Leesburg Things to Do

  • Trail stop telling of the 20th MA at Ball's Bluff
    Trail stop telling of the 20th MA at...
    by mtncorg
  • Marker tells the story of 71st PA here
    Marker tells the story of 71st PA here
    by mtncorg
  • Escape meant to reach the other side of the water
    Escape meant to reach the other side of...
    by mtncorg

Best Rated Things to Do in Leesburg

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    Of times past

    by bugalugs Written Apr 30, 2005

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    Loudoun Museum

    If you are interested in history this place has so much. You can learn all about it in the Loudoun Museum, all sorts on offer, exhibits and literature about the history of this area. Discover that Robert E Lee was here on 4th Septembe 1862 meeting his lieutenants to discuss their invasion of Maryland.
    There is an entrance fee of about $3
    Museum open
    Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm
    Sunday 1pm-5pm

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    Old Stone Church Site

    by bugalugs Written Apr 30, 2005

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    This plaque tells of the church that was once here. On 11th May 1766 a man called Nicholes Minor from Leesburg gave Lot 50 to a methodist called Robert Hamilton for this land to be used as for a church or meeting place and graveyard. This is the earliest known methodist property in America.

    The first building was put here in 1768 that was then replaced by a larger one in 1785. During the years that followed and until the late 19th century the church had divisions, and eventually it went into decline and was pulled down in 1902.

    The site was purchased in 1961 by the Methodist Historical Society and archaeologists have found the original foundations.

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    First Mount Olive Baptist Church

    by bugalugs Written Apr 30, 2005

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    Just stroll around and admire the lovely buildings, I liked this church on Loudoun Street. A church was first here in 1884 but this one has now stood here for over 70 years. A nice waterfall in front of the church.

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    Battles

    by bugalugs Written Apr 30, 2005

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    In 1861 a battle of the civil war was fought at nearly Ball's Bluff. Some of the houses on King Street were used as hospitals during this time. One such patient was a man named Oliver Wendle Holmes was later to become a justice of the Supreme Court.

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    Battlefields

    by bugalugs Written Apr 30, 2005

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    This area has many battlefield sites and there are walking tours in all these areas.
    Also around this area is rich in agriculture. During the revolution huge amounts of wheat/oats/grain were given to the George Washington army and the area became known as 'breadbasket of the revolution'.

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    Stop at the Visitor Information Center

    by 807Wheaton Updated May 5, 2005

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    Downtown street in Leesburg

    When you drive into town you will see signs clearly directing you to the Visitor Information Center. Here you can pick up a map of Historic Downtown Leesburg. I'm glad we did because we discovered several other things to do that were quite interesting.

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    THE WALK

    by mtncorg Written Jun 11, 2007

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    Map showing the trail and stops along the way
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    From the parking lot, a walk of two miles with only slight elevation loss and gain, takes you through the forests atop Ball's Bluff. Numerous information tablets describe the battle from the participants' point of view. The trail will loop you back to the starting point. The horrors of war seem a long way away as you wander the trail beneath the trees today.

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    Cross the Potomac River on a car ferry

    by iloveukmc Written Jun 13, 2007

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    On the outskirts of Leesburg is White's Ferry. It is the only remaining ferry to take cars across the Potomac River into Maryland. It is only $5 for a round trip ticket if you are in a car and cheaper if you are on foot. The ride across takes about 5 minutes. It is amazingly peaceful while you are crossing and on the other side you can park (for a fee) and hike or bike on the C&O canal towpath along the river. You can also swim in the river from the Maryland side. We once even saw a mass baptism taking place in the river as we crossed. This is a historic Ferry.

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    Historic Downtown Leesburg

    by iloveukmc Written Jun 13, 2007

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    Any time you visit you will find a 250 year old main street that now has antique shops, restaurants and other specialty shops instead of the grocery, pharmacy, and shoe repair shops of long ago. Several times a year the historic district is closed to traffic for events that are great fun to attend such as the Spring Flower and Garden Festival or First Night Leesburg on new year's eve. These events always include lots of fun, entertainment and other surprises. During the summer every Saturday evening free concerts are held on the historic court house steps giving all the picnic-ers and other audience members a great view of the performers. This part of town also has a museum and multiple coffee shops and cafes. One pricey but good restaurant is in a stately old bank building that has been converted to an elegant restaurant called Lightfoot. The other pricey restaurants on the street are overpriced and all share one kitchen so the food is not that different no matter which one you go to. For Italian food, GG's Cafe on Market Street in the historic section (less than a block from the courthouse) is delicious and resonable in price.

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    20th MASSACHUSETTS - THE HARVARD REGIMENT

    by mtncorg Updated Jun 11, 2007

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    Trail stop telling of the 20th MA at Ball's Bluff

    The 20th Massachusetts Regiment - better known as the Harvard Regiment - was a regiment that would see many more fights in the years to come - Fredericksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg among others. Ball's Bluff was where the original volunteers of the regiment first came into action or as Civil War veterans would later describe their first actions, this was where 20th Massachusetts 'saw the Elephant". One young officer, Oliver Wendell Holmes, a future Supreme Court justice of considerable renown, suffered the first of three wartime wounds here.

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    71st PENNSYLVANIA REGIMENT - THE 1st CALIFORNIAN

    by mtncorg Written Jun 11, 2007

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    Marker tells the story of 71st PA here

    The 1st California Regiment was raised in the Philadelphia area in part by the efforts of Edward Baker. They were named 'Californians' in honor of Baker's longstanding home state. Along with the soldiers of the 2nd and 3rd California, they would be known as the California Brigade and were to be commanded by Colonel Baker after his promotion to brigadier general which was slated to occur in the near future. No Californians actually fought out in the eastern theatres of the civil War. They stayed home taking the place of regularly stationed U.S. Army troops stationed out west - the same thing happened in Oregon and the rest of the West - and the regulars were brought east to join the fight. The California Brigade would later be renamed the Philadelphia Brigade which went on to take part in much larger battles - Antietam, Gettysburg.

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    POTOMAC RIVER

    by mtncorg Written Jun 11, 2007

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    Escape meant to reach the other side of the water
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    There is a side trail coming off the main loop by way of which you can walk down to the Potomac River. You get a good idea of the steep slopes that Federal troops had to deal with as they retreated soon after the death of Colonel Baker. Many died as they tried to swim across the river in full uniform or were shot by Confederates from the cliffs above. Their bodies washed up for several days afterward, downstream in Washington.

    You look across from the Virginia bank to an island that the Federals had occupied. This is a side channel of the main river, but was enough of a barrier on that day.

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    BALL'S BLUFF NATIONAL CEMETERY

    by mtncorg Written Jun 11, 2007

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    Entrance to the Cemetery
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    The smallest National Cemetery in the U.S., Ball's Bluff National Cemetery inters the remains of 54 Federal soldiers who died in the fighting here. The remains of only one of the men is known as soldiers did not carry identification with them at the time of the Civil War making it very difficult to know who it was that was actually dead after a battle.

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    COLONEL EDWARD BAKER

    by mtncorg Written Jun 11, 2007

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    Marker denotes where Baker fell
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    Just outside of the National Cemetery gate stands a white stone marker that notes the place where Edward Baker was shot down. Who shot the colonel and how was the subject of some mystery in the stories that flew about after the battle. Colonel Baker is the only U.S. Senator to ever be killed in action on a battlefield. He is buried with his wife at the National Cemetery in San Francisco.

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    Robert E Lee

    by bugalugs Written Apr 30, 2005

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    General Robert E Lees first invasion of the north culminated in the battle of Antietam. This was on 17th September 1862 and was one of the bloodiest days in the history of America.

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