Friday, March 27, 2009

Transportation played pivotal role during Civil War

Key transportation roles, issues and advances of the mid-19th Century and how they affected the epoch struggle of the War between the States are the topics of an upcoming symposium sponsored by the Fauquier Heritage Institute and Fauquier County Public Library.

The free symposium, being presented by a panel of noted local historians, begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4, in the John Barton Payne Building, and will conclude around 5 p.m. Seating is limited to 100. Call (540) 341-7019 for more information.

Transportation issues and new technology played a pivotal role during the war, the bloodiest conflict of the 19th Century. The presenters will illustrate how each of these areas impacted the War on both sides.

Mr. Arthur Candenquist is speaking on the topic If We Build It, Supplies Will Come, or, The Confederates Construct The World's First Military Railroad. His talk, which includes both narration and slides, examines the events that led up to the construction of what was to be the first railroad in history built exclusively for military purposes. He is also speaking on the principle personalities in this endeavor, and how the race against time was won by a mere six weeks. Mr. Candenquist has been a serious scholar of the War Between the States since 1956, and focuses his attention on the more unusual and lesser-known aspects of the War. He has lectured extensively on wartime railroads, the role of Masons during the war, the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid on Richmond, and the war in Virginia.

Mr. Ronald Beavers is speaking on The O & A and the U.S. Military Railroad (USMRR) in the Civil War. The Orange and Alexandria (O&A) Railroad was built to encourage passenger travel and to reduce shipping costs for the piedmont farmers. The railroad was completed to Warrenton by November 1852, joined with the Virginia Central (VC) Railroad in Gordonsville by 1854 and extended to Lynchburg by 1860. Because of the direct rail route from Alexandria to Richmond, it was arguably the most fought over railroad in Virginia. The shops and facilities at its northern terminus in Alexandria fell under Union control in May 1861 and were greatly expanded after the United States Military Railroad (USMRR) was established in January 1862. The activities of the USMRR using these facilities not only greatly enhanced the Union war effort and but were also crucial to the Union's successful prosecution of the Civil War. Mr. Beavers has been a docent at the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum since 1996 and a Museum Board Director since 1998. He is also active in preservation efforts and is a member of the Civil War Preservation Trust, the Friends of Fort Ward, the Friends of Gettysburg National Park, the Friends of Fairfax Station Railroad Museum, the John S. Mosby Foundation, the Montpelier Foundation, Friend of the Mt. Vernon Ladies Association, the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable, Company D of the 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment, and the Victorian Society of Falls Church.

Mr. Terry Treat is speaking on The Role of the Horse in the Civil War. He’ll address the many tasks performed by the horse in support of the war effort: how they were acquired, trained, cared for, and died by the thousands in service to their masters. Mr. Treat commands the Black Horse Troop, also known as Company H, 4th Virginia Cavalry, which is a reenactment and living history organization today. The club seeks to portray the Confederate cavalry trooper and how they lived, drilled and fought on horseback. The Black Horse was originally organized in Warrenton in 1859 as the Warrenton Mounted Militia.

Mr. James G. Flanagan is speaking on The Rappahannock Canal - From Fredericksburg to Waterloo. His talk includes a Power Point presentation showing the remains of several locks, canal walls and dams in Fauquier County. The history of the canal, its failure and demise at the hand of the growing Orange & Alexander Railroad and the reason for its failure and its costs with receipt copies will be featured. Mr. Flanagan speaks to historical groups throughout Virginia and the metropolitan D.C. area and is currently writing a book on the March 17, 1863, Battle of Kelly’s Ford. He is the education coordinator of the Liberty Heritage Society, Warrenton, Va., and coordinates the docents and educational events for The Liberty Heritage Society in Warrenton. He is a past vice president of the Brandy Station Foundation and president and founder of the Fauquier County Civil War Roundtable.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Library joins the county's 250th anniversary celebration







Fauquier County Public Library is joining in the county's 250th anniversary celebration.

Cake-making items being collected
Throughout April all Fauquier County Public Library branches are collecting cake mixes, cans of prepared frosting, and birthday cake candles. In May, birthday cake kits will be assembled at Fauquier libraries as part of the county’s 250th anniversary celebration. The birthday cake kits will be donated to the Fauquier Food Distribution Coalition to be distributed to those in need. So, drop off birthday cake supplies to your favorite library branch (Warrenton, Bealeton or John Marshall), then join us in May (see below) to help us assemble the kits — we’ll party while we work!

