Saturday, January 27, 2018

Falls Church, Virginia in the Civil War

The Falls Church

The Falls Church, the church for which the city is named was first built in 1734. The present-day brick church, replaced the wooden one in 1769. By 1861, Falls Church had seen the arrival of many Northerners seeking land.  The township's vote for secession was about seventy five percent for and twenty five percent against.

The Falls Church was vandalized by occupying Union troops.  The 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry, camped near Falls Church, confiscated fences and gates for firewood and even harvested five acres of potatoes.  Volunteers of the 40th New York took pride in the name the “Forty Thieves” because they could find plunder where others failed. 

A dedication marker at The Falls Church recognizes unknown Union soldiers who were buried in unmarked graves in the church yard during the Civil War. The soldiers were from the 144th and 80th New York Volunteer Infantry regiments stationed at Upton’s Hill. The soldiers all died of disease, with the exception of one who was “accidentally shot.”

There are currently two markers at The Falls Church, one for unknown Union soldiers and one for Confederate soldiers.  These markers are located in the front of the church yard on South Washington Street and were dedicated on Memorial Day, 2004. The remains of a single unknown Confederate soldier were removed after the war.

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