Pohick Church

Pohick Church (HM187I)

Location: Lorton, VA 22079 Fairfax County
Buy Virginia State flags at Flagstore.com!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at Flagstore.com!

N 38° 42.547', W 77° 11.595'

  • 0 check ins
  • 1 favorites

Civil War Balloon Outpost

During the Civil War, the prominent hilltop location of Pohick Church made it a target for occupation and vandalism, but it also served as an aeronautical center. On November 12, 1861, Union Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman's 2nd Michigan Volunteers raided the church. One of those present, Lt. Charles B. Haydon, was outraged at the soldiers' looting of artifacts from George Washington's church: "They were all over it in less than 10 minutes tearing off the ornaments, splitting the woodwork and pews, knocking the brick to pieces & everything else they could get at."

Within two months, the church became a balloon outpost for Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, the famous aeronaut, and the building served as quarters for the garrison stationed here. The men's graffiti is still visible on the church walls, doorposts, and quoins, as are bullet holes on the exterior brick.

At this location, Lowe repeatedly launched his balloon, Intrepid, to track Confederate troop movements along the Occoquan River. On March 2, 1862, he observed the Confederates evacuating the Occoquan area - the first indication that they were withdrawing from northern Virginia to a more defensible position along the Rappahannock River. Later and elsewhere, Lowe's aeronauts successfully located Confederate forces, reported on force strength, and directed artillery fire. Lowe's earliest successes for the short-lived Federal Balloon Corps, which disbanded a year-and-a-half later, occurred here at Pohick Church.

(Sidebar): Completed in 1774, this colonial church replaced a wooden building located two miles south of here. The congregation had been founded by 1732, when the Virginia House of Burgesses created the geographical district of Truro Parish north of the Occoquan River. For this reason, Pohick Church is often referred to as "the Mother Church of Northern Virginia." Vestry members George Washington and George Mason, among other patriots, met at Pohick Church in 1774 for early discussions of the Fairfax Resolves, a step on the road to independence. Because of Washington's membership here, the British reportedly raided the church during the War of 1812 and disfigured a memorial to our nations' first president.
HM NumberHM187I
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 6:02am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 309297 N 4286780
Decimal Degrees38.70911667, -77.19325000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 42.547', W 77° 11.595'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 42' 32.82" N, 77° 11' 35.70" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9301 Richmond Hwy, Lorton VA 22079, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?