Fall seems to be a traditional time for thinking about death, the dead, and the afterlife. Maybe it’s that the beauty of the changing leaves inspires nostalgia and deep reflection. Or maybe it’s just a custom that’s been handed down for generations. Either way, it’s common in several cultures to pay some attention to death and the supernatural in the fall. Think the Hispanic Dia De Los Muertos the Polish Zaduszki, and, of course, Halloween.
Taking a stroll in a cemetery can be a perfect activity. You can visit Front Royal’s Prospect Hill Cemetery to find peace and quiet, graves dating back over two hundred years, fascinating Civil War History, and more.
In honor of that spooky feeling we all get in the fall, we’ve rounded up six facts about Prospect Hill Cemetery. Whether you’re a tourist visiting Front Royal for the fall leaves, a Civil War enthusiast, or simply a local in search of a graveyard stroll, you’ll find Prospect Hill Cemetery is a great place to take a walk.
1. Prospect Hill Cemetery has been a Burial Site for over Two Hundred Years
It’s fascinating to stroll through a cemetery and think about the lives of those who are buried all around you. In Prospect Hill Cemetery, you’ll find plenty of food for thought. With the oldest grave dating back to 1802, there’s over two hundred years of history here! And Prospect Hill remains an active cemetery today.
2. Confederate Soldiers are Buried Here
Soldiers Circle is a particularly noteworthy part of Prospect Hill Cemetery. Here you’ll find the graves of all the confederate soldiers who died in Warren County during the Civil War. In 1868, the Ladies Warren Memorial Society gathered these remains from across the county to have them all interred together. The ninety soldiers who were identifiable are buried in a circle with headstones, while 186 unidentified share a common grave in the middle. The soldiers are from all thirteen states of the confederacy.
3. You’ll Find Some Famous Graves
In addition to Soldiers Circle, Prospect Hill also contains the graves of two noteworthy Front Royal residents. Look for the grave of Lucy Buck, a Civil War diarist whose record of the Civil War has been a valuable source for historians. Captain Samuel J. Simpson is another famous person buried at Prospect Hill. He served as a captain in the confederate army and played an important role due to his knowledge of the Shenandoah Valley.
4. Prospect Hill is a Scenic Viewpoint
Prospect Hill probably gets its name from the view. This hilltop cemetery is a great place to enjoy stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley all around, as well as the town of Front Royal.
5. Prospect Hill was a Strategic Point in the Civil War
The view around Prospect Hill hasn’t always been observed just for pleasure. During the Civil War Battle of Front Royal, the cemetery became a point of strategic importance. From here, the Confederate commanders could watch the battle unfold beneath them. A Confederate artillery battery was also posted here at one point during the battle, but did not engage in combat because it was out of range of the Union guns.
6. Stonewall Jackson Probably Was Here
General Stonewall Jackson was one of the most celebrated of the Confederate generals during the Civil War. He remains a popular figure today for students of Civil War history. According to local tradition, General Stonewall Jackson himself observed part of the Battle of Front Royal from the excellent viewpoint of Prospect Hill.
Taking a stroll through a cemetery is a great way to reflect on the shortness of life, consider what’s truly worthwhile, and honor those who have gone before us. It’s not surprising that cemeteries hold a strong attraction. Explore Front Royal’s Prospect Hill Cemetery to enjoy a beautiful graveyard and a little bit of local history.
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