On Sunday, November 14, BPAC led a group walk to sites associated with wars and military veterans. About ten people — along with two special canine guests — gathered near Tavern Square and then did a one-mile walk through Old Town. Extra handwarmers came in handy at the chilly start, but soon the temperatures warmed up and we enjoyed a seasonably pleasant fall morning.
During the tour, we learned about American Legion Post 24’s role in preserving Gadsby’s Tavern and talked about why there was a separate American Legion post in Alexandria named after William Thomas, the first Black man from Alexandria killed in World War I. We also discussed General Edward Braddock’s month-long stay at Carlyle House (somewhat to the disgruntlement of homeowner John Carlyle) during the planning stages of the French and Indian War, and we talked about the origins of Braddock Road. We learned about how Alexandria’s ignoble surrender to the British during the War of 1812 may have helped pave the way for the later American victory at the Battle of Baltimore. And we talked about the first two deaths by violence in the Civil War, which took place at the Marshall House (now the Alexandrian Hotel) right in the heart of Old Town.
If you would like to do a self-guided version of our 2021 veterans’ history walk, a guide to the route and stops is available here.
Many thanks to the BPAC volunteers who helped plan and publicize the walk!