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Region featured in Civil War book

By Staff | Aug 26, 2011

“Touring Virginia’s and West Virginia’s Civil War Sites.” (Submitted book cover)

Shepherdstown is a prominent stop in one of the 18 point-to-point driving tours in “Touring Virginia’s and West Virginia’s Civil War Sites.” The book, written by Clint Johnson of Ashe County, N.C., seeks to cover most of the significant Civil War sites in states, giving driving tourists specific driving directions or giving arm-chair travelers the chance to “see” the sites without leaving home.

Pack Horse Ford, Elmwood Cemetery and Ferry Hill Place are all featured in Tour 4 of the book.

The ford, also known as Boetler’s Ford, was a frequent crossing point for the Army of Northern Virginia. Elmwood Cemetery features the graves of several prominent people. Ferry Hill Place was the childhood home of Henry Kyd Douglas, one of Stonewall Jackson’s aides and a post-war writer.

“Tour 1 – The First To Die Tour” starts in Union at the grave of the man who designed the Confederate battle flag, and ends in Grafton, site of the grave of the first soldier to die of 620,000 on both sides in the war. “Tour 2 – The Lee Fails Tour” starts at Jackson’s Mill, the boyhood home of Thomas J. Jackson where tourists can touch timbers that Stonewall Jackson touched, and ends at Gauley Bridge. Along the way it stops at Carnifex Ferry and Sewell Mountain, two campaigns where two uncooperative and lousy Confederate generals nearly wrecked the early career of future Confederate hero Gen. Robert E. Lee because they would not cooperate with him or each other.

“Tour 3 – The Burning Oil Tour” starts at the state capitol in Charleston and ends in Wheeling, site of the secession of Union capital of the state during the war. It includes a stop at Burning Springs, site of the first time in history that oil was a military objective.

“Tour 4 – The Harpers Ferry Tour” starts in Moorefield, the home ground of legendary Partisan ranger Hanse McNeil, and then ends in Harpers Ferry, site of John Brown’s 1859 raid and Stonewall Jackson’s capture of the town in September 1862.

Johnson’s book visits battlefields big and small, historic houses, graveyards, and wide spots in the road where something historic happened to men and women of all races.