Published on April 29, 2016

  • Share:
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Email Article
  • May 13, 1862
    “What I came out for was to fight:” Federal Troops Reach Strasburg as Stonewall Jackson Starts Back to Valley
    Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s forces depart Franklin (western Virginia) on their way back to the Valley.  Jackson plans to unite with troops under Gen. Richard Ewell and then strike at the Union army in the Valley under Gen. Nathaniel Banks.  On the same day, Banks completes a planned withdrawal to Strasburg.  Banks had left New Market on May 12, while at the same time the Federal division under Gen. James Shields was leaving Banks’ command, marching over the New Market Gap and heading north through the Luray Valley en route to Fredericksburg.  As a result, just as Jackson is maneuvering to combine his force with Ewell’s to assail the Federals, Banks is left with a dramatically decreased command with which to oppose him.  Many of the Union troops who remain in the Valley are disgusted by their inactivity, and worry that they are “missing” the war.  “Soldiering grew tame…all were discontented,” remembered one.  Another complains that “What I came out for was to fight, not fool away my time here.”  He will soon get his wish.
  • May 12, 1862
    “Every shot could be heard distinctly”: Confederate Pursuit Ends at Franklin
    Western Virginia, Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s forces approach Franklin to find the Union forces they have been pursuing holding imposing defensive positions on the road leading into town, and in the heights that dominate the road.  Seeing no advantage in an assault, or in pursuing the Federals further, and with his supply lines and communications overextended, Jackson will break off pursuit.  On this day, a Sunday, he proclaims a half day of rest, prayer, and thanksgiving for his men.  As Rev. Robert L. Dabney preaches a sermon, skirmishers from the Stonewall brigade exchange fire with Union skirmishers nearby.  “The place selected was…well up to the front,” Confederate Capt. Harry Gilmor remembered, “For every shot could be heard distinctly, and occasionally a stray bullet would come whizzing by.”
  • May 11, 1862
    “[Milroy] fired the mountains right and left”: Union Forces Reach Franklin
    Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    Union troops under Generals Robert Schenck and Robert Milroy, who have been retreating into western Virginia since their defeat at the hands of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson in McDowell on May 8, reach Franklin in western Virginia.  There they hope to be strengthened by the arrival of the Union force under Gen. John C. Fremont, but Fremont has been delayed waiting for the arrival of additional troops.  During their march, the Union commanders have ordered their men to set fire to the woods on either side of the road.  “Milroy, like the bull of Southern woodlands,” remembered one Confederate, “which seeks shelter from mosquitoes in the friendly folds of smoke, fired the mountains right and left as he retreated.” The dense smoke delays Confederate pursuit, helping the Federals to reach Franklin ahead of Jackson, where they ready themselves to make a stand.
  • May 10, 1862
    “We marched on…in pursuit of the enemy.”
    Jedediah Hotchkiss, Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson continues his pursuit of the Union forces under Generals Robert Schenck and Robert Milroy after the Battle of McDowell (May 8).  “We marched on, at an early hour in pursuit of the enemy,” Jedediah Hotchkiss wrote, “Following by the Parkersburg road some 6 miles toward Monterey  then turning northeast by the road leading to Franklin, which the enemy had taken.”  Wanting to make sure that the Union forces in western Virginia (under the overall command of Gen. John C. Fremont) cannot unite with Gen. Nathaniel Banks’ army near Harrisonburg, Jackson takes Hotchkiss aside and instructs him to block the routes by which the Federals might be able to unite.  “Banks is at Harrisonburg, Fremont is at Franklin,” Jackson tells Hotchkiss.  “There is a good road between them and Fremont ought to join Banks but I don’t think he will. I want North River Gaps, and Dry River Gaps, by which he could do it, blockaded by daylight tomorrow morning. I want you to go and do this. Take couriers along and send one back every hour telling me where you are. You will find cavalry near Churchville that you can take to do this work with. Now don’t take any counsel of your fears.”
  • May 9, 1862
    “God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell yesterday.”
    Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, McDowell (Virginia), Valley Campaign
    Around 2 am on May 9, the day after the Battle of McDowell, Union Generals Robert Schenck and Robert Milroy order a general retreat along the Parkersburg Turnpike toward Franklin in western Virginia. The 73rd Ohio holds their skirmish line along the Bull Pasture River until near dawn when they withdraw and act as rear guard for the retreating column. Shortly after the Federals retire, the Confederates enter McDowell.  Stonewall Jackson makes his headquarters at the Felix Hull house, which had been used by Gen. Milroy before the battle, and from which he sends his famous message about the battle to Richmond: “God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell yesterday.”
  • May 8, 1862
    “One of the bloodiest fights of the war”
    Battle of McDowell (Virginia), Valley Campaign
    At dawn of May 8, 1862, Confederate troops under Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson resume their march westward along the Parkersburg Turnpike in pursuit of Union troops under Gen. Robert H. Milroy that have withdrawn to McDowell.  The southern troops advance across Shaw’s Ridge and ascend Bullpasture Mountain; Confederate Gen. Edward “Allegheny” Johnson continues to advance with his force to the base of Sitlington’s Hill. Expecting a roadblock ahead, he diverges from the road into a steep narrow ravine that leads to the top of the hill, and deploys his infantry along the long, sinuous crest of the hill, overlooking McDowell and the Union forces.  Jackson asks his staff to find a way to place artillery on the hill and instructs Jedediah Hotchkiss to search for a way to flank the Union position.  About 10 am, Union Gen. Robert Schenck arrives with his brigade from Franklin, reinforcing Milroy, and assumes overall command of the Federal force.  As Confederate forces on Sitlington’s Hill increase in numbers, Union scouts erroneously report that the Confederates are attempting to bring artillery to the crest of the hill, which would make the Union position in McDowell untenable. Schenck and Milroy decide to attempt a spoiling attack. About 3 pm, Milroy personally leads the attacking force, which crosses the bridge and climbs up the ravines that cut the western slope of the hill.   The Union troops scramble up the steep slopes and close on the Confederate defenders.  The conflict becomes “fierce and sanguinary”; one Confederate soldier remembered it as “one of the bloodiest fights of the war.” One federal unit advances along the turnpike in an attempt to turn the Confederate right. Jackson reinforces his right on Sitlington’s Hill with two regiments and has another cover the turnpike. The 12th Georgia at the center and slightly in advance of the main Confederate line on the crest of the hill bears the brunt of the Union attack, and suffers heavy casualties; silhouetted against the sky, they are easy targets. The fighting continues for four hours as the Union attackers attempt to pierce the center of the Confederate line and then to envelope its left flank, but the Confederate line holds.  As darkness falls, the Federal forces withdraw down the hillside.  Confederate Capt. James G. Rodger remembered that “The sun went down as though unwilling longer to behold men created in the likeness of God seeking to destroy that life they could not give.” Milroy and Schenck create the ruse of bivouacking for the night, then steal away westward in the darkness.  Although Confederate casualties in the battle are greater, the battle is a much-needed Confederate victory, the first in Jackson’s string of victories during his war-changing Valley Campaign.
  • May 7, 1862
    “The Rebels Are Coming!”–  Prelude to Battle of McDowell: Stonewall Jackson Marches West
    Valley Campaign
    On the morning of May 7, Confederate forces under Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson depart West View and Staunton, marching west along the Parkersburg turnpike, with troops under Gen. Edward “Allegheny” Johnson in the lead.  The Federals first hear of the advance when a Union rider rushes through the Federal camp at Rodger’s tollgate, shouting “The rebels are coming!”  Union Gen. Robert H. Milroy, heavily outnumbered by the advancing Confederates, sends an appeal for help to Gen. Robert Schenck, who is in Franklin (western Virginia) with his 1,500 man brigade.  At 11 am Schenck starts his troops on a forced march of 30 miles to McDowell; they will arrive at 10 am the next morning.  Meanwhile, the Confederate advance from the east encounters Union pickets at Rodger’s tollgate in mid-afternoon. The Union force withdraws hastily, abandoning their baggage at the tollgate and retreating to the crest of Shenandoah Mountain.  The Confederate force splits into two columns to envelope the Federal position, and Milroy orders his force to withdraw and concentrate at McDowell.  Milroy also positions a section of artillery on Shaw’s Ridge to impede Johnson’s descent from the crest of Shenandoah Mountain; one Confederate soldier who comes under fire will later remember “some [shells]s  struck almost in our ranks on the hard road bed…We were not slow in surrendering our rights in the public highway.” The Federal guns are soon withdrawn to McDowell. By dusk, “Allegheny” Johnson’s advance regiments reach Shaw’s Fork, some six miles from McDowell, where they encamp. Because of the narrow roads and few camp sites, Jackson’s army is stretched 8-10 miles back along the pike.  During the night, Milroy withdraws behind the Bullpasture River to McDowell, sending word to Schenck that the Confederates “will almost be certain to attack me at daylight.”
