’s lynchpin in the Shenandoah Valley
, Winchester was the most disputed town of the Civil War. As control shifted between North and South more than seventy-five times, civilians coped with skirmishes in the streets, wracking disease and makeshift hospitals in their homes and churches. Out of this turmoil emerged heroes such as “Angel of the Battlefield” Tillie Russell, doctor turned soldier John Henry S. Funk and courageous mother and nurse Cornelia McDonald. Historian Jerry W. Holsworth uses diaries and letters to reveal an intimate portrait of this war-torn community—the celebrated Stonewall Brigade and the many occupations, as well as the indomitable women who inspired legend.
The Shanendoah Valley, the scene of much bitter fighting during the Civil War, stretches through Virginia until the Shenandoah River meets the Potomac at Harpers Ferry. When the seceding states met in Montgomery, Alabama, to form the Confederacy in February 1861, secession without war still seemed possible.