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Virginia
Valley & Mountains

Route 11: On to Lexington


Jump to Bridgewater | Lexington


Dayton and area

Dayton is located on Route 42 south of Harrisonburg, just west of I-81 and Route 11.

Shenandoah Valley Heritage Museum
382 High St, Dayton VA 22821
 Road map 
An electronic map outlining the 1862 Valley campaign has been relocated here. Call 540-879-2681 for current operating hours. $5.

Town of Dayton
Trails sign in town (south of Harrisonburg) just off Route 42, 100 yards south of the Route 257-W intersection (approximately 36 Main St, Dayton VA 22821)
 Road map 
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.

Daniel Bowman Mill at Silver Lake
2328 Silver Lake Road, Dayton VA 22821
 Road map 
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.

Site of the Death of Lt. Meigs
Two Trails signs located on Route 713 just off Route 42 between Harrisonburg and Dayton. Turn east from Route 42 onto Route 713 (Meigs Lane). Signs are just across the railroad tracks
 Road map 
Lt. John Meigs, eldest son of Montgomery Meigs, the U.S. Army quartermaster general, was shot and killed here Oct. 3, 1864. The younger Meigs was serving then on the staff of Gen. Philip Sheridan. Sheridan, told mistakenly that civilian bushwackers had done the shooting, ordered the burning of buildings in a large area. Thirty buildings were destroyed, ironically most belonging to pacifist and anti-slavery Mennonites and Brethren.


Bridgewater

Civil War Trails sign in park, South Main Street and West Riverside Drive, Bridgewater VA 22812
 Road map 
Interpretive signs highlight Civil War activities here, including Bridgewater's role as Confederate logistics center. Stonewall Jackson's Valley army moved through here May 18, 1862. The famed general attended a church service near this spot.


Lexington

Home to Stonewall Jackson before the Civil War and to Robert E. Lee after, Lexington retains much of its 19th-century flavor. Lee and Jackson both chose to be buried in this small city.

Lexington Visitor Center
106 E Washington St, Lexington VA 24450
 Road map 
Centrally located and a good place to start. Civil War Trails interpretation, featuring Hunter's Raid in 1864, is located temporarily in the visitor center. Open daily.

Lee Chapel
Washington and Lee University campus
204 W Washington St, Lexington VA 24450
540-463-8768
 Road map 
Robert E. Lee and his family are buried here. The ex-Confederate commander served as college president after the war, dying at his home a few steps away from the chapel in 1870. Lee's office was in one of the rooms in the lower level of the Chapel. It remains as he left it. Museum area in the Chapel highlights Lee's entire career with a focus on his post-war presidency of Washington College. His horse, Traveller, is buried just outside the Chapel. Monday-Saturday 9 am–5 pm; Sunday 1–5 pm. Shortened hours November–March. Free.

Virginia Military Institute Museum
On the post
540-464-7334
 Road map 
 Related Podcast
Much here on the Civil War and the cadet experience. Highlights include items related to Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson (a teacher here before the war) including his horse "Little Sorrell." Soak up the atmosphere of the Institute that was nearly destroyed by Union Gen. David Hunter in 1864. Open 9 am–5 pm daily. Free.

Stonewall Jackson House
8 E Washington St, Lexington VA 24450
540-464-7704
 Road map 
This 1801 house was home to VMI Professor Thomas Jonathan Jackson for two years before the war. Restored, it now contains many of Jackson's possessions and period pieces. Open daily for guided tours. Monday–Saturday 9 am–5 pm; Sunday 1–5 pm. $8/adult.

"Stonewall" Jackson Memorial Cemetery, South Main and White streets, Lexington VA 24450
 Road map 
Jackson lies among hundreds of his fellow Confederates, two Virginia governors and Revolutionary War soldiers in this 18th-century cemetery. The statue of Jackson above his grave was dedicated in 1891. Open dawn to dusk.

Hunter’s Raid
Civil War Trails signs in Jordan’s Point Park, just off Route 11, south side of Maury River
 Road map 
Union Gen. David Hunter crossed the North (Maury) River here on his way into Lexington. After a brief fight June 11, 1864, Hunter occupied the town and ordered the burning of the Virginia Military Institute and several other buildings. The buildings housing Washington University were pillaged. Hunter left town June 13 to threaten Lynchburg, where he was repelled. See also Hunter’s Raid tour.