Harrisonburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
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
Erected by Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation & Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1862.
Location. 38° 26.826′ N, 78° 52.143′ W. Marker is in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Marker is on South Main Street (Business U.S. 11) south of East Bruce Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 212 S Main St, Harrisonburg VA 22801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District (a few steps from this marker); Warren-Sipe House (within shouting distance of this marker); Bishop Francis Asbury (within shouting distance of this marker); McNeill’s Rangers (within shouting distance of Confederate General Hospital (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Charlotte Harris Lynched (about 700 feet away); The Big Spring (about 800 feet away); In Honor of Charles Watson Wentworth (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisonburg.
More about this marker. 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on February 26, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,072 times since then and 33 times this year. Last updated on April 7, 2011, by Jonathan Carruthers of Bealeton, Virginia. Photos: 1. submitted on October 17, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 26, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.