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Staunton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Staunton
Vital Link

ó 1864 Valley Campaigns ó
 
Staunton Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 21, 2009
1. Staunton Marker
 
Inscription. Near this site on April 17, 1861, approximately one hundred local citizens, many of whom had just enlisted in The Staunton Artillery, met to board trains for Harpers Ferry. They were led by prominent local citizen John D. Imboden, who would remain an active figure throughout the war during which he served as a Confederate General.

This neighborhood was the commercial heart of Staunton, with numerous warehouses and factories located close to the railroad station of the Virginia Central Railroad. Staunton served as an important supply center, providing a vital link between the Shenandoah Valley – “The Breadbasket of the Confederacy” – and Richmond, the Capital of the Confederate States, and other points east. In June 1864, Union Gen. David H. Hunterís troops destroyed the station and area factories, foundries, stables, warehouses and mills as well as one of two newspaper offices. The newspaper which survived did so because the publisher had hidden the presses, which he was able to use to publish his newspaper within hours after the departure of Hunter and his troops.

While in Staunton, Hunterís headquarters was located in the Virginia Hotel which stood nearby on New Street. The Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, which survives in Staunton, served as a military hospital for the duration of the Civil
 
Staunton Marker in the background Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 21, 2009
2. Staunton Marker in the background
 
War.

Directly across from the railroad station stands the old American Hotel, built in 1854 by the Virginia Central Railroad. A leading hostelry for many years, notable guests included the reconstruction Governor of Virginia Francis Harrison Pierpont in July 1866 and Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard in 1874. In June 1874, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife were serenaded by Stauntonís Stonewall Brigade Band from the front of the hotel when their train passed through town. The band would later perform in Grantís funeral procession in New York City and again at the dedication ceremonies for Grantís Tomb. This unexpected kinship began when Grant made an exception by allowing the Stonewall Brigade Band to keep their instruments at the surrender at Appomattox. It is the nationís oldest, continuously performing band which receives municipal support.
 
Erected by Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation & Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 8.82′ N, 79° 4.382′ W. Marker is in Staunton, Virginia. Marker is on Middlebrook Avenue (State Highway 252), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Staunton VA 24401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
 
The American Hotel Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 21, 2009
3. The American Hotel
 
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stauntonís Wharf Historic District History (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Passenger Terminal (within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. Alexander Humphreys (about 500 feet away, in a direct line); Augusta County World War I Memorial Tablet (about 700 feet away); Augusta County (about 700 feet away); Dr. William Fleming (about 700 feet away); The Hon. Archibald Stuart (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ast Building (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Staunton.
 
More about this marker. In the upper left is a 1854 view of Staunton, railroad station and American Hotel in foreground. Next to that is a portrait of Gen. John D. Imboden. On the right is a photo of the Stonewall Brigade Band, circa 1895, from the The Hamrick Collection.
 
View of the modern railroad depot Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 21, 2009
4. View of the modern railroad depot
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on February 25, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,188 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 25, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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