McCormick Civil War Institute Fall Seminar

“We Shall Have Graveyards at Every Door”
The Lower Shenandoah Valley’s Border Region during the Civil War

While portions of the Shenandoah Valley such as Winchester experienced frequent occupations by Union and Confederate armies, communities to its south such as Stephens City and Middletown experienced the conflict differently. Situated in the lower Shenandoah Valley’s border region these communities oftentimes sat in a “no-man’s land.” This fall the McCormick Civil War Institute will explore military operations in this border region, operations of irregular troops in the swath of territory between Stephens City and Cedar Creek, and how civilians living in these communities—those who supported the Union, those who favored the Confederacy, and enslaved and free blacks—confronted and coped with the reality of living in a place in a constant state of flux.

Schedule

10-10:30 a.m. Check-in at Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia
10:30-11:30 a.m. Welcome and lecture by Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas “Like the Letting Out of Waters”: The Lower Shenandoah Valley on the Civil War’s Eve
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Lunch at Shenandoah University’s Allen Dining Hall (lunch included with registration)
12:30-4:30 p.m.: Caravan tour of sites including Stephens Run, Nieswangers, Locus Hill, Hull’s Store, Miller’s Mill, Kercheval House Site, St. Thomas Chapel, Jenkins’ cabin, and others.

Registration fee of $25 covers the cost of morning lecture, handouts, lunch, and afternoon guided caravan tour. Carpooling is required for the afternoon tour as mass transportation will not permit access to certain sites. Please use the registration link at the top of this page to register. Space is limited so register early!

Questions about registration can be directed to Prof. Noyalas at jnoyalas01@su.edu or phone 540-665-4501.

Fall Semester Seminar & Tour

Guided Civil War Walking Tour of Stephens City

Civil War walking tours of historic Stephens City are conducted at 10:30 a.m. on the 4th Saturday of the month, beginning in June and ending in October. Tours are led by staff of the Newtown History Center. This tour focuses on the impact of the Civil War on the town. Learn about various civilian and military activities in and around Stephens City between 1861 and 1865.

Admission: $5/person (all ages 6+)

Reservations are required.

Please call the Newtown History Center at 540-869-1700.

Tours begin at the Newtown History Center, located at 5408 Main Street.

Battle of Cedar Creek in a Box Program

Park Ranger Shannon Moeck gives an interactive talk about the Battle of Cedar Creek using props and the surrounding landscape features.

All National Park Service ranger programs are free. Talks and tours may be cancelled in severe weather. Allow yourself time to find parking.

Meet on the front lawn of Belle Grove (336 Belle Grove Rd, Middletown)

Tour of Second Winchester Battlefield (McCann Property)

Guided Tour of the McCann Property at Second Winchester led by historian Scott Mingus
(Saturday, September 25, 2021, 2:30pm)

The first-ever opportunity to tour the McCann Property, which was at the heart of the climactic action during the Second Battle of Winchester (fought on June 13-15, 1863). The tour will be led by Scott Mingus, co-author (with Eric Wittenberg) of The Second Battle of Winchester: The Confederate Victory that Opened the Door to Washington.

The tour is free, but space is limited, and pre-registration is required.

More info and registration:
www.shenandoahatwar.org/tour-of-mccann-property-second-winchester-battlefield

Guided Civil War Walking Tour of Stephens City

Civil War walking tours of historic Stephens City are conducted at 10:30 a.m. on the 4th Saturday of the month, beginning in June and ending in October. Tours are led by staff of the Newtown History Center. This tour focuses on the impact of the Civil War on the town. Learn about various civilian and military activities in and around Stephens City between 1861 and 1865.

Admission: $5/person (all ages 6+)

Reservations are required.

Please call the Newtown History Center at 540-869-1700.

Tours begin at the Newtown History Center, located at 5408 Main Street.

The Bell House Guided Tour

A guided tour of the Bell House, the c. 1810-1811 Winchester landmark that was at the center of Winchester’s wartime and postwar story. The home includes Bell family furnishings and collections which have been passed down for generations, including the famous case clock that was stopped by the concussion of Union artillery fire during the Third Battle of Winchester. Free. The tour will begin at the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum before the group walks the short distance to the Bell House. Free.

Pre-registration is not required. This tour is hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

For more information, call 540-542-1145 or email info@svbf.net.

African American Civil War Trails Marker Unveiling

Join us for the unveiling of a new Civil War Trails marker.

There will be a short ceremony to mark the occasion, with remarks from local dignitaries and community members.

The event will take place on the north side of the City Hall building (15 N. Cameron Street), on the grounds near the cannon.

First Battle of Kernstown Tour

On April 17, 2021 the Kernstown Battlefield Association (KBA) will host a walking and driving tour of the First Battle of Kernstown. KBA docents Larry Turner and Mike Cannane (pictured) will lead this tour starting at 10am. Attendees should meet at the Visitor Center and dress appropriately for walking across fields, pastures and woods.
The morning will consist of a walking tour of the Kernstown Battlefield property with descriptions of cavalry and artillery actions from the perspective of Union forces on Pritchard’s Hill and Confederate forces from Apple Valley Road.

The afternoon driving portion begins at 1pm near Old Town Winchester with a detailed description of Confederate cavalry reconnaissance and the wounding of Union Maj. Gen. James Shields. This will be followed by visits to the Confederate artillery park south of the Opequon Church and discussions at our “Jackson’s Lookout” viewing platform about the Confederate maneuvers and Jackson’s decision to attack. We will then travel on to Rose Hill Park and Sandy Ridge for continued discussions on the battle during the afternoon of March 23, 1862.
KBA will arrange a lunch for purchase to be delivered at noon. It is suggested that you bring water and dress appropriately for the weather. Masks will be required and social distancing observed.

FREE – DONATIONS WELCOME

To comply with Covid-19 restrictions we ask that you pre-register.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Second Battle of Kernstown Tour

The Kernstown Battlefield will host a walking and driving tour of the Second Battle of Kernstown, stopping at key battle locations on and around the battlefield property. Accomplished Civil War author Scott C. Patchan, known for his books, Shenandoah Summer and Last Battle of Winchester, will lead the tour. While there is no cost for the tour, your generous donations will be greatly appreciated.

The tour will begin at the battlefield Visitors Center, then move to the Jackson’s Lookout observation platform on Apple Valley Road, the parking lot of Opequon Church, and then onto the front lawn of the Grafton Health building off Shawnee Drive. At each of these locations, Scott will discuss the maneuvers of Generals Ramseur, Gordon, and Breckinridge, plus details of the Confederate artillery.

The tour will then move onto the battlefield property to locations where the maneuvers of Union Colonels Thoburn, Ely, and Wells created a gap in the Union line, enabling Confederate General Jubal Early to execute his double-envelopment of the Union forces. The tour will end along the stone wall on Pritchard’s Lane where Scott will discuss the actions of Colonel James Mulligan’s Union division and his mortal wounding.

We are very sorry to say we will not be providing lunch at the end of this tour. Please bring comfortable walking shoes, proper clothing for the weather, and remember to bring water. Virginia COVID-19 guidelines will be practiced. The vast majority of the tour is outdoors, but movement in vehicles between locations will be required. High-risk persons, those with COVID symptoms, or who have been in contact with individuals with symptoms, should not attend. Attendees should have masks and practice social distancing during the tour.