|A Yankee soldier gave Jefferson Davis a piece of his mind.|
|Henry Powell, a 15-year-old Union soldier, scrawled his alias, "Henry Jones," on the second-floor courthouse wall.|
More soldier etchings, as well as an impressive collection of Civil War artillery, may also be found on the second floor of the red-brick building, which was used as a prison and a hospital during the Civil War. Today, it's home to the outstanding Old Court House Civil War Museum on Loudoun Street. Much of the Civil War collection, which also includes muskets, bullets, uniforms, buttons, grenades and more, was provided by long-time collector Harry Ridgeway, a Winchester resident and founder of the museum, who sells Civil War artifacts on his excellent web site. (An aside: One my fondest memories is a visit to Harry's Winchester house more than a decade ago. A longtime relic hunter, he has an amazing Civil War collection.)
Even though I only had time for a 30-minute visit, the $5 museum fee was well worth it. I especially enjoyed the large collection of massive Union artillery shells, most of them deactivated (I'm kidding), and the large collection of used and new books for sale in the gift shop on the first floor. Although the old courthouse was used as a hospital for both armies, I couldn't find any blood on the beautiful floor boards, which are original. Perhaps I wasn't looking hard enough. Maybe next time.
|During the Civil War, the Frederick County Courthouse in Winchester, Va, was used as a |
prison and hospital. After battles in the area, dead and wounded soldiers were
placed on the building's porch.
(CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL-SCREEN INTERACTIVE PANORAMA.)
|Smoothbore artillery shells. Look but don't touch!|
|This huge smoothbore projectile was meant to be fired from the Dictator, the largest Union mortar.|
|The massive shells in the front row were used in fort guns.|
|A pair of rifled Confederate artillery shells.|