November 5, 2011

Another excellent Civil War tour took place on Saturday November 5, 20011. Some 32 Rose Hill residents and other riders boarded a tour bus at 8:00AM in front of the Franconia Museum and set off for a day’s tour of nearby Civil War sites. 

This tour billed as a “Both Sides Tour”  covered both Union and Confederate actions in the areas of Rose Hill, Leesburg, Berryville, Cool Springs, and the base of the Shenandoah River all in Virginia. These tours organized by Rose Hill’s own “dynamic duo” of Civil War enthusiasts-   Don Hakenson and Carl Sell.  These two Civil War journalists and book publishers have been organizing Civil War tours for years.

Our first tour stop was at the Devers/Deavers/Tyler  family cemetery plot.  At that place we viewed the grave of Alfred Devers, a Confederate soldier who survived the Civil War but passed on after war’s end. This site is located near Laurel Grove Church off Beulah Road.  We then proceeded to Leesburg Virginia where we picked up Ben Trittipoe a local Civil War guide who gave us a tour of the first and second battles at Kernstown, Virginia.  Incidentally ,this first battle of Kernstown was the first and only defeat suffered by Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson during his famous Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

We then moved on to the Stonewall Jackson Museum at Winchester Virginia.  While there we viewed numerous artifacts from Jackson’s life. In addition, the museum included information about Turner Ashby who served as Jackson’s commander of cavalry .  Continuing on we visited the engagement at Cool Springs, Virginia.  At this location is the Holy Cross Abby where Trappist Monks interrupt their vows of silence in order to sell their fruitcakes, jams and jellies.

Proceeding down route 7 we stopped to visit Nalls produce store which displayed a giant pumpkin weighing over 1,600 pounds!  We figured that size pumpkin would make enough pies for all of Rose Hill.  The pumpkin was grown out side of Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania.

On to Berryville Virginia where we observed the historic hitching post where according to local legend, Robert E. Lee tied up his horse Traveler.  Maybe so, maybe no, but still a local tourist spot.

On to McDonalds where we used the $5.00 coupon given to all aboard the tour bus.  The trip home was uneventful and we arrived at our departure point in front of the Franconia Museum about 6:45 PM.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable tour with the tandem talkers Don and Carl plus other  tour experts providing historic and often humorous Civil War stories. 

This tour and others in the past cost $100.00 which included the bus and driver rental, lunch at a local restaurant , entrance fees at Jackson's headquarters and Kernstown and a $5.00 McDonalds coupon.  The next Civil War Tour is of the Antietam/Sharpsburg battlefield in April 2012.  To reserve a seat on the bus contact Don Hakenson at (703) 971-4984 or Carl Sell at (703) 971-4716.  These tours offer excellent historic information about our general area which is rich  in Civil War history.  It is an outstanding way to spend a Saturday with your Rose Hill neighbors and experts.   

This article was written by Rose Hill resident and history buff Mo Haupt.