizers in 1900 was $107,490, an
average of $55.18 per farm and 34 cents per acre and amounted to 3.8
per cent of the total value of the products. In 1879, only one other
county in the State, i. e., Norfolk, spent as much for the enrichment
of its soils. The amount expended for fertilizers in that year was



Few of the early settlers of Loudoun enjoyed any other advantages of
education than a few months' attendance at primary schools as they
existed in Virginia previous to the Revolution. But these advantages
had been so well improved that nearly all of them were able to read
and write a legible hand, and had acquired sufficient knowledge of
arithmetic for the transaction of ordinary business. They were, in
general, men of strong and penetrating minds and, clearly perceiving
the numerous advantages which education confers, they early directed
their attention to the establishment of schools. But for many years
there were obstacles in addition to those incident to all new
settlements, which prevented much being done for the cause of
education. The controversies in which they were involved and the war
of the Revolution employed nearly all their thoughts and all their
energies previous to the State's admission into the Federal Union.

Of the real efficiency of the Colonial schools of Loudoun but little
can be learned. Teachers, as a rule, were on a par with their
surroundings. If they could read, write and cipher to the "single rule
of three" their educational qualifications were deemed sufficient.
They generally canvassed the neighborhood with a subscription paper,
forming the schools themselves and furnishing the few necessary books.
The rates were from $1 to $2.50 per scholar by the month, and lower
when the schoolmaster "boarded around." But he was most likely to
succeed in forming a school who contracted to take his pay in produce.

Few schools were taught by women in Colonial times and female teachers
were still rare until a comparatively recent period.

The salaries of regularly appointed tutors varied according to the
nature of the schools and the ability of the district to meet the

After the Revolution, with increasing prosperity, came a spirit of
general improvement and a new interest in the cause of education.

The present condition of education in Loudoun is hopeful, public
instruction being now popular with all classes. Intelligence is more
generally diffused than at any previous period of the County's
history, and happily, the progress of moral education has, on the
whole, fully kept pace with intellectual culture. Our boys and girls
are reared in a home atmosphere of purity, of active thought, and
intelligent cultivation; all their powers are keenly stimulated by
local and national prosperity and unrestricted freedom in all honest

With the improvement in the school system has come a better style of
school-houses. The "little red school-house on the hill" has given
place to buildings of tasteful architecture, with modern improvements
conducive to the comfort and health of the scholars, and the refining
influences of neat surroundings is beginning to be understood.
Separate schools are maintained for colored pupils and graded schools
sustained at populous places.

With free schools, able teachers consecrated to their calling, and
fair courses of instruction; with a people generous in expenditures
for educational purposes, and a cooperation of parents and teachers;
with the many educational periodicals, the pedagogical books, and
teachers' institutes to broaden and stimulate the teacher, the friends
of education in Loudoun may labor on, assured that the new century
will give abundant fruitage to the work which has so marvelously
prospered in the old.

_Total Receipts of School Funds for the Year Ending July 31, 1908._
(From report of Division Superintendent of Schools.)

From State funds                        $13,968 92
 "   County school tax                   12,355 38
 "   District school tax                 14,640 82
 "   All other sources                      322 30
 "   Balance on hand August 1, 1907       6,644 60
       Total                            $47,931 97
_Total expenditures_                     42,788 58
_Balance on hand August 1, 1908_         $5,143 39

_School population, Number of Schools, Enrollment and Attendance by
Races and Districts, 1906-1907._ (From report of State Superintendent
of Schools.)

                |    School     |    No. of     | Whole number  |
                |  Population.  |Schools opened.|  enrolled.    |
   Districts.   +------+--------+------+--------+------+--------+Total.
Broad Run       |  748 |   228  |  19  |    4   |  538 |   131  |  669
Jefferson       |  619 |   216  |  15  |    4   |  446 |   196  |  642
Leesburg        |  381 |   143  |   9  |    3   |  358 |   107  |  465
Lovettsville    |  614 |    34  |  13  |    1   |  498 |    24  |  522
Mercer          |  628 |   482  |  15  |    7   |  467 |   277  |  744
Mt. Gilead      |  695 |   457  |  16  |    6   |  493 |   231  |  724
Town of Leesburg|  255 |   130  |   6  |    3   |  196 |   121  |  317
  Total         |3,940 | 1,690  |  93  |   28   |2,996 | 1,087  |4,083


The Church, with her faiths, her sacraments, and a part of her
ministry, was an integral part of the colonization of the County from
the beginning and continuously. Everywhere, with the spreading
population, substantial edifices for public worship were erected and
competent provision made for the maintenance of all the decencies and
proprieties of Christian religion. The influence of these
institutions, and of the faith which they embodied, was most benign
and salutary. They gave to the age of the Revolution its noble
character and its deep-seated principles, the force and momentum of
which have come down, with gradually decreasing power, to our own day.
But with these institutions and with their proper effect and influence
was mingled the fatal leaven of secularity.

       *       *       *       *       *

All the leading denominations are represented in Loudoun by churches
and congregations to the extent shown by the following table of
statistics, representing conditions as they existed at the close of
the calendar year 1906, and based upon the returns of individual
church organizations so far as received by the Census Office, through
which Bureau they were obtained for initial publication in this work.

                                         |    Total     |Communicants
                                         |  number of   | or members.
              Denomination.              |organizations.|------------
                                         |              |Total number
                                         |              |reported.
All denominations                        |      97      |   7,606
  _Baptist bodies_:                      |              |
    Baptists--                           |              |
      Southern Baptist Convention        |      11      |   1,199
      National Baptist Convention        |              |
        (colored)                        |      15      |   1,235
    Free Baptists                        |       2      |      55
    Primitive Baptists                   |       6      |     171
  _Friends_:                             |              |
    Society of Friends (Orthodox)        |       2      |     122
    Religious Society of Friends         |              |
      (Hicksite)                         |       3      |     278
  _Lutheran bodies_:                     |              |
    General Synod of the Evangelical     |              |
      Lutheran Church in the United      |              |
      States of America                  |       4      |     645
  _Methodist bodies_:[17]                |              |
    Methodist Episcopal Church           |      19      |   1,179
    Methodist Episcopal Church (South)   |      21      |   1,716
    Colored Methodist Episcopal Church   |       1      |      45
  _Presbyterian bodies_:                 |              |
    Presbyterian Church in the United    |              |
      States (South)                     |       4      |     345
  _Protestant Episcopal Church_          |       7      |     416
  _Reformed bodies_:                     |              |
    Reformed Church in the United States |       1      |     140
  _Roman Catholic Church_                |       1      |      60

[Footnote 17: Leesburg had, until a year or so ago when it was razed,
one of the oldest Methodist churches in America. The building, a large
stone structure, long abandoned, with galleries around three sides,
stood in the midst of an old Methodist graveyard in which are
tombstones more than a century old. It was built, according to report,
in 1780.

Leesburg is the oldest Methodist territory in the bounds of the Baltimore
Conference in Virginia, and it was here that the first Methodist
Conference held in the State convened May 19, 1778.]



In 1742, Prince William County, a part of the stupendous
Culpeper grant, was divided and the county of Fairfax created
and named in honor of its titled proprietor. Commencing at
the confluence of the Potomac and Occoquan rivers, the line
of demarcation followed the latter stream and its tributary,
Bull Run, to its ultimate source in the mountain of that name,
from which point it was continued to the summit of said
mountain, pursuing thereafter a direct course to the thoroughfare
in the Blue Ridge, known as "Ashby's Gap."

In 1757, Fairfax was divided and the territory west of its altered
boundary christened "Loudoun County." The new line followed the stream
called Difficult Run, from its junction with the Potomac to its
highest spring-head, and from that point was continued in a direct
line to the northeast border of Prince William County. This boundary
was afterwards changed and the present line between Loudoun and
Fairfax substituted (see "Boundaries," page 17).

The following are excerpts from the proceedings of the Virginia House
of Burgesses that led to the creation of Loudoun County in May, 1757.
The act authorizing the division of Fairfax and establishment of
Loudoun is given intact:

    On April 20, 1757, a "petition of sundry Inhabitants of
    _Fairfax_ County, praying a Division of the said County, was
    presented to the House and read, and referred to the
    Consideration of the next Session of Assembly."

    On Friday, April 22, 1757, "Mr. _Charles Carter_, from the
    Committee on Propositions and Grievances, reported, that the
    Committee had had under their Consideration divers
    Propositions, from several Counties, to them referred, and
    had come to several Resolutions thereupon, which he read in
    in Place, and then delivered in at the Table, where the same
    were again twice read, and agreed to by the House, as

    "_Resolved_, That the Petition of sundry Back-Inhabitants of
    the said County of _Fairfax_, praying the same may be divided
    into two distinct Counties, by a Line from the Mouth up the
    main Branch of _Difficult_-Run to the Head thereof, and
    thence by a streight Line to the Mouth of _Rocky_-Run, is

The following Monday the bill was again presented to the
House by Charles Carter, of the Committee of Propositions
and Grievances, and Friday, April 29, 1757, was ordered
engrossed and read a third time.

Monday, May 2, 1757, the engrossed Bill, entitled, "An Act for
dividing the county of Fairfax," was read a third time, passed by the
House, and sent to the Council for their "concurrence." It received
the assent of the governor Wednesday, June 8, 1757.

    _An Act for Dividing the County of Fairfax._ (Passed May 2,

    I. WHEREAS, Many inconveniences attend the upper
    inhabitants of the county of Fairfax, by reason of the large
    extent of the said county, and their remote situation from
    the court-house, and the said inhabitants have petitioned
    this present general assembly that the said county may be
    divided: Be it, therefore, enacted, by the
    Lieutenant-Governor, Council, and Burgesses of this present
    General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority
    of the same, That from and after the 1st day of July next
    ensuing the said county of Fairfax be divided into two
    counties, that is to say: All that part thereof, lying above
    Difficult-run, which falls into Patowmack river, and by a
    line to be run from the head of the same run, a straight
    course, to the mouth of Rocky run, shall be one distinct
    county, and called and known by the name of Loudoun: And all
    that part thereof below the said run and course, shall be one
    other distinct county, and retain the name of Fairfax.

    II. And for the due administration of justice in the said
    county of Loudoun, after the same shall take place: Be it
    further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That after the
    first day of July a court for the said county of Loudoun be
    constantly held by the justices thereof, upon the second
    Tuesday in every month, in such manner as by the laws of this
    colony is provided, and shall be by their commission

    III. Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall be
    constructed to hinder the sheriff or collector of the said
    county of Fairfax, as the same now stands entire and
    undivided, from collecting and making distress for any public
    dues, or officers fees, which shall remain unpaid by the
    inhabitants of the said county of Loudoun at the time of its
    taking place; but such sheriff or collector shall have the
    same power to collect or distrain for such dues and fees, and
    shall be answerable for them in the same manner as if this
    act had never been made, any law, usage, or custom to the
    contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

    IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid,
    That the court of the said county of Fairfax shall have
    jurisdiction of all actions and suits, both in law and
    equity, which shall be depending before them at the time the
    said division shall take place; and shall and may try and
    determine all such actions and suits, and issue process and
    award execution in any such action or suit in the same manner
    as if this act had never been made, any law, usage, or custom
    to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

    V. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid,
    That out of every hundred pounds of tobacco, paid in
    discharge of quit rents, secretary's, clerk's, sheriff's,
    surveyor's, or other officers fees, and so proportionably for
    a greater or lesser quantity, there shall be made the
    following abatements or allowances to the payer, that is to
    say: For tobacco due in the county of Fairfax ten pounds of
    tobacco, and for tobacco due in the county of Loudoun twenty
    pounds of tobacco; and that so much of the act of the
    assembly, intituled, An Act for amending the Staple of
    Tobacco, and preventing frauds in his Majesty's customs, as
    relates to anything within the purview of this act, shall be,
    and is hereby repealed and made void.


Loudoun County was named in honor of Lord Loudoun, a representative peer
of Scotland, who, the year before its establishment, and during the
French and Indian war, had been appointed captain-general and
governor-in-chief of the province of Virginia, and commander-in-chief of
the British military forces in the Colonies.

His military avocations, however, prevented him from entering upon the
duties of the gubernatorial office, and it is believed that he never
visited the colony of Virginia. Dinwiddie continued in the control of
its affairs, while Loudoun turned his attention to military matters,
in which his indolence, indecision, and general inefficiency were most
conspicuous and disastrous. Franklin said of him: "He is like little
St. George on the sign-boards; always on horseback, but never goes

Until his early recall to England, contemporaneous writers and brother
officers mercilessly criticised Loudoun "whom a child might outwit, or
terrify with a pop-gun."

Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia contains the
following succinct account of the public services rendered by this
noted Scotchman:

    "John Campbell, son of Hugh, Earl of Loudoun, was born in
    1705, and succeeded his father in the title in November,
    1731. In July, 1756, he arrived in New York with the
    appointment of governor-in-chief of Virginia, and also with
    the commission of commander-in-chief of the British forces in
    America, but, proving inefficient, returned to England in
    1757. He was made Lieutenant-General in 1758, and General in
    1770. He died April 27, 1782, and was succeeded by Norborne
    Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, as governor of Virginia, in


The permanent settlement of Loudoun began between the years 1725 and
1730 while the County was yet a part of Prince William and the
property of Lord Fairfax, the immigrants securing ninety-nine-year
leases on the land at the rate of two shillings sterling per 100
acres. The above-noted interim saw a steady influx of the fine old
English Cavalier[18] stock, the settlers occupying large tracts of
land in the eastern and southern portions of the County or most of the
territory extending from the Potomac River southward to Middleburg and
from the Catoctin and Bull Run mountains eastward to the eastern
border of the County. It is more to this noble and chivalric strain
than to any other that Loudoun owes her present unrivalled social

[Footnote 18: This stock was the first to introduce and foster slavery
in the County.--Goodhart's _History of the Loudoun Rangers_.]

John Esten Cooke's faithful and eloquent delineation of Virginia
character is peculiarly applicable to this Cavalier element of Loudoun
society. Some conception of that author's grandiose style and intimate
knowledge of his subject may be gained from the following passage:

    "The Virginian of the present time has ingrained in his
    character the cordial instincts and spirit of courtesy and
    hospitality which marked his ancestors. He has the English
    preference for the life of the country to the life of the
    city; is more at home among green fields and rural scenes
    than in streets; loves horses and dogs, breeds of cattle, the
    sport of fox-hunting, wood-fires, Christmas festivities, the
    society of old neighbors, political discussions, traditions
    of this or that local celebrity, and to entertain everybody
    to the extent of, and even beyond, his limited means. Many of
    these proclivities have been laughed at, and the people have
    been criticised as provincial and narrow-minded; but after
    all it is good to love one's native soil, and to cherish the
    home traditions which give character to a race. Of the
    Virginians it may be said that they have objected in all
    times to being rubbed down to a uniformity with all the rest
    of the world, and that they have generally retained the
    traits which characterized their ancestors."

The northwestern part of the County, known as the "German Settlement,"
a section of about 125 square miles, extending from Catoctin Mountain
westward to the Short Hill Mountains and from the Potomac River
southward to near Wheatland, was originally settled by a sturdy and
vigorous race of Germans,[19] principally from Pennsylvania, but a few
from New York, in which two colonies they had settled on their
arrival, only a few years before, from the Palatine states of Germany.
They came to Loudoun between the years 1730 and 1735,[20] about the
time of the Cavalier settlements.

These German settlers were a patient, God-fearing people, naturally
rugged, and very tenacious in the preservation of their language,
religion, customs and habits. Every stage in their development has
been marked by a peaceable and orderly deportment--a perfect
submission to the restraints of civil authority.

[Footnote 19: The first sheep were brought to the County by these
settlers.--_History of the Loudoun Rangers._]

[Footnote 20: 1732 was most likely the year in which the earliest of
these German settlers arrived in Loudoun.]

The earliest of these German arrivals, with native foresight and a
proper appreciation of the dangers incident to border settlement in
that day of bloody Indian atrocities, came to Loudoun in an organized
body, embracing sixty or more families.

Many of the males were artisans of no mean ability, and plied
their respective trades as conscientiously and assiduously as
others, in the rude manner of the times, tilled their newly-acquired

In this way, a congenial, stable, and self-sustaining colony, founded
on considerations of common safety and economic expediency, was
established amongst these storied hills of frontier Virginia.

Almost simultaneously with these settlements came other emigrants from
Pennsylvania and the then neighboring colonies, among them many
members of the Society of Friends or Quakers.[21] Not a few of this
faith came direct from England and Ireland, attracted by the genial
climate, fertile soils and bountiful harvests, accounts of which had
early gained wide-spread circulation. They chose homes in the central
portion of the County, southwest of Waterford and west of Lessburg,
that section being generally known as the "Quaker Settlement."

Each summer brought them new accessions of prosperity and devout
brethren to swell their numbers; and soon they had caused the
wilderness to blossom as the rose. Here they found freedom of
religious and moral thought, a temperate climate, and the wholesome
society of earnest compatriots.

Then, as now, a plain, serious people, they have left the
impress of their character--thrifty, industrious, and conspicuously
honest--upon the whole of the surrounding district.

[Footnote 21: The term Quaker, originally given in reproach, has been
so often used, by friend as well as foe, that it is no longer a term
of derision, but is the generally accepted designation of a member of
the Society of Friends.--_Loudoun Rangers._]

No concerted violence, it is believed, was offered these settlers by
the Indians who seem to have accredited them with the same qualities
of honesty, virtue, and benevolence, by the exercise of which William
Penn, the founder of the faith in Pennsylvania, had won their lasting
confidence and esteem.

The Quaker is a type with which all the world is familiar and needs no
particular portrayal in this work. The Quakers of Loudoun have at all
times remained faithful adherents of the creed, their peculiar
character, manners, and tenets differing to no considerable extent
from those of other like colonies, wherever implanted.

It is doubtful if any race has done more to stimulate and direct real
progress, and to develop the vast resources of Loudoun, than that
portion of our earlier population known as the Scotch-Irish. Their
remarkable energy, thrift, staidness, and fixed religious views made
their settlements the centers of civilization and improvement in
Colonial times; that their descendants proved sturdy props of the
great cause that culminated in the independence of the United States
is a matter of history.



The earliest permanent settlements of Loudoun having been separately
noted in the foregoing paragraphs a generalized description of the
habits, customs, and dress of these settlers, as well as their
unorganized pioneer predecessors and the steady promiscuous stream of
home-seekers that poured into the County until long after the
Revolution, will now be attempted.

The early settlers, with but one class exception, had no costly tastes
to gratify, no expensive habits to indulge, and neither possessed nor
cared for luxuries. Their subsistence, such as they required, cost but
little of either time or labor. The corn from which they made their
bread came forth from the prolific soil almost at the touch of their
rude plows. Their cattle and hogs found abundant sustenance in the
broad pastures which, in the summer, yielded the richest grass, and in
the woods where, in the fall, the ground was strewn with acorns and
other like provender.

