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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Dayton in Rockingham County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Daniel Bowman Mill at Silver Lake

Shenandoah Valley Mills

 
 
Daniel Bowman Mill at Silver Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 26, 2009
1. Daniel Bowman Mill at Silver Lake Marker
Inscription. During the Civil War, the Daniel Bowman Mill occupied this site, grinding wheat brought here by Rockingham County farmers. The county was part of the prosperous agricultural region known as the “breadbasket of the Confederacy.” It was no accident that the reaper was perfected in the Shenandoah Valley or that the largest flourmills in the world were constructed in Richmond to process Valley wheat harvests. The Shenandoah Valley’s agricultural success brought devastation to the region, however, in the fall of 1864. Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan understood that the bounty of the Shenandoah Valley was a major source of life for the Confederacy. He convinced Gen. Ulysses S. Grant that neutralizing the Valley was an important military expedient.

Sheridan ordered his men to burn only barns and mills that contained grain or forage. Those that were empty were to be left alone, and those belonging to widows, single women, or orphans were to be spared. Between September 26 and October 8, Union soldiers destroyed barns, mills, and crops in the fields. Thousands of head of livestock were either slaughtered or driven away. Tanneries, woolen factories, sawmills, furnaces , and foundries were leveled. In Rockingham County, one of the ten most prosperous agricultural counties in America before the war, 35 mills were destroyed during
Silver Lake Mill on the site of the old Daniel Bowman Mill image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 26, 2009
2. Silver Lake Mill on the site of the old Daniel Bowman Mill
this dark period including the Daniel Bowman Mill.
 
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° 25.294′ N, 78° 56.457′ W. Marker is near Dayton, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker is on Silver Lake Road (County Route 701), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dayton VA 22821, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Church in Rockingham County (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Shenandoah College and Shenandoah Conservatory of Music (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Harrison (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lt. Col. Thomas F. Wildes (approx. 0.4 miles away); Dayton (approx. 0.6 miles away); Death of Lt. Meigs (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Death of Lt. Meigs (approx. one mile away); Site Where Lt. John Rodgers Meigs Was Killed (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Dayton.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a portrait of Gen. Sheridan. In the center is a sketch of the Samuel Cline mill burning,
Daniel Bowman Mill at Silver Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 26, 2009
3. Daniel Bowman Mill at Silver Lake Marker
northern Rockingham County,
courtesy Western Reserve Library. On the right is a photo of a mill, captioned: A few decades after the first 18th-century settlers cleared the Shenandoah Valley fields for corn, wheat, and other grains, wheat became the dominant cash crop here. Mills were constructed on almost every stream to harness water power for grinding wheat and corn for local trade as well as for shipment around the world. The mills were also community gathering centers where news was exchanged and other business conducted. Photo courtesy Western Reserve Library.
 
Categories. AgricultureWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,899 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on , by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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