Part Two of “History through Eugene’s eyes:
Several of Eugene’s prints have historical significance in Winchester, VA & surrounding counties. He likes to photograph the area as well as the main subject to get a feel for the history of the spot. Quite often he will go back to the chosen site at different times of the day to record where the shadows fall, which give his paintings that unique Eugene B. Smith look. His interest in the history of our area compel him to research each site before he paints: to absorb the history of it and perhaps to impart that history through his brush into the painting.
I encourage you to see this history through Eugene’s eyes by viewing these particular prints: Glen Burnie Springhouse, Full Moon, Piedmont Station in Delaplane VA, Poor House, Rose Hill and Signal Knob(photo)
Confederate observers on Signal Knob at the northern tip of the Massanutten Mountains were in a position to view battles and movements in three counties throughout the Civil War. The Massanutten is a 60 mile long north-south range that splits the Shenandoah Valley along its spine from Strasburg to Harrisonburg. The terrain explains why some of the largest and most significant battles for the Valley’s 1862 and 1864 campaigns occurred within sight of Signal Knob. In 1862 “Stonewall Jackson” used Massanutten to screen his movements northward. General Jubal Early took a vantage point on Signal Knob to plan a surprise attack on Union forces encamped around Cedar Creek – an assault that almost succeeded in one of the largest battles west of the Blue Ridge. The decisive Battle of Cedar Creek all but ended the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley.