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

Breneman-Turner Mill

Survivor of The Burning

 

—1864 Valley Campaign —

 
Breneman-Turner Mill CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 27, 2010
1. Breneman-Turner Mill CWT Marker
Inscription. On October 6, 1864, Union soldiers approached this mill on their march from Harrisonburg to Broadway during “The Burning.” This was U.S. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s two-week campaign to end the Valley’s role as the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy.” His men burned vast numbers of mills, barns, and farm buildings.

George Shaver, the 70-year-old miller, lived in the house to your left. He was seriously ill, so his 77-year old Wife, Hannah, pleaded with the soldiers not to burn the mill. Sympathetic but following orders, they set the fire and then left; Mrs. Shaver quickly beat out the fire with a broom. Later, when embers from a burning barn set the mill on fire again, she blew a horn to summon help. Jacob Wenger, a farmer who lived over the hill behind you, raced over and extinguished the fire. Today, this mill is the only surviving antebellum grist mill in Rockingham County with its original equipment, including three sets of French burr grind stones.

(sidebar)
Abraham Breneman settled here in 1770 and built the mill about 1800. The mill ground corn meal, hominy, and grain, and produced high-quality flour that was sent to the Alexandria and Baltimore harbors for export. The Breneman family operated the mill until 1849, when Shaver bought it. J. Howard Turner bought the mill in 1933
Breneman-Turner Mill CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 27, 2010
2. Breneman-Turner Mill CWT Marker
and operated it until his death in 1988. As late as 1973, it still produced 500 pounds of flour weekly. Turner’s children donated the mill to the Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in 2003. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 31.508′ N, 78° 52.519′ W. Marker is near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker is at the intersection of Turners Mill Lane and Breneman Church Road (Virginia Route 778), on the right on Turners Mill Lane. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5036 Turners Mill Lane, Harrisonburg VA 22802, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dr. Jessee Bennett (approx. ¾ mile away); Joseph Funk (approx. 2.9 miles away); Baxter House (approx. 3 miles away); Lincoln's Virginia Ancestors (approx. 3.2 miles away); Newtown Cemetery (approx. 5 miles away); Edgar Amos Love (approx. 5.1 miles away); Court Square & Springhouse (approx. 5.2 miles away); Harrisonburg (approx. 5.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisonburg.
 
More about this marker.
Breneman-Turner Mill image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 27, 2010
3. Breneman-Turner Mill
On the left is a photo of the mill in operation with the caption, "Breneman-Turner Mill, ca. 1930" – Courtesy Elma Collins

On the right is a sketch with the caption, "The Burning, Alfred R. Waud sketch, 1864" Courtesy Library of Congress

On the upper right is a photo of "Gen. Philip H. Sheridan" Courtesy Library of Congress

On the lower right is a map of the Valley with the caption, "Arrows depict Federal movement conducting systematic destruction, September 26 through October 8, 1864."
 
Also see . . .
1. Breneman-Turner Mill. Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center (Submitted on December 28, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Breneman/Turner Mill (pdf file). National Register of Historic Places (Submitted on December 28, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureWar, US Civil
 
Breneman-Turner Mill image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 27, 2010
4. Breneman-Turner Mill
Breneman-Turner Mill image. Click for full size.
5. Breneman-Turner Mill
Breneman-Turner Mill image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, December 27, 2010
6. Breneman-Turner Mill
Federal movements, Fall 1864 image. Click for full size.
7. Federal movements, Fall 1864
Shenandoah Valley, Sept. 1864 image. Click for full size.
By Alfred R. Waud, 1864
8. Shenandoah Valley, Sept. 1864
Library of Congress [LC-USZC4-10809]
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 28, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,040 times since then and 109 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on December 28, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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