Inscription reads: "On November 24, 1862, Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson moved through Page County toward Fisher's Gap to rejoin the main body of the Army of Northern Virginia, then near Fredericksburg. Jackson was in command of the newly organized Second Corps, with more than 32,000 troops."
Crossing the South Fork of the Shenandoah River at Columbia Bridge, the long columns of gray took nearly four days to move along the facing road (New Market-Gordonsville Turnpike) before exiting the Page Valley.
Pvt. John H. Worsham of the 21st Virginia Infantry later wrote of the crossing: "Near the top, as we were marching, there was a rock, and looking back and down the road, we could see six lines of our army; in one place infantry, in another artillery, in another ambulances and wagons. Some seemed to be coming towards us, some going to the right, some to the left, and some going away from us. They were all, however, climbing the winding mountain road, and following us."
Bivouacking for the night at the nearby village of Hawksbill, Jackson resumed the march the following morning. At the top of the Blue Ridge, he was said to have looked back upon his troops and his beloved Valley that he had so staunchly defended. Less than six months later, Jackson was accidently shot by his own men and soon died from complications. He would return to the Valley to be laid to rest in Lexington on May 15, 1863.
The land for Graves' Chapel Methodist Church was conveyed in 1860 by Paschal Graves who helped construct the New Market-Gordonsville Turnpike. During the winter of 1863-64 the chapel served briefly as a field hospital. The two graves immediately in front of you are testimony to the passing of Confederate troops through this area at that time. The South Carolinian died in the church-turned-hospital on two of the short benches, used in the so-called amen corner.
Last Updated: 7/20/2011 3:00 PM