The pioneer lived roughly; the German from the Palatinate kept house
like the true peasant that he was; the planter lived somewhat more
sumptuously and luxuriously; but, in nearly every case, the table was
liberally supplied. Hominy, milk, corn-bread, and smoked or jerked
meats seem to have been most popular with the humbler classes.

Ice was not stored for summer use, fruits were few and not choice, and
the vegetables limited; our ancestors, at that time, having no
acquaintance with the tomato, cauliflower, egg-plant, red-pepper,
okra, and certain other staple vegetables of today. The Indians had
schooled them in the preparation of succotash with the beans grown
among the corn, and they raised melons, squashes, and pumpkins in

Corn for bread was broken in a mortar and ground in a grater or
hand-mill. Mills, in the early days, were few and far apart, some of
the back-settlers being compelled to travel many miles for their
grist. This condition gave origin to the adage "first come first
served," and frequently carried the late arrivals over night and, at
times, prolonged the trip to procure a few bushels of meal three or
four days. "Band-mills," run by horses, and small water mills, where
the situation permitted, came into use to supply the demand of larger
ones. The building of a good mill, it must be confessed, was hailed
with greater satisfaction than the erection of a church.

The more primitive of these peoples ate from wooden trenchers and
platters; sat upon three-legged stools or wooden blocks; used bear's
grease in lieu of lard and butter, and cut their foods with the same
sheath-knives used in disembowelling and skinning the deer killed by
their rifles. They had no money and their scant furniture was
essentially crude, sometimes including a few pewter dishes and plates
and spoons, but usually nothing beyond wooden bowls, trenchers, and
noggins, with gourds and squashes daintily cut. The horse trough
served as a wash-basin, and water buckets were seldom seen. The family
owning an iron pot and a kitchen table were esteemed rich and
extravagant, and china and crockery ware were at once practically
unknown and uncraved. Feather-beds and bedsteads were equally
eschewed, these hardy men who had conquered the wilderness not
disdaining, when night came, to sleep upon a dirt floor with a
bear-skin for covering.

With muscles of iron and hearts of oak, they united a tenderness for
the weak and a capability for self-sacrifice worthy of an ideal knight
of chivalry; and their indomitable will, which recognized no obstacle
as insuperable, was equalled only by their rugged integrity which
regarded dishonesty as an offense as contemptible as cowardice. For
many years they dwelt beyond the pale of governmental restraint, nor
did they need the presence of either courts or constables. Crimes
against person, property, or public order were of so infrequent
occurrence as to be practically unheard of. In moral endowments--even
if not in mental attainments--these sturdy pioneers of Loudoun were,
it must be admitted, vastly superior to many of those who followed
them when better facilities for transportation rendered the County
more accessible.

Society before and for many years after the Revolution was easy,
agreeable, and somewhat refined. Traveling was slow, difficult, and
expensive. For society, the inhabitants were mainly dependent upon
themselves; the ties of social life were closely drawn. Books,
newspapers, and magazines were rare; men and women read less, but
talked more, and wrote longer and more elaborate letters than now.
"Cheap postage has spoiled letter writing." Much time was spent in
social visits; tea parties, and supper parties were common. The
gentlemen had their clubs and exclusive social gatherings, sometimes
too convivial in their character, and occasionally a youth of promise
fell a victim to the temptations of a mistaken hospitality. "Gaming
was more common among respectable people than at the present day."


Of leisure, all classes at all times had a superabundance, and it was
cheerfully devoted to mutual assistance without thought of recompense,
except in kind. If anyone fell behind through sickness or other
misfortune, his neighbors would cheerfully proffer their services,
often making of the occasion a frolic and mingling labor with

On days set apart for the pulling of flax and wheat-cutting, the
neighbors and their children assembled in happy mood and as cheerfully
applied themselves to their gratuitous tasks. While the men were
pulling the flax or reaping and shocking the wheat, the women at the
house were preparing the harvest-noon feast. The rough table, for
which the side and bottom boards of a wagon were frequently used, was
placed when practicable under the shade of a spreading tree in the
yard. The visitors contributed from their meagre store such additional
dishes, knives, forks, and spoons as were needed. Around the table,
seated on benches, stools, or splint-bottom chairs, with such
appetites as could only be gained from honest toil in the open field,
the company partook of the bounties set before them. These consisted,
in addition to the never-failing corn-bread and bacon, of bear and
deer meat, turkey, or other game in season, and an abundance of
vegetables which they called "roughness." The bread, styled
"jonny-cake," was baked on journey or "jonny" boards, about two feet
long and eight inches wide. The dough was spread over the boards which
were then placed before the fire; after one side was browned, the cake
was reversed and the unbaked side turned toward the flames.

However strictly it might be abstained from at other times, a harvest
without whisky was like a dance without a fiddle. It was partaken of
by all--each one, male and female, drinking from the bottle and
passing it to his or her nearest neighbor. Drinking vessels were
dispensed with as mere idle superfluities.

Dinner over, the company scattered, the elders withdrawing in a body
and seating or stretching themselves upon the ground.

After the filling and lighting of the inevitable pipe, conversation
would become general. The news of the day--not always, as may be
imagined, very recent--was commented upon, and then, as now, political
questions were sagely and earnestly discussed. Stories, mainly of
adventure, were told; hairbreadth escapes from Indian massacre
recounted and the battles of late wars fought again beneath the
spreading branches of the trees. Meanwhile, the boys and girls
wandered off in separate and smaller groups, singing and playing and
making love much in the manner of today.

Another amusement of those days, and one that did not fall into
disfavor for many years thereafter, was what was known as "shucking
bees." To these gatherings were invited both old and young. Stacks of
corn in the husk were piled upon the ground near the crib where the
golden ears were finally to be stored. Upon the assemblage of the
guests, those with proud records as corn-huskers were appointed
leaders, they in turn filling the ranks of their respective parties by
selection from the company present, the choice going to each in
rotation. The corn was divided into approximately equal piles, one of
which was assigned to each party. The contest was then begun with much
gusto and the party first shucking its allotment declared the winner.
The lucky finder of a red ear was entitled to a kiss from the girls.

Supper always followed this exciting contest and after supper came the
dance. Stripped of dishes, the tables were quickly drawn aside and the
room swept by eager hands. Then came the struggle for partners and the
strife to be "first on the floor." Usually the violin furnished the
only music and the figures most in favor were the reel and the jig, in
which all participated with a zest and abandon unknown to the modern
ballroom. "They danced all night till broad daylight and went home
with the girls in the morning," some on foot and some on horseback,
practically the only means of getting there.

"Dreadful prodigality" does not too extravagantly describe the
drinking habits of the people of Virginia in the latter half of the
eighteenth century. They consumed an enormous quantity of liquors in
proportion to their numbers, and drank indiscriminately, at all hours
of the day and night. West India rum was the favorite drink of the
people, because the cheapest, and was bought by the puncheon. Most
every cellar, especially in the Cavalier settlements, had its barrel
of cider, Bordeaux and sherry and Madeira wines, French brandies,
delicate Holland gins, cordials, syrups, and every sort of ale and
beer. Drunkenness was so common as to excite no comment, and drinking
after dinner and at parties was always hard, prolonged, and desperate,
so that none but the most seasoned old topers--the judges, squires,
and parsons of six-bottle capacity--ever escaped with their sea-legs
in an insurable condition.

While a large proportion of the home-seekers that had settled in the
County immediately after the Revolution had received a rudimentary
education, and had lived among communities which may be said to have
been comparatively cultured, most of them were hardy, rough,
uncultivated back-woodsmen, accustomed only to the ways of the
frontier and camp. Many of them had served in the war of the
Revolution and all of them in the border wars with the Indians. Though
brave, hospitable and generous, they were more at ease beneath the
forest bivouac than in the "living-room" of the log-cabin, and to
swing a woodman's axe among the lofty trees of the primeval forest was
a pursuit far more congenial to their rough nature and active
temperament than to mingle with society in settled communities. Their
habits and manners were plain, simple, and unostentatious. Their
clothing was generally made of the dressed skins of the deer, wolf, or
fox, while those of the buffalo and elk supplied them with covering
for their feet and heads. Their log-cabins were destitute of glass,
nails, hinges, or locks.

Education during the early settlements received but little attention
in Loudoun, and school-houses, always of logs, were scarcely to be
seen. Schools were sometimes opened at private houses or at the
residence of the teacher; but "book larnin" was considered too
impracticable to be of much value.

While the standard of morality, commercial as well as social, was of a
high order, few of these settlers were members of any church. Many of
them, however, had been reared in religious communities by Christian
parents; had been taught to regard the Sabbath as a day of worship,
and had been early impressed with a sense of the necessity of
religious faith and practice. Some of the prominent citizens
encouraged these views by occasionally holding meetings in their
cabins, at which the scriptures and sometimes sermons were read and
hymns sung, but no prayers were offered. The restraining and molding
influence of these early Christian efforts upon the habits and morals
of the people was in every respect wholesome and beneficial. The
attention of the people was arrested and turned to the study and
investigation of moral and religious questions, and direction was
given to the contemplation of higher thoughts and the pursuit of a
better life.

In the meantime, other elements were introduced which effected a
radical change in the habits of the people for both good and evil. The
first settlers lived in the country, in the woods and wilds, whose
"clearings" were far apart. Not one in ten of them had dwelt in any
town, or even visited one having as many as a thousand inhabitants.
And now there came the merchant, the lawyer, the doctor, and the
mechanic, who resided in the towns which began to grow and to take on
new life. Most of these had enjoyed superior advantages, so far as
related to education and that worldly wisdom which comes from
experience in older communities. Some of them had come from across the
ocean and others from the large American cities, bringing with them
manners, customs, furniture, and wares, of which the like had never
been seen by the oldest inhabitant.

And thus were gradually introduced the methods and appliances of a
more advanced civilization. The pioneer and his wife, hearing of these
things, would occasionally "go to town" to "see the sights," and would
there discover that there were many useful and convenient articles for
the farm and kitchen which might be procured in exchange for their
corn, bacon, eggs, honey, and hides; and although the shrewd merchant
was careful to exact his cent per cent, the prices asked were little
heeded by the purchaser who was as ignorant of the value of the
commodities offered as he was delighted with their novelty and
apparent usefulness.


The subject of dress is approached with reluctance and its description
diffidently essayed. But the task has seemed mandatory as the manners
of a people can not otherwise be fully understood. The stately,
ceremonious intercourse of the sexes, the stiff and elaborate walk of
Loudoun men and women of Colonial and post-Revolutionary times is
traceable almost solely to the costuming of that period. How could
ladies dance anything but the stately minuet, when their heads were
veritable pyramids of pasted hair surmounted by turbans, when their
jeweled stomachers and tight-laced stays held their bodies as tightly
as would a vise, when their high-heeled shoes were as unyielding as if
made of wood, and their trails of taffeta, often as much as fifteen
yards long, and great feathered head-dresses compelled them to turn
round as slowly as strutting peacocks? How could the men, with their
buckram-stiffened coat-shirts, execute any other dance, when their
elaborate powdered wigs compelled them to carry their hats under their
arms, and their swords concurrently required dexterous management for
the avoidance of tripping and mortifying falls?

Children were laced in stays and made to wear chin supports, gaps, and
pads so as to give them the graceful carriage necessary to the wearing
of all this weight of stiff and elaborate costume, which was all of a
piece with the character of the assemblies and other evening
entertainments, the games of cards--basset, loo, piquet, and
whist--with the dancing, the ceremonious public life of nearly every
class of society, with even the elaborate funeral ceremonies, and the
sedulousness with which "persons of quality" thought it incumbent upon
themselves to maintain the distinctions of rank as symbolized in

The tie-wig, bob-wig, bag-wig, night-cap-wig, and riding-wig were
worn by the gentleman of quality as occasion required. At times he
wore, also, a small three-cornered cocked hat, felt or beaver,
elaborately laced with gold or silver galloon. If he walked, as to
church or court, he carried, in addition to his sword, a gold or
ivory-headed cane, at least five feet long, and wore square-toed,
"low-quartered" shoes with paste or silver buckles. His stockings, no
matter what the material, were tightly stretched over his calves and
carefully gartered at the knee. If he rode, he wore boots instead of
shoes and carried a stout riding whip. About his neck was a white
cravat of great amplitude, with abundant hanging ends of lace. His
waist-coat was made with great flaps extending nearly down to the knee
and bound with gold or silver lace. His coat, of cloth or velvet,
might be of any color, but was sure to be elaborately made, with
flap-pockets, and great hanging cuffs, from beneath which appeared the
gentleman's indispensable lace ruffles. His knee-breeches were of
black satin, red plush, or blue cloth, according to his fancy. They
were plainly made and fitted tightly, buckling at the knee. At home, a
black velvet skull-cap sometimes usurped the place of the wig and a
damask dressing-gown lined with silk supplanted the coat, the feet
being made easy in fancy morocco slippers. Judges on the bench often
wore robes of scarlet faced with black velvet in winter, and black
silk gowns in summer.

The substantial planter and burgher dressed well but were not so
particular about their wigs, of which they probably owned no more than
one, kept for visiting and for Sabbath use. They usually yielded to
the custom of shaving their heads, however, and wore white linen caps
under their hats. During the Revolutionary War wigs were scare and
costly, linen was almost unobtainable and the practice of shaving
heads accordingly fell rapidly into desuetude. Sometimes the burgher's
hat was of wool or felt, with a low crown and broad brim, turned up
and cocked. About his neck he wore a white linen stock, fastening with
a buckle at the back. His coat was of cloth, broad-backed, with
flap-pockets, and his waist-coat, of the same stuff, extended to his
knees. He wore short breeches with brass or silver knee-buckles, red
or blue garters, and rather stout, coarse leather shoes, strapped over
the quarter. He wore no sword, but often carried a staff, and knew how
to use it to advantage.

Mechanics, laborers and servants wore leather-breeches and aprons,
sagathy coats, osnaburg shirts and hair-shag jackets, coarse shoes,
and worsted or jean stockings, knit at home.

The dress of the women of these classes was shabbier still, their
costumes, for the most part, comprising stamped cotton and white
dimity gowns, coarse shift (osnaburg), country cloth, and black
quilted petticoats. In the backwoods and the primitive German
settlements the women all wore the short gowns and petticoats, also
tight-fitting calico caps. In summer, when employed in the fields,
they wore only a linen shift and a petticoat of home-made linsey. All
their clothing, in fact, was home-made.

The ladies of quality, however, as has been intimated, dressed
extravagantly, frizzed, rouged, wore trains, and acted as fashionable
women have done from the immemorial beginning of things.

The pioneers dressed universally in the hunting shirt or blouse,
sometimes fringed and decorated, and perhaps the most convenient frock
ever conceived. It fit loosely, was open in front, reached almost to
the knees, and had large sleeves, and a cape for the protection of the
shoulders in bad weather. In the ample bosom of this shirt the hunter
carried his bread and meat, the tow with which to wipe out the barrel
of his rifle, and other small requisites. To his belt, tied or buckled
behind, he suspended his mittens, bullet-pouch, tomahawk, and knife
and sheath. His hunting-shirt was made of dressed deer-skin--very
uncomfortable in wet weather--or of linsey, when it was to be had. The
pioneer dressed his lower body in drawers and leathern cloth leggins,
and his feet in moccasins; a coon-skin cap completing the attire.

His wife wore a linsey petticoat, home-spun and home-made, and a short
gown of linsey or "callimanco," when that material could be obtained.
She wore no covering for the feet in ordinary weather, and moccasins,
coarse, "country-made" shoes, or "shoe-packs" during more rigorous
seasons. To complete the picture Kercheval, the historian of the
Shenandoah Valley, is here quoted: "The coats and bed-gowns of the
women, as well as the hunting-shirts of the men, were hung in full
display on wooden pegs around the walls of their cabins, so that while
they answered in some degree the purpose of paper-hangings or
tapestry, they announced to the stranger as well as the neighbor the
wealth or poverty of the family in the articles of clothing."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is to be hoped that the desultory sketch furnished above will not
be found uninteresting despite its imperfections. Many details have
been omitted or neglected, but enough has been written to illustrate
in a general way the qualities for which our ancestors were most
distinguished, for which their characters have excited most comment
and perhaps deserved most praise.

As a whole, they were a generous, large-hearted, liberal-minded
people, and their faults were far fewer than their virtues. The
yeomanry, in their own rude, rough-and-ready manner, reflected the
same sort of personal independence of character and proud sense of
individuality as the social aristocracy.


Little can be learned of Loudoun's participation in the last great
French and Indian War (1754-1763). It had its beginning three years
prior to her admission into the sisterhood of Virginia counties, and
the services she must have rendered during that period are, of course,
accredited to Fairfax, of which county she was then a part. The few
existing or available records of the remaining six years of warfare,
as of the entire period, are imperfect and unlocalized and would
baffle the most experienced and persevering compiler.

The only deductions that have seemed at all noteworthy are here

The General Assembly of Virginia, on April 14, 1757, passed an act
providing for the appointment of a committee to direct the pay of the
officers and soldiers then in the pay of the Colony, of "the rangers
formerly employed, and for the expense of building a fort in the
Cherokee country," for the pay of the militia that had "been drawn out
into actual service, and also for provisions for the said soldiers,
rangers, and militia...."

In the following schedule are given the names of Loudoun payees and
the amount received by each:

                                                   £ s. d.
To Captain Nicholas Minor                          1 00 00
   Æneas Campbell, lieutenant                         7  6
   Francis Wilks                                   1 17
   James Willock                                   1 15
   John Owsley and William Stephens, 15s. each     1 10
   Robert Thomas                                     10
   John Moss, Jr.                                     4
   John Thomas, for provisions                        5
   John Moss, for provisions                          2  8
   William Ross, for provisions                       2
                                                  __ __ __
                                                   7 13  2

By a later act of the same body commissioners were empowered "to
examine, state, and settle the accounts of such pay, provisions, arms,
etc.," of the six counties from which they were appointed, "and all
arrears whatsoever relating to the militia."

