Monday, June 29, 2009

Ebenezer Churches, near Bloomfield, Va.

It was at this site that the money from the Greenback Raid was divided among Mosby’s men on the afternoon of October 15, 1864. The amount captured, $173,000 was parceled-out in equal shares of $2,000 among the rangers. Mosby refused a share, but the men later voted to buy him a thoroughbred horse with the money that would have been his had he taken a share. There are two churches, built side-by-side, the first having been constructed in 1804 (one source says 1765) and the second in 1855, as the result of a division in the congregation. The magnificent map of the John Singleton Mosby Heritage Area, surveyed and drawn by map-maker Eugene M. Scheel and edited by historian John K. Gott, has a description of the churches and notes: “The Hebrew Eben-ezer means stone of help, erected by Samuel to memorialize the Israeli[te] victory over the Philistines.”

According to a recent article in The Washington Post the money from the raid was divvied up at the Rock Hill Farm, about five miles south of Round Hill, Va.: “Rock Hill had a brief role in the Civil War. It is believed to be the site where Mosby’s Rangers, a guerrilla-style band of Confederate soldiers, divided up money from the Green Back [sic] Raid.” (Kafia A. Hosh, “Landmark Not Showing Its Age,” The Washington Post [June 28, 2009], C1). It will be interesting to examine the evidence for this claim, which I expect can be found in the documentation prepared for the property’s nomination for the Virginia Landmarks Register.

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