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Historic Mansion For Sale - $385,000

6000 sq. ft. 1847 Greek Revival Brick Mansion on 3.7 acres.

Rare opportunity to own an historical, architecturally significant, un-renovated gem with original interior trim. On market for the 2nd time in 167 years.

Mountain Home has been accepted into both the National and Virginia Registries of Historic Places, which allow for potential tax credits of up to 45% against renovation costs. Click here for interesting details of the successful application.

Poignant 1862 diary of 15 year old girl recounts civil war drama enfolding on and around the Mountain Home property.

Renovated slave cottage, outbuildings, and mountain views, adjoining Appalacian Trail and 3200 acre National Zoological Park.

Call Nevill Turner of Strange & Co. Realtors, to arrange private showing
(540) 675-1935 or e-mail at nev@yahoo.com)

Owners hold Virginia Real Estate licences.


 
THE DIARY OF ANNIE CHUNN GARDNER
With thanks to the Warren Heritage Society, 101 Chester Street, Front Royal, VA 22630

1862

This diary is recorded in a small notebook inscribed on the front as follows: "Presented to Annie by her Ma June 27th, 1862." Most of the diary is written in pencil, now so faded that some words are illegible and are indicated in this transcription by a dash when the word cannot be deciphered at all, or followed by a question mark when the word is doubtful. The spelling and punctuation is true, as far as was possible, to the original. The sentiments are those of the times and those of a young girl experiencing war for the first time. The Gardner home, known as Mountain Home, was and still is situated on the road between Front Royal and Chester Gap, hugging the Blue Ridge and the well-traveled road that connected the Shenandoah Valley with the Virginia Piedmont. What was in peacetime a pragmatic and convenient location for a home made Mountain Home in time of war a convenient target for looters and a constant scene of the movement of armies and wagon supply trains.

June 30th, 1862
Woke this morning, and found the bright sunshine streaming in at my open window, and heard the sweet notes of the birds as they warbled their morning song in the trees, both seeming to say wake up sluggard, how can you sleep away the most beautiful morning. I obeyed the summons, and on looking out found it even so, how could I sleep away the most beautiful hours of the day. But ah! Thought I, I am not as free as you are little birds now, once I could have gone out and enjoyed this beautiful morning with you, but not now. Our enemys are lurking about in every crevice hole, or corner so that I cannot peep my head out, let alone myself. Why only yesterday there came besides the usual picket one regiment, and do you imagine that all those men are going to stay in one place, or in their different places picketing, no, while some watch, the others will ransack the country for something else to get at. The Cherrie trees are always full, they are in the strawberry patches, and they even pull the green apples off the trees and eat them, but that is nothing, they break open people's meat houses, spring-houses, corn houses, and even some houses, and take whatever they please. 4 came up yesterday. We wanted to know what they wanted, "some bread," said 2 (the others wanted to stay all night). Well go around to the kitchen there may be some there. They went but found the kitchen shut up, came back, did you get anything enquired Pa. "No Ð how is it that you all about here don't have anything to eat when we come to you for it, as large rich farms as you have," (They did not think how many had been before them). They went to the smokehouse, did not let Pa know anything about it and broke the door down, took out a piece of meat and put off with it. Two gentlemen in the evening called, they told Pa that they would if they were in his place, secure their meat and other things as well as they could, that the soldiers would be much worse when they come back. Two more came yesterday evening complaining they were sick and asked for shelter as it was raining. They staid a little while and then went away, we expected them to supper but they did not make their appearance. Ma went over the ridge yesterday, returned in the evening in the rain. We have not been much disturbed today. 1 called this morning and got some bread and butter, and two more for milk, and one seeming to be an officer dined here. They behaved themselves very well. For a change suppose I vary my subject from Yankees to the beautiful sunset I witness this evening. I think it is the most beautiful one I have seen this summer, to see the sun, with its broad bright face sinking behind the mountain this cool, pleasant, clear evening, lighting up the clouds, and throwing back its reflection on our beautiful and much beloved Mountain Home, which made it look far prettier that any pen can express, much less the pen of poor me, who have not the power of expressing myself as I would. The new moon which next made its appearance for the first time looking so grand and beautiful, and the myriad of stars that came out one by one till the whole face of the heavens was sown with them, making the place look like enchantment.

