History

The Rapp for July 12

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Castleton Festival's upcoming weekend and beyond, historic doings in Chester Gap, a show-saving piano donation, a deal for Shenandoah National Park visitors, fighting invasive plants and lots more.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The summer of our discontent

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On Tuesday, July 1, the day of the battle at Malvern Hill near Richmond, the last of the Seven Days’ Battles, Abraham Lincoln approved an act to provide for a Federal income tax – 3 percent on income between $600 and $10,000.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Seven Days’ Campaign

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At the end of June, Maj. Gen. John Pope was organizing his Army of Virginia, stationed for the most part in Rappahannock County, into three army corps, all totaling 60,000 to 65,000 officers and men. 
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Down Memory Lane for July 5

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July 5

50 years agoOctober 11, 1962 James M. Settle of Flint Hill has tendered his resignation as Clerk of the Circuit Court of Rappahannock, effective December 32, 1962, after 40 years of faithful service in this office. Mr. Settle was first appointed clerk by Judge George Latham Fletcher to fill the unexpired term of William Armstrong...
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Down Memory Lane for June 28

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June 28

50 years agoOctober 4, 1962 “Trigger” and Trigger Jr.,” horses of the famous screen and TV personality Roy Rogers, were in Amissville Saturday. Under the supervision of Glen Randall, the horses had been on tour and were enroute to California. They stopped at Hackley’s Store for gas and Mr. Randall talked with Janet Hackley...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Population of Rappahannock — 70,000

Maj. Gen. John Pope

With the major drive on Richmond by Maj. Gen. George McClellan’s 110,000 strong Army of the Potomac slowly approaching the Confederate capital from the east, the Lincoln administration decided to establish another large force in Virginia, with the objective of protecting Washington and, moving through north central Virginia, striking Richmond from the west.
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Photo: Rappahannock Old Guard: the Black Flag Company

The 6th Virginia CWT marker.

A new Civil War Trails marker commemorates the Confederate army's Company B of the 6th Virginia Cavalry, which was recruited exclusively from Rappahannock County citizens.
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Down Memory Lane for June 21

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June 21

50 years agoSeptember 27, 1962 The Rural Area Development Committee of Rappahannock County met Friday, Sept. 2, at the local high school at Washington. The brochure, “Resort To Rappahannock,” publicizing the county, was presented to members at the meeting and is now ready for wide distribution. Ed Harris was elected as chairman of the...
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150 Years Ago This Week: J.E.B. Stuart completes his ride

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Maj. Gen. James E. B. Stuart’s Confederate troopers, on their ride around McClellan’s army on Saturday, June 14, spent three hours repairing a wrecked bridge over the Chickahominy River.
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Down Memory Lane for June 14

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June 14

50 years agoSeptember 20, 1962 The Town Council of the Town of Washington met on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the courthouse with all members present and the mayor presiding. Two new ordinances were discussed and passed and will become effective only after the proper procedure.They were: No. 1: The property in the Town of...
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150 Years Ago This Week: General Ashby killed

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In the Shenandoah Valley near Harrisonburg on Friday, June 6, Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops continued south from Strasburg towards Port Republic, where Jackson anticipated finding two columns of Union troops commanded by Maj. Gen. James Shields and Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont.
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Photos: Bridge up, but not out

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Contractors remove the steel span of Sperryville's soon-to-be-replaced U.S. 522 bridge -- and a local Realtor-farmer snatches it up (but very carefully).
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Mosby and Sneden: The Gray Ghost and the Artist

Mosby and Sneden: The Gray Ghost and the Artist

New York City native Robert Knox Sneden was an architect and engineer who enlisted in the 40th New York Volunteers in 1861.
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Down Memory Lane for June 7

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June 7

50 years agoSeptember 13, 1962 Specialist Robert E. Atkins, who is stationed with the United States Army in Worms, West Germany, has been awarded an engraved cigarette lighter and a letter of commendation for driving a military motor vehicle 15,000 accident- and incident-free miles in the command. The award and congratulations were presented by Major...
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150 Years Ago This Week: General Lee assumes command

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May/June 1862 Saturday, May 31: In the Shenandoah Valley, Gen. Stonewall Jackson and his 15,000 troops hurried south through Winchester from Harpers Ferry in a heavy rain, squeezing through converging Union forces of Gen. Fremont and Gen. McDowell. There was a brief skirmish near Front Royal but the Federals were too late in trying...
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150 Years Ago This Week: The first Battle of Winchester

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May 1862 Fresh from his overwhelming victory at Front Royal, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson ordered his largely unscathed 16,000-man Army of the Valley on Saturday, May 24, to move quickly northwest and prevent the 8,000 Federals under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks from reaching the strategic town of Winchester. After Col. Kenly and...
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Down Memory Lane for May 17

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May 31

50 years ago September 6, 1962 A new administration went into office in Washington – Virginia, that is – on Sept. 1. It was an all-lady government as has been the case since Sept. 1, 1950. The ladies were elected in June on a write-in ballot which seems to be the rule in the county...
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Don’t call it a gun store!

