Staunton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
—1864 Valley Campaigns —
This neighborhood was the commercial heart of Staunton, with numerous warehouses and factories located close to the railroad station of the Virginia Central Railroad. Staunton served as an important supply center, providing a vital link between the Shenandoah Valley – “The Breadbasket of the Confederacy” – and Richmond, the Capital of the Confederate States, and other points east. In June 1864, Union Gen. David H. Hunter’s troops destroyed the station and area factories, foundries, stables, warehouses and mills as well as one of two newspaper offices. The newspaper which survived did so because the publisher had hidden the presses, which he was able to use to publish his newspaper within hours after the departure of Hunter and his troops.
While in Staunton, Hunter’s headquarters was located in the Virginia Hotel which stood nearby on New Street. The Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, which survives in Staunton, served as a military hospital for the duration of the Civil
Directly across from the railroad station stands the old American Hotel, built in 1854 by the Virginia Central Railroad. A leading hostelry for many years, notable guests included the reconstruction Governor of Virginia Francis Harrison Pierpont in July 1866 and Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard in 1874. In June 1874, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife were serenaded by Staunton’s Stonewall Brigade Band from the front of the hotel when their train passed through town. The band would later perform in Grant’s funeral procession in New York City and again at the dedication ceremonies for Grant’s Tomb. This unexpected kinship began when Grant made an exception by allowing the Stonewall Brigade Band to keep their instruments at the surrender at Appomattox. It is the nation’s oldest, continuously performing band which receives municipal support.
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° 8.843′ N, 79° 4.367′ W. Marker is in Staunton, Virginia. Marker is on Middlebrook Avenue (State Highway 252), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Staunton VA 24401, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. History of the C&O Station (here, next to this marker); Sears Hill Bridge (here, next to this marker); Staunton’s Wharf Historic District History (a few steps from this marker); Main Passenger Terminal (a few steps from this marker); Dr. Alexander Humphreys (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Augusta County World War I Memorial Tablet (about 500 feet away); Augusta County (about 500 feet away); Dr. William Fleming (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Staunton.
More about this marker. In the upper left is a 1854 view of Staunton, railroad station and American Hotel in foreground. Next to that is a portrait of Gen. John D. Imboden. On the right is a photo of the Stonewall Brigade Band, circa 1895, from the The Hamrick Collection.
Also see . . . The Stonewall Brigade Band. “Soon after Christmas in 1862, the members of the Fifth Virginia Volunteer Infantry (Stonewall Brigade) were detailed for picket duty along the Rappahannock River, below Fredericksburg, Virginia. The band exchanged serenades on several evenings with the Union band across the river. This was a time of quietude and good will; gifts of tobacco and apples were sent across the river while presents (Submitted on October 9, 2015.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 25, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,907 times since then and 139 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week October 11, 2015. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 25, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. 5. submitted on October 11, 2015. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.