Civil War Sesquicentennial Exhibit
With the cooperation of local and national organizations, Fairfax Station held a special ten-day exhibit from August 25 through September 3, 2012 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the evacuation of the Union wounded at Fairfax Station following the battles of Second Battle of Manassas (Aug 28-30) and Ox Hill (Sept 1, 1862). The exhibit covered different aspects of the first logistically integrated relief effort during the American Civil War.
Several hundred visitors came through the Station's doors for the special event, one of many simultaneous events in the area held as part of ongoing observance of the Civil War sesquicentennial across Fairfax County.
Fairfax Station was a critical point in fighting across Northern Virginia during the Civil War. Over 3,000 wounded were cared for and evacuated from the Station in three days after these two battles. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was among a small band of volunteers who helped care for the wounded. Her experiences at this station dramatically shaped her future efforts toward relief work during the civil War and beyond. The events at Fairfax Station foreshadowed the Union Army's formative approach toward support and maintenance of the war effort.
The committee responsible for planning this celebration included Chair Jenee Lindner and Vice Chair Ron Beavers. George Mason University and Washington College interns included James Esson, Matthew Barnes, Alexandra Bradshaw and Ashley Beavers.Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova celebrated the day and learned all about telegraphing from John Hunsaker and Ron Beavers of the Fairfax Rifles, Company D, 17th VA.
A triage site was set up by Patrick O'Neal and Chuck Raugh of the 28th Mass Civil War Reenactment Medical Corps, who operated on Bill Lacy of the 17th VA.
A display of Clara Barton's bodice was loaned and set up by Kimberley Robinson and Neva Sypniewsk of the National Park Service at Glen Echo.
Carol Polkinghorn and Denise Winter of the Dixie Rose Relief Society showed children games of the time. John Murphy was present in his period dress with a top hat.
The Fairfax Museum and Visitors Center and National Museum of Civil War Medicine loaned artifacts and exhibit items for displays. The National Building Museum contributed materials and expertise for construction of special exhibit areas. (August 2012)