The last time the Civil War earnestly visited the small Loudoun County town of Unison was Sunday, November 2, 1862. Local parishioners came together as they had many previous Sundays at Unison’s 1832 Methodist Church.
With the service underway, a Confederate artillery battery double-timed up the road past the church and reigned in on the hill opposite the front door of the sanctuary. Suddenly, heard on a faint breeze, a Union band heading toward the little town struck up the playful tune, “Listen to the Mockingbird.” The Confederate guns began belching forth their charges, and were soon replied to by Federal artillery.
The sharp little fight between Jeb Stuart’s and Alfred Pleasonton’s cavalry lasted but an hour, though one of its participants deemed it “truly frightful.” Short-fused or poorly aimed artillery shots ignited a few of Unison’s buildings. Anyone who witnessed the panicked scene of frightened citizens and horses and cattle running for safety would surely never forget it. After the fighting passed through, the Unison Methodist Church became a Federal hospital. Its walls still bear the marks of the soldiers cared for there, streaked with the ink of the their pens.
This time around, when the Civil War comes to Unison, it will not present such a frightful scene. The Mosby Heritage Area Association is bringing together three regular contributors to ECW: Kevin Pawlak, Ryan Quint, and Dan Welch, as well as co-author of ECW’s “A Want of Vigilance”: The Bristoe Station Campaign, Bill Backus. These four will sit on a panel discussion titled “Not Your Grandfather’s Civil War,” bringing home ECW’s fresh perspectives to the Civil War – that will discuss the Turning Points of the Civil War.
The program is open to all, and questions will be accepted from the audience. This is a great way to interact with some of ECW’s young historians. The authors will have books for sale.
“Not Your Grandfather’s Civil War” begins at 2:00 p.m. at the historic Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, VA 20117. Tickets are $15 per person, and can be purchased at the door, or by visiting www.mosbyheritagearea.org. For more information or to reserve tickets, one can also call (540) 687-5188.