Raccoon Ford, Virginia in the Civil War

lelliott19

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1560646742643.png

Artist Alfred R. Waud sketched this scene, which was published in Harper's Weekly October 3, 1863 under title "The Army of the Potomac - General Buford Attacking the Enemy at Raccoon Ford September 14, 1863." But Raccoon Ford was a pretty busy place all during the Civil War. Both Armies crossed that ford repeatedly, and, at various times, troops camped on both sides of the river. Up to 10 engagements were fought in, over, and around the village of Raccoon Ford. Officially, I suppose, Raccoon Ford "made the map" in March 1825, when a US post office was established there. Historical records show that, by 1834, about 80 residents lived at Raccoon Ford and the village consisted of eight homes, a saloon, blacksmith shop, carriage maker, tailor shop, and a shoe/boot manufacturer. Unfortunately, little remains of Raccoon Ford today; most of the town was burned in 1863. Just a handful of original structures - an old mill, a brick plantation kitchen, and CWT member @Reverend Ron 's church - are left to bear testimony.
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This thread is posted as part of the CWT Ancestry Forum, but it is not intended to record the life of a person, or a group of people. Instead, it will serve to chronicle the significance of a place during the Civil War. As some of you know, one of our members, @Reverend Ron has purchased and is restoring an old Civil War era church located at Raccoon Ford, Virginia. In the course of my own research, I sometimes run across newspaper articles that might be of interest and like to share them with folks who have a particular interest in the topic. This thread is for @Reverend Ron -- additional information about Raccoon Ford is certainly welcome and appreciated.

Sources:
Image: "Reconnoisance [sic] by Bufords Cavalry towards the Rapidan river" (LOC) https://www.loc.gov/item/2004660333/
Harper's Weekly, October 3, 1863. http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1863/october/battle-raccoon-ford.htm
Town info - https://www.fredericksburg.com/culpeper-flashback-remembering-raccoon-ford-s-heydey/article_52243750-e839-588a-9484-70e9ceef137b.html
Map - google maps
 
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lelliott19

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First section of articles appended in the order they were located and not necessarily in chronological order.
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Rome Tri-weekly Courier. (Rome, Ga.), August 26, 1862, page 2.

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Daily Morning News. (Savannah, Ga.), May 15, 1863, page 1.

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Rome Tri-weekly Courier. (Rome, Ga.), June 16, 1863, page 2.

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The Daily Intelligencer. (Atlanta, Ga.), October 24, 1863, page 1.

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Southern Banner. (Athens, Ga.), November 04, 1863, page 2.

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The Confederate Union. (Milledgeville, Ga.), November 10, 1863, page 2.

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The Daily Intelligencer. (Atlanta, Ga.), November 22, 1863, page 3.

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The Daily Intelligencer. (Atlanta, Ga.), September 24, 1863, page 1.

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The Southern Watchman. (Athens, Ga.), February 17, 1864, page 2.

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Southern Banner. (Athens, Ga.), April 13, 1864, page 2.
 

lelliott19

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Looks like folks in Georgia were talking more about Raccoon Ford than folks at Raccoon Ford :D....
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The Savannah Republican. (Savannah, Ga.), May 25, 1863, page 1.

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Weekly Columbus Enquirer. (Columbus, Ga.), June 02, 1863, page 2.

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<unrelated text omitted>
The Savannah Republican. (Savannah, Ga.), June 08, 1863, page 1.

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Weekly Columbus Enquirer. (Columbus, Ga.), June 09, 1863, page 2.

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Weekly Columbus Enquirer. (Columbus, Ga.), June 09, 1863, page 2.

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The Daily Intelligencer. (Atlanta, Ga.), September 17, 1863, page 3.

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The Daily Intelligencer. (Atlanta, Ga.), September 25, 1863, page 2.

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The Daily Intelligencer. (Atlanta, Ga.), September 25, 1863, page 3.

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The Daily Intelligencer. (Atlanta, Ga.), November 19, 1863, page 3.

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The Confederate Union. (Milledgeville, Ga.), June 14, 1864, page 1.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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We never ( rarely ) hear of so many places like Raccoon Ford and from these descriptions it was extremely familiar to our ancestors. Recently had a shot at figuring out everything occurring at Fredericksburg and gave up, not only the battle but the town's entire war. There was just too much and it was all important but overlooked. No one's fault, it was just a big war. Too easy to miss all these places and what happened 150 years ago.