The following list of Loudoun beneficiaries, with the amounts
opposite, is reproduced in the identical form in which it was then

                                                                £ s. d.
"1757. To Robert Adams, assignee of Stephen Thatcher, for
         his pay,                                               5 12 6
       Do. do of Thomas Bond, for do.,                          4 10
       Thomas Gore, for a rifle gun impressed,                  4 10
       Stephen Emorie, for dressing guns for militia,             13
       James Clemons, for a gun impressed,                      4 10
 1763. Captain Moss, for 60 days' pay at 6s.,                  18
       Lieutenant Gore, for do. at 3s., 6d.,                   10 10"


_Colonial Assemblies._--General Assembly of 1758-'61, Francis
Lightfoot Lee and James Hamilton; General Assembly of 1761-'65,
Francis Lightfoot Lee and James Hamilton; General Assembly of October,
1765, Francis Lightfoot Lee and James Hamilton; General Assembly of
1766-'68, Francis Lightfoot Lee and James Hamilton; General Assembly
of May, 1769, Francis Peyton and James Hamilton; General Assembly of
1769-'71, Francis Peyton and James Hamilton (the latter vacated his
seat during the session of May 21, 1770, to accept the office of
coroner. He was succeeded by Josiah Clapham); General Assembly of
1772-'74, Thomas Mason and Francis Peyton; General Assembly of
1775-'76, Josiah Clapham and Francis Peyton.

_State Conventions._

Below will be found a compendium of Virginia conventions, with the
names of the delegates returned by Loudoun County. Few, if any,
counties of Virginia have had an abler or more influential
representation in the various State conventions. From the meeting of
the first to the adjournment of the last Loudoun has been represented
by fifteen of her wisest and most prominent citizens.

_Convention of 1774._--Met August 1, 1774. Adjourned August 6, 1774.
Loudoun delegates: Francis Peyton and Thomas Mason.

_Convention of March 20, 1775._--Met at Richmond, Monday, March 20,
1775. Adjourned March 27, 1775. Loudoun delegates: Francis Peyton and
Josiah Clapham.

_Convention of July 17, 1775._--Met at Richmond, July 17, 1775.
Adjourned August 26, 1775. Loudoun delegates: Francis Peyton and
Josiah Clapham.

_Convention of December 1, 1775._--Met at Richmond, December 1, 1775.
Adjourned January 20, 1776. Loudoun delegates: Francis Peyton and
Josiah Clapham.

_Convention of 1776._--This convention met in the city of
Williamsburg, on Monday, May 6, 1776, and "framed the first written
constitution of a free State in the annals of the world." Adjourned
July 5, 1776. Loudoun delegates: Francis Peyton and Josiah Clapham.

Previous conventions did not frame constitutions, but they directed
the affairs of the colony, and, in a measure, controlled the destinies
of her people. Like the convention of 1776, they were instead
revolutionary bodies.

_Convention of 1788._--This convention met in the State House in the
city of Richmond, June 2, 1788, to ratify or reject the Constitution
which had been recommended to the States by the Federal Convention on
the 17th of September, 1787, at Philadelphia. Adjourned _sine die_
June 27, 1788. Loudoun delegates: Stephen T. Mason and Levin Powell.

_Convention of 1829-'30._--Assembled in Richmond on the 5th day of
October, 1829. Tenth District (Loudoun and Fairfax) delegates: James
Monroe, Charles Fenton Mercer, William H. Fitzhugh, and Richard H.

_Convention of 1850-51._--Met at the Capitol in the city of Richmond,
on Monday, October 14, 1850. Adjourned _sine die_, August 1, 1851.
District of Loudoun delegates: John Janney, John A. Carter, and Robert
J.T. White.

_Convention of 1861._--Met February 13, 1861. Adjourned _sine die_,
December 6, 1861. Loudoun delegates: John Janney and John A. Carter.
The former was elected President of the Convention. Both voted against
the ordinance of secession, April 17, 1861. Mr. Janney's resignation
as President of the Convention was tendered on November 14, 1861.

_Convention of 1864._--(Restored Government of Virginia.) Met February
13, 1864. Adjourned _sine die_, April 11, 1864. Loudoun delegates:
John J. Henshaw, James M. Downey, and E.R. Gover.

_Convention of 1867-'68._--Met at Richmond, Tuesday, December 3, 1867.
Adjourned April 17, 1868. Loudoun delegates: Norborne Berkeley and
George E. Plaster.

_Convention of 1901-'02._--Met June 12, 1901. Adjourned _sine die_,
June 26, 1902. Loudoun and Fauquier district delegates: Henry Fairfax
and Albert Fletcher.


_Loudoun's Loyalty._

The story of the Revolution and the causes which led to that great
event are properly treated in a more general history than this
purports to be. If, in the few succeeding pages, it can be shown that
Loudoun County was most forward in resisting the arbitrary aggressions
of the British government and that the valor and patriotism she
evinced during the Revolution was equal to that of her sister
counties, who had suffered with her under the yoke of British
oppression, then the primary object of this sketch will be
accomplished. Her blood and treasure were freely dedicated to the
cause of liberty, and, having once entered the Revolution, she
determined to persevere in the struggle until every resource was

Armed with flint-lock muskets of small bore and with long-barreled
rifles which they loaded from the muzzle by the use of the ramrod;
equipped with powder horn, charges made of cane for loading, bullet
molds and wadding, but bravely arrayed in home-spun of blue, and belted
with cutlass and broadsword by the side, cockade on the hat and
courage in the heart, her revolutionary soldiers marched to the music
of fife and drum into battle for freedom against the power and might
of the mother country.

_Resolutions of Loudoun County._

In 1877, the following article appeared in a Leesburg newspaper under
the caption "Loudoun County a Hundred Years Ago:"

     "Major B. P. Nolan, grandson of Burr Powell, has just put us
     in possession of a verified copy of the proceedings of a
     public meeting held at Leesburg, Loudoun County, on the
     14th of June, 1774, nearly one hundred and five years ago.
     It is interesting, not merely for its antiquity, but as
     showing the spirit of independence that animated the breasts
     of our liberty-loving countrymen two years before the
     Declaration of American Independence in 1776. The original
     document was found among the papers of Col. Leven Powell, at
     one time member of Congress from this district, who died in
     1810. His son, Burr Powell, forwarded a copy to R. H. Lee,
     Esq., who in 1826 was about to publish a second edition of
     his 'Memoirs of the Life of R. H. Lee,' of Revolutionary

       *       *       *       *       *

The proceedings or resolutions follow:


     "At a meeting of the Freeholders and other inhabitants of
     the County of Loudoun, in the Colony of Virginia, held at
     the Court-House in Leesburg the 14th of June, 1774, F.
     Peyton, Esq., in the Chair, to consider the most effectual
     method to preserve the rights and liberties of North
     America, and relieve our brethren of Boston, suffering under
     the most oppressive and tyrannical Act of the British
     Parliament, made in the 14th year of his present Majesty's
     reign, whereby their Harbor is blocked up, their commerce
     totally obstructed, their property rendered useless--

     "_Resolved_, That we will always cheerfully submit to such
     prerogatives as his Majesty has a right, by law, to
     exercise, as Sovereign of the British Dominions, and to no

     "_Resolved_, That it is beneath the dignity of freemen to
     submit to any tax not imposed on them in the usual manner,
     by representatives of their own choosing.

     "_Resolved_, That the Act of the British Parliament, above
     mentioned, is utterly repugnant to the fundamental laws of
     justice, in punishing persons without even the form of a
     trial; but a despotic exertion of unconstitutional power
     designedly calculated to enslave a free and loyal people.

     "_Resolved_, That the enforcing the execution of the said
     Act of Parliament by a military power, must have a necessary
     tendency to raise a civil war, and that we will, with our
     lives and fortunes, assist and support our suffering
     brethren, of Boston, and every part of North America that
     may fall under the immediate hand of oppression, until a
     redress of all our grievances shall be procured, and our
     common liberties established on a permanent foundation.

     "_Resolved_, That the East India Company, by exporting their
     tea from England to America, whilst subject to a tax imposed
     thereon by the British Parliament, have evidently designed
     to fix on the Americans those chains forged for them by a
     venal ministry, and have thereby rendered themselves odious
     and detestable throughout all America. It is, therefore, the
     unanimous opinion of this meeting not to purchase any tea or
     other East India commodity whatever, imported after the
     first of this Month.

     "_Resolved_, That we will have no commercial intercourse
     with Great Britain until the above mentioned act of
     Parliament shall be totally repealed, and the right of
     regulating the internal policy of North America by a British
     Parliament shall be absolutely and positively given up.

     "Resolved, That Thompson Mason and Francis Peyton, Esqs.,
     be appointed to represent the County at a general meeting to
     be held at Williamsburg on the 1st day of August next, to
     take the sense of this Colony at large on the subject of the
     preceding resolves, and that they, together with Leven
     Powell, William Ellzey, John Thornton, George Johnston, and
     Samuel Levi, or any three of them, be a committee to
     correspond with the several committees appointed for this

     "Signed by--

     "John Morton,
     Thomas Ray,
     Thomas Drake,
     William Booram,
     Benj. Isaac Humphrey,
     Samuel Mills,
     Joshua Singleton,
     Jonathan Drake,
     Matthew Rust,
     Barney Sims,
     John Sims,
     Samuel Butler,
     Thomas Chinn,
     Appollos Cooper,
     Lina Hanconk,
     John McVicker,
     Simon Triplett,
     John Wildey,
     Joseph Bayley,
     Isaac Sanders,
     Thos. Williams,
     John Williams,
     William Finnekin,
     Richard Hanson,
     John Dunker,
     Thomas Williams,
     James Nolan,
     Samuel Peugh,
     William Nornail,
     Thomas Luttrell,
     James Brair,
     Poins Awsley,
     John Kendrick,
     Edward O'Neal,
     Francis Triplett,
     Joseph Combs,
     John Peyton Harrison,
     Robert Combs,
     Stephen Combs,
     Samuel Henderson,
     Benjamin Overfield,
     Adam Sangster,
     Bazzell Roads,
     James Graydey,
     Thomas Awsley,
     John Reardon,
     Henry Awsley,
     Edward Miller,
     Richard Hirst,
     James Davis,
     Jasper Grant."

_Revolutionary Committees._

The County Committee of Loudoun for 1774-'75 was composed of the
following members:

Francis Peyton,
Josias Clapham,
Thomas Lewis,
Anthony Russell,
John Thomas,
George Johnston,
Thomas Shore,
Jacob Reed,
Leven Powell,
William Smith,
Robert Jamison,
Hardage Lane,
John Lewis,
James Lane,
George Johnston,

The appended findings of this as well as a later committee exemplify
the work of these Revolutionary bodies.

     "At a meeting of the Committee of Loudoun County, held at
     Leesburg on Friday, May 26, 1775....

     "The Committee, taking into consideration the conduct of the
     Governour relative to the powder which was, by his express
     orders, taken secretly out of the publick Magazine belonging
     to this Colony, in the night of the twentieth ult., and
     carried on board the Magdaline schooner.

     "_Resolved, nemine contra dicente_, That his Lordship, by
     this and other parts of his conduct which have lately
     transpired, has not only forfeited the confidence of the
     good people of this Colony, but that he may be justly
     esteemed an enemy to America; and that as well his excuse
     published in his Proclamation of the fourth instant, as his
     verbal answer to the address presented him on that occasion
     by the city of Williamsburgh, are unsatisfactory and
     evasive, and reflect, in our opinion, great dishonour on the
     General Assembly and inhabitants of this Colony, as from the
     latter a suspicion may be easily deduced, that the
     Representatives of the people are not competent judges of
     the place wherein arms and ammunition, intended for the
     defense of the Colony, may be safely lodged, and that the
     inhabitants (unlike other subjects) can not, in prudence, be
     trusted with the means necessary for their protection from
     insurrection, or even evasion; so in the former a very heavy
     charge is exhibited against the best men among us, of
     seducing their fellow-subjects from their duty and
     allegiance; a charge, we are confident, not founded in
     reality, and which, we believe, is construed out of the
     discharge of that duty which every good man is under, to
     point out to his weaker countrymen, in the day of publick
     trial, the part they should act, and explain, on
     constitutional principles, the nature of their allegiance,
     the ground of which we fervently pray may never be removed,
     whose force we desire may never with reason be relaxed, but
     yet may be subservient to considerations of superior regard.

     "The Committee being informed by some of the officers who
     commanded the Troops of this County that marched on the
     above occasion, that the reason of their marching no farther
     than Fredericksburgh was, their having received repeated
     requests from the Honourable Peyton Randolph, Esq., to
     return home, assuring them that the peaceable citizens of
     Williamsburgh were under no apprehensions of danger, either
     in their persons or properties; that the publick treasury
     and records were perfectly safe, and that there was no
     necessity for their proceeding any further; three of the
     other Delegates appointed to the Continental Congress, the
     only civil power we know of in this great struggle for
     liberty, being of the same opinion.

     "_Resolved, nemine contra dicente_, That under such
     circumstances we approve the conduct of the said Officers
     and Troops.

     "_Resolved, nemine contra dicente_, That we cordially
     approve the conduct of our countrymen, Captain Patrick
     Henry, and the other volunteers of Hanover County, who
     marched under him, in making reprisals on the King's
     property for the trespass committed as aforesaid, and that
     we are determined to hazard all the blessings of this life
     rather than suffer the smallest injury offered to their
     persons or estates, on this account, to pass unrewarded with
     its equal punishment.

     "_Resolved, nemine contra dicente_, That it be recommended
     to the Representatives of this County, as the opinion of
     this Committee, that they by no means agree to the
     reprisals, taken as aforesaid, being returned.

     "_Ordered_, That the clerk transmit immediately a copy of
     the preceding resolves to the Printers of the Virginia and
     Pennsylvania gazettes, to be published.

"By order of the Committee.


In session in Loudoun, May 14, 1776:

     "Richard Morlan being summoned to appear before this
     Committee, for speaking words inimical to the liberties of
     America, and tending to discourage a Minute-man from
     returning to his duty; and also publickly declaring he would
     not muster, and if fined would oppose the collection of the
     fine with his gun: The charge being proved against him, and
     he heard in his defense, the Committee think proper to hold
     the said Morlan up to the publick as an enemy to their
     rights and liberties; and have ordered that this resolution
     be published in the Virginia _Gazette_.



Loudoun, at the time of the Revolution, was one of the most densely
populated counties in the State. Her militia, according to the returns
of 1780 and 1781, numbered 1,746, which number was far in excess of
that reported by any other Virginia county.

It is probable that a few Loudoun patriots served in Captain Daniel
Morgan's celebrated "Company of Virgina Riflemen," thus described by a
line officer of the Continental Army: "They are remarkably stout and
hardy men; many of them exceeding six feet in height. They are dressed
in white frocks, or rifle shirts, and round hats. These men are
remarkable for the accuracy of their aim; striking a mark with great
certainty at two hundred yards distance. At a review, a company of
them, while on a quick advance, fired their balls into objects of
seven inches diameter at the distance of two hundred and fifty yards.
They are now stationed on our lines, and their shot have frequently
proved fatal to British officers and soldiers, who expose themselves
to view even at more than double the distance of common musket shot."

The Germans of Loudoun were intensely loyal to the cause of freedom,
many serving in Armand's Legion, recruited by authority of Congress
during the summer of 1777, and composed of men who could not speak

_Quaker Non-Participation._

During the period preceding the Revolution, important offices had been
bestowed on the Friends or Quakers of Loudoun and they exercised a
decided influence in the government of the County. They, however,
withdrew participation in public affairs on the approach of war; and,
to the determination of the American patriots to throw off the yoke of
British tyranny, they opposed their principles of non-resistance, not
only refusing to perform military duty, but also to pay the taxes
levied on them, as on all other citizens, for the prosecution of the
War of Independence.

This non-conformity to the military laws of the State from
conscientious motives, brought them into difficulty, as will be seen
in the annexed extract from Kercheval's _History of the Shenandoah

     "At the beginning of the war, attempts were made to compel
     them to bear arms and serve in the militia; but it was soon
     found unavailing. They would not perform any military duty
     required of them, not even the scourge would compel them to
     submit to discipline. The practice of coercion was therefore
     abandoned, and the legislature enacted a law to levy a tax
     upon their property, to hire substitutes to perform militia
     duty in their stead. This, with other taxes, bore peculiarly
     heavy upon them. Their personal property was sold under the
     hammer to raise the public demands; and before the war was
     over, many of them were reduced to great distress in their
     pecuniary circumstances.

     "This selling of Quakers' property afforded great
     opportunity for designing individuals to make profitable
     speculations. They continued to refuse to pay taxes for
     several years after the war, holding it unlawful to
     contribute their money towards discharging the war debt.
     This being at length adjusted, no part of our citizens pay
     their public demands with more punctuality (except their
     muster fines, which they still refuse to pay)."

_Loudoun's Revolutionary Hero._

John Champe, the tall and saturnine sergeant-major of Lee's celebrated
partisan legion, was a resident of Loudoun County. Readers of Lee's
"Memoirs of the War" will recall the account of Champe's pretended
desertion from the Continental armies. This perilous adventure was
undertaken for the threefold purpose of capturing the traitor Arnold,
saving the life of the unfortunate André, and establishing the
innocence of General Gates, who had been charged with complicity in
Arnold's nefarious intrigue. His investigations secured the complete
vindication of Gates; but, failing in his other attempts, he drifted
with the Red Coats to North Carolina, where he deserted their ranks
and rejoined the American forces under General Greene.

That officer provided him with a good horse and money for his journey,
and sent him to General Washington. The commander-in-chief
"munificently anticipated every desire of the sergeant, and presented
him with a discharge from further service, lest he might, in the
vicissitudes of war, fall into the enemy's hands; when, if recognized,
he was sure to die on a gibbet." His connection with the army thus
abruptly, though honorably, severed, with no little regret we are to
suppose, he straightway repaired to his home near Leesburg.

In after years, when General Washington was called by President Adams
to the command of the army organized to defend the country from French
hostility, he inquired for Champe, with the avowed purpose of placing
him at the head of a company of infantry. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee,
through whom the inquiry had been made, dispatched a courier to
Loudoun County in search of Champe. There he learned that the intrepid
soldier and daring adventurer had removed to Kentucky, where he soon
afterward died.

Some interesting anecdotes concerning Champe are related in a portion
of Captain Cameron's private journal, published in the British United
Service Journal. Champe was assigned to his company, a part of
Arnold's British legion, upon his arrival in New York.