July 1st, 1862
The regiment under Colonel Brown passed this morning from off picket. They went on did not stop. Ma sent a letter to some of her friends in Western Virginia by the Colonel wishing him to mail it, he seems to be very polite and accommodating. Since then we have not been disturbed, no Yankees been up this way. Pa went to town this morning, heard Cannons this evening and thought we heard guns, but were mistaken I reckon, as we have not been as yet able to find out where the firing was, heard the drums in town very distinctly, would like to know what they are about.

Wednesday, July 2
been raining all day no Yankees have made their appearance all is quiet.

Thursday, July 3
Heard good news this morning, have had another fight at Richmond, reported to be 3000 of the Federals taken prisoner, 16000 killed and wounded, we drove them back 25 miles with the loss of 11000 killed and wounded. We commenced harvesting at the river today, pa has gone to see about it. The Yankees have not been up this far since day before yesterday.

Thursday Eve
Just heard of the death of Cousin Willie Richardson, he died in Williamsburg at an Episcopal ministers, he was wounded in the battle of the 5th, was taken to the hospital, and from there to the hospital, and from there to the parsonage, where he died the 29th of May, such is the fate of war.

Friday Morning, 4th
Heard cannon very distinctly this morning in the direction of Guard Hill where the army is stationed. As the firing continued but a short time, we came to the conclusion that they were celebrating the 4th of July. The pickets on the road leading along the river was fired on yesterday, 15 reported to be killed.

Friday Eve
Been hearing cannons all the evening, don't know what to make of it as the pickets are still out, two soldiers came up after Cherries, said they were still celebrating the 4th, they thought but the cannon was firing in quick succession all the evening.

Saturday Morning, 5th
Cavalry went over toward Flint Hill this morning early, been coming back in small companies all the morning, have heard no news from Front Royal, suppose no fighting there as the Yankees look as consequential as ever.

Saturday Eve
Went down to see Mollie this evening, late this evening a large number of Cavalry passed, don't know where they were going.

Monday Morning, 7th
This morning an army is passing again something I never expected again to see. Yesterday which was Sunday they were passing all day, and now again today. Yesterday they did not disturb us much, came in several of them and wanted something to eat. 3 dined with us, two of which were sick. This morning they have made up for the good behavior of those yesterday, they have been trying what they can do. Yesterday they drank up all the milk in the spring house, and took some of Pa's hay this morning, they have been all over the yard, in the spring house, in the meadow, up the Cherrie trees, almost broke them to the ground, been making pa's hay tha the has out almost walk of itself out to the wagons, been in the ice house, in the kitchen for something to eat, in the garden pulling out the Currants, onions etc., so that we had to get a guard, in fact they have been doing everything in their power it seems to annoy us. Those that went over yesterday belonged to General Williams and Crawfords division, those this morning to General Gordons.

Monday Eve
Still passing in very large numbers, another army I think, don't know who is commander. Tindale I have just heard is commander, that is Colonel of the regiment, the very meanest man among them, let them be as mean as they can be. Pa asked him as a colonel to protect old Mr. Foster and to prevent his men from doing him any damage. His reply was he was colonel of the infantry and his men did not eat hay. Some men got into our garden and commenced pulling up the things. He sat out at our kitchen door and saw him do it, without reproving them, lets them do as they please. Oh how I wish I was a man. Pa went before him, and went to where the men were. They came out when they saw him, cowards! His men are sitting around him talking, laughing etc. he sits by, treats him with the respect he deserves. I have just found out who is General the notorious Gary. I had a peep at him as he sat upon our portico, he looked to be such a man as Tindale, they have just ordered them to start after staying perhaps an hour or more and this evening I have for the first time seen the yard of old Mountain Home covered with Yankees, may I never see it again, or at least by such as these. I have heard of them before and they fully come up to my expectations. Two negro men are now sitting out in the yard, as if the place belonged to them, seem to be very familiar with the whites. Oh, it is too much, and we can well say with the Lady of ____ when will deliverance come. They had the stars and stripes flying over the woodpile. I see them pulling my flowers, my poor flowers, to have their rough hands on them, one would pull off a rose, and ask another if he liked flowers, and then pull off some more, and swear about them being so pretty. A body of infantry have stopped opposite the house, and of all the noise, cussing and swearing I never before heard, and hope never will again, they are ordered to fall in and I hope these are the last. Seven eat supper with us, one stayed all night that was sick.

