Treasure Hunt Winners

On the Tour we did a treasure hunt. It was a lot of fun to put together, and we hope everyone had fun doing it. To do the treasure hunt you had to get information from the talks, translate a lot of Morse code, do a Caesar Cipher and more.

First Place - Brittany Muse

Second Place - Nathaniel Sides

Third Place - Watson Family

Video of Marching at McDowell Battlefield

Here is a video of us marching at McDowell on the tour.

Marching at McDowell Battlefield from Joshua Horn on Vimeo.

The Valley Campaign Tour - Day 6

The next day, everybody went back home. On our way back, we stopped at Pamplin Park outside of Petersburg, VA, which is a museum, and some breastworks which they made to look how the real ones would have. The battle that was fought there is called the Battle of the Breakthrough, and although it was important, and caused Lee to retreat and led to the surrender, it is not well known because the general who commanded at a large skirmish became the commander of the whole army, and he had friends in high places who said that what he did was the important thing, not what was actually the important one. It was a good museum, and in all it was very interesting.

Joshua, Rachel, and behind a statue in front of the museam

A replica of a 3 inch rifled cannon

Looking through the hole in the breastworks for the cannon

A reproduction of what a winter hut would look like

The outside of the original entrenchments

The Valley Campaign Tour - Day 5

On the fifth day, which was the last day of our tour, we started out by going to the Turner Ashby Monument, where he was shot. Daddy did a talk on Turner Ashby's life and his service in the war.

Then we went to Washington & Lee Chapel, which was where Lee was president of the university after the war, and he is buried under the chapel. Then we went to the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, which was where Jackson and Anna lived in Lexington while he taught at the Virginia Military Institute. It was the only house he ever owned.

Then we went to VMI, and a cadet led a tour of VMI and told us about the buildings and such. During lunch at the Memorial Gardens in VMI, Daddy did a talk on State's Rights. If you ever go there, beware of a replica of Michelangelo's David, which they told us about on the tour. Then we went to Jackson's Grave in Lexington, and Daddy talked about Jackson's character there. Then we went to the closing dinner, where Joshua did a talk on the rest of the Civil War, and Daddy talked about the consequences of the Civil War.

Stonewall Jackson's grave marker

Four Cannons the cadets used for artillery practice when Jackson taught there. They were name Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (Jackson's statue is in the background)

A statue of George Washington

The Cadet that did our tour at VMI

Daddy talking at the Ashby Monument

The Valley Campaign Tour - Day 4

On the fourth day, we started by going to the New Market Battlefield. This was not in Jackson's 1862 Valley campaign, but we went there because the VMI cadets fought there and the museum was highly recommended. Daddy did a talk on Economics Before the Civil War before our tour. Then the tour guide came out, and marched us to the battlefield, where she told us about the battle.

This battlefield was one of the nicest we went to, mostly because a couple hundred of the VMI cadets fought there, and they turned the tide of the battle, and now VMI takes care of and owns the battlefield. The battle was between General John Breckenridge for the Confederates, and General Franz Sigel for the Unions. The middle of the Confederates was caving in, so they put in the cadets to sure it up. The Unions had about twice as many men as the Confederates, but by Sigel's poor handling of them, only half of them were fighting the Confederates.

He got excited, and since he was a German immigrant, he started to give his commands in German. He gave the command to charge, but because of this, only one regiment got the order to charge, and so they charged, and the rest of the regiments followed in a broken and disorderly manner. Breckenridge ordered his men to charge too, and they advanced in a steady organized line, and drove the Unions away.

Then we went to Prospect Hill Cemetery in Front Royal, where we could see all around us, and Joshua described the battle of Front Royal. He also did a talk on the battle of Winchester, which was between Front Royal and the next battle, where Jackson routed what was left of Bank's army at Winchester. We also stopped at Bel Aire, which was Lucy Buck's home, since Rachel read some excerpts from her diary on the way to Front Royal and Daddy talked about some of her character qualities, like courage and hospitality.

