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[89]

Sheridan's Bummers. [from the times-dispatch, September 4, 1904.]

Some recollections of the war in the great Shenandoah Valley.



Mrs. Gordon on the firing line.

How the Soulless Raiders Devastated Fertile lands and Smashed things generally.


Shenandoah, in the Indian tongue, signifies ‘Daughters of the Stars.’ The untutored saw its sparkling waters come trickling down the side of mountains that reared their lofty heads up towards the stars; and he saw these same stars mirrored in the crystal depths of the stream as it flowed in its channel below, hence was born the poetic name given to this river and its beautiful valley.

How the Southern soldier loved the dear old valley of Virginia! He loved its varied landscape, its fields of red clover and golden wheat, its bending orchards, its cool springs, its crystal streams, its genial, hospitable people, and last, but not least, he loved its rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed girls.

And, when that cruel war was over, many a fair flower was transplanted from Virginia soil to bloom amid the myrtle trees of the Sunny South. If a hungry Southern soldier knocked at a door, it opened wide for his reception, and the last crust would be divided with him.

Especially was this valley dear to our brigade—the Old Stonewall—for here were the homes of our fathers, mothers, sisters and sweethearts. Our boys were never in better spirits when ordered from the piney woods and lowlands of eastern Virginia, back to the Shenandoah. In the retreat of the ten thousand, the Greeks from the hilltops cried out, ‘the sea, the sea!’ So, when we reached the top of the Blue Ridge and saw the goodly land smiling below, shouts of ‘the valley, the valley!’ made the mountain gorges ring, the bands played stirring airs, and every one kept step to the music.

On the 9th of September, 1864, the Stonewall Brigade was encamped


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