Thanks for highlighting Racoon Ford although now will get distracted looking up more!
 

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lelliott19

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A couple more from Georgia newspapers...
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The Confederate Union. (Milledgeville, Ga.), May 26, 1863, page 3.

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Weekly Columbus Enquirer. (Columbus, Ga.), August 18, 1863, page 2.

From other newspapers....
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The Grand Haven News. (Grand Haven, Michigan), August 27, 1862, page 1.

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Rutland Weekly Herald. (Rutland, VT), August 07, 1862, page 1.

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The Semi-weekly Shreveport News. (Shreveport, LA), August 29, 1862, page 1.

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Lewistown Gazette. (Lewistown, PA), August 20, 1862, page 1.
 

lelliott19

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Even though these are outside of the Civil War period, I had to include them because a couple of them actually mention @Reverend Ron 's old church. First the Episcopal Church at Raccoon Ford - within sight of the Robert Stringfellow farm which is for sale in 1857. Second, a new reverend, John McGill, has accepted appointment at the Raccoon Ford Episcopal church. Third, another farm, located near the Stringfellow property is listed for sale in 1860.
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Alexandria Gazette., October 17, 1857, page 3.

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Alexandria Gazette., March 20, 1878, page 2.

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Alexandria Gazette., January 19, 1860, page 2.

EDIT TO ADD: One more Raccoon Ford farm for sale in 1857. This one the farm of William C Austin.
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Richmond Enquirer., August 04, 1857, page 3.
 
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Bruce Vail

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View attachment 312021
Artist Alfred R. Waud sketched this scene, which was published in Harper's Weekly October 3, 1863 under title "The Army of the Potomac - General Buford Attacking the Enemy at Raccoon Ford September 14, 1863." But Raccoon Ford was a pretty busy place all during the Civil War. Both Armies crossed that ford repeatedly, and, at various times, troops camped on both sides of the river. Up to 10 engagements were fought in, over, and around the village of Raccoon Ford. Officially, I suppose, Raccoon Ford "made the map" in March 1825, when a US post office was established there. Historical records show that, by 1834, about 80 residents lived at Raccoon Ford and the village consisted of eight homes, a saloon, blacksmith shop, carriage maker, tailor shop, and a shoe/boot manufacturer. Unfortunately, little remains of Raccoon Ford today; most of the town was burned in 1863. Just a handful of original structures - an old mill, a brick plantation kitchen, and CWT member @Reverend Ron 's church - are left to bear testimony.
View attachment 312020
This thread is posted as part of the CWT Ancestry Forum, but it is not intended to record the life of a person, or a group of people. Instead, it will serve to chronicle the significance of a place during the Civil War. As some of you know, one of our members, @Reverend Ron has purchased and is restoring an old Civil War era church located at Raccoon Ford, Virginia. In the course of my own research, I sometimes run across newspaper articles that might be of interest and like to share them with folks who have a particular interest in the topic. This thread is for @Reverend Ron -- additional information about Raccoon Ford is certainly welcome and appreciated.

Sources:
Image: "Reconnoisance [sic] by Bufords Cavalry towards the Rapidan river" (LOC) https://www.loc.gov/item/2004660333/
Harper's Weekly, October 3, 1863. http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1863/october/battle-raccoon-ford.htm
Town info - https://www.fredericksburg.com/culpeper-flashback-remembering-raccoon-ford-s-heydey/article_52243750-e839-588a-9484-70e9ceef137b.html
Map - google maps
I see you are having some fun with Newspapers.com. I used the free trial not long ago, and was pleasantly surprised at the results. I didn't have enough time during the trial period to explore as fully as I wanted, but I am wanting to go back when I have more time.
 

lelliott19

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Back to Civil War era newspapers, specifically 1862....
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Mineral Point Weekly Tribune. (Mineral Point, Wisconsin), November 09, 1864, page 1.

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The New York Herald., August 18, 1862, page 4.

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St. Mary's Beacon. (Leonard Town, MD), August 21, 1862, page 2.

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Bellows Falls Times. (Bellows Falls, VT), August 08, 1862, Image 2

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The National Republican., September 17, 1862, page 2.

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The National Republican. (Washington, DC), September 17, 1862, page 2.
 
