Nov 3-7, 2021
In our first Class Trip in more than two years, we mustered the ‘72 troops in the heart of the glorious Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, on November 3, the peak ofautumn colors. Occupying all of Luray’s stately Mimslyn Inn , this trip’s focus was again on Civil War battlefields, the eighth episode in our ongoing journey with Professor James McPherson.
A hundred strong, in two comfortable and skillfully piloted busses, we traced the campaigns of Stonewall Jackson, Turner Ashby, Roberdeau Wheat and his Louisiana Tigers, Franz Sigel versus the VMI cadets, Dodson Ramseur, and the ubiquitous, hard-riding Phil Sheridan. We surveyed, and tramped across, 1862-1864 battlefields at Kernstown (first and second), Winchester (first, second, and third), Harrisonburg, Cross Keys, Port Republic and The Coaling, New Market, Fishers Hill, and Cedar Creek. Even as we deplored the encroachment of suburban sprawl, the Professor and superb local guide Jack Owens led us right to where we could evoke the terrain and topography of battle, discerning who did what, where, and when. At one hillside stop a curious troop of cattle were especially attentive.
Evenings were devoted to hilarity and good fellowship, including remarks from the superintendent of the Shenandoah National Park. As the weekend concluded we all looked forward to seeing each other again in May for what is sure to be an epic 50th Reunion.