History

Can’t escape the Thorntons

From Thornton Gap to Thornton River to F.T. (Francis Thornton) Valley Road and beyond, there were six Francis Thorntons associated with the county between 1731 and 1840, one of whom laid out Sperryville in 1817. Rappahannock Historical Society researcher Maureen Harris in 2015 wrote the definitive article on the Thornton dynasty in Virginia, titled “Will the real Francis Thornton please stand up!” […]

Dorothy Davis, Emily Miller and Quita Parrish (mother of Chris Parrish, a member of the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors) greet Sarah Latham (second from left) after she disembarked from the LBJ Victory Special. Davis, Miller and Latham worked at the Rappahannock News.
History

Lyndon B. Johnson no stranger here

My mother Sarah Latham, then editor of the Rappahannock News, went to Alexandria earlier in the morning so she could make the trip to Culpeper with the Johnsons. Sister Nancy and I, high school students at the time, met her at the train station to deliver her to work in Little Washington. We weren’t often permitted to be late for school, but that day an exception was made. […]

History

Against almost insurmountable odds, Tuskegee Airman Howard Lee Baugh flies into history

Virginia native Howard Lee Baugh lived a long life — albeit barely enough to receive long-overdue thanks from his country. Two months after the Tuskegee Airman addressed an audience in Rappahannock County in January 2007, President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress collectively awarded Baugh and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor. […]

History

The night John Fitzhugh was hanged in Rappahannock County

State legislators pass resolutions regretting Virginia lynchings. Outlining a “dark and shameful chapter of American history,” state legislators in Richmond this week unanimously passed resolutions to “acknowledge with profound regret the existence and acceptance of lynching” in Virginia, where 104 mostly African American men were murdered by mobs between 1877 and the 1930s. […]

History

Searching for a family’s final resting place

As I got closer, I could see the wrought iron fence enclosing a small private cemetery full of large gravestones. I ran east, through the gate, toward the closest monument to read the name on the front, and then seeing one of the long sought after names, I shrieked with joy and amazement and relief. Unbelievable! It exists! […]

History

Celebrated Civil War documents signed by Robert E. Lee up for sale

According to historical data forwarded by the collector, who asked not be identified, “copies were then made for transmittal to corps commanders and other members of the army staff, each dutifully signed by Lee that day, while other individuals made their own copies, which they brought to Lee to sign as souvenirs. […]

History

Significance of Rappahannock history discussed on iconic film’s anniversary

A quarter century later, members of the public, community and historical groups, local government officials, Civil War historians and reenactors alike are joining forces — in Gettysburg, no less — with the makers of the iconic motion picture that recreates one of America’s bloodiest battles, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “The Killer Angels.” […]

History

‘Little Washington’ found on the map

A map drawn in 1863, drawn by J. Schedler of “N. York,” and titled a map of Culpeper County, with parts of Rappahannock, Madison and Fauquier counties, its repository is the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division in Washington, D.C., numbered 20540-4650. […]

History

Final salute

The cemetery will conduct a special ceremony on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. to honor unaccompanied veterans. Unaccompanied veterans are individuals who have passed away (KIA or died) who have been buried but do not have family or loved ones to attend a service honoring their life, their military service or the sacrifices they made for their country. […]

History

100 Years Ago: Rappahannock County men ship overseas to fight the Germans

Rappahannock County men in the 318th Infantry Regiment of the 80th Infantry Division at Camp Lee outside of Petersburg finally knew in early May 1918 that they were heading overseas to France to fight in the trenches against the Germans. Orders had been received to prepare to move out on short notice. […]

History

Washington school now historic

Less than 100 survive today in the commonwealth, one right here in the county seat of Washington, standing reminders of the Rosenwald Fund’s initiatives for the advancement of African-American education during the first half of the 20th century. […]

History

100 Years Ago: Rappahannock County in World War 1

In World War 1, Rappahannock County men, no matter their military unit, were provided with many non-military activities and “comfort” goods when not training. These were part of a remarkably well-conceived program designed to eliminate the vices that had always attended military life: drinking, visits to brothels, and general debauchery. […]

History

Stone Hill’s newest

His Espionage and Sedition Acts criminalized dissent. Thousands of peaceful citizens went to jail for opposing World War I. Woodrow Wilson propagandized the county with fake news through the Committee on Public Information. […]