  • May 6, 1862
    “What General [Stonewall] Jackson intends doing now, I can’t tell.”
    Confederate Lt. William Gregory, Staunton (Virginia), Valley Campaign
    As he prepares to set out towards McDowell to assail Union forces under Gen. Robert H. Milroy, Stonewall Jackson issues orders to his troops to “cook two days rations, strike tents, and carry so many blankets.”  While the order makes it clear that action is imminent, the soldiers are in the dark about their destination, and the men “commenc[e] to speculate as to our mysterious movements.”  Lt. William Gregory of the 23rd Virginia writes, “What General [Stonewall] Jackson intends doing now, I can’t tell, but am of the impression that there is some heavy work ahead, as there has been great activity in military affairs here for the last two or three weeks.”  Gregory will be killed two days later at the Battle of McDowell.
  • May 5, 1862
    VMI Cadets Join Stonewall Jackson’s Force
    Staunton (Virginia), Valley Campaign
    In response to a request from Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson to Francis S. Smith, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, 200 VMI cadets under the command of Scott Shipp arrive in Staunton to join Jackson’s force, which is on its way to confront Federals in the mountains to the west.  (Smith’s decision to send the cadets into harm’s way will meet strenuous objections from the institute’s board, prompting Smith to appeal to Governor John Letcher, who replies “I do not see how the cadets can be sent back…the mischief is done.”)  Jackson plans for the cadets to serve as guards for his supply train, freeing veteran troops for the battle he knows is coming.  Henry Kyd Douglas remembered that “The natty appearance of these youthful soldiers afforded a striking contrast to the seedy and dilapidated veterans, but before they returned from McDowell much of the gloss was gone.”  The cadets will march to McDowell with the Stonewall Brigade, but will be held out of the fighting on May 8.  After the battle, the cadets will be assigned to bring the dead and wounded off the battlefield.
  • May 4, 1862
    “A poor soldier’s feet pay dearly for strategy.”
    Confederate Col. Simeon B. Gibbons, 10th Virginia, Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    At Mechum’s River Station, Stonewall Jackson’s troops board cars of the Virginia Central Railroad and head west for Staunton – having marched to Mechum’s in an attempt to fool Union commanders into thinking he was moving east to Richmond.  By the end of the next day (May 5), Jackson’s entire force will be camped around Staunton.  The men welcome the rest, weary from their rain- and mud-plagued march from Conrad’s Store to Mechum’s River Station.  Observing them, Col. Simeon B. Gibbons, commander of the 10th Virginia, writes that “A poor soldier’s feet pay dearly for strategy.”  Gibbons will be killed four days later at the Battle of McDowell, in the thick of the fighting atop Sitlington’s Hill
  • May 3, 1862
    Stonewall Jackson Reaches Mechum’s Station, Prepares to Turn West
    Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    On April 30, Stonewall Jackson had set out south with his Valley army from Conrad’s Store (modern-day Elkton), in what was meant to be a quick movement south and then east over the Blue Ridge, intended to fool Union forces in the Valley into thinking he was moving east to Richmond.  But torrential rains had turned Jackson’s progress into a crawl over (as Henry Kyd Douglas put it) “soft and bottomless roads into which horses and wagons and artillery sank, at times almost out of sight.”  But the weather finally cleared on May 2, and the roads dried, so that on May 3 Jackson and his force are at last able to move with speed.  At daybreak they cross Brown’s Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and by nightfall reach Mechum’s Station, a stop on the Virginia Central Railroad 10 miles west of Charlottesville.  The next day the men will be loaded onto train cars, but when the trains pull out they will head not east, but west, towards Staunton – and, beyond it, the small village of McDowell.