Birthday Cake Kit Assembly
Individuals and families are invited to help assemble birthday cake kits on Friday, May 1, to be donated to the Fauquier Food Distribution Coalition as part of the County’s 250th anniversary celebration. Enjoy a party while you work!

Virginiana Room Open House
Everyone is invited to visit the Virginiana Room, housed in the Warrenton Library, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, May 1, as part of the county's 250th anniversary celebration.
The Virginiana Room, which has an extensive collection of materials focusing on state and local history and genealogical research. Library staff members will be available to give people a tour of the room, highlighting resources on Fauquier County history, genealogy, and the Civil War.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Funding workshop for nonprofits planned

Fauquier County Public Library is hosting a free one-hour workshop to help nonprofit organizations learn how to effectively use resources provided by the Foundation Center, the nation's leading authority on philanthropy. These resources are available at the Bealeton Library.

The 9 a.m. workshop will be presented twice at the Bealeton Library: Wednesday, March 18, and Wednesday, March 25. Registration is required; contact Natalie Swart, (540) 439-9728, to reserve a space.

The Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database available on U.S. grant makers and their grants. It is supported by nearly 600 foundations and is designed to connect nonprofits with grant makers and provide tools and information they can trust. The center, established in 1956, provides valuable training and strategies for successfully securing grants. Details on grant providers and grant application guidelines are notable features of the Bealeton Library’s Foundation Center collection.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Men from Fauquier history spotlighted

Dr. John D. Sinks will speak on the Culpeper Minute Battalion and the men from the Fauquier companies at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Bealeton Library.

The Culpeper Minute Battalion, formed in 1775, was the best organized and most famous of the 16 Virginia minute battalions. The victory at Great Bridge effectively forced the British out of Virginia until 1781 and enabled Virginia to contribute to the Revolutionary War effort in the nation's north and the south.

Dr. Sinks is a member of and the historian for the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and a past president of the Virginia Society SAR. He holds a bachelor's degree from Kenyon College, master's and doctoral degrees from Duke University, and a master's of administration from George Washington University. He is a direct descendant of Corporal Moses Allan of Capt. William Pickett's Company, Culpeper Minute Battalion, which was a Fauquier County company.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The ‘real’ Lincoln revealed

Professor, economist and award-winning author Thomas J. DiLorenzo is presenting a lecture entitled The Real Lincoln that promises to “illuminate the essential truths and historic legacy” of the 16th U.S. President.

The free lecture, sponsored by the Fauquier Heritage Institute and the Fauquier County Public Library begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15, in the John Barton Payne Building, Old Town Warrenton, Virginia.

After the lecture the author will sign his books. He will bring copies of his books, including The Real Lincoln, for people to purchase and he will sign copies of previously purchased titles attendees bring to the lecture.

Mr. DiLorenzo has been acclaimed as a leading economic historian. He subscribes to the Austrian school of economic thought and has been called a modern-day Adam Smith and stalwart defender of liberty. A professor of economics in the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Loyola College in Maryland, Mr. DiLorenzo specializes in economic history and political economy and has authored numerous books and articles.

He is also a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute; a distinguished scholar at the Abbeville Institute and Stephen Dill Lee Institute; and winner of the Franz Cuhel Memorial Prize for Excellence in Economics Education by Prague University. In addition to authoring The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, he also wrote How Capitalism Saved America; Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe; and Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution - And What it Means For America Today.

His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, and National Review, among numerous other publications. He has been extensively interviewed by such top-rated radio and television programs as Rush Limbaugh and CSPAN.


In the introduction to The Real Lincoln, the author notes that most Americans consider Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest president in history. His legend as the Great Emancipator has grown to mythic proportions as hundreds of recent books, a national holiday, and a monument in Washington, D.C., extol his heroism and martyrdom.


But what if most everything you knew about Lincoln were false? What if, instead of an American hero who sought to free the slaves, Lincoln were in fact a calculating politician who waged the bloodiest war in American history in order to build an empire that rivaled Great Britain’s? In The Real Lincoln, DiLorenzo uncovers a side of Lincoln not told in many history books and overshadowed by the immense Lincoln legend.


The Fauquier Heritage Institute was created to promote the study and love of Virginia and American history. To that end, the Institute is presenting monthly free lectures that seek to provide knowledge, understanding and appreciation of local, regional and national history.


The Fauquier Heritage Institute welcomes volunteers to assist with the lecture series in a variety of capacities. Contact program Co-Chairs Mrs. Paula Johnson, (540) 341-7019, or Mrs. Jackie Lee, (540) 347-0607, for more information.