Inscription reads: "Near this site on April 17, 1861, approximately one hundred local citizens, many of whom had just enlisted in The Staunton Artillery, met to board trains for Harper's Ferry. They were led by prominent local citizen John D. Imboden, who would remain an active figure throughout the war during which he served as a Confederate General."
This neighborhood was the commercial heart of Staunton, with numerous warehouses and factories located close to the railroad station of the Virginia Central Railroad. Staunton served as an important supply center, providing a vital link between the Shenandoah Valley - "The Breadbasket of the Confederacy" - and Richmond, the Capital of the Confederate States, and other points east. In June 1864, Union Gen. David H. Hunter's troops destroyed the station and area factories, foundries, stables, warehouses and mills as well as one of two newspaper offices. While in Staunton, Hunter's headquarters was located in the Virginia Hotel which stood nearby on New Street. The Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, which survives in Staunton, served as a military hospital for the duration of the Civil War.