March Meeting – Rich Gillespie

March LCCWRT Meeting Notice. We welcome all guests with the hopes that they will join, so please consider bringing someone to the meeting this month.

Join us on March 11 as we explore John Singleton Mosby-style guerrilla warfare, which occurred in Loudoun County.

Meeting time: Tuesday, March 11, 2014; 7:30 p.m.

Location: Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia

Topic: The Gray Ghost in Loudoun County – 1864

John Singleton Mosby had begun his partisan ranger operations in Northern Virginia in January 1863. He had experienced marked success keeping federal troops busy around Washington during 1863, having been aided by his “safe house” network, rendezvous system, and hit-and-run tactics—all well developed by the end of the year. As 1864 dawned, federal troops were busier than ever with forays into the counties of Loudoun and Fauquier—even tastelessly moving into Upperville and then Rectortown on the frosty morning of New Year’s Day to round up Rangers who might have rung in the new year with excessive zeal the night before.

Regular federal forays, Ranger missions in multiple directions, and the buildup of some 750 Mosby Rangers make 1864 stand out. However, the autumn of 1864 ushered in an even more intense Mosby story, with executions of captives on each side and ultimately the burning of farms in the Loudoun Valley en masse in the late fall.

Rich Gillespie, director of education for the Mosby Heritage Area Association, will be our speaker on March 11 as part of the Mosby Sesquicentennial. Gillespie designs public programming for the heritage area, visits thousands of schoolchildren in their classrooms or in the field each year, speaks regularly to history and civic groups, and founded the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group to bring alive the Mosby story in rapidly changing Northern Virginia. His most recent publication is Hunting the Gray Ghost, a 64-page guide to Mosby sites in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Clarke counties. This guide will be available at the talk. He is a retired history teacher from the Loudoun County school system and lives with his wife Tracy (manager of Aldie Mill, Mt. Zion Church, and Mount Defiance) in a Unionist’s log home in Taylorstown.

The Mosby Heritage Area Association was created in 1995 to educate citizens and visitors about the historic landscape in Loudoun, Fauquier, Clarke, western Prince William, and Warren counties in hopes of increasing citizen stewardship of a valuable historic resource.

About Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.
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