Swann's Castle

Swann's Castle (HM8V4)

Location: Leesburg, VA 20176 Loudoun County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 8.371', W 77° 34.345'

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Morven Park in the Civil War

You are standing in the midst of the drilling and review grounds for Confederate soldiers between the summer of 1861 and March 1862. Former Baltimore mayor and future Maryland governor Thomas Swann, Jr. owned the 1,200-acre plantation but was absent. Confederate forces fortified nearby Leesburg, located close to the Potomac River and its many fords, to keep the Union army from crossing the river. Morven Park became an encampment and training site for Confederate forces until they abandoned Leesburg early in March 1862. Until then, the 4th South Carolina Infantry, 8th Virginia Infantry, and 17th Mississippi Infantry called "Swann's Castle" home.

Officers of the 17th Mississippi ordered their troops to build winter quarters shortly after they arrived at Morven Park on Christmas Eve 1861. The log huts with canvas or plank roofs held four to six soldiers, with fireplaces or, in some instances, wood stoves purchased in Leesburg. The remnants of more than fifty hut sites are located on the property nearby.

"War excitement & reenlistment are higher than ever. Formed in front of Swan[n]'s house & listened to an able speech on the subject of reenlistment." - Sgt. Exekiel Armstrong, Co. K, 17th Mississippi Infantry

"Tuesday, Dec. 24th, 1861, camp near Swan[n]'s. Moved this morning to this place which is north of Leesburg & but a short distance from the beautiful residence of the ex-mayor of Baltimore, Swan's. We are camped in his park, see a number of deer feeding around us. This is one of the prettiest places in the state. I suppose we will remain here for the winter if the Yankees do not molest us." - Pvt. Robert A. Moore, Co. G, 17th Mississippi Infantry

"Wednesday, Feb. 5th, camp near Swan[n]'s. Have been working on our house again to-day. ...Have built bunks & are well pleased with the idea of sleeping as if we were in beds." - Pvt. Robert A. Moore, Co. G, 17th Mississippi Infantry
HM NumberHM8V4
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2008
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 6th, 2014 at 11:43pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 277672 N 4335410
Decimal Degrees39.13951667, -77.57241667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 8.371', W 77° 34.345'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 8' 22.26" N, 77° 34' 20.70" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 540, 571
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 17169-17321 Southern Planter Ln, Leesburg VA 20176, US
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