Tour of The Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley


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Join us for a tour of Civil War sites in and around the Shenandoah Valley. I hope you enjoy your journey.
Hal F. Sharpe.


Begin the Tour

Lower Valley

Stephenson's Depot(Gettysburg Campaign)

Scene of the climax of the battle of Second Winchester and the staging area for Custer's division for the final part of the Third Battle of Winchester. Civil War Trails signage off the Old Charlestown road describes the final action of Second Winchester. For a short analysis of this battle click here.

Winchester

Winchester - where young George Washington's surveying office still stands - changed hands 72 times during the Civil War, a violent statistic hard to believe when strolling the town's peaceful streets today. On tree-shaded North Braddock Street, the Gothic Revival house where Jackson had his headquarters the winter of 1861-62 is a museum, filled with rare artifacts of Jackson and his lieutenants. Nearby, the Kurtz Civil War Information Center, a visitor facility focused on the Civil War.

Kurtz Cultural Center

2 N. Cameron St. - Located in the heart of Old Town Winchester, this Civil War-oriented visitor center offers information about most Valley attractions. A permanent exhibit, "Shenandoah, Crossroads of the Civil War," offers an overview of the campaigns and profiles of the military leaders on both sides. 10 am-5 pm Monday-Saturday; noon-5 pm Sunday. Free. 540-722-6367. Civil War walking tours Saturdays mid-May through October. Fee charged for tours. Civil War Trails interpretation.

Confederate and National Cemeteries

Across the street from one another, near Old Town - Federal troops buried in one, Confederates in the other, these two sites reflect Winchester's history during the war.

"Stonewall" Jackson Headquarters

415 N. Braddock St. - Jackson used this small house, built in 1854, as his headquarters after taking command of the Valley army. Artifacts relating to Jackson, Turner Ashby and map maker Jed Hotchkiss are featured. It surprises many to learn that during the war the house belonged to a Confederate officer who is an ancestor of actress Mary Tyler Moore. Museum shop. Open April-October Monday-Saturday 10 am-4 pm and Sunday noon-4 pm.

Within a five mile radius of Winchester lie the three Winchester battlefields along with less known but still bloody fields of Rutherford’s Farm, Kernstown, and Smithfield.

Kernstown

The village of Kernstown is located several miles south of Winchester along US Highway 11. This area was the scene of fighting in 1862 and 1864.

Opequon Church

Watch for the signs and turn west onto the route that takes you to Opequon Church where both battles are interpreted on outdoor battle maps in the church parking lot. The map features large battle maps showing troop movements and landmarks. Land near the church, the Grim Farm, is the subject of a preservation effort headed by the Kernstown Battlefield Association. For information, write the group at PO Box 1327, Winchester, Va. Look for small Civil War site sign on Route 11 indicating the church. A UDC marker on Route 11 also provides information about the battle.

For a virtual tour of the Kernstown battlefields click here.

After passing Stephens City, US 11 crosses the big Battlefield of Cedar Creek, one of the war's most dramatic and significant battles. While in the Middletown area, visit Belle Grove, an 18th-century manor house from Thomas Jefferson's time, around which swirled the October 1864 battle of Cedar Creek that cost the South control of the Shenandoah Valley. Here, Union General Philip Sheridan turned an apparent Union rout into victory with his dramatic horseback dash from Winchester.

Front Royal
Middle Valley
Upper Valley

 

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