September 16, 2014

Civil War Oatlands

What kind of Civil War buff would I be if I left Oatlands without saying something about the Civil War? A sign next to the parking lot tells us about that era.
The Civil War arrived in Loudoun County on October 21, 1861, with the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. As Confederate forces gathered to protect Leesburg, Elizabeth Grayson Carter, the widowed mistress of Oatlands, wrote in her journal on October 17, “Our troops falling back on Centerville - Mississippi Regt’s encamped at the Mill – Solders here all day.”

Elizabeth’s son Benjamin served with the 8th Virginia Infantry Regiment, while her son George acted as a courier. On the day of the battle, she wrote, “A day of excitement – Ben came home at night wounded in the little finger. Wonderful escape – Terrible Battle near Leesburg – great victory for us tho’ our loss is great.”
The marker goes on to say that Mrs. Carter left Oatlands for Upperville and Confederate Gen. Nathan “Shanks” Evans made Oatlands his headquarters. As the war went on, Oatlands was "a haven for family, friends, and soldiers, including Eppa Hunton, Norborne Berkeley, Baron Von Massow, and Mosby’s Rangers." (The entire text can be read on

Linking to: Our World Tuesday


  1. That's a lovely house.

  2. Even our village was touched by the English civil war with a battle nearby. I've been to on eof the battle grounds Natural Bridge I think it was called. Only Place the Union did not take

  3. It's hard to imagine what all went on there.

  4. The Civil War Trails African-American project will be putting new markers both at Oatlands and at the UUCL chapel on Gleedsville Road (built as an AME church after the Civil War by freed slaves from the Carter Plantation (later re-named Oatlands to distance the estate from its slave-holding history.) The Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun is paying for the cost of the new marker (I contributed to that), and it will be dedicated next Spring, to coincide with the anniversary of the end of the war.

    1. Just Googled "Oatlands Civil War Trails Marker" and it took me back to this page and your comment! :-)

  5. A beautiful house, and quite a lot of history to it.

    Shanks is a rather curious nickname for a general.

  6. When we lived in Mississippi we often went down to Vicksburg. There were a lot of CW battles there and it was very interesting.


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