  • May 2, 1862
    Union Gen. James Shield and his Division Ordered to Leave Shenandoah Valley
    Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    Having received Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks’s report that there is “nothing more to be done by us in the Valley,” Abraham Lincoln orders Gen. James Shields’s division (which has been part of Banks’s command) to march out of the Valley and join Gen. Irvin McDowell’s force at Fredericksburg, Virginia.  This will give McDowell a force of 40,000 men to march south against Richmond, combining with Gen. George B. McClellan’s drive from the east to assail the Confederate capital on two fronts.  The removal of Shields’s division will leave Banks with only one division to defend the Valley.  Banks, who had hoped that he and his entire army would be sent east to join the campaign against Richmond, will now begin to feel a growing uneasiness about his situation in the Valley – and the intentions of Confederate commander Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.
  • May 1, 1862:
    “Whole roadbeds…sank into the quicksand.”
    Rev. Robert L. Dabney, Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    Having received reports from Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks in Harrisonburg that Stonewall Jackson has “abandoned the Valley of Virginia permanently,” Abraham Lincoln orders Banks to withdraw his force to Strasburg.  Meanwhile, on the second day of Stonewall Jackson’s move south along the western edge of the Blue Ridge, weather conditions continue to cripple his army’s progress.  “Whole roadbeds formed of stones and brushwood sank into the quicksand, and others were placed above them, again and again,” remembered Rev. Robert L. Dabney.  “The general [Stonewall Jackson] and his staff were seen dismounted, urging on the laborers; and he carried stones and timber upon his own shoulders, with his uniform bespattered with mud like a common soldier’s.”
  • April 30, 1862:
    “Nothing met our gaze but the smouldering embers of his deserted campfires”
    Stonewall Jackson Leaves Conrad’s Store, Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and his forces depart from Conrad’s Store (modern-day Elkton, Virginia), launching the next phase of the Valley Campaign.  Instructing Gen. Richard Ewell to bring his forces to Swift Run Gap to maintain a threat to the Union troops under Gen. Nathaniel Banks, Jackson leads his own forces south towards Port Republic, the first step in a maneuver designed to fool Union commanders into believing he is moving east to Richmond – when in reality Jackson intends to feint east before moving quickly west to join Allegheny Johnson for an attack on the Union forces in McDowell.  Although Jackson intends to move rapidly, a torrential downpour turns the unpaved road into “a quagmire without apparent bottom,” and his main force is only able to travel five miles that day.  Meanwhile, Ewell’s soldiers are startled to find that Jackson’s men have gone.  “To our amazement,” recalled one soldier, “When we turned our faces to where we had passed his army the evening previous, nothing met our gaze but the smouldering embers of his deserted campfires.”  On the same day, Union Gen. Nathaniel Bank tells Secretary of War Edwin Stanton that “There is nothing more to be done by us in the Valley,” and that “Nothing this side of Strasburg requires our presence.”
  • April 29, 1862:
    “He gave me orders to go to…Massanutton Mountain…and reconnoitre the enemy’s position.”
    Jedediah Hotchkiss, Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    “Rode on to Hd. Qrs. by four P.M… Reported to the General [Stonewall Jackson] what I had learned from Gen. [Allegheny] Johnson, the condition of the roads, etc.  [Jackson had directed Hotchkiss to visit Johnson, who was with his small force near West View, and learn what he could about the Federal forces on Johnson’s front.]  At the close of our interview he gave me orders to go to the Peak, or southwest end of the peaked, or Massanutton [Massanutten] Mountain, tomorrow, and reconnoitre the enemy’s position, movements, etc., in the vicinity of Harrisonburg, and signal to Col. [Turner] Ashby, who would march his cavalry up the road towards Harrisonburg, any movements of the enemy during his advance. I saw Col. Ashby and obtained a cavalry escort, then sent for Capt. Wm. B. Yancey’s company of the 10th Virginia, as an infantry escort, ordering these to be at Hd. Qrs. at one A.M. tomorrow morning ready to march.”
    [From Make Me a Map of the Valley: The Civil War Journal of Stonewall Jackson’s Topographer, edited by Archie P. McDonald.]
  • April 28, 1862:
    “All we hear sounds like fairy tales.”
