On that day, approximately 200 Confederate cavalrymen overran a barricade defended by the 45th New York Volunteers. The skirmish ended when reinforcing troops from the 32nd New York Regiment joined the fight and the Confederates retreated toward Centreville. One federal soldier and a couple of Confederates were killed, and about 12 to 14 soldiers on each side were taken prisoner.
|Mosby (Fleming), Will, and |
David Meisky, who portrayed Gov. Smith, is a member of the 17th Virginia Infantry re-enactment group, also known as the Fairfax Rifles. He says the governor was not present during the Annandale skirmish, but he had ridden in a stagecoach on Little River Turnpike. Both Meisky and Fleming are in Lee’s Lieutenants, a group whose members portray actual historical figures.
Anne Wendell of Sandston, Va., outside Richmond, came to the ceremony with her son Erich to see where Erich’s great, great, great grandfather, Valentine Wendell, had fought as a member of the 45th New York infantry, which was made up entirely of German immigrants. Valentine Wendell was later captured at Chancellorsville, held for six months, and continued to fight.
This summer, Anne and Erich, a freshman studying aerospace engineering at Virginia Tech, toured Civil War battle sites where Valentine had fought. Anne added Annandale to their itinerary when she learned about the historic marker dedication from the Annandale blog.
|Anne Wendell and Erich|
Following the unveiling ceremony, the group moved inside the library, and historic Ron Beavers gave a brief presentation on the Manassas Gap Railroad line, which was planned to extend from Manassas Junction to Harrisonburg—and eventually from Alexandria to the coal fields of western Virginia (what is now West Virginia), but those plans were disrupted by the Civil War. When Virginia seceded from the Union May 23, 1861, all work on the railroad halted.
|Connolly and Gross|
But that won’t happen any time soon, says Mason Supervisor Penny Gross, because the Hillbrook-Tall Oaks Civic Association has made it clear that it doesn’t want the park cleaned up. Gross expressed pride in all of the historic markers in the Mason District and says the marker commemorating the Action at Annandale is the 39th historic marker in Fairfax County.
Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, says the “historic marker program is so valuable because it helps us tell the story. There is history dotted all through Fairfax County.” A book is coming out next week with information on all of the historic markers in the Mason District. And all local residents interested in the past are urged to come to the Fairfax County History Conference Nov. 6.