McCauley Lecture: ’The Rebels is Running Over our Parents’: Recruiting Virginia Unionists into the Potomac Home Brigade

Primary tabs

Age Group:


Program Description

Event Details

In the spring of 1861 Francis Thomas, former governor of Maryland, put out a call for the creation of a “Home Brigade” to defend western Maryland from rebel incursions. Three regiments of infantry and one battalion of cavalry were raised, and these men spent much of the war guarding the vital transportation networks that ran through Maryland and West Virginia. Their war was primarily a guerilla war, though occasionally the Home Brigade would be called into more active service when Confederates crossed the Potomac. From the beginning the Home Brigade was also a refuge for numerous Virginia Unionists driven from their homes.

Travis Shaw is the Director of Education for the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area. He brings over two decades of experience in the fields of historic preservation, archaeology, and museum education. Prior to joining VPHA he spent time at Historic St. Mary’s City, The Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab,  Mount Vernon, and Oatlands Historic House and Gardens. He holds a BA in history from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an MA in public history from American University.



Programs, events and classes may be photographed or videotaped for library promotional purposes. Your participation in programs signifies your permission for us to use any photos that we take of you. Please speak to a librarian at the event if you would prefer your photo not be taken.