Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Strasburg in Shenandoah County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Signal Knob

Key Observation Post

 
 
Signal Knob Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 27, 2007
1. Signal Knob Marker
Inscription. Signal Knob, the northernmost point of Three Top Mountain, overlooks Strasburg and is 2110 ft. above sea level. During the Civil War, both sides used it as a signal station, but the Confederate signal corps occupied it almost continuously from 1862 to 1864. On October 19, 1864, Confederates there observed Union positions and directed the opening attack of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Other signal stations were established at Ashby Gap (east of Winchester), Burnt Springs (south in Fort Valley), Harmony Hollow (near Front Royal), and New Market Gap. Special signal flags, lanterns, and telescopes were used to communicate from one peak to another.

On August 14, 1864, Union troops attacked a detachment of the 61st Georgia Infantry and temporarily occupied the station. Each side suffered ten casualties. Years later, Mary Ashley Townsend found a grave on Massanutten Mountain and wrote a poem, “The Georgia Volunteer”:

Roll, Shenandoah, proudly roll
Adown thy rocky glen;
Above thee lies the grace of one
Of Stonewall Jackson’s men.
Beneath the cedar and the pine
In solitude austere,
Unknown, unnamed, forgotten, lies
A Georgia volunteer.


Sidebar: Many local men served in Co. A (Strasburg Guard), 10th Virginia Infantry, during the war. Its captain, Joshua Stover (later
Marker at the Strasburg Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 27, 2007
2. Marker at the Strasburg Presbyterian Church
The Presbyterian Church cemetery, which contains the graves of many Confederate veterans, can be seen to the left of the marker. The obelisk mentioned in the marker, erected to honor 136 Confederates who fell in the war, can be seen in the background.
a major), died at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863. After the war, Confederate veterans gathered the remains of soldiers into the Presbyterian Cemetery and in 1896 dedicated an obelisk, which stands to your left. “In memory of our Fallen Comrades, Numbering 136.” The Presbyterian Church, built in 1830, served as a hospital throughout the war after Dr. William J. Upshaw established one there in 1862. Later, Federals used the church as a hospital before relocating to Winchester.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 59.199′ N, 78° 21.773′ W. Marker is in Strasburg, Virginia, in Shenandoah County. Marker is on South Holiday Street, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located near the Presbyterian Church. Marker is in this post office area: Strasburg VA 22657, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic Strasburg (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Historic Strasburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); This Fertile Land (approx. 0.2 miles away); Stonewall’s Surprise
Signal Knob as Seen from North of Strasburg image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2007
3. Signal Knob as Seen from North of Strasburg
Signal Knob is the closest of the three peaks in this view from near the I-81 overpass north of Strasburg. A trail to the top offers hikers a wonderful view of the surrounding terrain.
(approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Historic Strasburg (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Historic Strasburg (approx. 0.3 miles away); Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Civil War Strasburg (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Strasburg.
 
More about this marker. The bottom left of the marker contains a drawing of “Jedediah Hotchkiss and Gen. John B. Gordon observ[ing] Federal positions from Signal Knob, Oct. 18, 1864, before the Battle of Cedar Creek.” The sidebar includes a photograph of Joshua Stover, 10th Va. Inf. The upper right of the marker contains a map of area, indicating the location of the marker near Strasburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. Signal Knob: The Valley's Witness to Tragedy. Shenandoah at War website. (Submitted on January 10, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Battle of Cedar Creek (19 October 1864). The Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley website. (Submitted on January 10, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. Signal Knob Hiking Trail. Trail notes and topographical
Observing Federal Positions image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 14, 2014
4. Observing Federal Positions
Jedediah Hotchkiss and Gen. John B. Gordon observe Federal positions from Signal Knob, Oct. 18, 1864, before the battle of Cedar Creek.
Close-up of J.E.Jay drawing on marker
map of the Signal Knob area. (Submitted on January 11, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
Joshua Stover<br>10th Virginia Infantry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 14, 2014
5. Joshua Stover
10th Virginia Infantry
Many local men served in Co. A (Strasburg Guard), 10th Virginia Infantry, during the war. Its captain, Joshua Stover (later a major) died at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863. After the war, Confederate veterans gathered the remains of soldiers into the Presbyterian Cemetery and in 1896 dedicated an obelisk, which stands to your left. “In memory of our Fallen Comrades, Numbering 136.” The Presbyterian Church, built in 1830, served as a hospital throughout the war after Dr. William J. Upshaw established one there in 1862. Later, Federals used the church as a hospital before relocating to Winchester.
Close-up of photo on marker
You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 14, 2014
6. You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,356 times since then and 302 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement