County was named for Thomas Fairfax and was formed in 1742 from
the northern part of Prince William County. In 1757, the northwestern
two-thirds of Fairfax County became Loudoun County. In 1789 part
of Fairfax County became Alexandria County. Located near Washington,
D.C., Fairfax County was an important region in the Civil War.
The Battle of Chantilly or Ox Hill, during the same campaign as
the second battle of Bull Run, was fought within the county. The
Union army retreated to positions near Centreville, Virginia.
Confederate general Robert E. Lee, in an attempt to surround the
Union army and block their retreat towards Washington, D.C., sent
20,000 men under Stonewall Jackson north and then east along the
Little River Turnpike to get behind the Union position. George
Washington built his home, Mount Vernon, in Fairfax County. The
home of George Mason, Gunston Hall, is located nearby.
George Washington and Mount Vernon
George Washington led America's Continental Army to victory over
Britain in the American Revolutionary War and in 1789 was elected
the first President of the United States of America. His devotion
to republicanism and civic virtue made him an exemplary figure
among early American politicians. Mount Vernon, Virginia, was
the plantation home of George Washington. Built of wood in a neoclassical
Georgian architectural style, the estate is located near in Fairfax
County, on the banks of the Potomac River.
George Mason and Gunston Hall
George Mason was a United States patriot, statesman, and delegate
from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. He is called
the "Father of the Bill of Rights". Mason wrote the
Virginia Declaration of Rights. He is considered to be one of
the "Founding Fathers" of the United States. Gunston
Hall is an 18th-century Georgian mansion near the Potomac River
and was the home of George Mason.
Fort Belvoir is a United States military installation in Fairfax
County. Fort Belvoir serves as the headquarters for the Defense
Logistics Agency, the Defense Contract Audit Agency, the Defense
Technical Information Center, and the Defense Threat Reduction
Agency, agencies of the United States Department of Defense, which
share a building on the fort. The base was founded during World
War I as Camp A. A. Humphreys, named for Andrew A. Humphreys.
The post was renamed Fort Belvoir in the 1930s to honor the historic
Belvoir Manor, the home of Thomas Fairfax.
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