The battle of Dranesville, Va.The ‘first Federal victory South of the Potomac’ in the war between the States-fought before Christmas 1861, between five regiments of Federals and four regiments of Confederate Infantry.
Dranesville, a small Virginia hamlet, is situated in Fairfax county, about twenty miles from Washington, and about fourteen from Leesburg. On a commanding hill at the eastern edge of the village the Leesburg and Washington and the Leesburg and Alexandria Turnpikes form a junction. The confluent roads form a single highway from this point to Leesburg. From the point of junction this road dips into a small valley and crosses a smaller hill, on which stands the village church in a grove of massive oaks. The view westward from the church towards Leesburg commands a rolling, open country of farm and woodland. The turnpike, crossing this tract, may be plainly seen until lost in a piece of woodland in the distance. This roadway, before the railroad paralleled it some four miles away, was a main line of travel and commerce. Long caravans of ‘schooner’ wagons with white canvas tops, droves of horses, sheep and cattle, stages well loaded with passengers, gave life to the old highway and brought thrift to every wayside village and hamlet. This was the golden age of the ‘wagon stand’ and ‘tavern.’ With the march of progress and the coming of the railroad, wagons, stage coaches and taverns were relegated to the limbo of things that were. The jangling music of the wagon bells, the tootings of the stage-drivers horn, the noisy commotion of the wayside inn are only echoes that faintly survive in the memories of very old men. Progress has her victims no less than grim-visaged war. Dranesville in other days was a recipient of the bounty that flowed from the old-time commerce. With the passing of the