“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harrisonburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Hardesty-Higgins House

Banks's Headquarters

Hardesty-Higgins House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 26, 2009
1. Hardesty-Higgins House Marker
Inscription. This was the home of Harrisonburg’s first mayor, Isaac Hardesty, an apothecary. Elected in 1849, Hardesty served until 1860. His Unionist sympathies compelled him to leave for Maryland after the Civil War began. Early in the first week of May 1862, Union Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks established his headquarters here while attempting to locate Confederate forces under Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and Gen. Richard S. Ewell. Banks telegraphed Washington several times during his stay here, speculating on Jackson’s and Ewell’s whereabouts. Banks and his army departed Harrisonburg for new market on May 5, hoping to engage Jackson’s Valley Army and destroy the rail and supply centers at Staunton and Charlottesville. Jackson stymied him, however, by destroying the bridges over the North River at Mount Crawford and Bridgewater, and obstructing the fords with farm harrows. Before the month ended, Jackson drive Banks from the Shenandoah Valley; in June, Jackson defeated two other Union armies to crown his Valley Campaign.

Later in the war, the Strayer sisters, whose dwelling in eastern Rockingham County had been ransacked after the Battle of Port Republic, were renting the Hardesty house when Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s army occupied the town in 1864. A young slave woman named Fanny, who had grown up with the sisters, cooked
Hardesty-Higgins House & Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 26, 2009
2. Hardesty-Higgins House & Marker
the soldiers’ rations in exchange for a share, which she took to wounded Confederates in a nearby hospital. At the end of the occupation, Fanny and her elderly parents left for freedom with Sheridan’s army.
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° 26.834′ N, 78° 52.153′ W. Marker is in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Marker is on South Main Street (Business U.S. 11), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisonburg VA 22801, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. McNeill’s Rangers (within shouting distance of this marker); Warren-Sipe House (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate General Hospital (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Big Spring (about 700 feet away); Harrisonburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); Court Square & Springhouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rockingham County World War I Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Woodbine Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisonburg.
More about this marker.
Hardesty-Higgins House image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 26, 2009
3. Hardesty-Higgins House
In the lower center is a portrait of General Banks, captioned: Nathaniel P. Banks, a man of humble beginnings who worked as a child in the Massachusetts cotton mills, was known as the “Bobbin Boy of Massachusetts.” This self-made man became governor of Massachusetts, a high-ranking “political general” during the war, and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative afterward. To the right is a map of downtown Harrisonburg indicating other Civil War related sites.
Categories. African AmericansAntebellum South, USWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 26, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,825 times since then and 2 times this year. Last updated on April 7, 2011, by Jonathan Carruthers of Bealeton, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 26, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.