Mission to Mason Neck

March 3, 2012

Virginia Historical Society

The Opinionator Blog in the New York Times recently published an interesting recount of the importance of accurate maps during the Civil War. Understanding the twists and turns of the Occoquan River was vital, which prompted a comprehensive mapping effort.

Pohick Creek, about 10 miles southwest of Alexandria, was by then the forward line of the Union Army, while the Confederates held the Occoquan River, about 5 miles farther south. Heintzelman instructed Sneden to focus his mapping efforts on the area in between — a marshy bit of land known as Mason Neck — where the smugglers lived and rebels retreated after their repeated attacks on the Union line. Continue Reading

Virginia Historical Society


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