Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park near Strasburg, Va.: Part 2
In Part 1 of this two-part Cannonball blog entry (sponsored by the York Daily Record newspaper), we will go inside the Hupp’s Hill Cedar Creek Museum. The site is just north of Strasburg, Virginia, alongside U.S. Route 11 (the old Valley Turnpike which played played such a large role in the economic development of the region as well as during the Civil War).
Let’s have a look at the displays in the small, but interesting museum.
The focal point, of course, is the Shenandoah Valley and its importance during the War Between the States / Civil War. The so-called “Granary of the Confederacy,” the Valley was an important source of food and supplies to the Rebel forces. The Union tried for several years to seize firm control of the Valley, finally succeeding in the last full year of the war in 1864 with Sheridan’s Valley Campaign and subsequent smaller movements and engagements.
The largest battle in the Shenandoah Valley was the 1864 battle of Cedar Creek, which happened to the north of this museum along U.S. 11. These artifacts are from that battlefield.
Various battles such as Third Winchester (also called Opequon) and Fisher’s Hill are remembered with panel displays.
Some of the displays interpret the everyday lives of the people of the Shenandoah Valley during the war years.
A small diorama of the Heater House and an accompanying text tells the story of a family with divided loyalties. Mrs. Heater was a Pennsylvanian and a strong Union supporter; her husband may have been a Confederate sympathizer.
A 3D relief map/diorama depicts the Cedar Creek battlefield. Color-coded cards inserted into wooden holders show the positions of the various Confederate (foreground) and Union troops at the height of the battle.
The second marker from the left in the top row is to Evans’ Brigade (formerly Gordon’s brigade the previous year during the Gettysburg Campaign). I recently posted excerpts from Col. Clement Evans’ diary describing his “triumphal entry” into York, Pennsylvania. Now, a year after that Sunday march into one of Pennsylvania’s more prominent boroughs, some of Gordon’s men who paraded through York died at Cedar Creek.
This vignette depicts a Union campsite in the Valley in 1864.
One of the highlights of the museum is the impressive mural spanning one of the walls. Note the large 3D relief map to the right center.
More artifacts from the Cedar Creek battlefield are on display for the public.
The museum only costs $5 to enter, and is significantly worth the modest admission price. The tour begins with a brief introductory presentation from volunteers and staff workers from the local area, and concludes with a 45-minute film (which I did not stay to view, unfortunately, because of time constraints as I needed to be in Harrisonburg for the Civil War Institute).
This concludes this brief look at the Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park. The site is small and easy to miss, but should be a “must see” for any Civil War buffs paying a visit to the Shenandoah Valley.