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John Paul Strain

New Year's Wish

Price:  $719.95
Item#:  33900

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25.5 x 19.5 in.
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about this piece
Theirs was one of the great love stories of the Civil War. General Stonewall Jackson and his wife Anna were reunited in the snowy month of January after the Romney Expedition. The couple's time together would be fleeting and meaningful.

On New Year's Day of 1862 Jackson had led his troops on an expedition to destroy a concentration of Federal forces near Romney, Virginia. A heavy snowfall made the offensive arduous and challenging. The retreat of the Federal Army from the area and the capture of Romney and Bath, made the expedition a success. Nearly 100 miles of the B&O railroad tracks had been torn up by Jackson's men with stores of confiscated supplies now in Confederate hands.

But General Jackson's thoughts were not far from his loving Anna. After events had stabilized, the General, along with his staff headed back home at a quick pace. Riding along the slushy and muddy roads, Jackson pushed on for Winchester, covering 43 miles. Fighting fatigue and saddle sores one of his aids shouted, -Well, General, I am not anxious to see Mrs. Jackson as to break my neck keeping up with you! With your permission, I shall fall back and take it more leisurely!-

Arriving in Winchester, after cleaning up somewhat at the Taylor Hotel, the General hurried over to the Graham home 'as joyous and fresh as a schoolboy'. There he embraced his loving Anna. Anna recalled his face -all aglow with delight-. He was home safe and it was time to celebrate his return and his 38th birthday.

On an evening ride together the couple stopped for a moment on the wagon bridge crossing Town Run Creek at Glen Burnie estates. Anna pulled out two pennies from her cloak and tossed them into the reflective pool, hoping two wishes would come true. The General's wish was for success in his many challenges ahead. Anna's wish was for her loving husband to always return home to her safe and sound. Only one wish would come true.

Artist Comments
One of Winchester's famous historical sites is the restored Glen Burnie historic house, home of the Wood and Glass families. The home was originally constructed in the 1790's and is on the National Register of Historic Places. During the Civil War the estate was used as an encampment for Confederate cavalry and artillery units. And during all three major battles for Winchester in 1862, 1863, and 1864 the land was fought over by combat troops of both sides. Today thousands enjoy tours of the historic beautiful home and gardens.

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