Most emphasis on Belle Plain has been for its role during the Civil War, where supplies for as many as 100,000 soldiers and 60,000 horses in the Union army arrived and were transported to Fredericksburg, and wounded soldiers and Confederate prisoners departed. John Hennessy and Noel Harrison told us stories of much earlier significance of Belle Plain, in the time of Pocahontas (who lived nearby with her Patawomack people), as the place of a brief skirmish between British forces and Virginia Militia during the War of 1812, in a description by Charles Dickens (who went through Belle Plain on a visit to the area in 1841). The Civil War portion of Belle Plain's history is well documented through letters from soldiers who spent time there and with photographs. (One set of photographs is the subject of an article written by Noel Harrison for the local NPS blog.)
The wharves and structures that served the sailing vessels and steamships are long gone, replaced with a tidy private marina. While John and Noel spoke, the history came alive because the place they described was underneath our feet and the landscape in the maps was all around us. As the program was ending, shortly after sunset, the full moon glowed orange as it rose over the trees across the river.
This is the best that my antique iPhone 4 could do to capture the scene.
It was a really lovely evening.
Happy Sunday, Everyone!
Sunday Snapshots are posts devoted to moments in time that represent glimpses into everyday life in Hartwood, or wherever else I happen to be at the time.