When Virginia seceded, the Federal government in Washington D.C. found itself virtually surrounded by a hostile foreign country. Abraham Lincoln moved swiftly to occupy a comfort zone around his capital.
Farther away from Washington, however, Union control was less certain. Confederate John Singleton Mosby was a feared raider of Union patrols and supply lines. Citizen loyalties were almost always in question.
Today, many of the forts built by Union engineers during the war still exist in parks. The bloody battlefields at Manassas have been preserved in a National Park, which is an oasis in a rapidly growing area of development. Farther west, the countryside remains much the same as Mosby might have found it.
Explore Northern Virginia
• Civil War Trails map [PDF 489K]
• Manassas and Area
• Feature: Manassas Beyond the Battlefield
• Inner Suburbs of Washington DC [Alexandria, Arlington, Fall’s Church, Fairfax, Herndon, Vienna]
• More Sites [Fauquier County and Warrenton, Loudoun County, Rappanhannock County]
• The Route 50 Corridor: Mosby’s Country
• Timeline of Civil War Events in Northern Virginia
• Itineraries for self-guided tours