Conversations in History: Recruiting Union Defenders

The Mosby Heritage Area Association’s Conversations in History Series continues Sunday, Aug. 27 with a program titled, “Recruiting Virginia Unionists into the Potomac Home Brigade.”

In the spring of 1861, Francis Thomas, former governor of Maryland, put out a call for the creation of a “Home Brigade” to defend western Maryland from rebel incursions. Three regiments of infantry and one of cavalry were raised, and these men spent much of the war guarding the transportation networks that ran through Maryland and West Virginia. Their war was primarily a guerilla war, though occasionally the Home Brigade would be called into more active service when Confederates crossed the Potomac. From the beginning, the Home Brigade was also a refuge for numerous Virginia Unionists driven from their homes.

Starting at 3 p.m. at the Mt. Zion Historic Park, Travis Shaw, MHAA’s public programs coordinator, will examine Virginians who joined Union service by exploring the recruiting of these refugees, their motivations, and their combat experiences.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Mt. Zion is located at 40309 John Mosby Highway near Aldie. For more information, go to

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