Local historians and authorities present on topics of regional interest periodically throughout the year. Subjects have focused on events in the area during the American Civil War but also include railroad history and current issues.
The Forum is free to the public. Dates and times vary depending on speaker availability. Please monitor our website for details or subscribe to receive notices of upcoming Forum sessions.
Richard G. Slattery, "The Now and Tomorrow of AMTRAK"
Join us for a special session of the Fairfax Station Forum on March 23 as Richard G. Slattery, Senior Research Director of the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (AMTRAK) looks at the current state and future prospects of passenger rail services in the United States.
Mr. Slattery brings almost thirty years of experience in AMTRAK in several policy, planning, performance and research positions. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and received his J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.
Mr. Slattery’s presentation will take place as the guest speaker for the annual membership meeting of the Friends of the Fairfax Station, which will begin at 11:00 a.m. His presentation will begin at 11:30 and continue until 12:15 p.m.
Arthur Candenquist, "The Centreville Military Railroad"
Historian and former AMTRAK employee Arthur Candenquist introduced the Centreville Military Railroad. Built by the Confederate military, the 5.5 mile spur off the Orange & Alexandria Railroad ran between Centreville and Manassas Junction. It was the first railroad in history built exclusively for military purposes.
Bernard Kempinski, "Introduction to the Railroads in the Civil War"
Bernard Kempinski, a noted writer of articles and books on railroading and an active model railroader, talked about the two decades before the start of the Civil War when the railroads of the United States underwent a period of amazing growth and technological development.
He explained how railroads were built and operated in the Civil War and how to apply this information to build an operating railroad models of this period. (April 2017)
Ed Wenzel, “Book Talk: Chronology of the Civil War in Fairfax County”
Preservationist and former topography Ed Wenzel discussed his recent book and how it came to be. He will address a sample of incidents that occurred in the Fairfax Station area from 1861 to early 1863. (November 2016)
Mary Lipsey, “Honoring Those Who Served”
Local historian Mary Lipsey, a member of the Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association (FCCPA) and Fairfax Historical Commission discussed ongoing efforts to preserve community and government cemeteries established to honor Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. (April 2016)
Donald Hakenson, “Col. John Singleton Mosby's Most Successful Combat Operations and His Worst Defeat”
Noted Civil War Historian Donald Hakenson discussed Mosby's successful operations at the Fairfax Court House, Mount Zion Church, Miskell's Farm, Wagon Train Raid and Ankers Farm as well as his unsuccessful clash at Loudoun Heights.
John McAnaw and John Murphy, “Engagement at Sangster's Station”
Museum board members John McAnaw and John Murphy detailed the engagement of federal and confederate forces at Sangster's Station in December 1863. The battle was one of the largest clashes in the immediate area.
Jon Vrana, “Hard Times: Virginians in Union Prisons During the Civil War”
In a unique, one-man performance, Station volunteer and historian Jon Vrana dramatized the experiences of Fairfax County civilian and military prisoners at the Old Capitol Prison during the American Civil War.
Patrick McGinty, “Death and Dying During the Civil War”
Retired Naval officer and local historian Patrick McGinty examined how individuals and communities attempted to cope with the massive loss of life during the Civil War.
John P. Murphy, “The History of the Fairfax County Courthouse Before, During and After the Civil War, 1742-1903”
Fairfax Station volunteer John P. Murphy spoke on the rich history of our area from colonial times to the early 20th century.
Ron Beavers, “Use of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in Support of the Army of the Potomac, 1862~64”
Local railroad historian Ron Beavers discussed the variety of ways in which the O&A provided critical support to Federal forces across Northern Virginia as well as the inter-connections with other railroad operations during the Civil War.
John McAnaw, “Military Actions Around the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, 1862~64”
Fairfax Station witnessed its most severe action in 1862 during the battles of Second Manassas and Ox Hill as an evacuation area for Union forces. The importance of the O&A in the ensuing months, however, did not diminish, as Federal forces attempted to re-establish control over the line and Confederates tried to disrupt its operations.
Brian McEnany and Jim Lewis, “The Union Army's March to Gettysburg - ‘Sunstroke and Ankle Deep Mud’”
Local authors Brian McEnany and Jim Lewis told the little known story of the Union’s II Corps arduous march in withering heat and intense storms through Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties on the way to Gettysburg in 1863.
Jon Vrana and Mary Lipsey, “The Christmas Raid of 1862”
On December 28, 1862, General J.E.B. Stuart led a cavalry raid on Burke’s Station, Virginia. Click here for a summary of the presentation prepared by the speakers.
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