The Shenandoah Valley is one of the the most beautiful places anywhere. Yet during the Civil War it was the scene of bloody battles and even a campaign against civilian property, still remembered as The Burning because the Union army set fire to barns, mills and crops. Grant ordered General Sheridan to destroy the resources that were feeding Lee's army. Although homes and civilians were to be left unharmed, the loss of food and their greatest economic resources caused the people great hardship.
The scene of this devastation can be visited off Interstate 81 in Virginia. Allow enough time to drive some of the scenic back roads - there are still plenty of places that look much like they did in 1864.
"Death is popularly considered the maximum of punishment in war, but it is not; reduction to poverty brings prayers for peace more surely and more quickly than does the destruction of human life, as the selfishness of man has demonstrated in more than one great conflict."
Phil Sheridan, quoted in his memoirs.
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Scene above created by Linda Walcroft using PhotoShop - More like this
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