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May 24
1905 Belgian Vello Dog .25 caliber pistol

Proprietor George Rosenbaum (behind the counter) prefers to call his newly opened shop on U.S. 211 in Washington a “weapons history museum.”
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150 Years Ago This Week: The battle of Front Royal

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May 1862 On Friday, May 16, the day following his infamous “Woman Order,” General Order No. 28, which declared that any woman in New Orleans who showed any disrespect to the flag or soldiers of the United States would be treated as common prostitutes, Gen. Benjamin Butler shut down publication of the New Orleans...
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Amissville woman spins 18th-century style

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May 17
Rachel Summers

It is often difficult to find goods made in America, much less locally by hand. But in Rappahannock County, there are those who preserve techniques developed generations before industrialization.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘Beast’ Butler earns his nickname

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Federal mortar boats appeared on the Mississippi River just north of Fort Pillow in Tennessee on Saturday, May 10.
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Down Memory Lane for May 17

50 years ago August 23, 1962 Hon. Burr P. Harrison, Seventh District member of the House of Representatives, announced today the appointment of Mr. Charles B. Palmer, Washington, to fill the rural mail carrier vacancy in the post office here. The vacancy occurred when Mr. Lester Yates retired last year and since that time has been...
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The Sperryville bridge: some background

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May 13
VDOT's simulation of the new bridge over the south fork of the Thornton River at U.S. 522.

Some historical background on the U.S. 522 Sperryville bridge.
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Sperryville’s little bridge, retired at 82

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May 10
The bridge as it looked in late April 2012.

Until VDOT began building its replacement last week, the Sperryville bridge was a brave little bridge. Day and night, for 82 years, it helped vehicles cross the south branch of the Thornton River at Sperryville.
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The Rapp for May 10

The view from the porch at Montpelier.

It's Food Pantry Day, plus Saturday night's fundraiser for Belle Meade at F.T. Valley's historic Montpelier, and news of the Mary Beth Williams Fund annual fundraising dinner and bluegrass gala.
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Washington column for May 10

Washington column for May 10

Mother's Day greetings, Civil War trail marker, Food Pantry benefit, Thrift Shop sale, Fire and Rescue breakfast, birthday wishes and get-well-soons.
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Down Memory Lane for May 10

50 years ago August 16, 1962 Mr. Newbill Miller, Washington has been appointed manager of the Washington Apple Growers cold storage plant. He assumed duties in this capacity Aug. 15. Mr. Miller was appointed by the Board of Directors after they had accepted the resignation of James W. Coates, who had been manager for a...
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Battle of Williamsburg

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Faced by overwhelming numbers, giant siege guns and a threat of more Federal reinforcements to the north on the Rappahannock River, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston abandoned Yorktown on Saturday, May 3.
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Washington column for May 3

Washington column for May 3

Collectible cars, drama at the high school, Historical Society, and celebrating life and art this week.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Southern picture grows dimmer

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The taking of the Confederate forts Jackson and St. Philip at the mouth of the Mississippi River by Federal naval forces in late April was not the only setback experienced by the Confederacy during the waning days of April.
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Down Memory Lane for May 3

50 years ago August 9, 1962 Judge B.M. Miller was honored at a surprise testimonial dinner Friday given by the Rappahannock County Bar Association. The dinner was held at Thornton Hill Farm, Sperryville, the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Fletcher. Judge Miller retired July 1, after 17 years of service as judge of Rappahannock County...
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Historic Montpelier open for Belle Meade fundraiser

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April 30
Montpelier was built in F.T. Valley by the valley’s namesake, Francis Thornton, in 1746.

For the first time in nearly five years, Montpelier, the iconic F.T. Valley landmark and historic mansion, will open to the community – well, to generous and education-minded members of the community, for the moment.
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The View From Massies Corner: Things I miss most in Rappahannock

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April 26
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There are things I miss about Rappahannock County and things I don’t. This article will deal primarily with what I miss the most.
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Letter: Lyme is not a new disease

By coincidence, on the same day I read the front-page article in your April 19 newspaper concerning Lyme disease and its presence in this area, I read in an article in the March 24 issue of Science News that the so-called “Iceman” (now nicknamed “Otzi”), whose frozen remains were discovered in the Italian Alps...
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Down Memory Lane for April 26

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April 26

50 years agoAugust 2, 1962 Mrs. Virginia Miller of Washington, Va. announced yesterday that she has moved her office, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company agency, to her home on Mt. Salem Avenue, from its former location in the post office building on Main Street. Recent new and subscribing are Mrs. Nelson Burner, Mrs. B.R. Rust, Dr....
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Great Locomotive Chase

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April 1862 In the week following the Battle of Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing, Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River was finally overtaken by Federals under Maj. Gen. John Pope on April 7. Seven thousand Confederates, 25 artillery guns and a large quantity of military arms and supplies were taken. On April 8, Brig. Gen. Henry...
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Down Memory Lane for April 19

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April 19

50 years agoJuly 26, 1962 During the storm Monday evening, a large oak tree at the home of Mr.and Mrs. Stanish Riley in Amissville was struck by lightning. The bolt cut the top from the tree, split the trunk and barked it all the way down. It then jumped to the top of Mrs. Riley’s car,...
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The Rapp for April 12

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Spring arts popping up, including this weekend at Middle Street/River District Arts (along with oysters and wine), another take on pre-Shenandoah National Park local history; Molasses Creek is coming back to the Theatre; grants to help Scrabble School tell its story; the RCHS band's annual Coffee House.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The bloodbath at Shiloh

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April 1862 On Friday, April 4, Gen. Albert S. Johnston’s army marched north from Corinth, Miss., into Tennessee, to attack the Federals under Maj. Gen. Ulysses Grant near Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. Heavy rain that night delayed the Confederate attack and slowed the march north. On the Peninsula southeast of Richmond, Maj....
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Down Memory Lane for April 12

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April 12

50 years agoJuly 5, 1962 T. Carlyle Lea Jr., Washington, has been appointed as County Judge to succeed Judge B. M. Miller, who served the county for seventeen years. Judge R. V. Snead, of the circuit court, administered the oath of office to Mr. Lea Monday. Mr. Lea will preside as Trial Justice, Judge of Juvenile and...
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