Another option for touring sites associated with the various Valley campaigns is to use U.S. Route 250 east and west. The road west of Staunton roughly parallels the old Staunton-to-Parkersburg Turnpike. This route will take you, sometimes on the original road, from rolling landscapes in the Valley into beautiful and nearly unspoiled areas in the Allegheny Mountains. The following tour takes Route 250 west from Waynesboro. Call the local visitor centers in this section for a free, full-color Civil War map outlining the route west to the mountains.
- Waynesboro, Trails sign at the Plumb House, 1012 W Main St, 22980 – A battle here March 2, 1865, closed the fighting in the Valley. A small Confederate force under Early was swept aside by Federals under Sheridan. The Union general then pressed on to Scottsville on the James River, then to Petersburg to join Grant.
- Staunton, Trails sign at the train station, 12 Middlebrook Ave, 24401 – This city was an important Confederate supply depot with rail connections to Richmond and access to the Valley Turnpike. Confederate Gen. John Imboden led his fellow townsmen to war from the rail station in 1861. In June 1864 Hunter ordered it destroyed. The American Hotel across the street dates from the war. Other sites in Staunton worth a visit include the Thornrose Cemetery, established in 1849, which contains a large Confederate section. During the summer check out weekend concerts by the Stonewall Brigade Band. A city visitor center operates just west of I-81 and U.S. 250 at the Museum of Frontier Culture. See also Hunter’s Raid.
- Barger Farm, Trails sign located on the grounds of the Frontier Culture Museum, near the I-81 Route 250 exit at Staunton – This is a typical Shenandoah Valley wartime farmstead that has been relocated to this site. Civil War Trails interpretive sign puts a face on a typical family experience during the war. You do not have to pay admission to the site to see the Trails sign and get a view of the farm. Site is also the Staunton visitor center.
- West View, 1529 Parkersburg Turnpike (Route 254), Swoope VA 24479 (parking lot of West View United Methodist Church) – Confederate Gen. Edward “Alleghany” Johnson began his move west from his camps here on May 6, 1862, with Stonewall Jackson close behind. The Confederates would meet Union Gen. Robert Milroy’s troops a few days later at McDowell. Trails sign.
- Jackson’s March, Trails sign at the Mountain Home Picnic Area, US 250 and Ramsey’s Draft N, West Augusta, Augusta VA 24485 – Johnson and Jackson moved through here and met some Federal resistance in the area in May 1862 before moving on to McDowell, 3 miles west.
- Fort Johnson, just off U.S. 250 west of Mountain House – Overlook, walking trail and roadside markers here begin a trail of fortifications built by Johnson’s troops in April 1862 as he fell back from Camp Allegheny. Good stop to set up the battle at McDowell.
- McDowell Battlefield – A critical part of this battlefield just east of the town of McDowell has been preserved and a trail constructed from U.S. 250 to the area of the fighting on May 8, 1862.
Confederate forces in position on the mountain were able to fend off attacks made by Union forces attacking from the town. The Southern victory gave Stonewall Jackson his first Valley Campaign victory. A Trails sign describing the battle is located in the town, just across the Bullpasture River on the south side of the road.
The Highland Heritage Center features a Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Orientation Center with film and panel displays about the battle. The center is open Thursday-Saturday 11 am-4 pm and Sunday 1-4 pm (March-October). Call 540-396-4478 for additional hours.
- Union Artillery, Trails sign located behind the McDowell Presbyterian Church, intersection of US 250 and Bullpasture River Road – Union cannon were set up here during the May 8, 1862, Battle of McDowell. They were ordered to help delay the oncoming Confederate attack and buy time for a Federal withdrawal from the town.
- Monterey, Trails sign at the Courthouse, just southwest of US 250 and Spruce Street – This small town was used as headquarters by both sides during the various campaigns in the mountains in 1861 and 1862. Union soldiers retreated through here after the fighting at McDowell.
- Camp Allegheny, Trails sign just off U.S. 250 at the West Virginia border – Beautiful site, scene of a Confederate winter camp used by Johnson’s troops, was attacked unsuccessfully Dec. 13, 1861. Johnson withdrew shortly after the battle to West View. Actual camp is located south of U.S. 250 and parts are preserved and interpreted by the Monogahela National Forest. 304-636-1875.