The great-great-granddaughter of David Dowd — a member of the 155th New York Infantry during the Civil War — visited the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum from Europe after a long COVID-imposed delay. Maeve Donegan Paine and her husband, Clive Paine, began planning a trip to the United States in the fall of 2019. Maeve discovered through an web search that the museum currently holds plaques commemorating the Battle of Sangster’s Station, which took place in December 1863. Realizing that her great-great-grandfather is among the names listed on the plaques, she contacted the museum requesting a visit. She and her husband were only a few weeks away from their trip before the pandemic led to sweeping travel restrictions.

At long last, the couple was able to visit and were met by a museum volunteer and subject matter expert Blake Myers, a member of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table (BRCWRT). After viewing the plaques in person, the group toured the Sangster’s Station battlefield site with the permission of the landowner, himself an avid supporter of historical preservation. Other stops include St. Mary of Sorrows Church and a Civil War redoubt on the campus of George Mason University preserved by school and BRCWRT.

Dowd was injured and captured at Sangster’s Station and died at the Andersonville prisoner of war camp in 1864. A native of Dingle, county Kerry in Ireland, his widow was denied pension benefits due to the lack of U.S. citizenship. She returned to Dingle, and many of their descendants live there today.

Thank you, Maeve and Clive, for visiting!