_Army Recommendations._

The following list of militia officers were "recommended by the
gentlemen justices of the county Court for Loudoun County, Virginia,
to the Governor for appointments from March, 1778, to December, 1782:"

     [22]"March, 1778: James Whaley, Jr., second lieutenant;
     William Carnan, ensign; Daniel Lewis, second lieutenant;
     Josias Miles and Thomas King, lieutenants; Hugh Douglass,
     ensign; Isaac Vandevanter, lieutenant; John Dodd, ensign.
     May, 1778: George Summers and Charles G. Eskridge, colonels;
     William McClellan, Robert McClain and John Henry, captains;
     Samuel Cox, major; Frans Russell, James Beavers, Scarlet
     Burkley, Moses Thomas, Henry Farnsworth, John Russell,
     Gustavus Elgin, John Miller, Samuel Butcher, Joshua Botts,
     John Williams, George Tyler, Nathaniel Adams and George
     Mason, lieutenants; Isaac Grant, John Thatcher, William
     Elliott, Richard Shore and Peter Benham, ensigns. 1778,
     August: Thomas Marks, William Robison, Joseph Butler and
     John Linton, lieutenants; Joseph Wildman and George Asbury,
     ensigns. 1778, September: Francis Russell, lieutenant, and
     George Shrieve, ensign. 1779, May: Joseph Wildman,
     lieutenant, and Francis Elgin, Jr., ensign. 1779, June 14:
     George Kilgour, lieutenant, and Jacob Caton, ensign. 1779,
     July 12: John Debell, lieutenant, and William Hutchison,
     ensign. 1779, October 11: Francis Russell, captain. 1779,
     November 8: James Cleveland, captain; Thomas Millan, ensign.
     1780, February 14: Thomas Williams, ensign. 1780, March:
     John Benham, ensign. 1780, June: Wethers Smith and William
     Debell, second lieutenants; Francis Adams and Joel White,
     ensigns. 1780, August: Robert Russell, ensign. 1780,
     October: John Spitzfathem, first lieutenant; Thomas Thomas
     and Matthew Rust, second lieutenants; Nicholas Minor, Jr.,
     David Hopkins, William McGeath and Samuel Oliphant, ensigns;
     Charles Bennett, captain. 1780, November: James Coleman,
     Esq., colonel; George West, lieutenant-colonel; James
     McLlhaney, major. 1781, February: Simon Triplett, colonel;
     John Alexander, lieutenant-colonel; Jacob Reed, major; John
     Linton, captain; William Debell and Joel White, lieutenants;
     Thomas Minor, ensign; Thomas Shores, captain; John Tayler
     and Thomas Beaty, lieutenants; John McClain, ensign. 1781,
     March: John McGeath, captain; Ignatius Burnes, captain; Hugh
     Douglass, first lieutenant; John Cornelison, second
     lieutenant; Joseph Butler and Conn Oneale, lieutenants; John
     Jones, Jr., ensign; William Taylor, major first battalion;
     James Coleman, colonel; George West, lieutenant-colonel;
     Josiah Maffett, captain; John Binns, first lieutenant;
     Charles Binns, Jr., second lieutenant, and Joseph Hough,
     ensign. 1781, April: Samson Trammell, captain; Spence
     Wiggington and Smith King, lieutenants. 1781, May: Thomas
     Respass, Esq., major; Hugh Douglass, Gent, captain; Thomas
     King, lieutenant; William T. Mason, ensign; Samuel Noland,
     captain; Abraham Dehaven and Enoch Thomas, lieutenants;
     Isaac Dehaven and Thomas Vince, ensigns; James McLlhaney,
     captain; Thomas Kennan, captain; John Bagley, first
     lieutenant. 1781, June: Enoch Furr and George Rust,
     lieutenants; Withers Berry and William Hutchison (son of
     Benjamin), ensign. 1781, September: Gustavus Elgin, captain;
     John Littleton, ensign. 1782, January: William McClellan,
     captain. February, 1782: William George, Timothy Hixon, and
     Joseph Butler, captains. 1782, March: James McLlhaney,
     captain; George West, colonel; Thomas Respass,
     lieutenant-colonel. 1782, July: Samuel Noland, major; James
     Lewin Gibbs, second lieutenant, and Giles Turley, ensign.
     1782, August: Enoch Thomas, captain; Samuel Smith,
     lieutenant; Matthias Smitley, first lieutenant; Charles
     Tyler and David Beaty, ensigns. 1782, December: Thomas King,
     captain; William Mason, first lieutenant, and Silas Gilbert,

[Footnote 22: Abstract from Court Order Book G., pages 517-522.]

_Court Orders and Reimbursements._

Needy families of the Revolutionary soldiers of Loudoun were supplied
with the necessaries of life as per the following orders:

     "1778, November 9th: John Alexander to furnish Elizabeth
     Welch, her husband being in the army.

     "1778, Nov. 15th: George Emrey to furnish the child of Jacob
     Rhodes, said Jacob being in the Continental army. William
     Douglass to furnish Mary Rhodes, her husband being in the
     army. George Summers to furnish William Gilmore, his son
     being in the army.

     "1778, Dec. 14: Leven Powell to furnish Andrew Laswell.

     "1779, Feb. 8th: Samuel Triplett to furnish the wife of Hugh
     Henderson. Josias Clapham to furnish Ann Philips.

     "1779, March 8th: Farling Ball to furnish the widow of
     Joseph Collens and the wife of William Eaton. William
     Stanhope to furnish Ann Barton.

     "1779, April: John Lewis, Gent, to furnish the wife of
     Shadrack Reeder. Hardage Lane to furnish Sarah Gilmore, wife
     of William, whose son is in the army. William Ellzey to
     furnish wife of Shadrack Reeder. Josias Clapham appointed to
     apply to the Treasurer for 500 pounds to be placed in the
     hands of John Lewis, Gent, to supply the necessaries of life
     for those who have husbands or children in the Continental

     "1779, May: Farling Ball to furnish Edward McGinnis and
     William Means. John Alexander to furnish Ann Bartan.
     (William Stanhope to furnish Ann Barton, July 1779.)

     "1779, August: Robert Jamison to furnish Conard Shanks,
     whose son is in the army. Jonathan Davis to furnish Mary
     Stoker. Pierce Bayly do. wife of Joel Coleman.

     "1780, March: John Tyler do. Jemima Coleman.

     "1780, July: Simon Triplett to furnish Jemima Coleman, wife
     of Joel, not exceeding two barrels of flour and 200 pounds
     of Pork.

     "1780, September: John Alexander to furnish Ann Barton one
     barrel of corn and fifty pounds of Pork. Josias Clapham do.
     Catherine Henderson, widow of Adam Henderson. William Cavans
     to furnish Ann Richards, her husband being in the army, and
     Isabella Collens, widow of Joseph.

     "1780, November: Wm. Bronough do. Sarah Russell, wife of

     "1781, April: William Owsley to supply Hannah Rice & two
     children, the family of James Rice, who died in the
     Continental army.

     "1781, May: Adam Vincel to supply Mary Tritipoe, wife of
     Conrad, her husband being in the army.

     "1781, Sept.: Joseph Thomas to supply the widow of David
     Hamilton (a soldier who was killed in the Continental army).

     "1782, Jan.: John Tyler, Gent, to furnish the family of
     Cornelius Slacht (he being an 18 months' draft).

     "1782, Feb.: John Lewis, Gent, to furnish Eleanor Wilcox (a
     soldier's wife).

     "1782, March: William Douglass to furnish Eleanor Wilcox,
     agreeable to an order of the last Court directed to John
     Lewis, Gent, the said Lewis declining."

     "Treasurer to pay sundry persons for furnishing supplies as
     per their several accounts:

     "1778, May 12: William Ellzey, Esq., £3 8s. 9d., on account
     of wife of John Stoker and £2 10s. ditto for wife of
     Shadrack Reeder. Wm. Douglass, £50 14s. 6d. as per acct.

     "1778, June 9: Andrew Adam, £13 5d., for Margaret Hill

     "1778, Aug. 10: Farling Ball. £4 16s. 9d. John Alexander,

     "1778, Sept. 14: Leven Powell, Gent, £6 1s. William Douglass,
     Gent, £47 7s. John Tyler, £3 19s. 6d.

     "1778, Sept. 15: Farling Ball, Gent, £1 17s. 6d.

     "1778, Nov. 9: Andrew Adam, £16 15s.

     "1778, Nov. 15: Daniel Losh, £24 6s. 9d. Geo. West, Gent, £3
     10s. Farling Ball, ditto, £2.

     "1778, Dec. 14: Joshua Daniel, Gent, £9 15s. John Orr, £7,

     "1779, Feb. 9, Farling Ball, £18 13s. 9d. Wm. Douglass, £53
     9s. 1d. Chas. Binns, £3 on acct. of widow of Hamilton.

     "1779, April: John Alexander, £68 15s. Daniel Losh, £10 37s.
     William Douglass, Gent, £28 16s. Andrew Adam, £17 13s. Wm.
     Ellzey, £24 2s.

     "1779, May: Geo. West, Gent, £42 14s.

     "1779, June: Andrew Adam, £12 3s. 6d. John Orr, £43 16s. Wm.
     Douglass, £18 16s. Farling Ball, Gent, £175 5s.

     "1779, July: John Alexander, £18.

     "1779, August: Jacob Tracey, £20 for nursing and burying
     Sophia Harris, the wife of a continental soldier.

     "1779, Oct: Pierce Bayly, Gent, £10. Simon Triplett, £43,
     9s. 10d. Robert Jamison, £30. Jonathan Davis, £32 10s.
     Farling Ball, £61 10s. 6d. Wm. Douglass, Gent, £51 15s.

     "1779, John Orr, Gent, £93 8s. 3d. Leven Powell, Gent, £69
     10s. Wm. Stanhope, Gent, £4 4s.

     "1780, Jan.: Jonathan Davis, Gent, £50. Wm. Stanhope, Gent,
     £4 4s.

     "1780, February: Thomas George, £206. Israel Thompson, £119
     2s. George Emrey, £46 19s.

     "1780, March: Hardage Lane, Gent, £83 8s.

     "1780, April: Thomas George, £15. Farling Ball, Gent, £99
     6s. Wm. Douglass, Gent, £69 10s.

     "1780, June: John Tyler, Gent, £40. Pierce Bayly, Gent, £20.

     "1780, August: John Orr, Gent, £500. Wm. Douglass, Gent,

     "1780, November: Thomas George, £221. Farling Ball, £50.
     George Tyler, Gent, £8. George Emrey, Gent, £163 12s.

     "1781, March: John Orr, Gent, £431 16s. Wm. Cavans, £120.

     "1782, Feb.: John Orr, as per acct., for furnishing Mary
     Butler, a soldier's wife, with necessaries."

_Close of the Struggle_.

On the 25th of November, 1783, the British army evacuated New York.
The independence of the United States had been acknowledged by the
British Government and the war was ended. During the following month
most of the Continental troops from Loudoun returned to their homes,
many of them to spend the remainder of their days in hard-earned

WAR OF 1812.

_The Compelling Cause._

Following the Revolution, a number of new towns sprang into being,
educational institutions multiplied, the population of the County
steadily increased, and the people were industrious, enterprising, and

A second difficulty, however, soon interrupted this tranquillity, and
the quarrel between the two governments was referred to the
arbitrament of the War of 1812, fought by the United States against
England for maritime independence.

The honor of the new republic was assailed on the high seas by the
insistence of Great Britain of a right to search American vessels for
fugitive British subjects. A doctrine which America regarded as
established by the Revolution, to wit, that a citizen of a foreign
country could voluntarily surrender his native citizenship and swear
allegiance to another government, was disputed by Great Britain, who
held that "once an Englishman was to be an Englishman always." Upon
this ground American vessels were held up on the ocean by English
men-of-war and searched to such an extent that within the eight years
of forbearance over 6,000 men were taken from the ships of the United
States and forced into the British navy.

This audacious conduct thoroughly aroused the indignation of the
American people, in which resentment it is supposed the people of
Loudoun warmly concurred. Seeing that bloodshed was necessary in
order to maintain the national honor, and spurred by urgent
petitions, President Madison recommended to Congress a declaration of
war, which was accordingly promulgated June 18, 1812.

_State Archives at Leesburg._[23]

When the British were on their way from Bladensburg to Washington, in
August, 1814, James Monroe, then Secretary of State, had been for
several days with General Winder, reconnoitering the enemy, and
watching the movements of both armies. Knowing the weakness of the
American forces, he believed Washington to be in great peril. He
dispatched a letter to President Madison, advising the removal of the
official records. Stephen Pleasanton, then a clerk in the State
Department, made immediate preparation for the removal of the books
and papers in that department. He had linen bags hastily made and
placed in them the State archives, which were then loaded in wagons
and hauled across the chain bridge, over the Potomac, to the grist
mill of Edgar Patterson, two miles above Georgetown. Not feeling sure
of their safety there, he had them reloaded on wagons and conveyed to
Leesburg, where they were placed in an unoccupied building,[24] the key
of which was given to a recently ordained clergyman, named Littlejohn.
There they remained until the last hostile Briton had reached
Baltimore, when they were carefully hauled back to Washington.[25] Thus
we saved the precious documents of the revolutionary war, as well as
our state archives, and thus does Leesburg boast, with abstract
truthfulness, that for a little more than two weeks it was the Capital
of the United States.

[Footnote 23: Anonymous.]

[Footnote 24: Perhaps the most precious of these documents was the
Declaration of Independence, which it has been asserted, was deposited

[Footnote 25: Mrs. A.H. Throckmorton, in an interesting narrative to
which allusion is made elsewhere in this volume, differs with the
authority here quoted as to the disposition of these important papers.
She says: "For one night they remained in the court-house here
(Leesburg) and were then carried several miles out in the country to
the estate of "Rockeby," now owned by Mr. H.B. Nalle,... and securely
locked within the old vault and remained out of reach of the enemy for
two weeks."]


The duel, February 6, 1819, between Armistead T. Mason and John M.
McCarty, both residents of Loudoun County, was the second "affair of
honor" to be settled on the now famous field of Bladensburg. They were
cousins, who became enemies during Mason's brief term in the United
States Senate. Mason, known as "The Chief of Selma," was a graduate of
William and Mary College and the commander of a cavalry regiment[26] in
the war of 1812. He later became brigadier general of the Virginia
militia. He married and took up his residence at Selma plantation,
four miles north of Leesburg. Wishing to make it possible for the
Quakers of Loudoun to contribute their share toward the support of the
army, Mason introduced in the Senate a bill to permit, in case of
draft, the furnishing of substitutes on payment of $500 each. For this
McCarty branded him a coward, and thence sprung a succession of bitter
quarrels, the real basis of which was a difference of political
opinions. The details of both sides of the feud were published weekly
in the Leesburg "Genius of Liberty," and later were issued in pamphlet
form as campaign material.

[Footnote 26: Many of the Germans of Loudoun served in this regiment
which participated in the Battle of Baltimore.]

Mason's side was defeated. He earnestly wished to avoid a duel, but
McCarty continued to provoke him, with the hope of compelling him to
fight. This he finally decided to do. He left his home without
revealing his intentions and on reaching Washington made his final
preparations with great deliberation. "The Chief of Selma" fell
February 6, 1819, his heart pierced by the ball of his antagonist. He
was but 32 years of age. His body was borne to Leesburg, where it was
buried in the Episcopal churchyard, with an imposing Masonic ritual.
The grief of his slaves was painful to witness. His only child became
an officer in the United States army, and was mortally wounded in the
battle of Cerro Gordo.


"Oak Hill," the country seat of James Monroe, ex-President of the
United States and author of the world-famed Monroe Doctrine, is
situated near Aldie, in Loudoun County, on the turnpike running south
from Leesburg to Aldie, about nine miles from the former and three
from the latter place.

The main building, with an imposing Grecian façade, was planned by
Monroe while in the presidential chair, and its construction
superintended by William Benton, an Englishman, who served him in the
triple capacity of steward, counselor, and friend. The dimensions are
about 50 by 90 feet; it is built of brick in a most substantial
manner, and handsomely finished; has three stories (including
basement), a wide portico fronting south, with massive Doric columns
thirty feet in height, and is surrounded by a grove of magnificent
oaks, locusts, and poplars, covering several acres. It has been said
that prior to his inauguration he occupied a wooden dwelling of humble
pretensions standing within a stone's throw of its palatial progeny.
Monroe's term of office expired March 4, 1825, and soon after the
inauguration of his successor he retired to "Oak Hill," which
immediately became, like Monticello and Montpelier, although to a
lesser degree, a center of social and political pilgrimages.

The financial affairs of its owner were seriously embarrassed from the
first, and he labored in vain to obtain justice from the country he
had served so long and so well, at heavy pecuniary cost and loss. His
old friend, Lafayette, now once more prosperous, sent an offer of
assistance with a delicacy and generosity which did him honor. A
little was done at last by Congress, but not enough, and the day came
when "Oak Hill" was offered for sale.

While residing here, the post of regent of the University of Virginia,
which was instituted in 1826, was accepted by Mr. Monroe as not
inconsistent with his view of the entire retirement from public life
becoming an ex-President. Associated with him in the discharge of his
duties as regent, as in so many long years of patriotic toil, were
Jefferson and Madison.

When the State of Virginia called a convention for the revision of her
constitution, Mr. Monroe consented to become a member. He took an
active interest in the affairs of his own neighborhood, discharging
the duties of a local magistrate.

Mrs. Monroe died at "Oak Hill" on September 23d, 1830, and after her
departure the old man found his lonely farm life insupportable. He had
previously visited much with his daughters, and he now went to live
with Mrs. Gouverneur, in New York. He wrote to Mr. Madison, April 11,

       *       *       *       *       *

"It is very distressing to me to sell my property in Loudoun, for
besides parting with all I have in the State, I indulged a hope, if I
could retain it, that I might be able occasionally to visit it, and
meet my friends, or many of them, there. But ill health and advanced
years prescribe a course which we must pursue...."


The greatest social event in the history of Leesburg was the visit of
General Lafayette, August 9, 1825. The great Frenchman, accompanied by
President John Quincy Adams, had visited ex-President Monroe at "Oak
Hill," from which place the august procession, headed by two troops of
cavalry, made the eleven mile journey to Leesburg. Lafayette, the
President, the ex-President and the chairman of the Town Council, rode
in the first carriage, drawn by four white horses. On reaching
Leesburg, they were greeted by six companies of militia, among them a
few old soldiers of the Revolution. At the firing of the national
salute, Lafayette descended from his carriage and shook hands with
those veterans and heroes.

[Footnote 27: This account of General Lafayette's visit, save for a few
minor alterations and one or two supplementary facts, is from the pen
of Mrs. A. H. Throckmorton, of this County, having formed part of an
historical sketch of Leesburg contributed by her to the old Richmond
_Times_, July 19, 1902.]

Standing on his front porch, Dr. McCabe, the town's Mayor, delivered
an address of welcome to which Lafayette responded. Across the street
at Osborne's Hotel[28] a reception was tendered him, after which the
distinguished visitor was driven through the principal streets of the
town. On reaching the court-house square, then, as now, a large
inclosure shaded by giant trees, Lafayette, on alighting from the
coach, kissed a tiny maiden upheld in the arms of her negro nurse. The
little girl was Mrs. Wildman, who after reaching a venerable age
departed this life in the summer of 1901.

[Footnote 28: A fine stone mansion, still standing, and the residence
of the late Colonel John H. Alexander, during his lifetime one of the
foremost lawyers of the State.]

Lafayette passed up an avenue formed on the right by boys and girls
and the young ladies of Leesburg Female Academy, and on the left by
the youths of the Leesburg Institute. The former wore white, with blue
sashes, and their heads were tastefully adorned with evergreens. They
held sprigs of laurel with which they strewed the great guest's
pathway. The lads wore red sashes and white and black cockades.

