Conversations in History Celebrates Melville’s Mosby Poem

Nineteenth century American author and poet Herman Melville’s famous poem “The Scout toward Aldie” will be the focus of the next Conversations in History series, set for Aug. 20 at Mt. Zion Historic Park on Rt. 50 east of Gilberts Corner.

The popular series is a partnership between the Mosby Heritage Area Association and NOVA Parks. This month marks the 150th anniversary of Melville’s poem and recounts his trip into Mosby’s Confederacy from April 18-20, 1864, accompanying Union troops in their quest to find and capture the famous, or infamous (depending which side you were on) John Singleton Mosby and his Rangers.

Jonathan Cooke, the English chair at Middleburg Academy, will kick off the program talking about Melville, the poem and its significance. Following the talk, there will be a group reading of the poem by lantern in the 165-year-old church, which Melville and the Union troopers passed during their scouting expedition. The poem was published on Aug. 17, 1866, as part of his book “Battle Pieces (and Aspects of the War).”

Admission is $10 for adults or $5 for students at the door. For more information, contact 540-687-6681 or

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