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At Moss Neck, it's 1856 again
Moss Neck was returned to its original splendor in a renovation that took less than a year; today it's for sale for $4.9 million

 Moss Neck Manor in Caroline County was built in 1856 for the Corbin family. It was recently restored and is for sale.
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Date published: 5/21/2004


Carefully restored mansion is for sale

PROPERTIES ARE sometimes described in terms that embellish their settings or significance: A piece of history, gloriously restored, quiet and secluded, on manicured grounds.

Applied to Moss Neck Manor, the restored 19th-century Greek Revival mansion in Caroline County, the terminology lacks accuracy only in that the description is inadequate.

Moss Neck's place in history was documented in 1998 prior to its inclusion on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The history was compiled by Calder Loth, senior architectural historian with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The property, including the 225-foot-long antebellum mansion with 9,000 square feet of living space, plus outbuildings, swimming pool, and all 288 acres, has been listed for sale by Alex Long of Weichert, Realtors in Fredericksburg with an asking price of $4.9 million. There are five bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 13 fireplaces, all of them relined and working.

Piece of history

Built for well-known Virginian James Parke Corbin, the house was completed in 1856. The estate was used as Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's winter headquarters from December 1862 through March 1863. Jackson was visited there at Christmastime by Gens. Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stewart, Loth reported. That gathering was depicted in a scene from the Civil War movie "Gods and Generals."

A review of the troops by the generals, with Moss Neck in the background, is the subject of one of Civil War artist Mort Kunstler's most popular paintings.

To help them survive the winter, the thousands of troops who occupied the grounds felled many of the homestead's trees to make log huts.

The following spring, Jackson and his men would make their way to Chancellorsville for what would be the general's last battle.

Jackson's soldiers would have marched along the same 2.5-mile lane, now state-maintained, that leads from U.S. 17 to the Moss Neck property.

The general declined the indulgence of actually staying inside the mansion for more than one night, choosing to share the conditions outdoors with his men. The house was "too luxurious for a soldier, who should sleep in a tent," Jackson was quoted as saying.

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