Then we went to Cross Keys, which was just a field, most of which was being farmed and you could not go in it. There, Joshua gave a talk on the battle, and Daddy gave a talk on Richard Ewell. Then we went to the Frank Kemper House, which is where Turner Ashby's body was viewed after his death, and it was near Jackson's Headquarters while his army was in Port Republic.

The tour guide also talked about a Union Calvary raid there just before the battle of Port Republic and they almost captured Stonewall Jackson, and probably would have if he had not been in his blue US Army uniform, which made them think he was a federal officer.

After that, we went to a hill called the "Coaling" (because they burned wood to make charcoal there), which was important in the battle of Port Republic. The Union had some cannons up there, and once the Confederates took it after a few charges the Union retreated. It was the last battle in Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862. Afterwards, Lee called him to Richmond to help participate in the battle of the Seven Days.

An original sword in the Frank Kemper House

Daddy talking at the Coaling

Joshua talking at Prospect Hill Cemetery

A barn which was subjected to crossfire at the battle of New Market

My Replica Pistol

ENN: The Craters of Normandy

Vision Forum posted the Everyday News report we did while we were in Europe.
from here.

ENN: The Craters of Normandy from Joshua Horn on Vimeo.

The quality is not the best because we did not have much time while we were there.

The Valley Campaign Tour - Day 3

Today we started out by going to Fort Johnson, which was a lot of breastworks on Mount Shenandoah. They were pretty neat, but they had shurnken because it has been almost 150 years. Then we went to hike up the mountain. At about half way up, the boys were drilled by Mr. Breagy. The hill was very steep, so we were very tired when we got to the top. At the top, Joshua gave a talk about the battle of McDowell. The battle was fought by Jackson against part of Fremont's forces under Milroy. The Confederates were going to attack, but then the Unions attacked them. They were at first pushed back, but they kept being reinforced, and finally the Unions retreated. It was neat to see where the battle actually happened. After that we had a battle reenactment. The men were the Unions, and the boys were the Confederates. They charged us, but it broke before it got to us. We then charged them, and with a few casualties we took the colors from the enemies. Then we marched back down the mountain.

Then we went to the Frontier Culture Museum, which had some different farms how they were in Europe, and it also had several American Farms. Then my dad did a talk on Slavery, and the benefits and problems with it.

We do not have the pictures yet off of our camera, so we will post some later.

The Valley Campaign Tour - Day 2

Yesterday was the first day of touring. We started by going to Harper's Ferry. Harper's Ferry was where John Brown did they raid which was used to galvanize the North to start the Civil War. Back then, Harper's Ferry was an armory, which was recommended by George Washington in 1792.

John Brown's plan was that with his 21 men, he would surprise the guards, capture the guns, and he thought that during the night 200 slaves would join him from the surrounding plantations. There were 100,000 weapons stored there, so he planned to go to the mountains and defend them from the army, and when he had enough slaves he would march through the South freeing the slaves. This did not work, for a few different reasons. One was that he did not think about transportation for the weapons. Another was that the force of 21 men he attacked with was the largest he had commanded in his life. He could not have commanded 100,000 slaves. Another was that he could not teach 100,000 slaves to load guns who had never used one before. Another was food for his army. Another large one was that the reason he thought the slaves would join him was from reading books like Uncle Tom's Cabin. Most of the slaves would probably have sided with their master's, not John Brown.

But, he did not make it that far. He and his men were staying in a farmhouse in Maryland which was close to Harper's Ferry. On October 16, 1859, he attacked Harper's Ferry. He crossed the railroad bridge, and captured the guards for the armory stationed at the bridge. Of his 21 men, 16 were whites, and 5 were blacks. He decided to station himself in the engine house, which was used to house the fire engines, and also as a guard house. It was pretty small:
He sent out his men to get hostages, which he thought would be useful. He got about 60 hostages. He had his men spread out through the armory buildings. Then at 2:00 in the morning, the train came through. He decided to stop it so the news would not get through, and also to get more hostages. In the shooting, the first victim of the attack was killed, Hayward Shepherd, the baggage master of the train, who was a free black man. So in the raid to free all of the blacks, the first man killed was one who was already free.

