ECW Weekender: Rectortown and Mosby’s Confederacy

One of the best preserved landscapes in Virginia is that of “Mosby’s Confederacy” located in southern Loudoun County and northern Fauquier County. The area’s roads, farms and fences are mostly on the same locations as they were during the Civil War. Very little has changed in the landscape of this area. One can easily see how this area became a prime area for partisan activity for Colonel John S. Mosby and his men.

One particular special place in “Mosby’s Confederacy” is Rectortown. Located at the corner of Maidstone Rd. (Rt. 713) and Lost Corner Rd. (Rt. 624) in Rectortown, VA, the Civil War Trails sign at the crossroads covers not only the Mosby Lottery, but also Gen. George McClellan’s removal from command in 1862 while his headquarters were located here. Several of the buildings around the railroad crossing date to before the 1860. The prisoners that drew the lottery tickets were held in the warehouse building in front of the Trails marker. The old depot along the railroad is also a Civil War era building as is another nearby storage building. Mosby used Rectortown often to call a rendezvous of his men.

The location of the lottery is in a field west of the village near Goose Creek. The field can be best viewed by going several hundred yards beyond Rectortown heading west towards the Blue Ridge on Route 710 (Rectortown Road), then looking south (left) over these fields behind the village into the defile that’s visible. It is in this small valley that Mosby had the 27 Union prisoners draw their lottery tickets. All the buildings and lottery location are private property.

If you wanted to see the site of Gen. George McClellan’s Headquarters when he was relieved of command on Nov. 7th 1862, take Lost Corner Road .5 mile past the railroad crossing. To the right on the hills was located the Army of the Potomac headquarters. Here McClellan received the order that he was relieved of command and Gen. Ambrose Burnside received command of the army.

Nearby is Atoka or “Rector’s Cross Roads” and the headquarters of the Mosby Heritage Area Association (MHAA). Located at 1461 Atoka Road, Marshall, VA 20115, the MHAA headquarters are located in the Rector House were Mosby formed his 43rd Cavalry Battalion.  The building is open during MHAA office hour weekdays. Information on touring the Mosby Heritage Area including their free 64-page Mosby touring booklet Hunting the Gray Ghost in the Mosby Heritage Area is available on the back porch of the Rector House when offices are closed. There is also a Civil War Trails sign locate at Atoka just east of the Rector House.   There are plenty of wineries in the area to enjoy and nearby Middleburg has many options for lunch or dinner. The area is great for history, beautiful scenery and enjoying nature.

For more information on the area and Mosby’s Confederacy, visit the Mosby Heritage Area Association’s website at: http://mosbyheritagearea.org/

The author wants to thank Rich Gillespie of the Mosby Heritage Area Association for assistance with this article

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