Siram P. Henkel of Rockingham County kept a detailed journal of daily farm and mill operations from the 1830s to the 1870s. His account of the first year of the Civil War reveals how the transition from peace to war affected his community and the town of New Market, Virginia.
Siram's nephew, Dr. Caspar Coiner Henkel, left a letter collection which richly documents the character of the Shenandoah and Augusta County young people as they embody a spirit of adventure followed by the agony of losing loved ones in battle.
The range of news topics from the Daily Dispatch includes the capture of Harper's Ferry, the Battle of Manassas, and many more events which affected the Valley. The journal, letters and news present a fascinating tapestry of life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in 1861.