Shenandoah County, in the years prior to the Civil War, was a prosperous place. Nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, it was an agricultural haven with both small family farms and plantations worked by slave labor. The railroad and the Valley Pike fueled the local economy and helped Shenandoah County thrive. With the outbreak of Northern military aggression, all of that would change. Four major battles took place in and around Shenandoah County: New Market, Toms Brook, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek. Although these historic battles have been well documented, their effects on the lives of the people involved have been largely forgotten. Now, author Hal Sharpe brings the history of the county residents into focus, recounting how their spirits were tested during this dark hour of American history.