The 8th Illinois Departs King George County … For Now

On January 15, 1863, Lt. Col. Rufus Ingalls, Quartermaster General, Army of the Potomac, replied to an earlier letter from his superior, Brig. Gen. Montgomery Meigs, in which Meigs had asked about “securing the supplies that may be in the Peninsula between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers.” “The matter has frequently engaged my attention,” Ingalls…

Commitment, Discipline and Leadership

In April I detailed the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry’s Christmas Day frolic in King George County.  The misfeasance of Lt. Col. Amos E. Griffiths, and several of his officers, may have gone unnoticed but for the timely, or untimely, depending upon your point of view, arrival of Col. William Gamble’s 8th Illinois Cavalry.  Regiments rotated picket…

Picket Duty in King George, Christmas Day 1862

The 8th Illinois Cavalry relieved the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry from picket duty in King George County on Christmas Day 1862.  Leaving their camps in Stafford County, the men headed south and east along present-day Route 3 into King George County.  Stafford County was desolate, stark and war-ravaged; fences had disappeared, forests denuded and farms abandoned. …

Willow Hill

King George County saw several skirmishes but no great battles during the Civil War.  Still, the long tenure of the two great armies along the Rappahannock River in 1862 and 1863 insured a military presence in the county.  Southern soldiers crossed the Rappahannock River routinely seeking food and forage from the farms in the county. …

Elon Farnsworth and the Dulin Brothers

Part 1 of 4 But for his meteoric rise from captain to brigadier on June 28, 1863, and his death five days later in a controversial attack at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Elon Farnsworth may well have remained one of the many thousands of young men who served during the Civil War in relative anonymity. And while…