One of them pronounced an address of welcome, and was amply rewarded
by a grasp of the hero's hand. As Lafayette ascended the portico of
the court-house a little girl stepped forward, holding a wreath of
laurel, and said:

    Hail Patriot, Statesman, Hero, Sage!
      Hail Freedom's friend, hail Gallia's son,
    Whose laurels greener grow in age,
      Plucked by the side of Washington.

    Hail, champion in a holy cause,
      When hostile bands our shores beset;
    Whose valor made the oppressor pause,
      Hail, holy warrior, Lafayette?

She, too, was honored by a grasp of Lafayette's hand as well as a
kiss. After an oration by Ludwell Lee, the distinguished party
returned to the hotel where they were entertained by a delegation of
the ladies of the village, while another delegation superintended the
spreading of a banquet on court-house square. Two hundred persons
participated in this banquet. The numerous toasts were remarkable for
loftiness of thought and elegance of diction. President Adams launched
the following sentiment:

"The living records of the war of Independence like the prophetic
books of the Sibyl, increasing in value as they diminish in numbers."

Lafayette toasted General Bolivar, "who has felt true patriotism, and
understood true glory." Another toast was "To the memory of
Washington, fresh as the passing moment, lasting as eternity."

It is estimated that 10,000 persons witnessed the festivities.
Lafayette, after a brief sojourn at the plantation of Ludwell Lee,
departed for a visit to Madison at "Montpelier," and Jefferson, at


Scarcely a generation had passed, during which the whole country
passed through several years of financial distress, when the United
States became involved in a brief successful war with Mexico, caused
chiefly by the resistance of that country to the "annexation of
Texas." But it is not within the scope of this sketch to follow the
history of that foreign struggle. It is sufficient to say that the
people of Loudoun favored most heartily the annexation of Texas, and
responded, indirectly of course, to the small quota of men and money
required by the Government.

The entire United States force employed in the invasion of Mexico was
composed of 26,690 regulars and 56,926 volunteers, not including those
serving in the navy. The losses of men by death from disease and
wounds were about 11,000, and the number killed in battle, about
1,500. The cost in money amounted to $150,000,000. The gain consisted
of the cession of extensive territory stretching to the Pacific Ocean,
several thousand miles of valuable sea coast and an immense bound of
the United States into international power. In the accomplishment of
this general result Loudoun sent many of her sturdiest sons, who
served from the State in various bodies throughout the war.


_Loudoun County in the Secession Movement._

The election of Lincoln and attendant success of the Republican party
revived the determination of the South to secede from the Union.

Just at this juncture the prosperity of Loudoun was unprecedented, and
the threatened dissolution was a serious menace to her progress.
General trade had recently been greatly stimulated, and the resources
of the County were being daily multiplied.

Following the resolute lead of the other southern States, the
legislature of Virginia, on January 14, 1861, authorized a State
convention to consider the advisability of secession, and the members
elected in pursuance thereof met in the capitol, at Richmond, at 12
o'clock a.m., on Wednesday, the 13th day of the February following. They
constituted what was perhaps the ablest body of men that ever
assembled in the State, and the friends and foes of secession were
alike represented. The delegates from Loudoun were John Janney and
John A. Carter, both of whom had represented her in the constitutional
convention of 1850,51.

Roll call was followed by the election of a permanent chairman, Mr.
Janney, of Loudoun, receiving a majority of the whole number of votes
cast. Two of the members were then designated a committee to wait upon
the president of the convention to inform him of his election and
conduct him to his seat. Whereupon he addressed the convention as

[Footnote 29: The unabridged publication in this work of Mr. Janney's
speech of acceptance has seemed specially appropriate. It is the plea
of a Loudoun man for conservative action boldly put forth at a time
when men's passions were inflamed almost beyond human credulity, and
while he himself was the presiding officer of a body which had met to
decide the destiny of the Old Dominion and whose deliberations were to
be watched with breathless interest by the people of both

     "_Gentlemen of the Convention_: I tender you my sincere and
     cordial thanks for the honor you have bestowed upon me by
     calling me to preside over the deliberations of the most
     important convention that has assembled in this State since
     the year 1776.

     "I am without experience in the performance of the duties to
     which you have assigned me, with but little knowledge of
     parliamentary law and the rules which are to govern our
     proceedings, and I have nothing to promise you but fidelity
     and impartiality. Errors I know I shall commit, but these
     will be excused by your kindness, and promptly corrected by
     your wisdom.

     "Gentlemen, it is now almost seventy-three years since a
     convention of the people of Virginia was assembled in this
     hall to ratify the Constitution of the United States, one of
     the chief objects of which was to consolidate, not the
     Government, but the Union of the States.

     "Causes which have passed, and are daily passing, into
     history, which will set its seal upon them, but which I do
     not mean to review, have brought the Constitution and the
     Union into imminent peril, and Virginia has come to the
     rescue. It is what the whole country expected of her. Her
     pride as well as her patriotism--her interest as well as her
     honor, called upon her with an emphasis which she could not
     disregard, to save the monuments of her own glory. Her
     honored son who sleeps at Mount Vernon, the political mecca
     of all future ages, presided over the body which framed the
     Constitution; and another of her honored sons, whose brow
     was adorned with a civic wreath which will never fade, and
     who now reposes in Orange county, was its principal
     architect, and one of its ablest expounders--and, in the
     administration of the government, five of her citizens have
     been elected to the chief magistracy of the Republic.

     "It can not be that a Government thus founded and
     administered can fail, without the hazard of bringing
     reproach, either upon the wisdom of our fathers, or upon the
     intelligence, patriotism, and virtue of their descendants.
     It is not my purpose to indicate the course which this body
     will probably pursue, or the measures it may be proper to
     adopt. The opinions of today may all be changed to-morrow.
     Events are thronging upon us, and we must deal with them as
     they present themselves.

     "Gentlemen, there is a flag which for nearly a century has
     been borne in triumph through the battle and the breeze, and
     which now floats over this capitol, on which there is a star
     representing this ancient Commonwealth, and my earnest
     prayer, in which I know every member of this body will
     cordially unite, is that it may remain there forever,
     provided always that its lustre is untarnished. We demand
     for our own citizens perfect equality of rights with those
     of the empire States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio,
     but we ask for nothing that we will not cheerfully concede
     to those of Delaware and Rhode Island.

     "The amount of responsibility which rests upon this body can
     not be exaggerated. When my constituents asked me if I would
     consent to serve them here if elected, I answered in the
     affirmative, but I did so with fear and trembling. The
     people of Virginia have, it is true, reserved to
     themselves, in a certain contingency, the right to review
     our action, but still the measures which we adopt may be
     fraught with good or evil to the whole country.

     "Is it too much to hope that we, and others who are engaged
     in the work of peace and conciliation, may so solve the
     problems which now perplex us, as to win back our sisters of
     the South, who, for what they deem sufficient cause, have
     wandered from their old orbits? May we not expect that our
     old sister, Massachusetts, will retrace her steps? Will she
     not follow the noble example of Rhode Island, the little
     State with a heart large enough for a whole continent? Will
     she not, when she remembers who it was who first drew his
     sword from the scabbard on her own soil at Cambridge, and
     never finally returned it, until her liberty and
     independence were achieved, and whence he came, repeal her
     obnoxious laws, which many of her wisest and best citizens
     regard as a stain upon her legislative records?

     "Gentlemen, this is no party convention. It is our duty on
     an occasion like this to elevate ourselves into an
     atmosphere, in which party passion and prejudice can not
     exist--to conduct all our deliberations with calmness and
     wisdom, and to maintain, with inflexible firmness, whatever
     position we may find it necessary to assume."

The proceedings were dignified, solemn, and, at times, even sad.
During the entire session good feelings prevailed to a remarkable
degree. For these harmonious relations credit is principally due the
secessionists. Very often their actions were regarded with suspicion
by their opponents who, at such times, pursued a policy of obstruction
when nothing was to be gained thereby. But they were given every
privilege and shown every consideration.

On April 17, 1861, the convention, in secret session, passed the
ordinance of secession by a vote of 88 to 55 on condition that it
should be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at
an election to be held the 23d of May for that purpose. Loudoun's
delegates voted solidly against the measure.

In the convention opinions varied as to whether peace or war would
follow secession. The great majority of the members, as of the people,
believed that peaceful relations would continue. All truly wished for
peace. A number expressed themselves as fearing war, but this was when
opposing secession. Yet in nearly all the speeches made in the
convention there seemed to be distinguishable a feeling of fear and
dread lest war should follow. However, had war been a certainty
secession would not have been delayed or defeated.

There was warm discussion on the question of submitting the ordinance
to the people for ratification or rejection. Many, both before and
after the passage of the ordinance, favored its reference to the
people in the vain hope that the measure would in this way be
frustrated. They declared that, in a matter of such vital importance,
involving the lives and liberties of a whole people, the ordinance
should be submitted to them for their discussion, and that secession
should be attempted only after ratification by a direct vote of the
people on that single issue.

Affecting and exciting scenes followed the passage of the ordinance.
One by one the strong members of the minority arose and, for the sake
of unity at home, surrendered the opinions of a lifetime and forgot
the prejudices of years. This was done with no feeling of humiliation.
To the last they were treated with distinguished consideration by
their opponents.

Shortly after the convention began its deliberations a mass meeting
was held in Leesburg, where the secession sentiment was practically
unanimous, for the purpose of adopting resolutions to be sent to that
important body recommending the immediate passage of the ordinance of
secession. The citizens were addressed by Col. J.M. Kilgore and

The vote in Loudoun for the ratification or rejection of the ordinance
of secession, while not close, was somewhat spirited and marked by
slight disturbances at the polls. In practically every precinct
outside the German and Quaker settlements a majority vote was cast in
favor of secession.

No county in the State eclipsed Loudoun in devotion to the principles
on which Virginia's withdrawal from the Union was based, and the
courage displayed by her in maintaining these principles made her the
acknowledged equal of any community in the Southland.

_Loudoun's Participation in the War._

A discussion in this volume of the great Civil War and its causes has
at no time been contemplated, and vain appeals addressed to surviving
Confederate soldiers and Government record keepers long ago
demonstrated the impracticability of a thorough account of the part
borne by Loudoun soldiers in that grand, uneven struggle of 1861-'65.
Their exact numbers even can not be ascertained as the original
enlistment records were either lost or destroyed and duplicates never

It may with truth be said that the extent of the service rendered by
Loudoun in this, as well as preceding wars, will never be fully known
or adequately appreciated. However, certain it is that thousands of
her sons espoused the cause of the Confederacy, hundreds died in its
defense, and not a few, by their valor and devotion, won enduring fame
and meritorious mention in the annals of their government.

At home or in the ranks, throughout this trying period of civil
strife, her people, with no notable exceptions, remained liberal and
brave and constant, albeit they probably suffered more real hardships
and deprivations than any other community of like size in the
Southland. There were few Confederate troops for its defense, and the
Federals held each neighborhood responsible for all attacks made in
its vicinity, often destroying private property as a punishment.

Both armies, prompted either by fancied military necessity or malice,
burned or confiscated valuable forage crops and other stores, and
nearly every locality, at one time or another, witnessed depredation,
robbery, murder, arson, and rapine. Several towns were shelled,
sacked, and burned, but the worst damage was done the country
districts by raiding parties of Federals. Much of the destruction is
now seen to have been unnecessary from a military point of view.

Whole armies were subsisted on the products of Loudoun's fruitful
acres. Opposing forces, sometimes only detachments and roving bands,
but quite as often battalions, regiments, brigades, and even whole
divisions were never absent from the County and the clash of swords
and fire of musketry were an ever-present clamor and one to which
Loudoun ears early became accustomed.

Also, there were times when the main bodies of one or the other of
both armies were encamped wholly or in part within her limits, as in
September, 1862, when the triumphant army of Lee, on the eve of the
first Maryland campaign, was halted at Leesburg and stripped of all
superfluous transportation, broken-down horses, and wagons and
batteries not supplied with good horses being left behind;[30] again,
in June, 1863, when Hooker was being held in bounds with his great
army stretched from Manassas, near Bull Run, to Leesburg, near the
Potomac; and yet again, in July, 1863, when Lee's army, falling back
from Maryland after the battle of Gettysburg, was followed by the
Federal forces under General Meade, who crossed the Potomac and
advanced through Loudoun.

[Footnote 30: On the 5th day of September, to the martial strains of
"Maryland, My Maryland" from every band in the army, and with his men
cheering and shouting with delight, Jackson forded the Potomac at
Edwards' Ferry (Loudoun County), where the river was broad but
shallow, near the scene of Evan's victory over the Federals in the
previous October, and where Wayne had crossed his Pennsylvania brigade
in marching to the field of Yorktown, in 1781.]

General Early, after the short and bloody battle of Monocacy, and
following his invasion of Maryland and demonstration against
Washington, recrossed the Potomac at White's Ford, July 14, 1864, and,
resting near Leesburg, on the 16th marched to the Shenandoah valley by
way of Leesburg and Purcellville, through Snicker's Gap of the Blue
Ridge, with Jackson's Cavalry in advance.

Pitched battles and lesser engagements were fought at Edwards' Ferry,
Balls Bluff, Snickersville (now Bluemont), Leesburg, Middleburg,
Aldie, Hamilton, Waterford, Union, Ashby's Gap, and other points in
the County.

During Stonewall Jackson's investment of Harper's Ferry in September,
1862, guns were put in position on Loudoun Heights, supported by two
regiments of infantry, and a portion of Jackson's own immediate
command was placed with artillery on a bluffy shoulder of that

The following military organizations were recruited wholly or in part
in Loudoun County and mustered into the Confederate service: 8th
Virginia Regiment (a part of Pickett's famous fighting division),
Loudoun Guard (Company C, 17th Virginia Regiment), Loudoun Cavalry
("Laurel Brigade"), and White's Battalion of Cavalry (the "Comanches,"
25th Virginia Battalion). Mosby's command, the "Partisan Rangers,"
also attracted several score of her patriotic citizenry.

The sons of Loudoun, serving in these and other organizations, bore a
distinguished part on every crimsoned field from Pennsylvania to the
coast of Florida.

Garnett's Brigade, to which the 8th Virginia regiment was attached,
was led into action during the memorable charge on the third day of
the battle of Gettysburg. The brigade moved forward in the front line,
and gained the enemy's strongest position, where the fighting became
hand to hand and of the most desperate character. It went into action
with 1,287 men and 140 officers, and after the struggle, of this
number, only about 300 came back slowly and sadly from the scene of
carnage. General Garnett, himself, was shot from his horse while near
the center of the advancing brigade, within about twenty-five paces of
the "stone fence," from behind which the Federals poured forth their
murderous fire.

_The Loudoun Rangers_ (_Federal_).

This volunteer organization consisted of two companies of disaffected
Virginians, all of whom were recruited in the German settlements
northwest of Leesburg. Company A, at the outset, was commanded by
Captain Daniel M. Keyes, of Lovettsville, who later resigned on
account of wounds received in action. He was succeeded by Captain
Samuel C. Means, of Waterford. Company B's commander was Captain James
W. Grubb. The total enlistment of each company was 120 and 67,
respectively. All the officers and privates were of either German,
Quaker, or Scotch-Irish lineage, the first-named class predominating.

The command was mustered into the Federal service at Lovettsville, the
20th day of June, 1862. Its historian, Briscoe Goodhart, a member of
Company A, in his _History of the Loudoun_ (Virginia) _Rangers_, has
said that it "was an independent command, organized in obedience to a
special order of the Honorable Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and
was at first subject to his orders only, but subsequently merged into
the Eighth Corps, commanded at that time by the venerable Major
General John Ellis Wool...."

The "Rangers," as the name implies, were scouts and, in this highly
useful capacity, served the enemies of their State with shameless
ardor. But, as a body, they fought few engagements and none of a
decisive nature. Their first and, perhaps, sharpest encounter happened
in and around the old Baptist Church at Waterford.

The following absolution or justification is offered in the preface to
the above-quoted work:

     "As the name of their organization indicates, they came from
     a State which was arrayed in arms against the authority of
     the National Government. No Governor, or Senator, or Member
     of Congress guarded their interests; nor was any State or
     local bounty held forth to them as an allurement. Their
     enlistment in the Union Army--their country's army--was the
     spontaneous outgrowth of a spirit of lofty patriotism.

     "As they saw their duty they were not lacking in moral
     courage to perform that duty; and with no lapse of years
     shall we ever fail to insist that the principles for which
     the Rangers contended were eternally right, and that their
     opponents were eternally wrong."

Far from being a well-ordered command with a clearly defined _modus
operandi_, the two companies were poorly drilled, imperfectly
accoutred, only aimlessly and periodically active, and, moreover, were
on the point of dissolution at the outset.

Operating, for the most part, independently and in detached parties
the command offered no serious menace to citizens or soldiery, though
the latter were sometimes harassed and annoyed by them.

Mosby, who had greatly desired and often essayed their capture, was
finally given the opportunity for which he had eagerly waited.
Learning that the Rangers were encamped near Millville, W. Va.
(Keyes' Switch, as it was then called), he dispatched Captain Baylor
with a detachment of horse to that point.

Major Scott who, in 1867, wrote _Partisan Life With Mosby_, has this
to say of the fight which followed: "He (Baylor) took the precaution
to pass in between Halltown (where there was a brigade of infantry)
and the camp. When within fifty yards of the Loudoun Rangers the order
to charge was given. Two of them were killed, four wounded, and 65
taken prisoners, together with 81 horses with their equipments. The
rest of the command sought refuge in the bushes. The only loss which
Baylor sustained was Frank Helm, of Warrenton, who was wounded as he
charged among the foremost into the camp."

The day of the capture General Stevenson, commanding at Harper's
Ferry, and under whose orders the Rangers had been acting, sent the
following message to General Hancock at Winchester:

Harper's Ferry, _April 6, 1865._

     Mosby surprised the camp of the Loudoun Rangers near Keyes'
     Ford and cleaned them out. He made the attack about 10

John D. Stevenson,

When Major-General Hancock, so distinguished in the Federal Army,
heard of Baylor's exploit he laughed heartily and exclaimed: "Well,
that is the last of the Loudoun Rangers."

As indeed it proved to be!