    Mary Greenhow Lee, Union-occupied Winchester (Virginia)
    “I saw a young man who told me he had heard a letter read that was written by one of our soldiers at Yorktown & he said 19,000 prisoners were taken by the Confederates in the first days fight & still of all this there is not a word in the Northern papers; I mention these rumors that we may compare them with the true accounts when we meet & that you may understand the misery of being given over to lying enemies.  To-day placards are posted announcing that New Orleans is taken; of course we do not believe a word of it.  [Union Gen. James] Shields has certainly gone to Washington to meet [Union Gen. George] McClellan & we hear Washington is so strongly threatened that McC. is drawing troops from Yorktown.  My news boy also told me this morning that the [Confederate ironclad CSS] Virginia had sunk the [Union ironclad USS] Monitor.  All we hear sounds like fairy tales.  We saw a very imposing pageant this evening; the funeral of a Major.  A whole regiment & some fifty or sixty officers in full uniform formed the procession.  It was headed by that exquisite German band, playing the saddest airs – it was unlike any music I ever heard & had so much expression, that it appealed to ones sympathies, like the sound of a human voice.  We were all on the porch, as they passed by, we never honour them with our notice, at any other time.”  [From The Civil War Journal of Mary Greenhow Lee, edited by Eloise C. Strader.]
  • April 27, 1865:
    “[President] Andrew Johnson had not been poisoned.”
    Confederate War Clerk Joseph Waddell, Staunton (Virginia)
    Waddell’s diary entry on this day shows how reliable news continued to be scarce: “It was then rumored on the streets that [new President] Andrew Johnson had not been poisoned, as previously reported, but was under arrest as an accomplice in the assassination of Lincoln! Some body had arrived up the Valley (I forget whom), who said that [Confederate] Col. [John S.] Mosby, had been to see the Federal General [Winfield Scott] Hancock, and told him he had read this statement in a Baltimore paper. Nothing further about rioting in Washington and other cities, nor in regard to the removal of troops from Winchester. On the contrary, there was a report that a Federal force was coming up the Valley. Another report this evening that the French have taken New Orleans. [Illegible] has arrived in town, to collect men to go South. This movement will only lead to the advance of a Federal force to Staunton — it can do no good, + and is generally disapproved in this community. The last report about [Confederate] Gen. [Joseph E.] Johnston stated that he had not surrendered, but we have no intelligence that is reliable.”
  • April 26, 1862:
    “Oh, miserable times! The country ruined in any event.”
    Confederate War Clerk Joseph Waddell, Staunton (Virginia)
    “Our community has been much more depressed to- day than on yesterday, although there was no intelligence specially calculated to have that effect. Perhaps the absence of encouraging news was sufficient to excite apprehensions. Since the apparently reliable statement of Ewell’s movement to re-inforce Jackson, we have expected to hear that the Federal troops were retiring down the Valley; but this morning the first news was that a body of their cavalry was at Mt. Crawford, unable to cross the river, and anxiously enquiring for the whereabouts of Jackson and Ashby. Josiah Roler conversed with them across the river, and they pronounced the people of the neighborhood particularly dull because they could not give them the desired information. Next we heard that one or two of our cavalry had been killed near Deerfield. There it was rumored that Gen. Johnson’s private baggage had gone to Afton Depot, and army stores were going in the same direction. In a word everything was in suspense. To-night the cars bring a report that the Federalists have taken New Orleans. I received another letter from Tate to-day. He wished me to telegraph to him at Lynchburg, the condition of affairs here. He was in Richmond, and still rather hopeful. Mrs. Hill, Bell + the children with us still, waiting to go to Alick’s where they find it necessary to locate permanently. Johnson’s army may move at any moment. Oh, miserable times! The country ruined in any event. May God in mercy interpose for our help. One of the Settington’s reports that the Federalists in Highland are suffering for supplies. Many negroes have joined them, and some having stolen food to relieve their hunger were shot recently at Monterey — six of them, he said.”
    [From the Valley of the Shadow project here.]
  • April 25, 1865:
    “Rumors of momentous events came in rounds to-day.”
