Lexington Inspiration Guide - 15

In Stonewall Jackson
Memorial Cemetery, with its

buried veterans of the American
Revolution and Confederacy,
the statue of Stonewall
looms with mystic power (at
twilight, the Haunting TalesLexington's Ghost Tours

B

A . V I R G I N I A M I L I TA R Y I N S T I T U T E C A D E T PA R A D E
B. SOUTHERN VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
C. MONACAN INDIAN LIVING HISTORY EXHIBIT
D. CYRUS McCORMICK'S FARM

bridge to elsewhere, a passthrough place on the Great Wagon
Road. That was the Appalachian dirt road to the southwest
for the Scots-Irish migration, and the way Sam Houston went

B: CHRIS WEISLER / C, D: COURTESY OF ROCKBRIDGE REGIONAL TOURISM

C

D

(his 1793 birthplace honored in two markers at Timber Ridge
Wayside).
Today, it's a crossroads, the midway point between Atlanta
and New York, the place where in the 1940s Hodding Carter
Jr., the great Greenville, Mississippi, newspaper editor,
would stop with his family on the way to their summer
vacations in Maine to lecture the children on the Civil War
(recalled Hodding III in a talk here at Washington and
Lee University). But it's also a rock, a sanctuary, a separate
peace in the Shenandoah Valley where the Blue Ridge and
Alleghenies squeeze a little closer together.
"It is a region with a different soil, a different climate, different
scenery and a population more distinctly sui generis [unique]
than any," wrote John Sergeant Wise, who spent the Civil
War as a VMI cadet and whose father, Governor Henry Wise,
(a graduate of Washington College; now Washington & Lee
University) helped bring on Virginia's secession with his day-long
interview with the mortally wounded abolitionist John Brown.

makes you believe the head
turns sadly toward the grave of
his first wife, Eleanor Junkin,
the grave plot where Jackson, as
VMI Professor of Natural and
Experimental Philosophy and
Artillery Tactics, came to pray
daily).
So many graves in this
cemetery (photographed by
local super-star photographer
Sally Mann) hide their own
histories. General E.F. Paxton
had died in the Battle of
Chancellorsville with Jackson
in 1863, at age 35. The simple
headstone has only a single
incised quotation: "It is well
with thee."
His father Elisha had hauled
timber and crops down the
North River (now the Maury)
and built the Paxton House
(now restored in Buena Vista's
Glen Maury Park, where
old-timey festivals and rallies
continue alongside the river).
"What we need is history,"
said George C. Marshall. A
quote from his 1953 Nobel
Peace Prize address in the
Marshall Museum says the
path to peace is to study with
"almost scientific accuracy
the circumstances which have
marked the breakdown of
peace." That takes time, which
is something we have here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

LexingtonVirginia.com/History
LEXINGTONVIRGINIA.COM 15


http://www.LexingtonVirginia.com/History http://www.LEXINGTONVIRGINIA.COM

Lexington Inspiration Guide

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