Tuesday Morning 8th and Eve
They have been passing in small quantities all day, mostly wagons, some of them called for something to eat, so many coming we had to charge them for what they got. Some payed and others did not, depended altogether on the men, they broke open Pa's granary, don't know what they took out, still taking Mr. Foster's hay, came into the yard and meadows, and fed their horses. It is reported that General Banks went by today, but I do not believe it. Two men stopped to get something to eat, said they had marched all day and all night without anything to eat. Pa wanted to sell them some bread (I don't think they wanted to pay for it) then they said as they had no butter to eat with it, they did not want it, they had plenty of bread in their wagon Ð funny way of fasting, that. Still passing this morning in large numbers. The yard is again full. Last night near nine o'clock they passed in a large body of Cavalry and infantry, they jabbering away like black birds, they have been worse than they have ever been I think, they have pulled up all the onions in the garden, broken several pailings of the garden fence, broke the Currant Bushes and would have done much more damage if pa had not informed the Colonel, they have stolen things out of the kitchen, grabbed the bread out of the stove, pulling the flowers Cherries Green Apples etc. The General is Seagles. Several have just been to the front door threatening to break the door down if we did not let them in. We were down at breakfast, pa was down at the corn house, which they had attempted to break open. Ma came up and hollored for him to come to the house. They said that they wanted something to eat, they weren't going to march all day without something to eat, we wasn't anything but a bunch of "Secesh" barring the doors against them. They even threatened to burn the house down, at least one of them said that he was a great mind to do so. One has just shot a chicken in the yard, poor thing how it did sqawk, an officer passing made him put it down. Saw a woman pass today on horse back riding along with the men. Saw a little girl and boy in a wagon several days ago. 5 men called said they must have something to eat if they could not get it any other way they would plunder. We had nothing cooked but had a little sour milk which we gave them. They have broken open Pa's Corn house and are loading their wagon. There is one sick man here, give out I believe, belonging to one of the Cavalry companies. Pa is almost broken down, he has been on his feet all day running from one place to another, we have all been picketing we may call it today, that is we have been at our different posts, watching for the enemy as we expected they would make their attacks on the Smoke house, School house, garden, barn, corn houses etc. and they have on all these except the smoke house. We have also had our dispatches carrying the news to Pa they were very brisk and active and generally succeeded in routing the enemy.

Thursday 10th
They have been passing again today in small numbers. This morning went over a large force of cavalry, since then there has been none but a few straglers, one dined here that brought Fan home, that the man that was sick rode to Front Royal this morning, he says they have nearly all gone from Front Royal. It has been a wet disagreeable day today, been raining the greater part of the day, and very damp the remainder. 2 officers came this morning and wanted a cup of tea complaining they were sick, and a private also.

Friday 11th
Been passing today again.

Saturday 12th
Today they have been passing again in large numbers. Last night a very long drove of wagons passed about dusk, this evening the artillery and considerable cavalry passed in the direction of Front Royal, they have called in a great many of them for something to eat and some of them tried to pass counterfeit money upon us, and failing made one man very angry, said the southern people would not take their own money, they all wanted their heads cut off and he was the one to do it. Friday and yesterday I have been cleaning up my room, somewhat an undertaking for me to do well. I am better making dirt than cleaning it away, but today it has been which was which, but I believe it will decide in having it clean at least nearly so, ought to, I think after the trouble I have had with it. Oh! I had a time helping to put up a bed this morning, makes one feel tired just to think about it, then the cording part, wouldn't be a bit surprised if the bed fell down tonight. Rob and myself corded it ourselves.

