Inscription reads: "In 1862, West View was a village of about 15 buildings including a flour mill, post office, store, wagon shop and saw mills. About 3,000 soldiers camped in the surrounding fields from April 20 to May 6."
Confederates under Gen. Edward "Alleghany" Johnson withdrew to this area in April 1862, after they abandoned Camp Allegheny, 58 miles west of here at the present-day West Virginia border.
Federals under Gen. Robert Milroy followed Johnson on the Staunton-to-Parkersburg Turnpike, occupying Monterey, McDowell and Shenandoah Mountain, successively, during April. Union troops, frequently seen at Buffalo Gap and Jennings Gap to the west, threatened Staunton and the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.
Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson's army was 37 miles northeast near Conrad's Store (now Elkton). Finding Federals approaching him from the north and the west, Jackson acted. He arrived in a panicked Staunton on May 4. Two days later, Johnson's troops left their camps here at West View and marched west. Jackson's army followed, marching from Staunton through West View to Shenandoah Mountain on May 7.
Union and Confederate forces met at McDowell on May 8, 1862. The Confederates won the battle there, ending the Federal threat to Staunton.
"Johnson is at West View. Too near our home to be agreeable. We now feel what it is to have an army in our houses and an enemy thundering at our doors.... If the foe should come to your door, outwardly submit but coldly and abhor to the last those who bring to our firesides slaughter and devastation." � Jed Hotchkiss, Jackson's mapmaker, in an 1862 letter to his wife in Churchville.