Is The World Set On Fire?


The 1864 Shenandoah Campaign and the Burning Sesquicentennial Conference was held at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, Virginia on Saturday, August 2, 2014.

It’s always a treat to be back in the Old Dominion, especially in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  This was an excellent conference.  The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, which put on the conference, did an outstanding job.  There was a great lineup of historians for the event.  We opened with Jeffry D. Wert talking about the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, followed by Scott Patchan on Phil Sheridan and the Road to Opequon Creek.  Next was Jonathan Berkey, associate professor of history at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia, speaking about the Old and New Challenges Faced by Civilians During Sheridan’s 1864 Valley Campaign.  After a very nice lunch Ranger Eric Campbell, Chief of Interpretation at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, told us about Early’s Army in the 1864 Shenandoah Campaign.  He was followed by Nancy Sorrells, a historian, writer, and museum consultant specializing in the Upper Shenandoah Valley, African-Americans, church history, and agricultural development.  Her presentation was about the Effects of the Civil War on Shenandoah Valley Agriculture.  The final presentation was by Jonathan Noyalas, assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Civil War History at Lord Fairfax Community College and the McCormick Visiting Chair in Civil War History at Shenandoah University, on Sheridan’s Ride in War and Memory.


The conference had an excellent turnout.  Who says the Sesquicentennial is a bust?

Lord Fairfax Community College is built on ground that soldiers moved and fought over in 1864.  During the construction of the campus an archaeological dig found several fascinating artifacts, many of which are on display:

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We all had a fantastic time.  It was a terrific conference with a lot of great information.  Transcribed notes to follow.


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