Harrisonburg was Rockingham County’s seat of government and largest town, and it was an ideal site for a hospital. When the Civil War began in 1861, although the railroad had not yet extended to Harrisonburg, the town sat at the intersection of four turnpikes, including the Valley Turnpike, the main avenue for travel through Virginia’s Great Valley. Various buildings in Harrisonburg were used as temporary hospitals from the outset of the War; the most important of these was the Harrisonburg Female Academy at this location on Main Street. It was converted to hospital use in 1861, and was known as the Harrisonburg Confederate General Hospital.
Last Updated: 5/23/2012 9:43 AM