Stafford Springs

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Stafford's Confederate Year

Stafford Springs

Several Confederate Stafford “Safe-Houses” and “Spy Centers” were known to exist. They included Stafford Springs in northwest Stafford, now within Marine Corps Base Quantico. The springs had been a small resort earlier in the 1800s. As described by historian Jerrilynn Eby MacGregor:

During the Civil War, the business of the farm changed from entertainment for those seeking pleasure to the gravity of war, as Stafford Springs became the headquarters of Confederate spy operations. Its desolate location close to the Prince William County line, with few roads in that part of the county, allowed the Confederates access to the neighboring county and woods and undergrowth into which to fade when they had completed their assignments. Being the staunch Confederates that they were, the King family members were close-mouthed and uncommunicative in regard to the war activity at their farm, even long after the fighting had ceased.

Places like Stafford Springs played important roles in early war spy activities oriented on the Potomac-Rappahannock Lines and toward Brentsville and Manassas. Typically such places were in remote and off-the-beaten track locations. Security was effective, as involved families seldom spoke (even in later years).

(Picture of Stafford Springs from Jerrilynn Eby MacGregor)