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

A Life In Bondage

Slavery on the Huntsberry Farm

— The Third Battle of Winchester (September 19, 1864) —

A Life In Bondage Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, July 23, 2022
1. A Life In Bondage Marker
Inscription.  You're standing in the middle of what was the Huntsberry Farm. The 400-acre farm included 300 highly productive "improved” acres. Much of that productivity came from the labor of the enslaved who were owned by the Huntsberrys.

Unfortunately, there is little recorded information about the enslaved persons who worked these fields. The best records come from the "slave schedules” that were part of the 1850 and 1860 United States censuses. Both the 1850 and 1860 censuses included two "schedules" — Schedule 1 for "Free Inhabitants” and Schedule 2 for "Slave Inhabitants."

In 1850, the slave schedule reported 10 slaves on the Huntsberry Farm:
And the 1860 schedule showed 8 slaves on the farm:

Comparing the two lists, it's clear that most of the persons on the list in 1850 were gone by 1860, and other slaves had been brought to the farm — a testament to the uncertainty and instability of life in bondage.

Sadly, nothing more is yet known about them. No names. No clue to their fate. What became of them during and after the Civil War? Did any leave the farm during the conflict when they saw their chance
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for freedom, especially after the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863? Did they leave after the war and the passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery? Or did some stay and become paid workers on the farm? If so, no records have yet been found. Their story — and the story of untold others who were enslaved — may never be known.

In 1860, there were 24,779 slaves in the Shenandoah Valley — over 20% of the Valley's population.
Erected by Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is September 19, 1863.
Location. 39° 12.268′ N, 78° 7.307′ W. Marker is in Winchester, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from Redbud Road (Virginia Route 661) 0.9 miles east of Martinsburg Pike (U.S. 11), on the right when traveling east. Located 0.6 miles south of the parking lot on the Third Battle of Winchester Trail north of Redbud Run. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 541 Redbud Rd, Winchester VA 22603, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Huntsberry Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); A Murderous Fire (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Southern Sharpshooters (about 700 feet away); Duval's Attack
A Life In Bondage Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, July 23, 2022
2. A Life In Bondage Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Ohio (approx. ¼ mile away); Stuck In The Mud (approx. ¼ mile away); In Memory of Gilcin F. Meadors III (approx. 0.3 miles away); Trying To Silence The Guns (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
Also see . . .  The Third Battle of Winchester. Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (Submitted on August 19, 2022.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 101 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 18, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 30, 2023