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Near Swoope in Augusta County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
West View
Confederate Camps

— 1862 Valley Campaign —
 
Close-up of West View Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
1. Close-up of West View Marker
 
Inscription. In 1862, West View was a village of about 15 buildings including a flour mill, post office, store, wagon shop and saw mills. About 3,000 soldiers camped in the surrounding fields from April 20 to May 6.

Confederates under Gen. Edward “Alleghany” Johnson withdrew to this area in April 1862, after they abandoned Camp Allegheny, 58 miles west of here at the present-day West Virginia border.

Federals under Gen. Robert Milroy followed Johnson on the Staunton-to-Parkersburg Turnpike, occupying Monterey, McDowell and Shenandoah Mountain, successively, during April. Union troops, frequently seen at Buffalo Gap and Jennings Gap to the west, threatened Staunton and the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s army was 37 miles northeast near Conrad’s Store (now Elkton). Finding Federals approaching him from the north and west, Jackson acted. He arrived in a panicked Staunton on May 4. Two days later, Johnson’s troops left their camps here at West View and marched west. Jackson’s army followed, marching from Staunton through West View to Shenandoah Mountain on May 7.

Union and Confederate forces met at McDowell on May 8, 1862. The Confederates won the battle there ending the Federal threat to Staunton.

“Johnson is at West View. Too near our home to be agreeable. We
 
West View Marker in the distance, looking west into the village of West View Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
2. West View Marker in the distance, looking west into the village of West View
 
now feel what it is to have an army in our houses and an enemy thundering at our doors…. If the foe should come to your door, outwardly submit but coldly and abhor to the last those who bring to our firesides slaughter and devastation.”
– Jed Hotchkiss, Jackson’s mapmaker, in an 1862 letter to his wife in Churchville.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 10.041′ N, 79° 10.236′ W. Marker is near Swoope, Virginia, in Augusta County. Marker is on Parkersburg Turnpike (Route 254), on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Swoope VA 24479, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Augusta County Training School (approx. 2.6 miles away); Last Indian Clash (approx. 3.8 miles away); James Edward Hanger (approx. 4.1 miles away); Augusta County Confederates Plaque (approx. 4.8 miles away); Confederate Dead Monument - Thornrose Cemetery (approx. 4.9 miles away); Stuart Hall (approx. 5.2 miles away); Trinity Church (approx. 5.3 miles away); The Wesleyan Female Institute (approx. 5.3 miles away).
 
More about this marker.
 
Gen. Edward Johnson's headquarters in April 1862 Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, circa 2003
3. Gen. Edward Johnson's headquarters in April 1862
The Palmer House served as Johnson's headquarters while his troops were in West View. The house is located just on the west end of the village of West View in another community known as Valley Mills.
 
On the lower left is a drawing captioned: In the nineteenth century West View was a robust agricultural area dotted by prosperous farms like the one below, pictured in the 1870s.

On the right is a map showing Civil War related sites between Staunton and Monterey.
 
Additional keywords. Swoope
 
Remains of the Civil War era bridge abutment in the yard of the Palmer House Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, 2003
4. Remains of the Civil War era bridge abutment in the yard of the Palmer House
One of the few bridge abutments remaining from the old Parkersburg Turnpike.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,156 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 2, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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