History

150 Years Ago This Week: The world explodes

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Marching north on the Valley Turnpike (Route 11 today), Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s entire Confederate army was headed to Kernstown, just south of Winchester, where Gen. George Crooke’s Federal troops were posted.
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Down Memory Lane for July 24

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July 24

Jan. 17, 1974: Harry Jordan topped 1,000 points in his career for the Rappahannock County High School basketball team Tuesday night. Rappahannock, the smallest school in the Skyline District, has had a rough time without a win this season.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Bloody summer

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In Georgia on Saturday, July 16, Maj. Gen. William Sherman’s major move across the Chattahoochee River and out around the north side of Atlanta toward Decatur on the east got underway, though not without delays.
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150 Years Ago This Week: President Lincoln under fire

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On Sunday, July 10, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederate troops marched closer to the environs of Washington, D.C. There was some minor fighting at Rockville, Md., and at the Gunpowder River bridge north of the city.
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Down Memory Lane for July 17

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July 10

Mutt Atkins first drove a Rappahannock County school bus back in 1929, when “the mud in wintertime — let alone the snow — was so deep the bus had to have chains to get through.”
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battle at Monocacy

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In Charleston Harbor, S.C., the Federals renewed assaults against the city and Fort Sumter on Sunday, July 3. Landing in barges, a Union assault force from Morris Island failed in a dawn attack on Fort Johnson, and lost 140 men as Confederate prisoners.
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Down Memory Lane for July 3

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July 3

Dec. 20, 1973 The new bridge at Laurel Mills was opened to traffic last week, replacing the old overhead steel span. The prospects of a new bridge and straightened road caused considerable controversy in the Laurel Mills community when it was proposed by the Highway Department. Beating the energy crisis are the Dixon children...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Prelude to an invasion

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As June of 1864 drew to a close, the Union Army of the Potomac laid siege to Petersburg, south of Richmond. Southerners viewed Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant’s overland campaign a failure, since the Union troops had not captured Richmond or conquered Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army.
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Down Memory Lane for June 26

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June 26

Dec. 13, 1973 The home of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Priest at Amissville was destroyed by fire a year ago in November and all of their furnishings and possessions were consumed in the inferno. This November, just over a year later, the Priest family moved into a newly constructed home, made possible through the efforts...
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150 Years Ago This Week: CSS Alabama sunk

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By June 18, Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant realized that the Union assaults against Petersburg were accomplishing very little besides losing large numbers of soldiers in the fighting. He came to a decision: Petersburg could not be taken by assault. The siege was on.
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Letter: A mayor’s perspective

Much has been written about Little Washington this past week and I understand the concerns and the passion because all of us who live here care deeply about the special nature of our county seat. I want to offer my perspective — some history and some facts, and most of all emphasize there is...
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Letter: Civic ‘improvement’ and the price of wool 

At the end of the 18th century, wealthy landlords, both Scottish and English, looked upon the indigenous peoples of the Scottish Highlands and saw a backward, rustic, simple society of barefoot laborers eking out a rudimentary existence on small plots called crofts. These crofters utilized enough land to provide for themselves and their immediate...
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Down Memory Lane for June 19

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June 19

Dec. 6, 1973 The 100th anniversary of the Washington Baptist Church was celebrated by its members Sunday, at which time a dedication service in recognition of several furnishings was conducted. A large group of members and friends attended the service conducted by Dr. Gary Gruber of Lancaster, Pa. Dr. Gruber recently served the church as...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Siege at Petersburg begins

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As the second week of June 1864 closed, Maj. Gen. Nathan Forrest and his Confederate cavalry were located at Brice’s Crossroads, south of Corinth, when they attacked Union infantry commanded by Maj. Gen. Samuel Sturgis.
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Down Memory Lane for June 12

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June 12

Nov. 29, 1973 The Town of Washington has a new mayor, and you guessed it — the mayor is a woman. Mrs. Virginia Miller was elected at the November meeting of the town council. Mrs. Christine Johnston, a council member for many years, was named treasurer to succeed Mrs. Miller. The election came about following the...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battle of Piedmont