Monday morning 14th
Another army passing this morning. Will they never stop coming? A long drove of Cavalry are now passing, seem to be in more of a hurry than usual, wish somebody was after them. Yesterday an army was not passing, but they went by twos and threes, half a dozens and dozens, etc. Waggons almost constantly passing and repassing, not a great many called on us. In the morning several called to get their breakfast or something to eat, and one, a Lieut. Brought a letter to Ma from over the ridge. Went down to see Mollie yesterday, met several wagons. Ma and myself rode old Bill, one waggoner was very impolite, would as leave driven over us as not. The last bit of old Mr. Foster's hay is gone.

Monday Eve
Have been sick all day, one of my old billios attacks. 7 men called this morning some if not all were officers they and pa got up quite a debate on the state of affairs. Got some more of pa's corn, payed in suggar 10 lbs. 20 cts. A pound.

Tuesday 15th
Not many troops passing today, wagons have been passing backward and forwards. A southern soldier and servant, on patrol from Mississippi, dine with us today. Soon after, a gentleman that brought from over the ridge a letter to ma some time ago, called as he was going back to take one for her.

Wednesday 16th
very few Yankees been passing today, in comparison with those that have passed heretofore, several are now down to the barn, what they are doing there I cannot tell, have the saddles off their horses perhaps feeding them. One of our little pet Birds died today, through my carelessness, forgot to feed them this morning, at least I thought Rob had fed them, at dinner time we looked at them, one was just breathing and the other was dying, one died, the other is better, poor little thing, hope it will live. I hung it up in the tree, if it wants to go away it may, though I much prefer it staying with me. Later. My other poor little bird is dead too, died soon after the other one, but I think it was recovering till it fell out of the tree and killed its poor little self, and to think that I was the means of both of them dying, though I did not intend it either time, but to the way that the last little darling met with its death. Beck had hung it in the tree for me before going cherrying, I got up in the tree after it, and on coming down the little thing kept up a constant chirping, and opening its little mouth for something to eat, getting to the bottom of the tree I had to set the basket down until I got down, when on jumping up it jumped out of the basket, on the ground I thought, but in turning about to get down, it fell down at the foot of the tree, perfectly dead, it did not breathe after, did not gasp. I buried them with Rob under the Syringa bush. There is a beautiful sunset this evening, after a very pretty rain of about half an hour or so, the purple and white clouds surrounding the sun, and it breaking through and throwing its reflection up on them, mixing altogether purple, white and golden of different shades, making it look beautiful. Could not be more so I think, all together forming all kinds of shapes and forms, now the purple clouds rising higher and higher, looking like a mighty mountain in the distant, and then rising up in the shapes of rocks, then stretching off into one vast plain and then mixing altogether, rolling along together over and over each other, can make nothing but clouds of them nothing on earth could be so beautiful I think. But here am I trying to describe this sunset, when I might as well undertake to describe the inhabitants of the moon, but no matter, I can feel how it looks and that will do.

Thursday 17th
Very few passing today. Those that were at the barn yesterday are there again today looking out for straglers they say. Heard all of Mr. P Bettie's blacks have gone with the Yankees today, every one, even Aunt Mary, 3 of Uncle Jacks also.

Friday 18th
A very disagreeable day been raining all day. Not many Yankees passing, 4 deserters stayed in our barn all night from Maryland, said that they did not come here to fight for the negroes, as that seemed to be the principal question with the northern army they did not intend to stay any longer.