_Mosby's Command in its Relationship to Loudoun County._

From January, 1863, until the close of the war Colonel Mosby's
partisan operations were mostly confined to the counties of Loudoun
and Fauquier, this rich, pastoral country affording subsistence for
his command and the Blue Ridge a haven to which to retreat when hard
pressed by the superior numbers that, from time to time, were sent
against him. Here he planned and executed most of the daring coups
that were to win for him international fame.[31] Here also his men
were dispersed and reassembled with marvelous facility--one of
countless manifestations of his great original genius. "They would
scatter for safety, and gather at my call like the Children of the
Mist," was what he wrote in after years. Of all his methods this has
been the least clearly understood. The explanation that he has offered
in his _War Reminiscences_ can be only partially complete; for he
could not, with propriety, point to his personal magnetism and daring
as the dominant influences, though he must have known that to an
extraordinary extent they were responsible for this almost
unparalleled devotion. "The true secret," he says, "was that it was a
fascinating life, and its attractions far more than counterbalanced
its hardships and dangers. They had no camp duty to do, which, however
necessary, is disgusting to soldiers of high spirit. To put them to
such routine work is pretty much like hitching a race horse to a

[Footnote 31: In alluding to the famous "greenback raid" (October 14,
1864), in which a party of Rangers entered a train of the Baltimore
and Ohio Railroad, near Kearneysville, capturing, among other
officers, Majors Moore and Ruggles, Federal paymasters, with their
funds, Lieutenant Grogan, of the Rangers, has said that the command,
the next day, "met at Bloomfield, in Loudoun County, and examined into
the condition of our sub-U.S. Treasury, and finding there a net
surplus of $168,000, the same was divided among our stockholders
($2,000 each) and circulated so freely in Loudoun that never
afterwards was there a pie or blooded horse sold in that section for
Confederate money."]

Many of his followers were recruited in Loudoun County. A few before
the advent of Mosby had pursued peaceable vocations; but the command
consisted in the main of men who had seen active service in the
cavalry and infantry regiments, but tiring of the routine and
discipline of the camp had returned to their homes in Loudoun and
adjoining counties. At times he had with him dauntless spirits who had
been incapacitated for infantry duty by reason of wounds received in
action, some of these carrying crutches along with them tied to their
saddle bows. At another time he enrolled several experienced fighters
who had been absent from their regiments without leave ever since the
first battle of Bull Run--a period of nearly two years.

With this promiscuous following, which at no time exceeded one hundred
men, he instituted a long unbroken series of successful strategems,
surprises, and night attacks, harassing the communications of the
Federal armies, confusing their plans by capturing dispatches,
destroying supply trains, subjecting their outposts to the wear and
tear of a perpetual skirmish, in short, inflicting all the mischief
possible for a small body of cavalry moving rapidly from point to
point on the communications of an army.

He believed that by incessant attacks he could compel the enemy either
greatly to contract his lines or to reinforce them, both of which
would have been of great advantage to the Southern cause. By assuming
the aggressive, a rule from which he not once departed, he could force
the enemy to guard a hundred points, leaving himself free to select
any one of them for attack.

But the theories, purposes, and methods of this peer of partisan
leaders is best explained by himself. Simply and unostentatiously, but
withal convincingly, expressed, they give to the man and his deeds the
unmistakable semblance of fairness and legitimacy. These, together
with his masterly defense of partisan warfare, follow in modified and
disconnected form:

     "The military value of a partisan's work is not measured by
     the amount of property destroyed, or the number of men
     killed or captured, but by the number he keeps watching.
     Every soldier withdrawn from the front to guard the rear of
     an army is so much taken from its fighting strength.

     "I endeavored, as far as I was able, to diminish this
     aggressive power of the army of the Potomac, by compelling
     it to keep a large force on the defensive. I assailed its
     rear, for there was its most vulnerable point. My men had no
     camps. If they had gone into camp, they would soon have all
     been captured.... A blow would be struck at a weak or
     unguarded point, and then a quick retreat. The alarm would
     spread through the sleeping camp, the long roll would be
     beaten or the bugles would sound to horse, there would be
     mounting in hot haste and a rapid pursuit. But the partisans
     generally got off with their prey. Their pursuers were
     striking at an invisible foe. I often sent small squads at
     night to attack and run in the pickets along a line of
     several miles. Of course, these alarms were very annoying,
     for no human being knows how sweet sleep is but a soldier. I
     wanted to use and consume the Northern cavalry in hard work.
     I have often thought that their fierce hostility to me was
     more on account of the sleep I made them lose than the
     number we killed and captured."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "My purpose was to weaken the armies invading Virginia, by
     harassing their rear. As a line is only as strong as its
     weakest point, it was necessary for it to be stronger than I
     was at every point, in order to resist my attacks.... It is
     just as legitimate to fight an enemy in the rear as in
     front. The only difference is in the danger. Now, to prevent
     all these things from being done, heavy detachments must be
     made to guard against them."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The line that connects an army with its base of supplies is
     the heel of Achilles--its most vital and vulnerable point.
     It is a great achievement in war to compel an enemy to make
     heavy detachments to guard it...."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Having no fixed lines to guard or defined territory to
     hold, it was always my policy to elude the enemy when they
     came in search of me, and carry the war into their own

       *       *       *       *       *

     "These operations were erratic simply in not being in
     accordance with the fixed rules taught by the academies; but
     in all that I did there was a unity of purpose, and a plan
     which my commanding general understood and approved."

       *       *       *       *       *

     " ... while I conducted war on the theory that the end of it
     is to secure peace by the destruction of the resources of
     the enemy, with as small a loss as possible to my own side,
     there is no authenticated act of mine which is not perfectly
     in accordance with approved military usage. Grant, Sherman,
     and Stonewall Jackson had about the same ideas that I had on
     the subject of war."

Though all his engagements were reported to Stuart till the death of
that great cavalry leader, in May, 1864, and afterward to General
Robert E. Lee, Mosby was allowed the freedom of untrammeled action in
the sense that the operations of his command were left to his
individual discretion.

The following militant verses were published in a Southern magazine,
soon after the war, and won immediate popularity:

    _Mosby at Hamilton._


    Down Loudoun lanes, with swinging reins
      And clash of spur and sabre,
    And bugling of battle horn,
    Six score and eight we rode at morn
    Six score and eight of Southern born,
      All tried in love and labor.

    Full in the sun at Hamilton,
      We met the South's invaders;
    Who, over fifteen hundred strong,
    'Mid blazing homes had marched along
    All night, with Northern shout and song,
      To crush the rebel raiders.

    Down Loudoun lanes with streaming manes
      We spurred in wild March weather;
    And all along our war-scarred way
    The graves of Southern heroes lay,
    Our guide posts to revenge that day,
      As we rode grim together.

    Old tales still tell some miracle
      Of saints in holy writing--
    But who shall say why hundreds fled
    Before the few that Mosby led,
    Unless the noblest of our dead
      Charged with us then when fighting.

    While Yankee cheers still stunned our ears,
      Of troops at Harper's Ferry,
    While Sheridan led on his Huns,
    And Richmond rocked to roaring guns,
    We felt the South still had some sons,
      She would not scorn to bury.

_Battle of Leesburg_[32] ("_Ball's Bluff_"[33]).

"After the first battle of Manassas, Col. Eppa Hunton had been ordered
to reoccupy Leesburg with his regiment, the Eighth Virginia. A little
later Col. William Barksdale's Thirteenth Mississippi, Col. W.S.
Featherstone's Seventeenth Mississippi, a battery, and four companies
of cavalry under Col. W.H. Jenifer were sent to the same place, and
these were organized into the Seventh Brigade of the Confederate Army
of the Potomac, which, early in August, was put under command of
Brig.-Gen. Nathan G. Evans, who had been promoted for his brave
conduct July 21st. General Beauregard's object in locating this strong
force at Leesburg was to guard his left flank from a Federal attack by
way of several good roads that led from the fords of the upper
Potomac, near that town, directly to his Bull Run encampment; to watch
the large Federal force that McClellan had located on the opposite
side of the Potomac; to keep up a connection with the Confederate
force in the lower Shenandoah Valley by a good turnpike that led from
Leesburg across the Blue Ridge, and to save for his army the abundant
supplies of the fertile County of Loudoun.

"On the 15th of October (1861) General Banks' division of the Federal
army was located at Darnestown, Md., about fifteen miles due east from
Leesburg, with detachments at Point of Rocks, Sandy Hook,
Williamsport, etc.; while the division of Brig.-Gen. C.P. Stone,
composed of six companies of cavalry, three of artillery, and the
infantry brigades of Gens. W.A. Gorman and F.W. Lander and Col. E.D.
Baker, was located at Poolesville, eight miles north of east from
Leesburg. The object in this disposition of so large a force was, not
only to guard the right of the big Federal army that General McClellan
was gathering at Washington, but especially to cover the important
approaches from the northwest to Baltimore and the Federal city,
particularly those from the lower Shenandoah Valley and northeastern
Piedmont, Virginia.

[Footnote 32: Virginia Military History, by Jedediah Hotchkiss.]

[Footnote 33: Also called "Battle of Harrison's Island" and "Battle of
Conrad's Ferry."]

"On October 19th, McCall's Federal division advanced to Dranesville,
on the road to Leesburg and about 15 miles from that place, 'in order
to cover the reconnoissance made in all directions the next day;' and
later, Smith's Federal division advanced along a parallel road to the
west, acting in concert with General McCall, and pushed forward strong
parties in the same direction and for the same purpose. About 7 p.m.
of the 19th, Stone's advance opened a heavy cannonade on the
Confederate positions at Fort Evans, on the Leesburg pike, and at
Edwards' Ferry, and at the same time General Evans heard heavy firing
in the direction of Dranesville. At midnight General Evans ordered his
whole brigade to the front, along the line of Goose Creek, 3 miles
southeast of Leesburg, where he had a line of intrenchments, to there
await an expected attack from General McCall, the next morning,
Sunday, October 20th, as it had been reported that the Federal advance
was moving in force from Dranesville toward Leesburg. Evans' scouts
captured McCall's courier bearing dispatches to General Meade,
directing him to examine the roads leading to Leesburg. The Federal
batteries kept up a deliberate fire during the day, but no assault was

"On the morning of the 20th the Federal signal officer on Sugar Loaf
Mountain, in Maryland, reported 'the enemy have moved away from
Leesburg.' This Banks wired to McClellan, whereupon the latter wired
to Stone, at Poolesville, that a heavy reconnoissance would be sent
out that day, in all directions, from Dranesville, concluding: 'You
will keep a good lookout upon Leesburg, to see if this movement has
the effect to drive them away. Perhaps a slight demonstration on your
part would have the effect to move them.' McClellan desired Stone to
make demonstrations from his picket line along the Potomac, but did
not intend that he should cross the river, in force, for the purpose
of fighting. Late in the day Stone reported that he had made a feint
of crossing, and at the same time had started a reconnoissance from
Harrison's Island toward Leesburg, when the enemy's pickets retired to
intrenchments. That 'slight demonstration' brought on the battle of
Ball's Bluff on Monday, October 21st. On the morning of the 21st,
McCall retired from Evan's front to his camp at Prospect Hill, 4 miles
up the river from the Chain bridge. From his point of observation, at
the earthworks called 'Fort Evans,' to the eastward of Leesburg,
overlooking the fords at Conrad's and Edwards' ferries and Ball's
Bluff, Evans, at 6 a.m. on the 21st, found that the enemy of Stone's
division had effected a crossing at Edwards' Ferry and at Ball's
Bluff, 4 miles above. He promptly sent four companies from his
Mississippi regiments and two companies of cavalry, under the command
of Lieutenant-Colonel W.H. Jenifer to the assistance of Captain Duff,
to hold the enemy in check until his plan of attack should be
developed. Colonel Jenifer immediately engaged the Federal advance and
drove it back toward Ball's Bluff.

"The force that had crossed at Harrison's Island, about midnight of
the 20th, was part of the command of Colonel Baker, some 300 men under
Col. Charles Devens, of the Fifteenth Massachusetts. Its object was to
capture a Confederate camp that had been reported to be about a mile
from the river. This force advanced to an open field surrounded by
woods, where it halted until it could be joined by a company from the
Twentieth Massachusetts, which had been left on the bluff, on the
Virginia side, to protect the Federal return. Devens, at daybreak,
pushed forward with a few men to reconnoiter, and, in person, went to
within sight of Leesburg. Thinking he had not been discovered Devens
determined to remain and sent back to his brigade commander, Colonel
Baker, for reinforcements. The latter consulted his division
commander, General Stone, and obtained permission to either withdraw
Devens or to send over reinforcements to him. He promptly directed
Devens to hold his position and said that he would support him in
person with the rest of his brigade. The boats and flats that had been
provided for crossing the Potomac from the Maryland shore to
Harrison's Island and from the latter to the Virginia shore were
entirely inadequate, and it was nearly noon before Devens' regiment of
625 men was closed up on the Virginia shore.

"Convinced at about 10 a.m. that the main Federal attack would be at
Ball's Bluff, four miles northeast of Leesburg, Evans ordered Colonel
Hunton with the Eighth Virginia[34] to the support of Colonel Jenifer,
directing him to form the line of battle immediately in the rear of
Jenifer's command, and that the combined force should then drive the
enemy to the river, while he, General Evans, supported the right of
the movement with artillery. This movement was made soon after noon
and the opposing forces at once became hotly engaged, the Confederates
advancing on the Federals, who held a strong position in front of the
woods. Learning, at about this time, that an opposing force was
gathering on his left and that he would soon be vigorously attacked by
a body of infantry that appeared in that direction and by a body of
dismounted cavalry that had deployed in his front, and apprehensive of
being flanked, Devens retired his regiment to an open space in the
woods, in front of the bluff, and prepared to receive an attack. To
ascertain about reinforcements Devens went back to the bluff about 2
p.m., where he found Colonel Baker, who directed him to form his
regiment on the right of the position that he proposed to occupy,
while Baker placed 300 of the Twentieth Massachusetts on the left and
advanced in front of these his California regiment, with two guns,
supported by two companies of the Fifteenth Massachusetts. At about
the same hour General Stone ferried a strong force across the river at
Edwards' Ferry to make a demonstration on Evans' right, leaving
Colonel Baker in command at Ball's Bluff. Stone then telegraphed to
McClellan: 'There has been a sharp firing on the right of our line,
and our troops appear to be advancing there under Baker. The left,
under Gorman, has advanced its skirmishers nearly one mile, and, if
the movement continues successful, will turn the enemy's right.'

[Footnote 34: The regiment in which were several companies of Loudoun

"At about 2.30 p.m., General Evans, having the advantage of a
concealed, shorter, and inner line, seeing that the enemy was being
constantly reinforced, ordered Colonel Burt, with the Eighteenth
Mississippi, to attack the Federal left, while Hunton and Jenifer
attacked his front, holding the attack at Edwards' Ferry in check by
batteries from his intrenchments. As Colonel Burt reached his
position, the enemy, concealed in a ravine, opened on him a furious
fire, which compelled him to divide his regiment and stop the flank
movement that had already begun. At about 3 p.m., Featherstone, with
the Seventeenth Mississippi, was sent at a double-quick to support
Burt's movement. Evans reports: 'He arrived in twenty minutes and the
action became general along my whole line, and was very hot and brisk
for more than two hours, the enemy keeping up a constant fire with his
batteries on both sides of the river. At about 6 p.m. I saw that my
command had driven the enemy to near the banks of the river. I ordered
my entire force to charge and drive him into the river. The charge was
immediately made by the whole command, and the forces of the enemy
were completely routed, and cried out for quarter along his whole
line. In this charge the enemy was driven back at the point of the
bayonet, and many were killed and wounded by this formidable weapon.
In the precipitate retreat of the enemy on the bluffs of the river,
many of his troops rushed into the water and were drowned, while many
others, in overloading the boats, sunk them and shared the same fate.
The rout now, about 7 o'clock, became complete, and the enemy
commenced throwing his arms into the river.... At 8 p.m. the enemy
surrendered his forces at Ball's Bluff, and the prisoners were marched
to Leesburg.'

"During this action, Colonel Barksdale, with nine companies of the
Thirteenth Mississippi and six pieces of artillery, was held to oppose
Stone's movement from Edwards' Ferry and also as a reserve. After the
engagement, Evans withdrew all his brigade to Leesburg, except
Barksdale's regiment, which he left in front of Edwards' Ferry.

"Each of the combatants had about 1,700 men engaged in this action.
The Confederates had no artillery in the fight, while the Federals
had three light guns. Shortly after the action became general, Colonel
Baker, passing in front of his command, was killed by a sharpshooter,
which so demoralized the Federals that the surviving officers
conferred and decided to retreat. This was opposed by Colonel Milton
Cogswell, of the Forty-second New York, who had succeeded Colonel
Baker in command. He said a retreat down the bluff and across the
river was now impossible, and that they must cut their way through the
Confederate right to Edwards' Ferry. He promptly gave orders to that
effect, and moved to the front, followed by the remnants of his own
two companies and a portion of the California regiment, but not by the
others. He was quickly driven back and the whole Federal command was
forced to the river bluff in great disorder. Just then two companies
of the Forty-second New York landed on the Virginia shore. These
Colonel Cogswell ordered up the bluff and deployed as skirmishers to
cover the Federal retreat, while he advanced to the left with a small
party, and was almost immediately captured. Colonel Devens escaped by
swimming the river.

"On the morning of the 22nd, Colonel Barksdale informed General Evans
that the enemy was still in force at Edwards' Ferry. He was ordered to
carefully reconnoiter the Federal position, learn its strength and
make attack. This he did, at about 2 p.m., and drove a superior force
from an intrenched position to the bank of the river, killing and
wounding quite a number of men. At about sundown, the Federals, having
been reinforced and holding rifle-pits, Barksdale withdrew to Fort
Evans, leaving two companies to watch his front. The enemy recrossed
the Potomac during the night. Evans reported his loss, in the thirteen
hours of fight, on the 21st, as 36 killed,[35] 117 wounded, and 2
missing, from a force of 1,709. Among the killed was the brave Colonel
Burt. The Federal losses were returned at 49 killed, 158 wounded, and
694 missing. General Evans claimed the capture of 710 prisoners, 1,500
stands of arms, 3 cannon and 1 flag.

[Footnote 35: The Confederate soldiers who fell in the battle of Ball's
Bluff are buried in Union Cemetery, on the northern border of
Leesburg. Their resting place is marked by an imposing marble shaft,
in honor of the comrades of "the lost cause," "wherever they lie."
Many of the Union soldiers who perished at Ball's Bluff lie buried
where they fell. Their mournful little cemetery was recently acquired
by the Federal government and its approaches and environs greatly
improved. The battlefield is still one of the chief points of interest
to visitors to central Loudoun.]

