Preserving history, one marker at a time

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Civil War signs in Rappahannock get a refresh

(Rappahannock News) – When driving from Ben Venue to Massies Corner, it’s not uncommon to feel that you are somewhere special, with the hilltop views of foothills leading up to the Blue Ridge. No one can say whether any of the 70,000 Confederate troops who marched through there on their way to Gettysburg in 1863 took pause and absorbed the same landscape.

It’s the hope of groups like Civil War Trails that locals and tourists alike take pause at some of the 33 Civil War Trails historical markers in the county. At Ben Venue, in front of Greg Williams’ landscaping, you will find the “Gaines’s Crossroads” marker telling the story of the march:

“Here at Gaines’s Crossroads ‘the animal’ — the Army of Northern Virginia — was indeed ‘slim.’ Marching to Pennsylvania June 11-20, Lee’s 70,000 infantrymen, plus artillery and supply wagons, moved in slender columns through this intersection past the Ben Venue mansion, visible just north. The Blue Ridge gaps and the security of the Shenandoah Valley lay ahead.”

As time passes since many of them were installed almost a decade ago, with the help and hard work of the Rappahannock Historical Society’s John Tole…

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