Southern Hospitality by John Paul Strain
General Stonewall Jackson & Colonel Turner Ashby
Jackson's Headquarters - Romney, Western Virginia - January 14, 1862
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Image Size 19 1/2" x 25 1/2"
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General Stonewall Jackson and his troops had finally arrived in the town of Romney after a long and difficult passage through the mountains of western Virginia. A snow storm had blanketed the countryside and snow was still falling in Romney. The temperature did not get above twenty-seven degrees.
Jackson's plan was to destroy and capture the Federal garrison located there. But to the General's surprise, the Federals had abandoned Romney and fled the city not wishing to engage General Jackson's army. Jackson believed his success was nothing short of a miracle from God Almighty himself.
Jackson made his headquarters in John Baker White's brick home located in the center of town. Liberated from the Federal occupation, the citizenry of Romney was thrilled with the arrival of southern troops.
Unlike other wars fought in different parts of the world, the Civil War was being fought on home ground. Women played an enormous role in the lives of southern soldiers. They looked for any way they could help. Many offered their homes to wounded soldiers and became nurses, laundresses, cooks, couriers, spies, and writers. Women struggled to do the work of their men who had gone off to defend their country. They worked in the fields, and ran the family farm. A number of women in Winchester had knit enough socks to outfit the whole Stonewall Brigade. Unlike the Northern troops who were supported by great stores of material from rich and populous cities closely connected by rail, the Southern Army relied upon the generosity of the citizenry to sustain itself.
So it was with great appreciation on the snowy night of January 14th that Stonewall Jackson and Col. Ashby received a bit of heartfelt southern hospitality.