Significant as well as lesser events worth remembering have occurred in or affected Ravensworth.

1685William Fitzhugh (the Immigrant) bought the 21,996-acre landgrant that by 1715 was known as Ravensworth.

1754-1763 – French & Indian War

  • Leaseholder John Hollis and sons William and Burr served in the Virginia Regiment under George Washington, whose military prominence stemmed from his leadership of the regiment and in Braddock’s disastrous campaign.
  • 1755 – British Major General Edward Braddock staged and led combined British-Colonial forces from Alexandria to Fort Duquesne (today’s Pittsburgh), where they were defeated and he died in battle. Braddock’s expedition marched near but not through Ravensworth.

1774-1783 – Revolutionary War

  • July 18, 1774 – A convention of Fairfax County citizens approved the “Fairfax Resolves”, authored by George Mason. They met as part of Virginia’s response to events in Massachusetts that led to the end of British government in Virginia and to the Revolutionary War. Number 26 of the 27 resolutions established the Fairfax County Committee of Safety to govern and defend the county. The 25 elected members included George Washington, George Mason, and brothers William Payne, Jr. and Edward Payne.
  • William Fitzhugh (of Chatham) represented Virginia in the Continental Congress in 1779.
  • William Payne (Colonel) served for a year in the Virginia naval service and then in the 1st Virginia Regiment of the Continential Army, in which he was severely wounded.

1783Nicholas Fitzhugh is the first Fitzhugh to live on Ravensworth, ending 100 years of absentee family ownership

October 1787County freeholders vote on proposed U.S. Constitution

1797 – First Ravensworth landowners outside the Fitzhugh family: April 4, Colonel William Payne, 25 acres (Parcel’s Mill); September 1, Henry Rose and Augustine Smith, 3009 acres, parts of Parcel 1.1.1 and Parcel 1.1.7.

April 1804President Thomas Jefferson visited Oak Hill

1812-1815 – War of 1812

  • William Henry Fitzhugh served in the 1st Corps D’Elite Brigade, Virginia Militia.
  • Edmund Payne served as a private in Gunnell’s Company, Virginia Militia
  • Augustine Smith served as a sergeant in unknown unit, Virginia Militia.
  • August 1814 – About 10 miles from Ravensworth, British forces attacked and burned the new Capital, Washington, DC, and occupied nearby Alexandria for several days.

1861-1865 – Civil War

Regional reference map and description of military activities impacting Ravensworth in Northern Virginia – Braddock District in the Civil War (A Look Back at Braddock)

  • May 23, 1861 – Virginia vote for secession. Two Fairfax County polling places were within Ravensworth’s original boundaries: Annandale (29 votes for, 4 against ratification) and Fairfax Court House (50 for, 4 against)1
  • June 1, 1861 – Captain John Quincy Marr, 17th Virginia Infantry, killed by Union cavalry in skirmish at Fairfax Count House, the first Confederate officer to die in the war. 2
  • July 16-21, 1861 – Two of the five Union divisions (2nd and 5th) engaged in the July 21 First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run marched through Ravensworth, camping in Annandale – over 10,000 soldiers, artillery and supply wagons on Columbia Pike, Little River Turnpike and Braddock Road advancing to battle and retreating after defeat.
  • November 5, 1861 – Firefight between three Union scouts and four Confederate cavalrymen at Oak Hill. (A Look Back At Braddock)
  • December 4, 1861 – 3rd New Jersey Infantry ambushed patrol of Georgia cavalrymen on Braddock Road near the intersection with Rolling Road. (A Look Back At Braddock)
  • February 3 to March 23, 1862 – Francis Dickens arrested at his home, Ossian Hall, and imprisoned for a month by Union authorities. Margaret Dickens wrote in her diary of this and other events near their home.
  • August 1863 – At Gooding’s Tavern: on the 6th, tavern keeper James Coyle killed by Union cavalry; on the 24th, Confederate partisan leader Major John C. Mosby wounded in skirmish with 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry.


  1. Brian A. Conley, ed., Fractured Land: Fairfax County’s Role in the Vote for Secession, May 23, 1861 (Fairfax County Public Library, 2001), 54 and 62.
  2. “John Quincy Marr and the Skirmish at Fairfax C. H.,” accessed November 28, 2014,