Alexandria (HMD2)

Location: Alexandria, VA 22301
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 48.401', W 77° 3.741'

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Alexandria in the Civil War

"Alexandria is ours," declared Col. Orlando Wilcox of the 1st Michigan Vol. Inf. as his regiment captured the city on the morning of May 24, 1861. When Virginia's vote of secession became effective, Union forces immediately crossed the Potomac River and occupied the Virginia shore. Due to its strategic location on the Potomac River just south of Washington, D.C., Alexandria became a prime Union occupation target.

During the capture of Alexandria, James W. Jackson, an ardent secessionist and the proprietor of Marshall House, fatally shot Union Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth as he removed a Confederate flag from the top of the hotel. In retaliation, a member of Ellsworth's 11th New York Zouave regiment killed Jackson. Both men became martyrs for their respective causes.

Alexandria's transformation from small southern town to military district took its toll on the city. Two-thirds of the population fled. Large private homes, churches and other public buildings were "requisitioned" to support the military occupation. The city became headquarters for the U.S. Military Railroad and one of the largest Union army hospital centers in the East. One of the first national cemeteries, established by an order of President Abraham Lincoln in February 1862, is located on Wilkes Street.

Alexandria would remain under Union control through late 1865, distinguishing it as the longest occupied territory of the Civil War. Today, many of the buildings that survived the four-year military occupation remain standing.
HM NumberHMD2
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 9:24pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 320924 N 4297344
Decimal Degrees38.80668333, -77.06235000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 48.401', W 77° 3.741'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 48' 24.06" N, 77° 3' 44.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5260-5274 MD-355, Alexandria VA 22301, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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