Old Stone Church - East Piccadilly Street
Winchester, Virginia - February 1862
One of the more memorable sights of the early days of 1862, was General Stonewall Jackson and his lovely wife Anna riding along the streets of Winchester. In December Anna had arrived in Winchester to be with her husband for the entire winter. It would be the only time during the war years that the two would be able to spend much time together.
Anna loved riding the General's war horse, Little Sorrel, for he had an easy comfortable gait. Riding side saddle was often dangerous on a fractious horse, but Little Sorrel was as solid as rock, and never flinched or spooked. At Harper's Ferry in May 1861, Jackson had liberated Little Sorrel from an eastbound livestock train and recruited him to the Confederacy. Anna loved Little Sorrel's even temperament and was amused at his personality. The horse was described as being a "Rascal" who could undo latches with his mouth and open gates into greener pastures.
While in Winchester, Anna and the General stayed at the home of Reverend James and Fanny Graham located on Braddock street. The Grahams had three young children, and Jackson enjoyed being a part of their family life. It brought a sense of normalcy to a world of pressure and heavy responsibility. He loved children and during this time he became especially fond of the Graham's middle child, 3 year old Alfred.
But times riding alone with Anna were moments that Stonewall Jackson would cherish for the rest of his life.
The Old Stone Church was built in 1788 by Presbyterians and served for many years as a house of worship. It was left vacant in 1834 when members of the church built a new building. During the war years it was used as a secret facility to store arms and gun powder for the Confederacy. Local residents were at times fearful that as Federal forces came through the town, the church would be razed to the ground. But Federal troops confiscated the ordnance and used the church to stable their horses.