While it is difficult to determine precisely the size of Winchester’s Unionist population during the Civil War one most certainly existed. One of Winchester’s more noted Union sympathizers, Julia Chase was born in Maine in 1831. While still a child her family moved to Winchester and made their home at the corner of Loudoun Street and Fairfax Lane.
Chase began keeping a diary of activity in Winchester beginning in July 1861 and ended her entries on September 21, 1864. She was a staunch Unionist and constantly feared for her family’s safety. Julia’s father was appointed the postmaster of Winchester by President Abraham Lincoln on May 24, 1862, however, after Stonewall Jackson’s victory at the First Battle of Winchester the following day, Charles Chase, an official of the Federal government had to leave Winchester and his family behind. Like many of Winchester’s Unionists, Charles Chase left town when Confederates neared, however, Julia remained in Winchester.
Even though she had strong ties to the Union and openly supported Federal soldiers she was not viewed with as much contempt by the staunch Confederate sympathizers of Winchester as was Rebecca Wright. She died on March 15, 1906, in Winchester and was buried in the Mount Hebron Cemetery. Her obituary noted that she was “a wellknown, and highly esteemed lady of Winchester.”