Shenandoah Valley

Breadbasket of the Confederacy

During the US Civil War (1861-1865) the Shenandoah Valley was a major source of food for the Confederate Army. To eliminate this source of supply, during the final year of the war, Gen. U. S. Grant ordered his troops to "Take all provisions, forage and stock wanted for the use of your command. Such as cannot be consumed, destroy." (1)

Grant's orders were executed during the fall of 1864 by Gen. Philip H. Sheridan (2) whose command included Gen. George Armstrong Custer. This was one of the largest destructions of civilian property during the war. (3)


1. Bruce Catton, Grant Takes Command (Castle Books, 2000). p347. See also p277, 361.

2. Philip H. Sheridan, Personal Memoirs of Philip H. Sheridan (1888). With a new introduction by Jeffry D. Wert (Da Capo Press, 1992). p265ff.

3. John L. Heatwole, The Burning: Sheridan's Devastation of the Shenandoah Valley (Charlottesville, Virginia: Rockbridge Publishing, 1998).

4. Elouise Good King, Abraham P. Good and Rebecca Rhodes Good Family (E. G. King, 1998). Selected pages (2007 Nov 8). Abraham P. Good, Rebecca Rhodes. p26.

1   Notes