The City of Front Royal saw a lot of activity during the Civil War, and these stories are told in various ways through museums, monuments, and several Virginia Civil War Trails markers. When visiting Front Royal, one should start at the Visitor Center located at 414 E Main St, Front Royal, VA. Maps and brochures are available to all the local Civil War museums, sites, and parks.
Must-see museums in town include the Warren Heritage Society Museum and the Warren Rifles Confederate Museum The Warren Heritage Society is a local historic non-profit that operates a nice museum and the Belle Boyd House (famous Confederate spy). Also a favorite among Civil War visitors is the Warren Rifles Confederate Museum. This museum was founded by the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and has exhibits and artifacts that relate to the Warren Rifles, famous Confederate generals, civilians, and the local battles that took place in the area.
Finally, there are several Civil War Trails markers in Front Royal that interpret the Battle of Front Royal (1862) and the Mosby-Custer affair in 1864. Through a series of Civil War Trails markers, you can follow along from beginning to end the Battle of Front Royal fought as part of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign. A must see is Prospect Cemetery, which is historically Richardson’s Hill. Here is where two Mosby Partisan Rangers were executed on September 23, 1864. There is a monument at the cemetery entrance dedicated to all seven of the Rangers that were killed during the fall 1864 dispute between Mosby and Custer. There is also a marker here that tells the story of where Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson watched the Battle of Front Royal (1862).
Visiting Front Royal’s museums, cemeteries and battlefield can take an entire day. Be sure to check the local visitor center website (www.discoverfrontroyal.com) to see when the museums in town are open. The best time of year to go is autumn, you may have to navigate the Washington, D.C. foliage seekers, but the colors and views cannot be beat and well worth the trip.