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Far to the west of the armies at the gates of Richmond, Brig. Gen. William W. Averell’s Union cavalry set out from Bunger’s Mills in Greenbrier County, W. Va. to aid Maj. Gen. David Hunter and his plans to lay waste to the Shenandoah Valley.
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Down Memory Lane for June 5

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June 5

Nov. 22, 1973 A former Rappahannock boy, Jack Dabney, is Prince William County’s public relations director.  Dabney, the son of Jack and Reba Lawson Dabney, moved to Flint Hill in 1952, where he lived with his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Lawson. The Lawsons had lived in Flint Hill since she turn of...
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150 Years Ago This Week: 7,000 killed in 20 minutes

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Another race was on between the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia after the two days of fighting at the North Anna River north of Richmond. Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army was protecting the capital at Richmond.
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The Rapp for May 29

“Virginia Farm House,” a 24-by-30-inch oil on canvas, is one of two Kevin Adams paintings headed to Burkina Faso courtesy of the state department.

Have a pint for the endangered P-horse, watch “Philomena” at the Theatre, get cooking with the Castleton Festival’s newest offerings, learn the history behind the “First Washington,” sample Grey Ghost and Narmada wineries’ newest award-winners and more in this week’s Rapp column.
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Down Memory Lane for May 29

Nov. 15, 1973 Deputy Sheriff Everett J. Estes of Washington has completed the Law Enforcement Officers Training Standards Commission, and received his certificate in a graduation exercise last Friday evening. This basic police training course was held at Blue Ridge Community College at Weyers Cave. The six-week course is required of law enforcement personnel within...
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150 Years Ago This Week: North Anna and New Hope Church

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With some of the bloodiest fighting of the war done at Spotsylvania Courthouse, the two great armies of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant continued to try to outflank the other. In another race of time, Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill marched south to the North Anna River near Hanover Junction.
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Photo: Marking New Market Day

Courtesy photo

Down Memory Lane for May 22

Nov. 8, 1973 Rappahannock County High School’s cross country team took the district championship Saturday at Stonewall Jackson High with a score of 16. A perfect score is 15. The local team is composed of Bill Taylor, captain and coach John Toth, John Summers, Ronnie Nicholson, Harry Jordan, Earl Lilly, Tom Taylor and Jerry Thomas....
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150 Years Ago This Week: The world is on fire

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As of the middle of May 1864, there was fighting on all fronts of the Confederacy. In Virginia, the armies of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant were engaged in some of the most savage fighting of the war in and around Spotsylvania Courthouse.
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Down Memory Lane for May 8

Nov. 1, 1973 The building trades class at Rappahannock County High School has undertaken and completed a building project which includes a storage building and a number of dog houses. The work is under the instruction of Mr. Stoltzfus and class members are Donald Compton, James Freeman, Charles Grigsby, Roger Hitt, Barry Hudson, Earl Lilly,...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Into the Wilderness

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During the first couple of days in May, 1864, fighting between opposing troops took place primarily west of the Mississippi River. Confederates captured the U.S. river transport Emma at David’s Ferry, followed by four days of skirmishing at former Governor Thomas O. Moore’s plantation.
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1929: Famed aviatrix Ruth Elder visits Sperryville

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May 1
Ruth Elder, a dental assistant in Lakeland, Fla., took up flying in her early 20s. At her peak, she was known as the Flying Florida Flapper and Miss America of Aviation. Here she poses with her plane, “The American Girl.”

Ruth Elder was a famed aviatrix, though little remembered today. In the fall of 1927, five months after Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic, Elder, a pretty 23-year-old from Florida with only two years of flying experience, set off to become the first woman to fly the Atlantic.
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Photos: What goes around . . .

Bear (#1) at the starting line of his first Fodderstack 10K.

