Winchester, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Frederick County Courthouse
Witness to War
Cornelia McDonald, a local citizen, nursed the wounded here after the First Battle of Kernstown on March 23, 1862. She later wrote, “I went to the court house; the porch was strewed with dead men. Some had papers pinned to their coats telling who they were. All had the capes of their coats turned over to hide their still faces; but their poor hands, so pitiful they looked and so helpless. ... Soon men carried them away to make room for others who were dying inside.”
Sgt. Henry Peck was one of 63 soldiers of the 118th Pennsylvania Infantry (The Corn Exchange Regiment) captured at the Battle of Shepherdstown (in present-day West Virginia) on September 20, 1862, and briefly imprisoned here. Peck later wrote, “In Winchester we were consigned to the court-house and the inclosure between it and the street. There were already in the these precincts a crowd of some 300 rebels, stragglers, conscripts and the riff-raff a provost-guard can pick up—a miserable lot—who did not fraternize with our men, and who were so filthy in clothing and habits that our men remained of choice in the open yard without tents or blankets, even during the nights of hoarfrost, to avoid contact
(Sidebar): The Greek Revival-style Frederick County Courthouse, designed by Baltimore architect Robert Cary Long, Jr., was completed in 1840. It was the third on this location. In 1758, the first courthouse was the site of George Washington’s first election to office, when voters here elected him a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses.
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail, and the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 11.064′ N, 78° 9.92′ W. Marker is in Winchester, Virginia. Marker is on Loudoun Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located on the Old Town Mall, which is blocked off to vehicles. Marker is at or near this postal address: 20 North Loudoun Street, Winchester VA 22601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lord Fairfax (a few steps from this marker); Taylor Hotel (a few steps from this marker); Colonel James Wood (within shouting distance of this marker); A View of Winchester in 1745 - The Four Public Lots (within George Washington's Political Career Began on this Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Jacob H. Yost Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Battle of Winchester (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rouss City Hall Historical Tour (about 400 feet away); The Godfrey Miller Home (about 400 feet away); Winchester (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
More about this marker. A drawing on the left is captioned, “James Taylor sketch of Confederate prisoners held outside the courthouse after the Third Battle of Winchester, Sept. 19, 1864.” On the right is a picture showing where, “A Union prisoner inscribed graffiti on an interior courthouse wall.”
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia Civil War Markers.
Also see . . .
1. Old Court House Civil War Museum. The courthouse (Submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Frederick County Courthouse (pdf file). National Register Form, 2001. (Submitted on January 26, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,815 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on January 26, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 3. submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on January 26, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.