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Historical Attractions

The Rockingham area experienced the Civil War in all of its phases. Its position north of the huge Confederate rail and supply center at Staunton made it an inevitable battleground. The story of our rich history is told at many of the historical attractions below:

Court Square & Springhouse
Trails sign on the square in Harrisonburg at the corner of North Main Street
The courthouse grounds were used as a prison pen following the first battle of Winchester in 1862. Soldiers and townfolk quenched their thirst at the springhouse in the southwestern corner.

Cross Keys/Port Republic Battlefields
Trails signs and a battle map at the Ruritan Club, 5094 Battlefield Road, just off Cross Keys Road, southeast of Harrisonburg. On June 8, 1862, Confederates posted in the area turned back one wing of a Union assault aimed at trapping and defeating the forces of Stonewall Jackson, which had caused considerable trouble for the Federals elsewhere in the Valley. The action moved the next day to the Port Republic area where Jackson defeated the other Union wing.

Crossroads: The Valley Brethren Mennonite Heritage Center
& Mennonite Heritage Center
1921A Heritage Center Way
Harrisonburg, VA 22803
540-442-8900

Daniel Bowman Mill at Silver Lake
Trails sign 1 mile west of Dayton on Route 290 
This was the site of one of the mills that dotted the landscape in the Valley, the "breadbasket of the Confederacy." This mill and 35 others in the area were destroyed (along with barns and crops in the field) by Union soldiers in the fall of 1864.

Dayton
Trails sign in town (south of Harrisonburg) just off Route 42, 100 yards south of the Route 257 W intersection  This small town was the site of many examples of the nasty style of warfare descending on the Valley in the fall of 1864. Near here Union Gen. George A. Custer angered residents by ordering the execution of a young man questionably identified as a bushwhacker. A few weeks later much of the town was burned in retaliation for the death of Union Lt. John R. Meigs.

Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center
212 S. Main St
540-432-8935
Trails sign on North Main Street between Bruce and Franklin streets in Harrisonburg. This Virginia State Certified Regional Visitor Center offers Virginia State and Global Travel information, Free online access, Maps and Travel Resources. Lodging & Dining Reservations onsite. Home to Harrisonburg's first mayor Isaac Hardesty c1848. Toda, the building is now home to Rocktown Gift Shoppe, Mrs. Hardesty's Tea Room, The Valley Turnpike Museum, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Civil War Orientation Center and the executive offices for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and Harrisonburg Tourism.

Heritage Museum at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society
382 High Street
Dayton VA 22821
540-879-2616

Massanutten Regional Library
174 S. Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
540-434-4475

Turner Ashby Monument
1164 Turner Ashby Lane
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
1 mile southeast of the I-81 intersection, take a left off Port Republic Road at Neff Road 
Ashby, in command of Jackson's cavalry, was mortally wounded at this site now marked with a monument and a small park. His death, June 6, 1862, immediately preceded the battles fought the next days. Battle map of the Battle of Harrisonburg here.

Warren-Sipe House (now the Virginia Quilt Museum)
Trails sign on North Main Street between Franklin Street and Ash Tree Lane in Harrisonburg 
This was the home of Edward T.H. Warren, a Harrisonburg attorney, who went to war early and fought in most of the famous battles in the East until he was killed at the Wilderness in 1864. The structure was used as a hospital following the battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

 

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