Saturday 19th
Waggons passing today, sutlers I think, pa bought some shus [shoes?] from one. Went up to see Mrs. Menifee today. She said the Yankees have cursed her two or three times. Coming home saw some wagons, did not choose to meet them, got over in the field, grass up to my waste, got all draggled the grass being wet. Fell out of the Mulberry tree this eve, greatest wonder it had not killed me, fell on a bed of rocks, or very near it, my head Becky who was with me said, hit on a sharp rock, but I think she was mistaken, it would have cut my head if I had, it did not hurt me much bruised my head and gave me a very severe headache the greatest damage it done.

Monday 21st
Miss Mary Simpson been out to see us today, went back this evening. Been very much annoyed by the Yankees, she says.

Wednesday 23rd
No Yankees been here today for a Not at the house I mean, a man stayed all night with us last night, acted very suspiciously but sayed that he was a great southerner, and talked about the Yankees at a terrible rate, went on the Front Royal this morning and came back very soon, said they would not let him stay, but let him in, but other persons have not been allowed to come back when they got in and why should he be an exception. Night before last a yankee Capt. Stayed all night with us a german had been here only nine months he spoke almost as distinctly as Dr. Echard. he was very polite and played for us a few pieces before starting the next morning (I played for him Desire) but he came very late in the night after we had all retired and sent one of his men up who thundered at the door when pa got down he had his sword drawn. The next day or that night his soldiers broke the corn house door down and fed 20 horses.

Monday 28th
Yankees been here today again went strait to the barn and were about to break the door down, when pa hallowed at them, they wanted geer they said, and were about to take some, when pa threatened he would report them to their head officers tomorrow, they then said it would not be of much use to them, went away and left it. They have cousin Tom McKay in the guard house at Front Royal had him there for some time. Cos Bettie was to see him yesterday. Mr. Green and Uncle Jack were up to see us this evening said they have been behaving very badly at their houses today and yesterday, they have taken all of Uncle Jacks gear, one horse from Mr. Bolen, one from Mr. Green. Came yesterday evening here, and wanted horses and geer, but did not get any. Stole a sow and a Turkey from Mr. Albert Menifee. Mrs. Menifee was to see us this evening first time she has been anywhere since pa was married.

Tuesday 29th
Yankee deserters started to break the door down again today. Granery I mean, after bridels they said. 2 were here this morning after bread for a sick man in Front Royal give him as much as we could spare which was only three loaves rather a long way to walk after that I think. Heard from Wes today. We are having a very bad thunder shower this evening, not much lightening but a good deal of rain. There were but two of the Warren Rifles killed in the last battles one John Wesley Steel he was riddled with balls I heard could not recognize him except from a pocket book with his name in it which was found in his pocket also a knife and comb which was recognized by some in the company. Louise Steel too I hear is losing her mind and it is thought when Mrs. Steel hears of the death of her son, she will loose hers entirely it has been shattered for some time what a sad family. And how I pity Mr. Steel. Wife and children all crazy or nearly so.

Wednesday 30th
The Capt. That staid with us some time ago aide of General banks is with us again this morning, ate breakfast with us him and his servant. Ma, Beck and Johnie went over the ridge this morning, will be back this evening if possible. Since they have been gone a train of wagons have passed that behaved very badly, came after corn, found none in the corn house but some in the cabin loft, took a good deal of corn, besides turning all of Aunt Harriet's clothes out of her drawers, boxes etc. they even turned her bonnet out of the band-box, took her money, Sandy's candy and some money from Maria I think, some was in a dress and they missed that. I don't know whether anything else or not. I guess if they come a few times more the darkeys will find them out. Aunt Harriet says she could see those that took her things, burnt alive. They had prisoners from Front Royal I learned among which were Cousin Tom McKay and Col. Jacobs. During the time they were here the Yankees behaved so badly that it kept Pa busy watching them so he could not see them. One of the Yankees came up to the kitchen from the cabin walking about the yard, started in the direction of the smoke house. Rob undertook watching him when the first thing she knew he was trying to see her she told me who was also on the lounge that he was trying to look in. I kept moving and he kept trying to get a better view till I got on the floor, then finding that he could not see any of us any more he told that there were rebels in the house and it was by the hardest Pa could persuade him there were no soldiers here, it is reported that they will be back tonight, but I sincerely hope that they will not.