    Confederate War Clerk Joseph Waddell, Staunton (Virginia)
    Waddell’s diary entry of this day reflects the confusion in the country during this tumultuous time.  He writes:  “Rumors of momentous events came in rounds to-day. First we heard that [Confederate] Gen. [Joseph E.] Johnston had surrendered. Next that a Federal force of 1200 was coming from Beverly to establish a garrison at Staunton. Then a gentleman arriving from Charlottesville with a report that Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor, had been killed, and that Washington, Philadelphia and New York were in flames. Finally, it was reported by some one who came up the Valley, that [Union Gen. Ulysses S.] Grant had been killed, that fighting was going on in Washington city, and that all the troops had been removed from Winchester. We know not what to think of all this. It is not more strange than the intelligence of Lincoln’s death, which we did not believe, but can it be that society is broken up, and the whole country in a state of chaos! that assassination, heretofore unknown amongst us, has become a common event! I cannot think so. The man who killed Lincoln must have been a lunatic, and surely a similar act has not be perpetrated since. There has been no confirmation of the report that a mob in Baltimore hung Gen. [Richard] Ewell and others. We have no mails, no newspapers, and no regular communication with the world. Occasionally some one arrives with a Baltimore or Richmond paper. The Richmond Whig is issued by new hands as a Union paper.”
    [From the Valley of the Shadow project here.]
  • April 24, 1862:
    “Turner Ashby sent in his resignation.”
    Jedediah Hotchkiss, Valley Campaign (Virginia)
    Frustrated by the lack of discipline in his cavalry, most recently and embarrassingly seen in a failed attempt to burn strategic bridges – during which many of the southern horsemen were drunk (“I never saw a more disgraceful affair, all owing to the state of intoxication of some of the men,” said Jedediah Hotchkiss) – Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson had removed Turner Ashby from command of his army’s cavalry.  A furious Ashby submits his resignation, and tells one officer that if he and Jackson were of the same rank, he would challenge him to a duel.  “Col. Turner Ashby sent in his resignation as commander of the cavalry,” Hotchkiss remembered, “Because Gen. [Stonewall] Jackson had ordered that all the cavalry companies in his command should be divided into two regiments each of these to be assigned to brigades of infantry for the purpose of disciplining them…I paid Col. Ashby a visit on the 24th, in his quarters near ours.  Found him sitting before the fire in a very moody humor…At night Ashby and Jackson had a long conference.”  Gen. Charles Winder plays peacemaker, convincing the two men to meet.  Although the meeting on April 24 is a stormy one, with Ashby initially refusing to withdraw his resignation and at one point threatening to raise an independent command, Jackson eventually agrees to a compromise: the cavalry companies are “detailed” to Ashby’s command, accompanied by Ashby’s promise to bring greater discipline to his men.  Quartermaster John Harman saw it as Jackson “backing square down” in the dispute, but Jackson felt he had no other choice – that Ashby’s men would follow no other leader – and that “If I persisted in my attempt…Col. Ashby’s influence…would be thrown against me.”  Ashby withdraws his resignation and returns to his command, although, unbeknownst to him, Jackson fully intends to pursue the issue at a later date: “I refrained from taking further action in the matter (as I was in the face of the enemy) until the War Dept. should have an opportunity of acting in the case.”
  • April 23, 1862:
    “[Stonewall] Jackson had not left the Valley.”
    Laura Lee, Winchester (Virginia)
    “Feel encouraged to go on writing by what we have heard this evening! We certainly have had a victory at Yorktown, that Richmond had again been illuminated, that [Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall”] Jackson had not left the Valley, but was still this side of Staunton, and that only two regiments had been sent across the mountains to protect against flank movement. And best but not least, that the double-dyed villain Dave Strother*, the “Porte Crayon” had been captured near our camp with all his drawings, shoots [photographs], instruments, etc. There is no one whose capture could give such universal satisfaction throughout this part of the country.”[From Winchester Divided: The Civil War Diaries of Julia Chase and Laura Lee, edited by Michael G. Mahon]*David Hunter Strother was an illustrator, artist, and writer who was a native of western Virginia who supported the Union and was commissioned in the Union army, earning him the enmity of pro-secession southerners such as Laura Lee.
  • April 22, 1862:
    “We may as well resign ourselves to our fate.”
    Laura Lee, Winchester (Virginia)
    “Last night we heard that our army [Stonewall Jackson’s force] had gone back to Harrisonburg, the Yankees following.  Though the report is that our army has crossed the mountains to go to Gordonsville, evacuating the Valley.  If this is true, we may as well resign ourselves to our fate.  I think I shall stop writing.”
    [From Winchester Divided: The Civil War Diaries of Julia Chase and Laura Lee, edited by Michael G. Mahon]