Manassas Battlefield (6x8 Study)

© Laural Koons


Dawn and Laural’s adventure carried on after the morning at Arlington National Cemetery. We hit the road headed to the Manassas Battlefield National Park. Although, later in the day after wandering a bit, the weather held out to continue a beautiful setting. We stopped first at the reconstructed stone bridge over Bull Run, originally built around 1825, Stone Bridge survived the First Battle of Manassas only to have Confederate forces destroy the span in 1862. It was at this point on July 21st 1861 at 5:30am; the deep-throated roar of a 30-pounder Parrott rifle shattered the morning calm, and signaled the start of the first major battle of the American CIvil War.



Reconstructed Stone Bridge

© Dew Photography VA


From there, we headed to the Stone House and then Henry Hill where Jackson held the line and was from that point forward referred to as “Stonewall Jackson ''. There is so much information about this battlefield, especially since there were two battles fought here.The name of the battle has caused controversy since 1861. The Union Army frequently named battles after significant rivers and creeks that played a role in the fighting; the Confederates generally used the names of nearby towns or farms. The U.S. National Park Service uses the Confederate name for its national battlefield park, but the Union name (Bull Run) also has widespread currency in popular literature. Below are some links if you are interested.



  • First Battle of Manassas

http://thecivilwarbattles.blogspot.com/2010/12/first-battle-of-bull-run-manassas.html


  • American Battlefield Trust

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/civil-war/battles/bull-run


  • Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run)

https://www.nps.gov/mana/learn/historyculture/first-manassas.htm


  • Stone bridge at Manassas, where the battle began

https://www.nps.gov/mana/learn/management/stone-bridge-project.htm


  • Henry House at Manassas where the battle culminated

https://www.nps.gov/places/000/henry-house.htm


  • Battle of Second Manassas

https://www.nps.gov/mana/learn/historyculture/second-manassas.htm


Want Laural and Dawn's impressions of Manassas Battlefield and see the resulting artwork in person? Come to the Opening Night of their exhibit "Impressions of Virginia '' on December 10th, 2021 at Dockside Realty in Colonial Beach, VA.


Arlington National Cemetery 6x8 Study

© Laural Koons


Another adventure for Dawn and Laural started with the Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). We had two sites to visit this day and ANC was our first. Once again, we received a beautiful day with some clouds in the sky (clouds seem to make photos and paintings just that much better). Our plan was to drive up to section C first to check out a specific grave that Dawn had been working with the family while photographing their barn, that’s another story. As it was, my family is also in section C, so this journey was starting out great. Then, we hit a glitch….They were working on the roads that lead to section C and we were stuck! After a phone call and a helpful staff member, we were shown a place to park. Then we had a small hike to our destination.



Henry Pratt w/Berries

© Dew Photography VA


Once returning to the car, we drove to the main entrance and parked. Following the throngs of visitors, we made our way up to Arlington House and then to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Everyone should see the changing of the guards at least once in their life if possible, it is quite moving. We made one last stop at the resting place of Audie Murphy, the most decorated combat soldier of WWII and then it was time to hit the road for more of our adventure!


  • Arlington National Cemetery:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlington_National_Cemetery

  • Arlington National Cemetery official website:

https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/#/

  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore/Tomb-of-the-Unknown-Soldier

  • Audie Murphy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audie_Murphy

  • Tomb of the Civil War Unknowns:

https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore/Monuments-and-Memorials/Civil-War-Unknowns#:~:text=The%20monument%2C%20dedicated%20in%20September%201866%2C%20stands%20atop,VA%29%20and%20the%20route%20to%20the%20Rappahannock%20River.


Want Laural and Dawn's impressions of Old Town Alexandria and see the resulting artwork in person? Come to the Opening Night of their exhibit "Impressions of Virginia" on December 10th, 2021 at Dockside Realty in Colonial Beach, VA.




Old Town Alexandria (6x8 Study)

© Laural Koons


After our adventure at the Washington Gristmill and Distillery, Dawn, Laural and their fellow artist friend, Jen Galvin of Wild Oaks Studio continued to head down the George Washington Parkway to Old Town Alexandria. There were stops along the way to check out a few sites and get a few photographs before pulling into town. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. After viewing the Waterfront outside the Torpedo Factory, which unfortunately was closed, we captured photos of the tall ship and shoreline.



Tall Ship: Providence

© Dew Photography VA


We had a nice lunch near the outdoor art installation, and then headed for Christ Church walking up King Street. A little disappointed about the closed Torpedo Factor, we had the fortune to chance upon the Principle Gallery, a wonderful contemporary gallery located in a historic home once owned by Col. George Gilpin, one of the pallbearers for George Washington's funeral.


Once we explored Christ Church and its surrounding, we headed home after a full day. For more history of Old Town Alexandria:


  • There are so many things to experience in Old Town Alexandria:

https://www.visitalexandriava.com/old-town-alexandria/?msclkid=d32029821a93196b653548086d418f0f&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Old%20Town%20-%20In%20Market&utm_term=old%20town%20alexandria%20va&utm_content=Old%20Town%20General


  • Alexandria has a huge history and more than I could ever write on this short blog post! From Indegenious people through the Revolutionary War and Civil War to current events:

https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/info/default.aspx?id=28112


  • The Principle Gallery

https://www.principlegallery.com/alexandria/


  • The Torpedo Factory

https://torpedofactory.org/


  • Christ Church

https://www.historicchristchurch.org/



Want Laural and Dawn's impressions of Old Town Alexandria and see the resulting artwork in person? Come to the Opening Night of their exhibit "Impressions of Virginia" on December 10th, 2021 at Dockside Realty in Colonial Beach, VA.