Remembering the Mill: 1862 – 1926 (Part One)

1862-11-29

Thoroughfare Gap 1862

The following is an excerpt from a circa 1926 piece written by Mary Susannah Walker McDarment.  It was transcribed by her daughter, Sarah M. Turner in 1993.  In the article, Mrs. McDarment talks of the Mill as it appeared in the 1920’s and then goes on to record the Civil War recollections of William Beverley.

Following the old pike from Haymarket we come through the hardly visible old town of Thoroughfare to Beverly Mills.  The Mill is today in probably as good condition as the day it was built.  It is of stone five stories high with walls at least three feet thick and was built some time in the 1700’s for a plaster mill.  It is now used for flour mill and though modern machinery has been installed the old wheel turned by the water from Broad Run used except in time of emergency.  When things are scorching in summer one may enter and find it delightfully cool due to its thick stone walls.  The beams are “beams what am” and put together with big wooden pegs.  The mill is in Thoroughfare Gap and beautifully located.

Approaching Thoroughfare Gap from either direction I always want to stop and commune with old spirits there.  We all know of the terrible fighting at the two battles of Manassas but few know of the hard fought battle of Thoroughfare Gap.  A Federal soldier said that the hardest fighting he was in during the war was in the battle of The Gap.  Mr. William Beverley gave me the following account of the battle in The Gap as he remembers it. Mr. Beverley was about twelve years old at the time and lived in the old Beverley home, Avenel, a short distance from The Gap and he remembers many incidents of the Second Battle of Manassas.

Next week: William Beverley’s reminiscences of the Battle of Thoroughfare Gap.

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