Civil War Trail Exhibit

By: Susan Bahorich
By: Susan Bahorich

The Civil War is coming to life.

The Shenandoah Civil War Associates is hosting a program called "The Crucible of War" starting on Friday. The tour is more than a century in the making. As Jackson once said if the Valley is lost then Virginia is lost, that's a quote from associates member Ben Fordney.

The Valley is rich with Civil War history. So, it only seems appropriate that Fordney and his Shenandoah Civil War Associates start their five-day program here.

Fordney believes this is special because we have people that are going to point out many, many facts about these battle we're going to cover and we're going to begin right here at Chesnut Ridge.

Chesnut Ridge is where General Turner Ashby was killed. And from June 21 through June 25 those are just some of the regions that will be covered.

"The Valley was very important. For one thing, it was a source of food for Gen. Robert E. Lee's army, it was called The Break Basket of the Confederacy and so it was very important for that reason."

Fordney also aid It was a natural corridor for armies to move North and South.

While institute members will start off at the Cross Keys Cemetery, they'll make their way around the Valley, to Richmond and then to what the called the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, Antietam.

Fordney said after the Civil War we were a nation, so it did bring us together, the country moved on. More than 600,000 lives lost, it was a terrible blood bath in our history, but it did really define us a nation in many ways.

About 25 people are taking part in this year's institute, some from as far away as New Jersey.


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