There is a famous saying that goes something like “ya never know what you might find in your own backyard…”
Jim and I decided to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon over at Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park. We drive past the large signs daily to and from work every single day and have often commented that we needed to stop by and visit and see what exactly was “Hupps Hill.” We have all heard about the battles of Gettysburg…Bull Run…Antietam…and Cedar Creek which is not too far from us in the Shenandoah Valley.
What is Hupp’s Hill?
After our visit yesterday? I can only say it is a treasured place that is one to be sought out by all.
When we first entered the museum and gift shop we were so graciously welcomed by Linda who is a Tour Guide and Historian at Hupp’s Hill. Linda walked us through the museum and told us the fascinating true story of the events leading up to the fighting at Hupp’s Hill that led up to The Battle of Cedar Creek. There were some things that I learned for the very first time for example…President William McKinley and President Rutherford B. Hayes fought at The Battle of Cedar Creek before they were elected to office.
It was interesting to learn about the significant role Hupp’s Hill had in the campaign in the Shenandoah Valley and especially at Cedar Creek.
A large display in the museum reads:
After soundly defeating Early at Winchester and Fisher’s Hill, the last thing Sheridan expected was a Confederate resurgence. Early, however, believed he could catch a complacent Sheridan off guard and drive his adversary back, buying valuable time for the Confederacy.
On October 13, Early reached Hupp’s Hill, probing the Federal defenses, when one of his artillery batteries fired on Thoburn’s division encampment across Cedar Creek. Thoburn sent two brigades to deal with this “annoyance,” and Early was forced to respond.
A wooded ridge separated the brigades of Cols. George Wells and Thomas Harris as they ascended the heights. Artillery fire slowed Harris, but Wells was able to reach a stone wall before being attacked by a larger force of Confederates under General Connor.
Wells was soon flanked and forced to withdraw, while Harris was being repulsed by General Gordon’s brigade. Wells was killed, and Early sent his body back through the Union lines under a flag of truce.
Sheridan took some precautionary measures but still did not consider the renewed Confederate presence a significant threat. Early was soon poised to launch a masterful surprise attack.
Jubal Early, William T. Sherman and Joseph Thoburn
It was also interesting to learn about life in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War. Of course, you KNOW I had to take a picture of the recipes that were on display to share with you! 🙂
and my military husband found this to be most intriguing about Myers Original Two-Element Code
A large display of When Johnny Comes Marching Home. How cool is this?
Linda suggested that we watch a short film about the ghosts of Hupp’s Hill. Now you know my attention was off the charts…a ghost? Tell me more! They are in the caverns located right next to the museum building…you can read more about the ghosts here.
Crystal Caverns has its own unique story and place in history…and very haunted! We learned that the famous psychic, Jeanne Dixon, used to visit the caverns and was able to really feel and be in touch with her psychic abilities when down here. The caverns are closed to the public now unfortunately.
After looking through the museum and the fantastic gift shop with beautiful John Paul Strain prints on display for purchase, we walked across the parking lot into the fields. What a gorgeous day it was!
Upon leaving Hupp’s Hill, we looked over to see the lone monument that sits along Rt 11 next to the entrance to the park. Over time, the writing on it has diminished and we no longer are in the know of who the monument was for.
So…you do never know what is in your backyard. Maybe YOU have a “Hupp’s Hill” just waiting to be explored by you and your family. You could find treasures anywhere you look. I sure did yesterday and I highly recommend if you are in the Shenandoah Valley to go visit Hupp’s Hill – its truly is a remarkable place.