"Evans called on Longstreet for reinforcements when he reported his
battle of the 21st, thinking that 20,000 Federals were in his front.
Colonel Jenkins, with the Eighteenth South Carolina cavalry and
artillery was dispatched from Centreville in the afternoon of the 22d,
and marched toward Leesburg, through mud and a driving rain, until
midnight, when the infantry went into bivouac; but Captain C.M.
Blackford's cavalry and four guns of the Washington artillery hurried
forward all night and came in sight of Leesburg about daylight of the
23d. That morning, finding his men much exhausted, General Evans
ordered three of his regiments to fall back to Carter's mill, a strong
position on Goose Creek, about 7 miles southwest from Leesburg, and
join Jenkins, who had been halted at that place, leaving Barksdale
with his regiment, two pieces of artillery and some cavalry, as a rear
guard near Leesburg, and Hunton, with his Eighth Virginia and two
pieces of artillery, on the south bank of Sycoline Creek, 3 miles from
Leesburg, and sending his cavalry well to the front toward

_Munford's Fight at Leesburg._[36]

"Having driven Pope's army to a secure position behind the defences of
Washington, General Lee turned northward to the Potomac and began the
first Maryland campaign.

"While this movement was in progress Stuart covered the front toward
Washington. He had learned that an irregular body of cavalry under a
certain Captain Means was harassing the citizens in the vicinity of
Leesburg, and on the 2d of September (1862) he sent Colonel Munford,
with the Second Virginia Cavalry, to that point. On approaching
Leesburg, Munford learned that it was occupied by Means' company and
that he was supported by about two hundred men under Major Cole, of
Maryland. Munford's regiment numbered only about one hundred and sixty
men, but, approaching Leesburg by an unexpected direction, he effected
a surprise, and after a heavy skirmish completely routed Means' party
and pursued him to Waterford, a distance of seven miles. He captured
forty-seven prisoners, and killed or wounded twenty."

[Footnote 36: _Life and Campaigns of Maj.-Gen. J. E. B. Stuart._]

_Battle at Aldie._[37]

"Early on the morning of the 17th of June, 1863, Colonel Munford, with
the 2d and 3rd Virginia Cavalry, moved from Upperville through
Middleburg, and having established his picket posts east of Aldie,
crossed over to Snicker's Gap road and proceeded with these two
regiments to procure corn at the house of Franklin Carter, about a
mile distant. He expected to encamp that night in the vicinity of

"Colonel Williams C. Wickham, with the 1st, 4th, and 5th Virginia
Cavalry, the remaining regiments of the brigade, had moved from
Piedmont through Middleburg, and was about to place his men in camp at
Dover Mills, near Aldie.

"The 5th regiment, Col. Thomas L. Rosser, which arrived some little
time after the 1st and 4th, was directed by Colonel Wickham to pass
beyond Dover Mills, and select a camp nearer Aldie. In so doing
Colonel Rosser encountered the enemy, who was rapidly driving back the
pickets established by Colonel Munford.

"The force of the enemy making this attack was the 2d cavalry
division, commanded by Gen. D.M. Gregg, and accompanied by
Major-General Pleasonton. General Kilpatrick's brigade, consisting of
the 2d New York, 1st Massachusetts, 6th Ohio, and 4th New York
regiments, supported by the 1st Maine Cavalry from Col. J.J. Gregg's
brigade, and by Randol's battery, appears to have done all the
fighting. The two other brigades of General Gregg's division were
closed up within supporting distance.

[Footnote 37: _Life and Campaigns of Maj.-Gen. J. E. B. Stuart._]

"The arrival of Rosser's regiment was most opportune. By an immediate
sabre charge he drove back the enemy's advance upon their main body in
the town of Aldie. Having relieved the pressure on the pickets, Rosser
stationed his sharpshooters, under Capt. R.B. Boston, on the right
of the Snickersville road, where a number of haystacks afforded some
protection, and held the remainder of his small regiment ready for
their support. Colonel Munford, in the meantime, arrived in person and
stationed Lieut. William Walton, of the 2d Virginia Cavalry, with the
reserve picket, fifteen men, behind a stone wall on the left of the
Snickersville road with orders to hold his position against any odds
until the 2d and 3d regiments could come to his assistance. In the
meantime, and while Colonel Wickham was stationing the 1st and 4th
regiments and Breathed's battery to dispute any advance on the
Middleburg road, Rosser, single-handed, had met and repulsed two
charges which were made upon Captain Boston's squadron; and believing
that he could be maintained there with advantage, had ordered Boston
to hold his position at all hazards. The result proved that this
disposition was unfortunate, for during the subsequent heavy fighting
Boston was so far advanced as to be beyond the reach of support and he
and his squadron were captured.

"During all this time there was no force on the left of the
Snickersville road, except the picket posted by Munford behind the
stone wall. Munford, therefore, moved Rosser's regiment and the 4th
Virginia Cavalry, with one gun from Breathed's battery, so as to
command this road, leaving Colonel Wickham with the rest of the guns
and the 1st Virginia Cavalry on the Middleburg road.

"In the meantime the enemy pressed heavily on Lieutenant Walton. He
had repulsed two mounted charges, but being outflanked by dismounted
men, had been withdrawn about fifty yards behind a house and orchard,
in which position he commanded the only opening through which the
enemy could attack. Here three distinct charges were met and repulsed
in counter-charges by the 5th Virginia Cavalry, by the 3d squadron of
the 4th regiment, led by Lieut. A.D. Payne, and by the 2d and 5th
squadrons of the same regiment, led by Capt. W.B. Newton. These were
the only squadrons of this regiment present at this battle, the 1st
and 4th squadrons having been detailed early in the day to accompany
General Stuart. In each of these charges the enemy had suffered
severely at the hands of Lieutenant Walton's sharpshooters, who poured
volleys into their flanks as they passed him in advancing and

"As Walton's party was, however, evidently small, the enemy determined
to dislodge him, and was preparing a considerable force for another
attack, when the 2d and 3d Virginia Cavalry reached the field. Two
squadrons of sharpshooters were at once dismounted and placed on the
left of the road--the squadron from the 2d regiment under Captains
Breckinridge and Graves, that from the 3d regiment under Capt. George
D. White. Their line was advanced to the stone wall from which
Lieutenant Walton had been withdrawn. Colonel Munford now felt that
his position was secure against an attack of cavalry, and there was
nothing he more desired than that the enemy should wear himself out
against it. His flanks were secured by Little River and its
tributaries. The enemy must necessarily attack his front. The road by
which it was approached was worn, as it ascended the hill, into deep
gullies, which compelled an attack in column of fours and prevented
the enemy from spreading out his front. Munford's strong party of
sharpshooters commanded the road. They were stationed in an enclosed
field, with a stone wall in their front, a post and rail fence on
their right, and another fence on their left. The fences to the rear
were thrown down, so as to give the cavalry access to the field.
Munford felt that unless his cavalry failed in their duty, his
dismounted men were perfectly secure.

"The 2d Virginia Cavalry, led by Lieut.-Col. J.W. Watts, now charged the
advancing enemy, who had penetrated beyond the position of the
sharpshooters. The heads of the columns met in the narrow road in a
hand-to-hand sabre fight. While this was in progress, Capt. Jesse
Irving threw down the fence on the right of the road, and, bringing his
squadron to the front, opened fire on the enemy's left flank. Capt. W.W.
Tebbs executed a similar movement on the left of the road, while the
sharpshooters were all the time firing into the enemy's rear. Their
attack was completely broken, and their leading squadron almost
destroyed. Another support moved up during the confusion, but was met
and repulsed by Colonel Rosser. In this fight Lieutenant-Colonel Watts
was wounded and permanently disabled. The command of the 2d regiment
devolved on Major Cary Breckinridge, who moved the regiment off to the
right to reform, carrying with him Col. Louis P. De Cesnola and the
colors of his regiment, the 4th New York Cavalry.

"During all this time Captain Boston, of the 5th Virginia Cavalry, had
been holding the haystacks far in advance of his friends, where
Colonel Rosser had placed him with such stringent orders. He was
beyond the reach even of a recall, but had been doing his utmost to
aid in the fight. He was now charged by the 6th Ohio Cavalry, under
Lieutenant-Colonel William Stedman; and after losing three of his
officers, including his junior captain, and a third of his men killed
and wounded, he surrendered to the odds brought against him.

"The Federal cavalry were determined to carry the position if
possible, and another charge was speedily organized. This was met by
the 3d Virginia Cavalry, led by Col. T.H. Owens, who took the road,
supported on his right by the 2d regiment and on his left by the 5th.
The sabre was the weapon used, and the enemy was again driven back.
Colonel Munford pronounced this the most spirited charge of the day.
Colonel Owens, however, pressed his success too far. He drove the
enemy almost to the village of Aldie, where he was charged by a fresh
regiment and driven back, losing many of the prisoners he had taken
and some of his own men. Major Henry Carrington, of the 3d regiment,
was captured at this point. Colonel Munford says in his report:

"'Captain Newton, having rallied his small command and a good many
men from other commands, was again ready to relieve Colonel Owens as
he fell back, and by a timely charge repelled another effort to flank
him. As the enemy came up again the sharpshooters opened upon him with
terrible effect from the stone wall, which they had regained, and
checked him completely. I do not hesitate to say that I have never
seen as many Yankees killed in the same space of ground in any fight I
have ever seen or on any battlefield in Virginia that I have been
over. We held our ground until ordered by the major-general commanding
to retire, and the Yankees had been so severely punished that they did
not follow. The sharpshooters of the 5th were mostly captured, this
regiment suffering more than any other.'

"Colonel Munford reported the capture of 138 prisoners. The number of
killed and wounded is unknown. His own total loss was 119, of which
the 5th Virginia Cavalry lost 58, mostly from Captain Boston's

_Duffie at Middleburg._[38]

"On this same afternoon (June 17, 1863) events of considerable
importance occurred at Middleburg, where Stuart had established his
headquarters for the day.

"Early in the morning Col. A.N. Duffie, with the 1st Rhode Island
Cavalry, had crossed the Bull Run Mountain at Thoroughfare Gap. His
orders directed him to encamp at Middleburg on the night of the 17th
and to proceed the next day toward Noland's Ferry, extending his march
to the west as far as Snickersville. These orders seem to have
contemplated a somewhat extended scout by this regiment on the left
flank of General Gregg's division--a hazardous movement in the
presence of an enterprising enemy. Colonel Duffie reached Thoroughfare
Gap at 9.30 a.m. and was somewhat delayed in crossing the mountain by
the picket from Chambliss' command. By 11 o'clock, however, he was
fairly on his way to Middleburg. At 4 o'clock p.m. he struck the
pickets which Stuart had established for his own safety outside the
town and drove them in so quickly that Stuart and his staff were
compelled to make a retreat more rapid than was consistent with
dignity and comfort. Having with him no force adequate to contest the
ground with Duffie's regiment, Stuart retired toward Rector's Cross
Roads. Munford was notified of his danger, and directed to withdraw
from Aldie and Robertson and Chambliss were ordered to move
immediately upon Middleburg.

[Footnote 38: _Life and Campaigns of Maj.-Gen. J. E. B. Stuart._]

"The only hope for Duffie's regiment now lay in an immediate advance
upon Aldie, where he might have created considerable commotion by
attacking the rear of the 1st Virginia Cavalry on the Middleburg road.
But he did not know this and his orders were positive, requiring him
to encamp for the night at Middleburg. He therefore made the best of
his situation by dismounting one-half of his regiment behind stone
walls and barricades, hoping that he might be able to hold his
position until reinforced from Aldie, whither he sent Capt. Frank
Allen to make known his situation at brigade headquarters. Captain
Allen reached Aldie, after encountering many difficulties, at 9
o'clock p.m. He says in his report:

"'General Kilpatrick informed me that his brigade was so worn out that
he could not send any reinforcements to Middleburg, but that he would
report the situation of our regiment to General Gregg. Returning, he
said that General Gregg had gone to state the facts to General
Pleasonton, and directed me to remain at Aldie until he heard from
General Pleasonton. I remained, but received no further orders.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

"Thus Colonel Duffie was left to meet his fate. At 7 o'clock in the
evening he was attacked by Robertson's brigade. His men fought bravely
and repelled more than one charge before they were driven from the
town, retiring by the same road upon which they had advanced.
Unfortunately for Duffie this road was now closed by Chambliss'
brigade, which surrounded him during the night and captured, early the
next morning, the greater part of those who had escaped from
Robertson on the previous evening. Colonel Duffie himself escaped
capture and reached Centreville early in the afternoon with four of
his officers and twenty-seven men. He reports the loss in his regiment
at 20 officers and 248 men. This, however, was an exaggeration of the
calamity, for other officers besides himself had taken to the woods
and succeeded in making their way back to the Federal lines, on the
18th and 19th."

_The Sacking of Loudoun._


Mosby's unrelenting aggressiveness caused the Northern generals much
annoyance and perplexity. Consequently many ingenious traps were laid
for him, but to no purpose. Into some he walked with unsuspecting
boldness, though contriving to fight his way to safety again, and
usually, in so doing, inflicting greater loss on the enemy than would
be sustained by his own command.

These reiterated and, at times, disastrous failures having
demonstrated the futility of all covert attempts, General Grant, and
later, General Sheridan, felt driven to the adoption of measures that
were destined to entail much suffering and loss on the guiltless and
non-combatant element of Loudoun's population. Under date of August
16, 1864, Grant despatched the following arbitrary order to General

     "If you can possibly spare a division of cavalry, send them
     through Loudoun County to destroy and carry off the crops,
     animals, negroes, and all men under fifty years of age
     capable of bearing arms. In this way you will get many of
     Mosby's men. All male citizens under fifty can fairly be
     held as prisoners of war, and not as citizen prisoners. If
     not already soldiers, they will be made so the moment the
     rebel army gets hold of them."

Sheridan straightway ordered all the cavalry of the Eighth Illinois,
then the best regiment of its kind in the Army of the Potomac, to
concentrate at Muddy Branch, preparatory to beginning operations
against Mosby in Loudoun County. In his orders to General Auger he
told that officer to exterminate as many as he could of "Mosby's

The command broke camp at Muddy Branch August 20, and crossed the
Potomac with 650 men, the special object of the scout being, as stated
in orders to Major Waite, "to break up and exterminate any bands or
parties of Mosby's, White's, or other guerillas which may be met."

Viewed in the light of a communication from Sheridan to Halleck, dated
November 26, 1864, this expedition seems not to have been even
moderately successful. In it he said: "I will soon commence work on
Mosby. Heretofore I have made no attempt to break him up, as I would
have employed ten men to his one, and for the reason that I have made
a scape-goat of him for the destruction of private rights. Now there
is going to be an intense hatred of him in that portion of this
Valley, which is nearly a desert. I will soon commence on Loudoun
County, and let them know there is a God in Israel...."

In his determination to rid himself of his troublesome enemy,
Sheridan, the next day, issued the following orders to Major-General
Merritt, commanding the First Cavalry Division:

     "You are hereby directed to proceed to-morrow morning at 7
     o'clock with the two brigades of your division now in camp
     to the east side of the Blue Ridge via Ashby's Gap, and
     operate against the guerillas in the district of country
     bounded on the south by the line of the Manassas Gap
     Railroad as far east as White Plains, on the east by the
     Bull Run range, on the west by the Shenandoah River, and on
     the north by the Potomac. This section has been the hot-bed
     of lawless bands, who have, from time to time, depredated
     upon small parties on the line of army communications, on
     safeguards left at houses, and on all small parties of our
     troops. Their real object is plunder and highway robbery. To
     clear the country of these parties that are bringing
     destruction upon the innocent as well as their guilty
     supporters by their cowardly acts, you will consume and
     destroy all forage and subsistence, burn all barns and mills
     and their contents, and drive off all stock in the region
     the boundaries of which are above described. This order must
     be literally executed, bearing in mind, however, that no
     dwellings are to be burned and that no personal violence be
     offered to the citizens. The ultimate results of the
     guerilla system of warfare is the total destruction of all
     private rights in the country occupied by such parties. This
     destruction may as well commence at once, and the
     responsibility of it must rest upon the authorities at
     Richmond, who have acknowledged the legitimacy of guerilla
     bands. The injury done this army by them is very slight. The
     injury they have indirectly inflicted upon the people and
     upon the rebel army may be counted by millions. The Reserve
     Brigade of your division will move to Snickersville on the
     29th. Snickersville should be your point of concentration,
     and the point from which you should operate in destroying
     toward the Potomac. Four days' subsistence will be taken by
     the command. Forage can be gathered from the country through
     which you pass. You will return to your present camp, via
     Snicker's Gap, on the 5th day."

In addition to Merritt's three brigades, Colonel Stagg was ordered to
send out four regiments.

[39]"The Federals separated into three parties, one of which went along
the Bloomfield road and down Loudoun in the direction of the Potomac;
another passed along the Piedmont pike to Rectortown, Salem, and
around to Middleburg, while the main body kept along the turnpike to
Aldie, where they struck the Snickersville pike. Thus they scoured the
country completely from the Blue Ridge to the Bull Run Mountains.

"From Monday afternoon, November 28th, until Friday morning, December
2nd, they ranged through the beautiful Valley of Loudoun and a portion
of Fauquier county, burning and laying waste. They robbed the people
of everything they could destroy or carry off--horses, cows, cattle,
sheep, hogs, etc.; killing poultry, insulting women, pillaging houses,
and in many cases robbing even the poor negroes.

"They burned all the mills and factories, as well as hay, wheat, corn,
straw, and every description of forage. Barns and stables, whether
full or empty, were burned.

"At Mrs. Fletcher's (a widow), where the hogs had been killed for her
winter's supply of meat, the soldiers made a pile of rails upon which
the hogs were placed and burned. They even went to the Poor House and
burned and destroyed the supplies provided for the helpless and
dependent paupers. On various previous occasions, however, the Alms
House had been visited by raiding parties, so that at this time there
was but little left, but of that little the larger portion was taken.

[Footnote 39: _Mosby's Rangers_, by James J. Williamson.]

"Colonel Mosby did not call the command together, therefore there was
no organized resistance, but Rangers managed to save a great deal of
live stock for the farmers by driving it off to places of safety."

_Home Life During the War._

In Loudoun, as everywhere in every age, the seriousness of war was not
fully realized until the volunteer soldiery, following a short season
of feverish social gayety, interspersed with dress parades and
exhibition drills, had departed for their respective posts.
Immediately and with one accord those left behind settled themselves
to watch and wait and work and pray for the absent ones and the cause
they had so readily championed.

When few slaves were owned by a family the white boys, too young for
service in the army, worked with them in the fields, while the girls
busied themselves with household duties, though, at times, they, too,
labored in the open. In families owning no slaves the old men,
cripples, women, and children were forced to shoulder the arduous
labors of the farm.

Stern necessity had leveled sexual and worldly distinctions, and
manual labor was, at times, performed by all who were in the least
physically fitted for it. All classes early became inured to
makeshifts and privations, though they managed in some unselfish
manner to send, from time to time, great quantities of clothing,
meats, and other supplies to the soldiers in the field and their
wounded comrades in the army hospitals.

