Burke's Station

Burke's Station (HM1NX2)

Location: Burke, VA 22015 Fairfax County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 47.584', W 77° 16.343'

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Wood Choppers and Teamsters

During the Civil War, African American laborers chopped wood and conveyed it to Burke's Station, a major Federal timber transportation station located here on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. To supply the Union army and engineers with timber for railroad ties, bridge trusses, stockades, and firewood, wood choppers cut down thousands of acres of woodland along the railroad in Fairfax County. The wood was then transported by rail to Alexandria.

In 1863, the U.S. Military Construction Corps built an additional siding here to facilitate the loading of wood onto railroad cars. Wood choppers moved up to 1,000 cords of lumber a month in the Burke area alone. Army teamsters hauled the wood here in mule-drawn wagons. There were as many as 100 wagons in the wagon master's brigade at Burke's Station. Many of the wood choppers and teamsters were escaped slaves called "contrabands" who had fled to Alexandria. Because they risked capture and reenslavement by working here outside Union lines, Federal cavalry and infantry camped nearby to protect both the contrabands and the wood stockpiles.

On October 28, 1863, Confederate guerillas captured about 25 mules, a wagon master, and several contrabands at work near here. When the Confederates ordered the wagon master to lead them to the station guard, one of the contrabands escaped to warn the garrison. They fired a volley when the Confederates approached and drove them off. The wagon master, contrabands, and mules were all rescued.
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HM NumberHM1NX2
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 14th, 2015 at 9:03am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 302647 N 4296265
Decimal Degrees38.79306667, -77.27238333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 47.584', W 77° 16.343'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 47' 35.04" N, 77° 16' 20.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9509 Old Burke Lake Rd, Burke VA 22015, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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