We — Patricia and I, in case you’ve forgotten — started our morning in Winchester, Virginia at the Winchester farmer’s market.
More to the point, we started it at the Wicked Oak Vineyards booth at the Winchester farmer’s market. Have you ever done a wine tasting at 9 am, before you’ve had any food or coffee? Let me just say that it’s not on my “repeat the experience” again list. The wine was good, though, and we ended up buying several bottles.
The farmer’s market was just down an alley from Loudoun Street, which is a pedestrian mall running down the center of Winchester’s historic downtown district. Winchester is a very walkable town. We parked the car in one of several car parks in the downtown area and walked to everything except the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.
On Loudoun Street was an 1840 courthouse that is now a Civil War museum. We were there before it opened and didn’t have time to see it later in the day, but I intend to make it back someday. The statue in front is a Confederate soldier.
From the mall, we walked a few blocks to the Mount Hebron Cemetery. Although the current cemetery was formally established in 1844, it contains grave stones that date to the 1760s, when the 6th Lord Fairfax (the Fairfax family owned most of colonial Virginia) gave the land to local churches.
I’m showing you this monument because I found it particularly poignant. On it was carved: Bid me not “good night” but in some happier clime, bid me “good morning.” He was an only child who died at 15.
There were three Battles of Winchester during the Civil War, parts of a campaign by the Confederates to take the Shenandoah Valley, then to secure the Shenandoah Valley, then to defend the Shenandoah Valley. Fallen Confederates from the battles are buried in their own section of Mount Hebron, called the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery. That’s Stonewall on top of that tall Confederate Monument in the background of the photo below. The Union dead were buried in a national cemetery just across the street from Mount Hebron.
There were at least two tombstone that included a pair of brother. The Brothers Ashby, Richard and Turner, occupy the large tomb to the far right of the photo above. Richard the younger was a captain who died in 1962. Older brother Turner, a popular commander under Stonewall Jackson, died in 1962 (in the Shenandoah Valley, Confederate Memorial Day is often commemorated on the day of his death, June 6). The Patton brothers, Waller and George, are under the white, modern-looking tombstone in the middle. Waller commanded the 7th Virginia, in Pickett’s Division, and died at Gettysburg. George, the grandfather of the WWII general who bore his name, died at the Third Battle of Winchester.
Wandering back down the pedestrian mall on our way to George Washington’s headquarters, we passed this table. It looked tempting, having all the makings of a freaky tour/great blog material. Sadly, there was absolutely no one around and we didn’t have time to wait. Next time.