July 16, 2017

Yesterday Near Berryville

We went to an event at Cool Spring and then made a stop in nearby Berryville, where we bought some chairs at the thrift store. This church is next door to it. It was established in 1853.

Berryville Presbyterian Church
I just looked up the church's history and was intrigued to see how it relates to the event we had just attended at Cool Spring.
"Franklin Pierce was President of the United States from 1853 to 1857. Growing signs of unrest over the issue of slavery were manifested in Kansas, which was a battle ground for rival factions. Neither Pierce or James Buchanan, his successor, confronted the issue and in 1859, John Brown raided Harper’s Ferry.

By 1861, when Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, seven states had already seceded from the Union. After the South fired on Ft. Sumter, the war began. In 1864, there was a skirmish called “The Battle of Cool Spring”. General Jubal Early was pushed west through Berryville to Grindstone Hill, about where Cooley School is today. Apparently, a cannon ball was fired by Early’s men, which struck the Berryville Presbyterian Church on the northwest corner, just above the first window. At that time, the church was painted white and, according to Elder Tom Jones whose father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all elders, someone painted a black circle over the window after the damage was repaired. One of the stained glass windows on the west side of the sanctuary is in memory of great-grandfather, Thomas Jones, who was ordained in 1874.

In 1861, the Presbyterian Church split over the issue of slavery into the Presbyterian Church in USA (PCUSA) and the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America (PCCSA)."
The event that we attended was the Cool Spring 153rd Anniversary Commemoration, hosted by the McCormick Civil War Institute at Shenandoah University. The University now has a campus on the actual battlefield, where students learn about history and environmental science.

My friends Jonathan Noyalas and Shannon Moeck were among the speakers. I know them from LFCC but Jonathan is now teaching at Shenandoah University and Shannon is a ranger at Cedar Creek.

The marker below is called Union Advance and Confederate Counterattack. It explains that the battle here followed a failed Confederate attack on Washington, DC. Jubal Early "withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley with the Federals in pursuit. He stopped them at Cool Springs on July 17-18."

But not for long! Read the rest of the marker on HMDB.org.


  1. Hello, beautiful church. Sounds like a nice event. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead.

  2. That's a pretty church. It's interesting to know the history behind it.

  3. ...a style of church that I would see here, nice!

  4. A church with quite a history! I like the look.

  5. That is a handsome church with an interesting story.

  6. Looks like you attended a very interesting history event.... AND---I loved reading the history around that church... SO interesting... Thanks for sharing.



The View from Squirrel Ridge features thousands of views of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding area. I post frequently so please visit often.

Your comments are appreciated. If you are responding to a post older than a few days, your comment will be held until we have a chance to approve it. Thanks for your patience!

Sorry, anonymous comments cannot be accepted because of the large number of spam comments that come in that way. Also, links that are ads will be deleted.