150 Years Ago This Week: Death in the White House

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On Monday, April 25, Maj. Gen. Robert Ransom was assigned to command the Department of Richmond. That same day, following the capture of Plymouth, N.C., on April 20, the Confederates began evacuating nearby Washington, N.C.
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Asking great things of us

If we were to face our children in 50 years, and account for the Earth we left them, would they be pleased? Nina Beth Cardin, a rabbi in Baltimore, writes that it is time for us to ask ourselves that question, and to rise to meet a great challenge.
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Down Memory Lane for April 24

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April 24

Oct. 11, 1973 Rappahannock County was well represented at the conference held in Richmond last Friday under the sponsorship of the Conservation Council of Virginia, with assistance from the Central Atlantic Environment Center. Attending sessions on the topic — “Virginia’s Land: Exploitation or Conservation?” — were Roger Batchelder of Amissville, Fanning Baumgardner of the county zoning...
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘In God We Trust’ first appears

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At Knoxville, Tenn., Union military governor Andrew Johnson vigorously supported emancipation at a large pro-Union meeting. In Richmond, the Examiner expressed editorial concern about the forthcoming military campaign in Virginia.
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Down Memory Lane for April 17

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April 17

Sept. 27, 1973 Stone House Hollow, the cozy stone house owned by Dr. and Mrs. R.B. Allen near Flint Hill, will be opened for the annual fall house tour and dried arrangement sale Oct. 20-21. This event is sponsored by the Episcopal Churchmen of Bromfield Parrish. The house has many interesting furnishings collected during extensive...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Controversy at Fort Pillow

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Heavy spring rains fell on most of Virginia at the end of the second week of April, 1864, washing out or damaging a number of bridges and keeping military operations at bay. Farther southwest, in Louisiana, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks pulled his Union forces on the Red River back towards Grand Ecore.
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Down Memory Lane for April 10

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April 10
Aney Melissa Massie, Sheri Kritz and Jennifer Eastham added their bit of glamour to the Women's Club Fashion Show.

Sept. 20, 1973 William Magee of Amissville and Eddie Sutphin of Washington spent a recent vacation in Acapulco, Mexico and while there tried their luck with a pole and line. William caught a nine-footer while Eddie hooked a shark, which bit the line in half and got away. Mr. and Mrs. Sutphin declared they had an...
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Mother knows best

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April 3

Richard Brady supposes — and hopes — everyone has a warm place in their heart for their mother, or for the memories of her. The extent of the influence his mother had on him is hard to comprehend, even as these years later.
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Down Memory Lane for April 3

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April 3
Two "fashionable flappers" pose on the bumper of one of the town's first cars in front of the future Inn at Little Washington.

Sept. 13, 1973 The latest looks in fall and winter fashions will be featured at the second annual Fall Harvest Fashion Show at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 22, at Rappahannock County Elementary School. Co-hosting the show are Southern Department Store of Warrenton and the Rappahannock County Women’s Club. WFTR Radio’s Bob Traister, along with...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Major confrontations north and south

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About 100 Copperheads vented long pent-up feelings by attacking Union soldiers at home on furlough in Charleston. The fighting was quelled by troop reinforcements, leaving five men dead and more than 20 injured. It was the worst anti-war outbreak since the New York City draft riots in July 1863.
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Down Memory Lane for March 27

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March 27

Sept. 6, 1973 A movie filmed in Rappahannock County and intended to show a gentler, more solid view of American life, especially Southern American life, will have its “world premiere” Sept. 14-16 at the Sperryville fire hall. The idea for the film grew out of visits to friends in Rappahannock, and especially from a...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Two intense (snowball) fights

The Great Snowball Battle near Fredericksburg in February 1863.

On the high seas on Sunday, March 20, the Confederate raider Alabama arrived at Cape Town, South Africa, on a respite from attacking Union commerce and warships. In Louisiana, the Red River campaign was well underway; at Bayou Rapides, Union and Confederate troops clashed.
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