The intense devotion of Loudoun women to the Confederate cause was
most irritating to a certain class of Federal officers in the armies
that invaded Northern Virginia. They seemed to think that through
their military prowess they had conquered entrance into Southern
society, but the women repulsed them at every turn and quite
effectually checked their presumptuous advances.

The women of all classes played and sang Confederate airs on every
occasion, and, though ordered by the military authorities to desist,
with consummate daring they usually persisted until a guard of
soldiers had been detailed to enforce the order. The Federal officers
who acted in a gentlemanly manner toward the non-combatants were
accused by their rude fellows and by ruder newspaper correspondents of
being "wound round the fingers of the rebel women," who, they were
sure, had some cherished object in view.

The women, without question, had much the harder task. The men, in
active service in the field, were reasonably sure that their families
were safe at home and, in the feverish excitement of war, felt no
concern for themselves, while, on the other hand, the women lived in
hourly dread of direful news from the front, and, moreover, were
burdened with labors and cares more irksome and harassing than had
ever been borne by the absent males.

The music and songs that were popular just before and during the war
attest the vacillating temper of the people. Joyous airs were at first
heard, these growing contemptuous and defiant as the struggle
approached, then stirring war songs and hymns of encouragement. But as
sorrow followed sorrow until all were stricken; as wounds, sickness,
imprisonment, and death of friends and relatives cast an
ever-lengthening shadow over the spirits of the people; as hopes were
dashed by defeat, and the consciousness came that, perhaps, after all
the cause was losing, the iron entered into the souls of the people.
The songs became sadder, while in the churches, where the doctrines of
faith and good works were earnestly propounded, little else was heard
than the soul-comforting hymns and the militant songs of the older
churchmen. The promises were, perhaps, more emphasized and a deeply
religious feeling prevailed among the home-workers for the cause.

_Pierpont's Pretentious Administration._

On December 7, 1863, the legislature of the "Restored Government of
Virginia" held its first meeting in the chambers of the city council
at Alexandria, which municipality became the seat of a Union
administration in the Old Dominion, after Governor Pierpont's removal
from Wheeling, W. Va., where, by unqualified political trickery, he
and his unauthorized following had effected the establishment of a new
Union commonwealth out of the ruins of Confederate Virginia. Six
senators were present, representing the counties of Norfolk, Accomac,
Fairfax, Alexandria, and _Loudoun_, and the city of Norfolk. Prince
William, Northampton, Alexandria, _Loudoun_, and Norfolk counties were
represented by seven delegates. J. Madison Downey, of Loudoun, was
elected speaker of the house of delegates.

This tiny mouth-piece of Virginia Unionists had naturally few
important, or even ordinary, questions of legislation to decide. The
most important was a provision for the amendment of the State
constitution with relation to its bearing on the slavery question.
"Everybody," said Governor Pierpont in his message, "loyal or
disloyal, concedes that slavery in the State is doomed. Then acting
upon this concession, call a convention of loyal delegates, to alter
the State constitution in this particular, and declare slavery and
involuntary servitude, except for crime, to be forever abolished in
the State."

A new constitution which should supercede that of 1851 and express the
Union sentiments of the Potomac legislators, was accordingly drafted.
Nominations of delegates to the constitutional convention were made in
January, 1864. By the terms of the act relative thereto, any voter in
the State who had not adhered by word or act to the Confederacy since
September 1, 1861, might be chosen a member of the convention; all
"loyal" citizens, who had not given aid or comfort to the Confederacy
since January 1, 1863, possessed the right to vote.

Elections were held January 22, 1864. Very little interest was
manifested by the people, as was evidenced by the ridiculously small
vote everywhere polled. _Loudoun's_ nominees, Dr. J.J. Henshaw, J.
Madison Downey, and E. R. Giver, were elected by a mere handful of

The convention met at Alexandria February 13, 1864, with fifteen[40]
delegates present from twelve counties. Le Roy G. Edwards, of
Portsmouth, was elected president and W.J. Cowing, secretary. A number
of radical changes in the old constitution, framed by legitimate
authority in ante-bellum days, were consummated during the two months'
session of this convention.

[Footnote 40: It should be noted that Loudoun County furnished three of
this number.]

The Alexandria government held sway very nearly two years. The
legislature met for its second session December 5, 1864, and
re-elected J. Madison Downey, of Loudoun County, speaker of the house
of delegates.

The Pierpont government was not in itself of great importance. Its
influence extended to only a dozen counties and three cities and,
"under the shadow of bayonets, it was the rule of a few aliens in the
midst of a generally hostile population. Men at the time and since
have laughed at its legitimist pretenses." It would have been
summarily dismissed by the people but for the protection afforded it
by the Federal armies. Thus it appears that the "Restored Government
of Virginia" was not based upon the consent and approval of the
governed. Yet, suited to a policy of expediency and aggression, it
was, with quivering and unseemly eagerness, recognized as the legal
government of the State by the Lincoln administration.


A significant event of the war was the issuance by President Lincoln
of his celebrated emancipation proclamation. This highly important
measure, promulgated on New Year's day, 1863, sounded the death-knell
of slavery, an institution that, in the South, had seemed commercially

The tidings spread rapidly through Loudoun producing, however, no
change in the amicable relations existing between the white and
colored races. In all sections of the South some apprehension was at
first felt lest the negroes be tempted by Federal rewards to
insurrection and the state militias be required to suppress outbreaks.

The people of Loudoun, of course, shared in these early misgivings,
but here, as elsewhere, the negroes, as a whole, manifested no outward
signs of disaffection. History must record to their credit and praise
that while actual warfare was being waged on the soil of Loudoun they
quietly awaited the final issue of the fiery struggle.

Entire communities of women and children were left in their charge,
while all able-bodied white men were away on the battlefield, and the
trust was faithfully kept. Instances of criminal acts were so rare
that at this period none are recalled, and while this fidelity is
proof of the peaceable character of the negro, it is also evidence for
their owners that slavery had produced no personal hostilities between
the two races in Loudoun County, and that the treatment of the negro
by his owner under the law had been such as to maintain between them
personal attachment and mutual confidence. Many negroes accompanied
their owners to the seat of war, not to take part in battle, but to
serve in semi-military duties without exposure to danger. Some of them
marched in Maryland and Pennsylvania with the armies of Lee,
voluntarily returning, although they might have remained in the free
States without hindrance. They are still proud of the conduct of their
race in those days of anxiety and peril.

The proclamation of President Lincoln was regarded in Virginia as a
strictly political war measure, designed to place the cause of war
distinctly upon the sole question of slavery for an effect to be
produced upon foreign countries and with the purpose of making use of
negroes as soldiers in the Federal army. The issue of negro freedom
had not been distinctly made until this proclamation created it.
Hitherto it had been understood that, at the furthest, the Federal
authorities would insist only on restriction of slavery to the limits
where it already existed and a gradual emancipation upon payment of
the value of slaves held at the beginning of the war. But now it was
settled that the United States proposed to enforce by arms an
instantaneous emancipation without compensation.

_Close of the War._

The half-clad and impoverished southern armies, after four years of
valiant fighting, were no longer able to withstand the superior
numbers that had confronted them with merciless regularity in every
important conflict of the war, and, in April, 1865, the struggle
ceased with the complete subjugation of the Southland.

All that the States-rights supporters had prophesied would be
accomplished if unresisted; all that the Unionists had indignantly
denied to be the objects of the war was accomplished: the South was
conquered, State sovereignty repudiated, the slaves were freed, and
the recognition of negro political equality forced upon the nation.

Neighborhood strifes and animosities had been engendered in every
village and hamlet, and in nearly every household mothers wept for the
lost darlings asleep in their unmarked graves. The women and children,
hearing with a shock of the surrender, experienced a terrible dread of
the incoming armies. The women had been enthusiastic for the
Confederate cause; their sacrifices had been incalculable, and to many
the disappointment and sorrow following defeat were more bitter than
death. The soldier had the satisfaction of having fought in the field
for his opinions and it was easier for him to abide by the decision of

But the terms of peace had scarcely been signed when the great popular
heart of the State swelled with generous and magnanimous rivalry in an
effort to repair the past. The soldiers who had fought and striven
under the successful banners of the Union came back with no bitterness
in their hearts, with no taunts on their lips. The war-worn exiles of
the Southern army, long before formal permission had been given by
either the State or Federal Government, were summoned home and
received with open arms and affectionate greetings by both the Union
and States-rights men. The people of the entire State seemed to
remember with sorrowful pride the noble men who had died gallantly in
the ranks of either army. Over their faults was thrown the mantle of
the sweet and soothing charities of the soldier's grave; and, on all
sides, there was manifested unstinted admiration for the valor with
which they had borne the dangers and privations of the war.


_After the Surrender._

If the era of Reconstruction which followed the tragic drama of civil
war lacked the fierce element of bloodshed, it was none the less
painful and protracted. It was a gloomy period through which the
people of Loudoun, in common with other communities of the Southland,
were compelled to pass, and there was no appeal and no alternative
save submission.

The conditions in the South in this decade were radically different
from those in the North. As a result of the war, the markets of the
South were destroyed, investments in slaves were lost, and land
improvements deteriorated. The close of the war found the planters
bankrupt, their credit destroyed, and agriculture and all business
paralyzed by lack of working capital. Vast areas of land went out of
cultivation, the reported acreage of farm land in all the Southern
States was less in 1870 than in 1860, and the total and average values
of land everywhere decreased.

The paroled Confederate soldier had returned to his ruined farm and
set to work to save his family from extreme want. For him the war had
decided two questions--the abolition of slavery, and destruction of
State sovereignty. Further than this he did not expect the political
effects of the war to extend. He knew that some delay would
necessarily attend the restoration of former relations with the
central government, but political proscription and humiliation were
not anticipated.

No one thought of further opposition to Federal authority; the results
of the war were accepted in good faith, and the people meant to abide
by the decision of arms. Naturally, there were no profuse expressions
of love for the triumphant North, but the people in general manifested
an earnest desire to leave the past behind them and to take their
places and do their duty as citizens of the new Union. Many persons
were disposed to attribute their defeat to the will of the Almighty.
Others believed that fate, destiny, or Providence had frowned upon the
South, and this state of mind made them the more ready to accept as
final the results of the war.

Such was the state of feeling in the first stage, before there was any
general understanding of the nature of the questions to be solved or
of the conflicting policies. News from the outside world filtered
through slowly; while the whole County lay prostrate, breathless,
exhausted, resting. Little interest was evinced in public questions;
the long strain had been removed, and the future was a problem too
bewildering even to be considered yet awhile. The people settled down
into a lethargy, seemingly indifferent to the events that were
crowding one upon another, and exhibiting little interest in
government and politics.

There was a woeful lack of good money in the County and industry was
paralyzed. The gold and silver that remained was carefully hoarded,
and for months none was in circulation except in the towns. The people
had no faith in paper money of any description and thought that
greenbacks would become worthless in the same way as had Confederate
currency. All sense of values had been lost, which fact may account
for the fabulous and fictitious prices obtaining in the South for
several years after the war, and the liberality of appropriations of
the first legislatures following the surrender.

With many persons there was an almost maddening desire for the things
to which they had once been accustomed, the traders and speculators
now placing them in tempting array in the long-empty store window.

People owning hundreds of acres of land often were as destitute as the
poorest negro. The majority of those having money to invest had bought
Confederate securities as a patriotic duty, and in this way much of
the specie had been drawn from the County.

Nearly all the grist-mills and manufacturing establishments had been
destroyed, mill-dams cut, ponds drained, and railroad depots, bridges,
and trestles burned. All farm animals near the track of the armies had
been carried away or killed by the soldiers, or seized after the
occupation by the troops. Horses, mules, cows, and other domestic
animals had almost disappeared except in the secluded districts. Many
farmers had to plough with oxen. Farm buildings had been dismantled or
burned, houses ruined, fences destroyed, corn, meat, and other food
products taken.

In the larger towns, where something had been saved from the wreck of
war, the looting by Federal soldiers was shameful. Pianos, curios,
pictures, curtains, and other household effects were shipped North by
the Federal officers during the early days of the occupation. Gold and
silver plate and jewelry were confiscated by the "bummers" who were
with every command. Abuses of this kind became so flagrant that the
Northern papers condemned the conduct of the soldiers, and several
ministers, among them Henry Ward Beecher, rebuked the practice from
the pulpit.

The best soldiers of the Federal army had demanded their discharge as
soon as fighting was over, and had immediately left for their homes.
Those who remained in the service in the State were, with few
exceptions, very disorderly and kept the people in terror by their
robberies and outrages.

Land was almost worthless, many of the owners having no capital, farm
animals, or implements. Labor was disorganized, and its scant product
often stolen by roving negroes and other marauders. The planters often
found themselves amid a wilderness of land without laborers.

From this general gloom and despair the young people soon partially
recovered, and among them there was much social gayety of a quiet
sort. For four years the young men and young women had seen little of
each other, and there had been comparatively few marriages. Now that
they were together again, these nuptials soon became more common than
conditions seem to have warranted.

This revival of spirits did not extend to the older people, who were
long recovering from the shock of grief, and strain of war, much that
had made life worth living being lost to them forever.

_Conduct of the Freedmen._

Nearly every slaveholder, returning home after the fall of the
Confederacy, assembled his remaining negroes and formally notified
them of their freedom, and talked with them concerning its entailed
privileges, responsibilities, and limitations. The news had, of
course, reached them through other channels, but they had loyally
awaited the home-coming of their masters, to whom they looked for a
confirmation of the reports. Steady employment at a fixed wage was
offered most of them, and, except in the vicinity of the towns and
army posts, where they were exposed to alien influences, the negroes
usually chose to remain at their work.

Many were satisfied with the old slavery quarters while others, for
the taste of freedom that was afforded, established homes of their own
at near-by points. There were two things which the negroes of the
South felt must be done before they could be entirely free: They must
discard their masters' names and leave the old plantations if only for
a few days or weeks.

Among the most contented and industrious there was much restlessness
and neglect of work. Hunting and fishing and frolics were the order of
the day. Nearly every man acquired, in some way, a dog and gun as
badges of freedom. It was quite natural that the negroes should want a
prolonged holiday for the enjoyment of their new-found freedom; and it
is really strange that any of them worked, for there obtained an
almost universal impression--the result of the teachings of the negro
soldiers and Freedmen's Bureau officials--that the Government would
support them in idleness. But in the remote districts this impression
was vague. The advice of the old plantation preachers held many to
their work, and these did not suffer as did their brothers who flocked
to the towns.

Neither master nor freedman knew exactly how to begin anew and it was
some time before affairs emerged from the chaotic state into which the
war had plunged them. The average planter had little or no faith in
free negro labor, yet all who were now able were willing to give it a
trial. The more optimistic land-owners believed that the free negro
could in time be made an efficient laborer, in which case they were
willing to admit that the change might prove beneficial to both races.
At first, however, no one knew just how to work the free negro;
innumerable plans were devised, many tried, and few adopted.

The new regime differed but little from the old until the fall of
1865, when the Freedmen's Bureau, aided by the negro soldiers and
white emissaries, had filled the minds of the credulous ex-slaves with
false impressions of the new and glorious condition that lay before
them. Then, with the extension of the Bureau and spread of the army
posts, many of the negroes became idle, neglected the crops planted in
the spring, and moved from their old homes to the towns or wandered
aimlessly from place to place.

Upon leaving their homes the blacks collected in gangs at the
cross-roads, in the villages and towns, and especially near the
military posts. To the negro these ordinary men in blue were beings
from another sphere who had brought him freedom, a something he could
not exactly comprehend, but which, he was assured, was a delightful

Upon the negro women often fell the burden of supporting the children,
to which hardship were traceable the then common crimes of foeticide
and child murder. The small number of children during the decade of
Reconstruction was generally remarked. Negro women began to flock to
the towns; how they lived no one can tell; immorality was general
among them. The conditions of Reconstruction were unfavorable to
honesty and morality among the negroes, both male and female.

Their marriage relations were hardly satisfactory, judged by white
standards. The legislatures in 1865-1866 had declared slave marriages
binding. The reconstructionists denounced this as a great cruelty and
repealed the laws. Marriages were then made to date from the passage
of the Reconstruction Acts. As many negro men had had several wives
before that date they were relieved from the various penalties of
desertion, bigamy, adultery, etc. Some seized the opportunity to
desert their wives and children and acquire new help-meets. While much
suffering resulted from the desertion, as a rule, the negro mother
alone supported the children better than did the father who stayed.

Negro women accepted freedom with even greater seriousness than did
the men, and were not always, nor easily, induced to again take up the
familiar drudgery of field labor and domestic service. To approximate
the ease of their former mistresses, to wear fine clothes and go often
to church were their chief ambitions. Negro women had never been as
well-mannered, nor, on the whole, as good natured and cheerful as the
negro men. Both sexes, during Reconstruction, lost much of their
native cheerfulness; the men no longer went singing and shouting to
their work in the fields; some of the blacks, especially the women,
became impudent and insulting in their bearing toward the whites.

As a result of certain pernicious alien influences there soon
developed a tendency to insolent conduct on the part of the younger
negro men, who seemed convinced that civil behavior and freedom were
incompatible. With some there was a disposition not to submit to the
direction of their employers, and the negro's advisers warned him
against the "efforts of the white man to enslave" him. Consequently,
he very often refused to enter into contracts that called for any
assumption of responsibility on his part, and the few agreements to
which he became a party had first to be ratified by the Bureau. As he
had no knowledge of the obligation of contracts, he usually violated
them at pleasure.

The negroes, massed in the towns, lived in deserted and ruined houses
or in huts built by themselves of refuse lumber. They were very
scantily clothed and their food, often insufficient and badly cooked,
if cooked at all, was obtained by begging, stealing, or upon
application to the Bureau. Taking from the whites was not considered
stealing, but was "Spilin' de Gypshuns."

The health of the negroes was injured during the period 1865-1875. In
the towns the standard of living was low, sanitary arrangements were
bad, and disease killed large numbers and permanently injured the
negro constitution.

Following the military occupation of the State the negroes, young and
old, were seized with an overmastering desire for book learning. This
seeming thirst for education was not rightly understood at the North;
it was, in fact, more a desire to imitate the white master and obtain
formerly forbidden privileges than any real yearning due to an
understanding of the value of education. The negro hardly knew the
significance of the bare word, but the northern people gave him credit
for an appreciation not yet altogether true even of whites.


No occurrences of extreme historic value mark the career of Loudoun
since the days of Reconstruction, and the seemingly abrupt conclusion
to which the reader has now arrived is not thought incompatible with
the plan of this work, which in no single instance has contemplated
the inclusion of any but the most momentous events. Besides, existing
conditions have received protracted mention in the preceding
descriptive and statistical departments where appear evidences of the
County's present vast wealth and resources, numberless charms and
recent marvelous development.

       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History and Comprehensive Description of Loudoun County, Virginia" ***

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