Remembering the War: Popular Culture in Augusta County (1860s-2006)
At first glance, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton appears to embody vivid, explicit commemoration of the Confederacy. Named for one of the South’s most successful Civil War generals, Thomas Jonathan ”Stonewall” Jackson, the massive building opened in 1924. A closer inspection, however, reveals approaches to Civil War history that have been restrained and surprisingly flexible over the years. This section presents publicity-views of the building on early picture postcards, along with historic and modern photographs.
By virtue of longevity, the Stonewall Brigade Band has served as Augusta County’s principal mode of public commemoration of the Civil War. By 1866, the band had begun a long series of public, postwar performances to memorialize Stonewall Jackson and other Confederate soldiers. This section presents images of one of the band’s original saxhorns, its first members, and some of the Confederate monuments beside which it has performed.
Beginning in the mid-1870’s, the musicians met and practiced in a bandroom ornamented with a pair of large, steel-engraved portrait prints of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. This section presents images of the portrait prints, places related to railroad promotion by Confederate veterans, and performances by the band that fostered sectional reconciliation.