Siram P Henkel, of Rockingham County kept a detailed journal of daily farm and mill operations from the 1830’s to the 1870’s. His account of the first year of the Civil War reveals how the transition from peace to war affected his community and the town of New Market, Virginia.
Dr. Caspar Coiner Henkel’s letter collection, which is on exhibit at the National Library of Medicine, richly documents the character of the Shenandoah and Augusta County young people as they embody a spirit of adventure followed by the agony of losing love ones in battle.
The range of news topics from the Daily Dispatch includes the capture of Harper’s Ferry, the Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), and many more events which affected the Valley. The journal, letters and news present a fascinating tapestry of life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in 1861.
This collection of Family related documents gives the reader not only an understanding of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley but a real life understanding of the family, their emotions, trials and troubles.
The compilers of this text are descendants and possess enough material to publish a volume for each year of war and intend to do so. May God richly bless them for their perseverance and hard work which adds greatly to our knowledge of our history which is too quickly vanishing.