Little Fork Episcopal Church

Little Fork Episcopal Church (HM1DBG)

Location: Rixeyville, VA 22737 Culpeper County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 35.98', W 77° 57.26'

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"The peaceful parish became an entrenched camp"

In the spring of 1861, the Little Fork Rangers (Co. D, 4th Virginia Cavalry), mustered in the yard of Little Fork Episcopal Church. On July 4, the Rangers were presented with a battle flag as they left Rixeyville for the First Battle of Manassas. Capt. Robert E. Utterback called on them to follow the flag "into the face of the enemy, defending it with the last drop of your blood!" Utterback's call proved all too prophetic as the Rangers served under Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and other commanders from Manassas, to Gettysburg, to Appomattox Court House.

The church also suffered from the war as armies fought and camped nearby. The Reverend Philip Slaughter later wrote, "The peaceful parish became an entrenched camp and a highway for the marching and countermarching of grand armies." Cannonball holes in the sheathing in the attic still testify to the contested ground.

During the Army of the Potomac's winter camp in 1863-1864, a detachment of the 17th Pennsylvania cavalry camped in the churchyard while guarding the fords on the Hazel River. Faced with dwindling supplies of firewood, they burned the box pews and pulpit from the 1776 building. After the war, Lt. David G. Bruce, regretting the damage that his unit had done to a fine church, contributed #100 for the much-needed repairs. Little Fork Church remained dear to the hearts of the Confederate veterans. On May 25, 1904, the surviving Rangers gathered for a memorial service here when their monument was dedicated.

(Sidebar): Little Fork Church was used only sporadically after the war. In 1976, two hundred years after it first opened, a restoration effort began that restored the church to its original appearance. Today it has an active congregation. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2012
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 8:41pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 242718 N 4276492
Decimal Degrees38.59966667, -77.95433333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 35.98', W 77° 57.26'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 35' 58.80" N, 77° 57' 15.60" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 16487 State Rte 624, Rixeyville VA 22737, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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