Winchester thrust into chaos as Gettysburg’s wounded arrived

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Posted: July 13, 2013

The Winchester Star

The Market Street United Methodist Church in Winchester was a fairly new building in 1863 (it was dedicated in 1855). But during much of the war, the church was turned into a hospital to care for the wounded from a variety of battles, including Gettysburg. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
Before Gen. Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia to the fateful battle in Gettysburg, he tied his horse Traveler to a post on Church Street in Berryville and went to worship in Grace Episcopal Church. A tablet was set up to mark the site during Clarke County’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1986 and was replaced by a brass plaque in 1992.
The land where Shawnee Springs Nursing home now stands has a history of medical use. After the Gettysburg battle, wounded soldiers, who overflowed hotels and churches used as hospitals in Winchester, were moved to tents near the springs on the property. A year later, after the Battle of Cedar Creek, Union General Philip Sheridan set up the largest tent hospital ever seen on the same land. It stretched north to Mount Hebron cemetery. Two platforms there show how fires were built in brick pits near the tents; warm air was directed under them to help keep the patients warm.
This is the Robert E. Lee plaque mounted on a stone on Church Street in Berryville.

WINCHESTER — Lt. William Jefferson Obet Funk sat on the bank of the Potomac River “like a drowned rat” and watched as Confederate troops crossed the stream back into Virginia in July 1863.

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