Mason's and Munson's Hills, near Alexandria Virginia, were along the route to Washington D.C. These strategic prominences were sites of frequent skirmishes during the Civil War. In September 1861, the Confederate forces held Mason's Hill, with the Union nearby in Fairfax. Both sides sent pickets out for evening reconnaissance. The following excerpts detail the pickets and reconnaissance missions, as well as a skirmish between Federal and Confederate troops: 17th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment- 'In September it [the 17th Regiment] was moved to Fairfax Seminary, where in addition to ordinary picket and camp duties, it took part in the reconnaissance to Mason's Hill. In October it was sent to Hall's Hill, where it spent the winter of 1861-2.' Reports from the South- September 10, 1861,The Charleston Mercury From Our Own Correspondent. FLINT HILL, NEAR FAIRFAX C.H., VA., September 3- 'At last the army movements begin to like business. A few days ago our advanced pickets drove in the enemy out-post guards and... took possession of Munson's and Mason's Hills after a smart brush, in which we lost four men killed and wounded, and the enemy were severely punished.' Francis W. Quarles' Diaries of 1861 and 1862. Private, Company E, 8th Georgia Volunteer Infantry September 15, 1861- 'This being Sunday of course we received orders to march. We proceeded on our march, passing through Germantown, then through Fairfax[sic] we left the turnpike and turned to the left by the road that leads to Mason's Hill, arriving at Mason's Hill we halted, and camped, for the purpose of going on picket.' About the artist: Arthur Lumley was born in Dublin, Ireland and lived in Brooklyn, New York. He illustrated for publications such as The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains, Wild Life; or Adventures on the Frontier. A Tale of the Early Days of the Texan Republic. He also found work as a 'special artist' for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. After the war, Lumley produced illustrations for numerous national and regional publications.