But a doctor got away and called out the militia from the surrounding towns. As said before, John Brown's men were spread out pretty thinly. When the militia came, they gathered in two buildings, which were cut off from each other. In the engine house, John Brown only had 4 men with him. The other building, they soon evacuated, and a few swam across the river, and got away. The militiamen did not attack John Brown's fort, which is what the engine house is called now.

The next day 88 marines came under the command of Robert E. Lee, with J.E.B Stuart as his aide. The militiamen had gotten drunk during the night at the tavern, so Lee commanded it shut down. He asked them if they wanted to attack first, but they said no. So Stuart went up under a flag of truce to ask for the surrender. They refused, as was expected, so Stuart stepped back and waved his hat. This was the signal, so the marines charged. They had brought sledges, but the door had been barricaded, and John Brown had tied ropes, so that if they hit the door, it would just bounce back. So they got a ladder, and using it as a battering ram, they made a hole that was big enough for one man to get through. The first man through was an officer, and he went at John Brown. He tried to cut off his head, but missed and cut his cheek. Then he tried to stab him, but the sword was only a dress sword, and it bent. They ended up capturing them with only one killed and one wounded. All of them were sentenced to be hung, and John Brown was kept in the jail for a month before he was killed. In this time, the Northern press made him a hero, when really he was probably insane.

Next we went to the Jackson Headquarters in Winchester. They had a lot of artifacts from Stonewall Jackson's life, such as his prayer book and field glasses. Then we went to Kernstown, which was the only tactical defeat in Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862 but it was strategic victory, since the goal of the campaign was to prevent Banks from reinforcing McClellan. He was misinformed by his calvary, and thought that he outnumbered the Unions, when really he was outnumbered by them. His men fought bravely, but they were finally driven back by the superior numbers. This was all that we did today.

The Valley Campaign Tour - Day 2

Harper's Ferry

Jackson's Headquarters

Kernstown Battlefield

The Valley Campaign Tour - Day 1

On Sunday night, we left from our Sunday evening service about 8:45 pm, and we arrived at our Grandparent condo on Massanutten mountain at about 2:00 am. The next morning, Joshua, Mommy, and I went to scout out some of the battlefields, and also to get Joshua a calvary slouch hat. The first store we went to, we bought some prizes for the tour treasure hunt we made, but it did not have any slouch hats. Then we went to another civil war store, but the only slouch hats they had were too big for him. Then we went to the Hall of Valor museum shop to get a film so that we could preview it, to decide if we could watch it in the bus or not.

Then we went to Front Royal to decide which stops on the driving tour we should go to. We were planning to get back to the condo in time to go to the hotel by 3:00, but we were late, so we did not get to the hotel until 4:30, which is when we wanted to get to the Golden Corral to set up for our after dinner talks. Daddy did a talk giving an overview of American history leading up to the Civil War, and then I showed how to load a Colt .44 army pistol, and then Joshua did a talk on the weapons of the civil war and an overview of the week. Then Daddy did a thumbnail sketch of the people he is going to talk about this week. Then all of the people went back to the hotel, and Joshua and Stephen Breagy were testing the sound to make sure it worked. Then we got ready for bed. We have a few people from another family and Ryan Glick, our tour bus coordinator, staying with Joshua and I, and Mommy and Daddy were staying in an adjoining room. Rachel is staying in the room with some of the Breagy ladies and another of our friends. Some pictures:

Massanutten Mountain

Daddy speaking

A Monument at New Market that we saw

People Listening

Stephen videotaping

Father & Son Retreat

Our church(Hope Baptist) is going to have a Father Son retreat in October. Click Here for more information about it, and here for other Hope Baptist Church events. For past church events that we have blogged, click here.

Shenendoah Valley Tour

Stonewall Jackson

We are going on a tour of Stonewall Jackson Campaign of 1862 in the Shenandoah Valley, VA. It will be like a mini Faith and Freedom Tour, but with my father and brother Joshua as speakers. My father will be talking about the importance and significance of the events, and the character of some of the men involved, and Joshua will be describing the battles. I will try to do a post for each day of the tour. You can read some other posts on our blog about the Civil War here. One of the sites with information about the Valley Campaign of 1862 is

Allegany Mountains