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lelliott19

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I see you are having some fun with Newspapers.com. I used the free trial not long ago, and was pleasantly surprised at the results. I didn't have enough time during the trial period to explore as fully as I wanted, but I am wanting to go back when I have more time.
Actually, these are all newspapers from free sites. Ive never tried newspapers.com but would like to.
 

Reverend Ron

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Laura,
I want to thank you again for taking the time to gather all this historical documentation about Raccoon Ford and the church. I've been putting together a history of the area for the past two years. You have put me way ahead here with your contributions. I intend to collect and transcribe all of these newspaper accounts and share it with the local inhabitants and Culpeper County officials.

At his very moment, the Culpeper County government plans to bury this historic site under a sea of 270,000 solar panels stretching for a half mile in all directions on the north bank of the Rapidan. Hopefully your contributions here will help me dissuade them from doing this irreversible harm to this rural and historic area.

This is all about money and nothing more. We have plenty of electrical power here with Lake Anna nuclear power plant only 25 miles away. Lake Anna will more than provide and meet all our power demands for the next 100 years. It makes no sense from either an ecological standpoint or financial standpoint, to destroy food producing agricultural land and cut down forests so that only a small handful of people get rich. None of these people live here in the county.

This is a complete travesty, but I will not allow it to alter my plans to preserve the church.
Rev. Ron
 

lelliott19

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I want to thank you again for taking the time to gather all this historical documentation about Raccoon Ford and the church.
You are so very welcome. But Ive just scratched the surface. What your see so far is only Georgia newspapers (1861-1865) and half way through 1862 newspapers at chronicling america (LOC).

As time permits, Ill continue the search and post more articles here for you, but I expect it will be a lengthy process with a LOT of articles. Seems that Raccoon Ford was a very busy place during the war! and folks seem to have made mention of it, by name, in their accounts....maybe because its such a cool name? I just hate that the place is threatened by development.

Ill have some time to work on this project again this weekend so look for more at that time. I understand that our friend @luinrina will be visiting the church soon. I am hopeful that you guys will post some pictures from that visit!
 

Reverend Ron

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Yes, I'm hoping she can stop by, so I can do my Raccoon Ford history shtick.

We haven't had many visitors as of late. In fact the church seems a little "off-the-beaten-path" nowadays.

I haven't seen hardly any cavalry, infantry, or artillery pass by on their way down to the ford in quite some time. I wonder what's going on out there? It's gotten awful quiet.

Also the Yankees seem to have all disappeared..... Did General Lee win the rebellion?

Ask Luinrina to bring me a Richmond newspaper so I can read all about it ...... I don't get out much. : )
 

Bruce Vail

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You are so very welcome. But Ive just scratched the surface. What your see so far is only Georgia newspapers (1861-1865) and half way through 1862 newspapers at chronicling america (LOC).

As time permits, Ill continue the search and post more articles here for you, but I expect it will be a lengthy process with a LOT of articles. Seems that Raccoon Ford was a very busy place during the war! and folks seem to have made mention of it, by name, in their accounts....maybe because its such a cool name? I just hate that the place is threatened by development.

Ill have some time to work on this project again this weekend so look for more at that time. I understand that our friend @luinrina will be visiting the church soon. I am hopeful that you guys will post some pictures from that visit!
Is there any free site that is particularly good for newspapers in NC 1860-1880?
 

NH Civil War Gal

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Hey @Reverend Ron, I was just down in Virginia and looked up Racoon Ford on the map but you were at least 3 hours from where my sister and I were. I just couldn't convince her to make the push, but I really tried! I was lucky to get her to go to the places I did. But I'll be back down (Lord willing and the creek don't rise) next year and I'm going to try to make it over to your place and will let you know in advance. This is my study hobby not hers, btw.
 

Reverend Ron

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Hey @Reverend Ron, I was just down in Virginia But I'll be back down (Lord willing and the creek don't rise) next year and I'm going to try to make it over to your place and will let you know in advance. This is my study hobby not hers, btw.
The church only gets better with the passage of time. Hell, by next year I might even have a bathroom and running water! : )
 

lelliott19

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Is there any free site that is particularly good for newspapers in NC 1860-1880?
There are a bunch of NC newspapers available at Chronicling America. You can limit your search by specific date, by year, by state and/or by specific newspaper.
https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/#tab=tab_advanced_search
Digital NC is all NC newspapers and its pretty good. You can limit by year but not by specific date and you can't select certain cities or newspapers.
http://www.digitalnc.org/newspapers-advanced-search/
 


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