There was no “peace in the valley” in 1863. During Robert E. Lee’s Gettysburg Campaign that summer, the Shenandoah Valley played a central role, first as an “avenue of invasion” as Lee moved north – and then, after his defeat in Pennsylvania, as a vital route of retreat and a haven for the massive numbers of wounded. The Valley also witnessed other critical developments that year, including the formation of the new state of West Virginia, the aftereffects of the Emancipation Proclamation, and over 50 smaller military actions. In 1863, the Valley and its residents were once again engulfed by the conflict that raged across the country.
On March 9, 2013, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of that year with "Avenue of Invasion": Lee, Gettysburg, and the Shenandoah Valley in 1863, a conference featuring Civil War historians and authors Brandon H. Beck (The Second Battle of Winchester), Eric Campbell (“We are in the Valley…again…”: The Shenandoah Valley in the Gettysburg Campaign), Steve French (Imboden's Wagon Train of the Wounded: the Battle of Williamsport and Aftermath), Jonathan A. Noyalas (“The Most Important Event… Since Christ was Born”: Gen. Robert H. Milroy’s Enforcement of Emancipation in the Lower Valley), Joseph Whitehorne (Born in Battle: Military and Political Events in a New State [West Virginia], 1863), and George Wunderlich (The Medical Evacuation of Gettysburg: “...the Vast Procession of Misery..."). $20 registration fee. 9am – 5 pm. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St., Winchester, Virginia. To register, or for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-740-4545, www.ShenandoahAtWar.org.
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