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During the Civil War, Confederate and Union troops surged back and forth through Centreville, Virginia, especially in the time surrounding the battles that took place in nearby Manassas on July 21, 1861, and Aug. 28-30, 1862. The town’s central location between Leesburg, Middleburg, Warrenton, Washington, Georgetown and Alexandria made it a prime spot for massive fortifications and camps built by Confederate forces at the start of the conflict and later used by Union soldiers throughout the war, as pictured here. According to the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Civil War effectively destroyed the Centreville community and surrounding areas. “If ever a village was killed in war it was Centreville,” the Washington Sunday Star said in 1914. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the town began to resume growth as a residential area. The D.C. suburb’s population exploded in the late 1990s and early 2000s due to the influx of technology companies in the Northern Virginia area. According to the 2010 census, Centreville had a population of 71,135 — a far cry from the war-torn town the Star called “stagnant and drowsy” in 1914.

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