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

Bugs and Suds Science Cafe

Learn about conservation of native bees, butterflies, and lightning bugs with Blandy bug scientists! This free and informal event is open to the public, but registration is requested. Drinks and snacks are available for purchase from Winchester Brew Works.

What to expect: Short, lively, informal talks about bugs.

Where to meet: Winchester Brew Works (320 North Cameron Street, Winchester, VA, 22601)

This program is free, but advanced registration is requested.

More information and registration

History at Sunset

Tommy, Charlie, and the Kidd: General Wesley Merritt’s Cavalry at Cedar Creek

By 1864, the Union cavalry was superior to the Confederate cavalry for several reasons: better horses, more firepower, and aggressive, enthusiastic leadership. Cavalry division commander Gen. Wesley Merritt and his three brigade commanders were well-trained, experienced leaders who expected to win every combat action. Join Ranger Rick Ashbacker to follow Merritt’s division from the Union right flank all the way to its counterattack position on the Union left flank during the battle of Cedar Creek.

Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645).

Battle of Cedar Creek Special Programs

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Belle Grove Plantation, and the Town of Middletown will host the 155th Anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek programs from Friday, October 18 – Sunday, October 20.

Friday, October 18

Battle of Cedar Creek in a Box
Friday, October 18, 11:30 a.m.
Location – Front Lawn of Belle Grove – 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA 22645

Battle of Cedar Creek Tour
Friday, October 18, 1:00
Starting Location – Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645

History at Sunset – Tommy, Charlie, and the Kidd: General Wesley Merritt’s Cavalry at Cedar Creek
Friday, October 18, 4:00 p.m.
By 1864, the Union cavalry was superior to the Confederate cavalry for several reasons: better horses, more firepower, and aggressive, enthusiastic leadership. Cavalry division commander Gen. Wesley Merritt and his three brigade commanders were well-trained, experienced leaders who expected to win every combat action. Join Ranger Rick Ashbacker to follow Merritt’s division from the Union right flank all the way to its counterattack position on the Union left flank during the battle of Cedar Creek.
Starting Location – NPS Visitor Contact Station – 7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645

Saturday, October 19

In Depth Cedar Creek Car Caravan Driving Tour
Saturday, October 19, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Starting Location – NPS Visitor Contact Station – 7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645

Signal Knob Interpretive Hike
Saturday, October 19, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Hike at your own pace and join a National Park Service Ranger at the top of Signal Knob to see the expansive Shenandoah Valley landscape and learn about the significance of the mountain during the Civil War and its role in the Battle of Cedar Creek.
Click here for directions to Signal Knob.

Battle of Cedar Creek in a Box
Saturday, October 19, offered at 10:30, 12:30, 2:00
Location – Front Lawn of Belle Grove – 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA 22645

10th Virginia Living History
Saturday, October 19, offered at 10:00, 11:00, and 4:00
Location – Front Lawn of Belle Grove – 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA 22645

“Battling in the Streets” Middletown and the Battle of Cedar Creek
Saturday, October 19, 5:00 p.m.
Middletown constantly found itself in the middle of war. At no time was this truer than on October 19, 1864 during the Battle of Cedar Creek when fighting raged through the town’s streets both during the morning Confederate assault and the afternoon Union counterattack.The evening will conclude with, first in helping with the lighting of the town’s luminaries, followed by making the short walk to the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, a facility used as a hospital after the battle. Join Ranger Jeff Driscoll as he explores this critical, but often overlooked action.
Starting location – Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645

Sunday, October 20

Battle of Cedar Creek in a Box
Sunday, October 20, offered at 10:30 and 12:30
Location – Front Lawn of Belle Grove – 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA 22645

From Battlefield and Beyond: War Comes to the Shenandoah Valley
Sunday, October 20, offered at 9:30 and 1:30
Location: Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park, 8437 Valley Pike, Strasburg, VA 22641

“A storm of bullets swept the ground…”: The Stand of the 30th Massachusetts and 114th New York Regiments
Sunday, October 20, 11:00
It was still the early morning of October 19, 1864, at Cedar Creek when Union Generals Emory and Wright made their decision: the Confederate attack had already routed the 8th and much of the 19th Corps, and in order to gain time so they could form a defensive line in front of Belle Grove, they had to hold up the Confederate assault. As Emory said later, “…It was one of those painful cases when it was necessary to sacrifice a smaller force for the greater.” That smaller force would be the 30th Massachusetts and 114th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiments. Join Park Ranger Jeff Driscoll as he walks in the footsteps of these two regiments, and takes you to the ground where they sacrificed so much.
Starting Location – Belle Grove’s Special Event parking area, 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA 22645

10th Virginia Living History
Sunday, October 20, times to be determined
Location – Front Lawn of Belle Grove – 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA 22645

“Kneading in Silence, a Glimpse into the life Judah the Enslaved Cook”
Sunday, October 20, offered at 2:30
Location – Historic Kitchen at Belle Grove – 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA 22645

275th Anniversary of Winchester Talk by Dr. Carl Ekberg

“From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester” Lecture and Slide Presentation by Dr. Carl J. Ekberg

About the Speaker

Dr. Carl J. Ekberg is Professor of History Emeritus at Illinois State
University and now resides in Winchester. He is an expert in Colonial American history and award-winning author of 8 books. He has traced the footsteps of Jefferson in Paris for the last 25 years. In 2014, he received La Médaille des Valeurs francophones presented by the French Ambassador on behalf of the Renaissance française for his numerous outstanding publications on the French Colonial period.

Sunday, September 15, 2019
1:30 PM Mingle with the Speaker
Hotel is offering Chicken Plate $15,
Dessert $5, Bar available
Cash only
2:30 PM Lecture and Presentation
The George Washington Hotel Ballroom
103 E. Piccaddilly Street, Winchester, Virginia
Free Event, All Welcome.