— 1864 Valley Campaigns —Here on the old Swift Run Gap Road on the evening of October 3, 1864, Union Lt. John Rodgers Meigs was killed in a fight with three Confederate scouts guided by local resident Pvt. Benjamin F. "Frank" Shaver, 1st Virginia Cavalry. Meigs, of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's staff, and two orderlies encountered the Confederates, who had entered Union lines that morning to observe the dispositions of Sheridan's army camped around Harrisonburg. A firefight ensued and Meigs wounded a scout, but the others returned fire and killed Meigs. His body was recovered the next morning.One of the orderlies reported to Sheridan that civilian "bushwhackers" had murdered Meigs. (Because of a drizzling rain, the scouts had worn "rubber raincoats" over their uniforms.) Sheridan retaliated, ordering that buildings over a large area, including the town of Dayton, be burned to the ground. He soon rescinded the order concerning Dayton, but thirty other dwellings were destroyed in what came to be known as the "Burnt District." Sheridan justified his actions by asserting, "Since I came into the Valley, from Harpers Ferry up to Harrisonburg, every train, every small party, and every straggler has been bushwhacked by people." In this case he was wrong, and innocent people paid the price.
|Series||This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series|
|Placed By||Virginia Civil War Trails|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 3:14pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||17S E 681396 N 4254907|
|Decimal Degrees||38.42401667, -78.92200000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 38° 25.441', W 78° 55.32'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||38° 25' 26.46" N, 78° 55' 19.20" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 301-399 State Rte 713, Harrisonburg VA 22801, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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