Union Pickets Going Out for the Night near Masons Hill, Virginia

Object Number: 
September-December 1861
Graphite on paper
Overall: 7 x 9 3/8 in. (17.8 x 23.8 cm) mat: 11 x 14 in. ( 27.9 x 35.6 cm )
Inscribed at lower right in graphte: "union pickets going out for the / night. Crossing a stream on a fallen trees [word crossed out]"; verso inscribed and signed at upper center: "This admits of being made very Effective Picture / Moon light -- Scene, near Masons Hill va / Lumley"
Civil War Drawings Collection. Mason's and Munson's Hills, near Alexandria Virginia, were along the route to Washington D.C.. These strategic prominences were sites of frequent skirmishes during the Civil War. In September 1861, the Confederate forces held Mason's Hill, with theUnion nearby in Fairfax. Both sides sent pickets out for evening reconnaissance. Federal Troop Movement: New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History 17th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry "In September it was moved to Fairfax Seminary, where in addition to ordinary picket and camp duties, it took part in the reconnaissance to Mason's Hill. In October it was sent to Hall's Hill, where it spent the winter of 1861-2." Reports from the South: September 10, 1861,The Charleston Mercury From Our Own Correspondent. FLINT HILL, NEAR FAIRFAX C.H., VA., September 3. "At last the army movements begin to like business. A few days ago our advanced pickets drove in the enemy out-post guards and...took possession of Munson’s and Mason’s Hills after a smart brush, in which we lost four men killed and wounded, and the enemy were severely punished." Francis W. Quarles' Diaries of 1861 and 1862 Private, Co. E, 8th Georgia Volunteer Infantry September 15, 1861 "This being Sunday of course we received orders to march. We proceeded on our march, passing through Germantown, then through Farfax(sic)…we left the turnpike and turned to the left by the road that leads to Mason's Hill, arriving at Mason's Hill we halted, and camped, for the purpose of going on picket."
Credit Line: 
James B. Wilbur Fund
John T. Kavanaugh Collection, Rutherford, New Jersey, 1945
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group