Valley of the Shadow
The Eve of War
Fall 1859–Spring 1861

Letters & Diaries


Hotchkiss Family (1861-1865)

Portrait of Hotchkiss Family

Though originally born in New York, Jedediah Hotchkiss and his family settled in Augusta County before the war, where he taught school at Mossy Creek, Stribling Springs, and Loch Willow academies. Hotchkiss’s niece Alansa was visiting from New York when the war began. She eventually married Francis Franklin Sterrett, a friend of her uncle. During the war, Hotchkiss served as topographical engineer in the Confederate army. He made detailed battle maps, mostly of Virginia and West Virginia, which were used by Generals Lee and Jackson in planning military strategy. His wife, Sara, remained with his daughters at home in Augusta County.

Hotchkiss Household

Sterrett Household