New Market in Shenandoah County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Summers & Koontz Executions
"Try to meet me in Heaven"
On May 22, 1865, former Confederate Captain George W. Summers, Sgt. Isaac Newton Koontz, Pvt. Jacob Daniel Koontz, and Pvt. Andrew Jackson Kite (all from the 7th Virginia Cavalry) set out from their Page County homes to obtain their paroles. Near Narrow Passage, they encountered a small party of Union cavalrymen. In the ensuing altercation, the four men drew revolvers and seized the Federals' horses and other property. Immediately remorseful, and at Summers' father's insistence, they returned the horses and other items to the 192nd Ohio Infantry camp here at Rude's Hill. The commander, Col. Francis Butterfield, promised them no harm.
Almost a month later, on June 26, Lt. Col. Cyrus Hussey, commanding the Ohio regiment in Butterfield's absence, ordered their arrest and execution despite the promise. Hussey may have acted on accusations against them by local Unionist William Tharp. Kite and Jacob Koontz evaded arrest, but Summers and Isaac Koontz were shot here, at 7:30 P.M. on June 27. Before being shot, 22-year-old Summers wrote his parents, "Very much to my surprise, we must soon leave this world." Koontz, who was 20 years old,
It is not clear whether the men were executed for their actions on May 22, or whether they were victims of rumors Tharp spread in retaliation for his mistreatment as a Southern Unionist.
The marble monument commemorating Summers and Koontz was erected here in 1893 to replace a wooden post that marked the execution site.
Erected 2016 by Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Law Enforcement • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 27, 1865.
Location. 38° 41.569′ N, 78° 38.999′ W. Marker is in New Market, Virginia, in Shenandoah County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Valley Pike (U.S. 11) and Monument Lane (Virginia Route 828), on the left when traveling north on Old Valley Pike. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Market VA 22844, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. DuPont at Rude’s Hill (here, next to this marker); Post-Appomattox Tragedy (a few steps from this marker); The Post-Appomattox Tragedy Monument (within shouting distance Summers & Koontz Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory of Noah Richard Proctor (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cavalry Engagement (approx. 0.7 miles away); Rude’s Hill (approx. 0.7 miles away); Rude’s Hill Action (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Market.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 29, 2017, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 657 times since then and 82 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 18, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 4. submitted on April 1, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.