August Wednesday
It has been a long time my little book since I have seen you and there have been changes in that time. Sunday last Ma and myself went over the ridge, found all the White family well at Mr. Eastham's, but very much distressed at the death of Alie Eastham, she died the Sunday before with the fever, she was willing to die andÉIt was right. The Yankees have been doing very badly over there cursed Mrs. Eastham once, but they have nearly all gone, only a few passing, we met them going, and a small company on their way to Front Royal to join their regiment coming back we herd they were fighting at Culpepper Ct. House Saturday and Sunday or Sunday and Monday, have not heard yet a correct report I do not think. One day this week 25 of our cavalry dashed into Front Royal and released the prisoners and took some, there are various repots about it butÉ That comes from so many finds out the right one. No one is allowed to go into Front Royal. The Yankees have also my pony, has been gone nearly three weeks I recon, pa has offered any one who will get it back, to pay them any reasonable price but all the men were afraid to go to camp for fear they would try to compel them to take the oath, but the other day a black man said he would try and get her. I hope he will indeed. I would I think rather see her shot down than for them to have her. I dreamt last night that I saw her again and she did not look like herself poor thing. I don't expect she does after having them on her back, and when too no other man was ever allowed to ride her before she went away from here, but if I ever get her again I think they will have considerable troubles to get her again. There have been no Yankees up this way for some time, at least not many, they seem to keep pretty close to town. I expect they are expecting an attack. I hope they will get it.

Friday
Not many Yankees been passing for some time. Yesterday 4 waggons and half a dozen or a dozen men on horseback went toward Front Royal.


Beth S. Harris, Special Collections Management Librarian at the Wyndham Robertson Library of Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia located records indicating that Ann Chunn Gardner arrived at Hollins March 15th 1864, probably for the beginning of the first session for that year (school sessions ran on different schedules in the nineteenth century than they do now, plus the war, absence of supplies, etc. sometimes caused them to start and stop at odd times of the year). The May 16th 1864 report of the Board Records notes "The superintendent [Charles Lewis Cocke] read a report giving an account of the sickness among the pupils and the temporary suspension of the exercises from that cause." Anne Gardner reportedly died at Hollins as a result in this epidemic, and would have likely been buried the next day. No records indicate burials on the Hollins property around those dates within or outside of the Cocke Family cemetery. If she was buried at Hollins, her family may have collected her remains at a later time, possibly after the war.

Notes "Our enemys are lurking about in every crevice hole, or corner so that I cannot peep my head out, let alone myself." Annie Gardner's diary begins at a significant point during the Civil War, especially as fought in Virginia. For the previous three months Confederate Major General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson has been keeping Federal forces in the Shenandoah Valley occupied, defeating several Union armies in five major battles and many skirmishes through a combination of tactical skill and exhausting marches. Jackson's storied Valley Campaign, as it would come to be known, included the Battle of Front Royal on the 23rd of May 1862, only one month prior to Annie's first diary entry. By late June Jackson had withdrawn south to join CS General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, taking part in the subsequent Seven Days' Battle that forced US General McClellan back from the Confederate capitol. Annie's diary runs for two months, during which time the Union attempts to regain control of the lower Shenandoah Valley, accounting for all the movement of troops and supplies through Chester Gap in front of the Gardner home.

"Heard good news this morning, have had another fight at RichmondÉ" Annie could be referring news of one of the battles that made up the Seven Days' Battle, however this description and the diary entry's date suggest the conclusion of the entire June 26th Ð July 1st series of battles.

"Éthe death of Cousin Willie Richardson, he died in Williams-burg at an Episcopal ministers, he was wounded in the battle of the 5thÉ" William Millar Richardson was a resident of Rose Hill in Front Royal and enlisted as a Private in Company B of the 17th Virginia Infantry in Winchester on 4/19/1861 at the age of 19. Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 4/28/1862, he died on 5/25/1862 from wounds received on the 5th of May at Williamsburg.

