Weekend Civil War Trip

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One great Friday trip you can make, is to the Belle Boyd house, there you will find a wealth of information and literature on the civil war and find out what role Belle Boyd played in the civil war. The house is adjacent to the train station, so instead of driving we decided to take the train early in the morning and got to the home around noon, this way we got to explore some of the sights one the train and didn’t have to worry about the drive to the museum/home. When traveling to the Belle Boyd home, keep in mind that it is not operated on the weekends without an appointment. Occasionally throughout the year, they do house special events where the home and museum is open, so if you must go on the weekend, be sure to call ahead and ask when their next weekend open house is.

To give a brief history, Belle Boyd was the civil wars version of a spy, she provided information to Jackson and other military brass, that was crucial to their hopes of winning the war.  She was extremely brave, for instance one evening in 1862, the union general Shields was in town and gathering to speak at a local hotel parlor.  Belle Boyd hid in the closet of the room, and was able to eavesdrop on their conversation.  She learned that the union troops were greatly reducing their army at front royal. Armed with this information, she was able to bluff her way past union lines, with false documents and was able to report the information on the troop movement to commander Truner Ashby.

Besides, the library and rich history of the Belle Boyd house, you can also find artifacts and get a real feel about what life was like during the civil war. There is also a small shop, where you can purchase historic reproductions on important newsletters from the war and other historical documents from the area.

On WV Civil War

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West Virginia plays an important role in the civil war, it is the 35th state in the Union. From the onset the western counties had very little in common with the eastern part of the state, yet the political leaders in the state were still able to separate themselves from the union. This separation, eventually lead to a giant rift in the state, where on June 20, 1863 West Virginia became the 35th such state to separate from the union.  Because of the railway, West Virginia and Virginia became a major transportation hub for the military, such transportation arteries included the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike and the Baltimore & OH Railroad. Traveling throughout the state you will find a rich history of civil war artifacts as well as various civil war reenactments several times a year. If you are particularly adventurous you might also consider traveling a train on foot, starting out in Harpers Ferry is a fabulous way to find out more about the history of the war as well as provides a chance to stop off at a visitor center to pick up a map of the territory. During your time at Harpers Ferry national park, be sure to check out one of the historic trade workshops, they are very affordable. We paid roughly $30 for myself and my wife to take a bread baking class, which she loved. The best part of it, was we also got to taste the bread and other food items we cooked which more than made up for the cost. Unlike traditional commercial ovens today, the bread workshops at Harpers Ferry take advantage of masonry beehive ovens which make the food taste wonderful.