Virginia has many historical sites including the 11-acre Mayfield Fort. This is located in the middle of the Russia Branch and Buckhall tributaries that serve the Occoquan River. It was deemed as a valuable site because of its proximity to the waters and its strategic elevated position.
In fact, the Native Americans began to settle in this area way back around 3700 BC. This bit of information was discovered thanks to the prehistoric artifacts that were gathered by archeologists. Those early settlers seemed to be hunter-gatherers who practiced trade and migration.
It was in 1740 when the Europeans first established a settlement in this land. The property was patented to Peter Hambrick and was called Mayfield. It did not take long for him to sell the title to Robert Hawson Hooe of a known wealthy Virginia family. They have been in the lower Potomac region for a while so this was a sensible acquisition for them. It was this family that turned Mayfield into a thriving operation, erecting many buildings around the place.
The Civil War
War raged in the mid-1800s and no one was spared. Even this wealthy family had to move away from Mayfield for a while. It was the Confederate soldiers who came in to defend the railroad lines that transported vital supplies. General Beauregard led the establishment of fortifications for the railroads to help the troops in their duties.
Construction and Occupation
A Confederate engineer named Colonel Terrett supervised the construction. To boost manpower, they used both the local troops and conscript slave labor. The mainmaterials were earth with log reinforcements. The fortifications were then equipped with naval guns that came from the Norfolk Navy Yard.
This become a Confederate-occupied territory from the middle of 1861 to the first quarter of 1862. After the withdrawal of the rebels to Richmond for defensive assistance, it was the soldiers of the Union who began to occupy the fort. This went on for almost three years from early 1862 to late 1864. According to descriptions, much of the site had nothing but earth and grass. Huts for the soldiers were located near the fort. There was also a south entrance, a few interior structures, and parapet walls.
The Site Today
Much has changed since then but the site is still considered as an important historical landmark. There are Civil war markers scattered all over the fort. The foundation for the Hooe mansion is marked by a stone. There is a replica of the Quaker guns that were left behind by the Confederates where they left. The earthwork fortification is still there for all to see. It has truly become a living monument and a great place to educate future generations about the Civil War. And as a nice bonus it is only a short jump from the airport.
Those who would like to visit the site can go at any time from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free and open to the public. If you or a loved one need legal representation please do not hesitate to contact our Manassas location today!