Closeup of the War in the Backyard wayside marker on the Kernstown Battlefield outside Winchester, Virginia

Closeup of the War in the Backyard wayside marker on the Kernstown Battlefield outside Winchester, Virginia

War in the Backyard

 

At the beginning of the Civil War, the third generation of the Scots-Irish Glass family lived at Rose Hill. The household consisted of Thomas Glass (age 67), and his wife Margaret (age 51), his son William (age 25) and fifteen slaves, most of them children. The following year Thomas passed away. His son, William, recently married, took over the management of the farm. A Southern supporter, William was commissioned Lt. Col. of the 51st Regiment Virginia Militia serving under Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson during the Bath-Rommey (later West Virginia) campaign in January, 1862. While he was away, his young wife died, and shortly afterwards he was discharged from military service. William would remain at Rose Hill throughout the Civil War.

 

Young and recently bereaved of both his father and his wife, William Wood Glass was living at the house when the 1st Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862, occurred in his backyard. Not surprisingly, his house was used as a shelter for wounded soldiers.

 

After the Civil War, William and his second wife raised seven children in the Rose Hill farm house. In 1885, they moved to Glen Burnie in Winchester, but William continued to run the farm with the help of tenants. Picnics and outings at their beloved childhood home, Rose Hill, were a favorite Glass family activity, described poignantly in Susan Glass Strider's 1939 poem.

 

 

The way is fair - a ride I pray,
October's glories deck the day

The answer I, O let us go
To the home I used to know!

I would see once more the tree
Where I played in childish glee.

Had for dolls a little school
Where I taught them many a rule.

Faithful still the grand old trees --
Honey locusts in the breeze.

But the brook, how low, how slow!
Once so rollicking its flow.

Where we sailed our tiny boat
Half shell of a cocoanut.

In it sat Miss Golden Hair
Fairest one of all the fair.

Lonely now the fine old home --
Children seven called to roam.

Some so many miles away;
Youngest now is growing grey.

-Rose Hill
by Susan Glass Strider, 1939
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