"Those that went over yesterday belonged to General Williams and Crawfords division, those this morning to General Gordons." US Brigadier General Alpheus S. Williams of Michigan, a veteran of the Mexican War; US Brigadier General Samuel Wylie Crawford of Pennsylvania, formerly a surgeon; US Brigadier General George Henry Gordon of Massachusetts, a lawyer and soldier who had also served in the Mexican War.

"I have just found out who is General the notorious Gary." Major General John White Geary, USA, 28th Pennsylvania Regiment, who was stationed in the Valley in the spring of 1862 to guard the Manasses Gap Railroad, and had previously been driven back along with US General Banks by CS Major General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson after the Battle of Front Royal.

"It is reported that General Banks went by today, but I do not believe it." US General Nathaniel Prentice Banks, a former Governor of Massachusetts and a political appointment in the Union Army, was in 1862 in command of a Federal unit in the Shenandoah Valley. He was defeated twice by CS Major General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

"The General is Seagles." US Brigadier General Franz Sigel, a German professional soldier, commander of the First Corps composed largely of Germans known in the Valley as "Sigel's Dutch," and notorious for their vandalism.

"Éwe wasn't anything but a bunch of "Secesh"É" Slang term for secessionist, supporter of the Confederacy's attempt to secede from the United States.

"É4 deserters stayed in our barn all night from Maryland, said that they did not come here to fight for the negroes, as that seemed to be the principal question with the northern army they did not intend to stay any longer." The Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) was less than two months away at the time Annie made this entry, and it was following this battle Ð with over 23,000 casualties the bloodiest single battle in American military history Ð that President Abraham Lincoln made the famous Emancipation Proclamation. Obviously, as this significant date in the history of the conflict approached, discussion of the issue of slavery in relation to the war was not uncommon.

"Heard from Wes today." Captain Francis Wesley LeHew of the Warren Rifles, who made his home with his guardian, Capt. Gardner, at Mountain Home. Captain LeHew was born 2/25/1837 in Hardy County but had moved to Front Royal by the outbreak of the war, and enlisted on 4/18/1861 in Winchester as a Private in Company B of the 17th Virginia Infantry. He was promoted to Captain in 1862, was wounded at the Battle of Second Manassas, captured at Dinwiddie Court House in March of 1865 and returned to Warren County after the war, living in Cedarville until his death on 12/3/1918.

"There were but two of the Warren Rifles killed in the last battles one John Wesley Steel" John W. Steele enlisted as a Private in Company B of the 17th Virginia Infantry on 5/26/1861 at Camp Pickens. He was killed on 6/30/1862 at Frayser's Farm.

"They had prisoners from Front Royal I learned among which were Cousin Tom McKay and Col. Jacobs." Thomas B. McKay enlisted at Camp Pickens on 7/13/1861 as a Private in Company B of the 17th Virginia Infantry. He served as a teamster until being discharged in 1862 upon furnishing a substitute. Captain Baily Shumate Jacobs served with the Warren Blues, later Company E of the 49th Regiment. His father was known as Colonel Jacobs, and this reference could refer to either, although most likely is intended to refer to Captain Jacobs. Captain Jacobs died at Winchester following the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863.

"Éwe herd they were fighting at Culpepper Ct. HouseÉ" Action leading to the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), August 28th Ð 30th 1862.

"One day this week 25 of our cavalry dashed into Front Royal and released the prisoners and took someÉ" As the tide of war had turned against the Union in Virginia by the late summer of 1862, the lower Shenandoah Valley had become a no-man's land to an extent, with Union and Confederate raids on enemy positions and supplies common.

"Éall the men were afraid to go to camp for fear they would try to compel them to take the oath, but the other day a black man said he would try and get her." Southern adult males were often required in areas under Federal occupation to take an oath of allegiance to the United States, and as such many Confederate sympathizers and supporters avoided appearing in public in areas under occupation for fear of being forced to take such an oath. African-Americans, slave or free, were not citizens of the United States or of the Confederate States, and so were exempt from such means of political coercion.

 
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