The effort to preserve the Febrey-Lothrop estate renewed interest in the local Civil War history of Upton’s Hill. Straddling the border between Arlington and Falls Church, Upton’s Hill takes its name from Charles H. Upton, a newspaper editor, who settled in Virginia in 1836. From the late fall of 1861 to the end of the war in 1865, over 50 Union regiments are known to have camped on Upton’s Hill. This includes over 35,000 soldiers from all over the North, including New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. For a while during the Civil War, Upton’s Hill was the extreme front line of the Army of the Potomac.
Upton’s Hill was an important logistic center for the Union Army. The site included three forts, five camps, a commissary depot with brick ovens for baking bread, medical facilities, and a photographic studio. During the first year of the war Upton’s Hill was well-known to newspaper readers in both the North and South. News correspondents, illustrators, and photographers frequently visited Upton’s Hill to document the military’s presence there. Historic references to Upton’s Hill can also be found in books, diaries, and letters written by the soldiers who lived there. Today, local historians are discovering new and interesting stories about Upton’s Hill and the Civil War. These stories and the people associated with them are a compelling reminder of why Arlington County needs to preserve its heritage for future generations.
Our speaker, Peter Vaselopulos, is a 40-year resident of Arlington and he is a Board Member for the Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington DC. he is also Vice President of the 3rd US Infantry Reenactors and was a member of Arlington County’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee. He is a graduate of George Washington University and American University and he is working on a public history project called “Mapping the Civil War in Arlington.” The project’s goal is to generate a greater awareness of Arlington’s military history during the Civil War.
This event is one of the local history that AHS hosts free to the public every month. This virtual event was held on April 9, 2021.