The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Who was Moses Ezekiel? (And why do we ask?)

Moses Ezekiel


Younger Americans in the mid 19th Century faced a future of political uncertainty. It was a particularly divisive moment in American history. Then the Civil War began. To this day, the dream of a more perfect American Union may be as elusive as ever. What does the future hold?

Moses Ezekiel was born into a Jewish family in 1844, and grew up in a working-class area of Richmond Virginia. He and his family undoubtedly would have experienced anti-Semitism during his youth. He also had dropped out of school to help out in the family business. Despite such challenges, he longed for a better life. At that time, the Virginia Military Institute offered people of modest means a path to higher education.

But by attending VMI, Ezekiel would by default be involved in the Confederate cause. He reportedly explained later that much of his decision to attend VMI was less about the issue of slavery than to help protect Virginia from Union invasion.

From VMI‘s beginnings, its training mission was to create “citizen-solders” who would develop good character and strong leadership skills, and then bring these qualities back home to civilian life. VMI was as much about citizen-solders as it was about training career military personnel, according to Lt. Col. Troy Marshall, Site Director at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, located on the New Market Battlefield in New Market, Va.

Ezekiel had actually aspired to become an artist. He may not have been a perfect fit as a soldier. His parade drill abilities could have been questioned, but his true talent as an artist was quickly recognized.

He was assigned to a corps of 295 cadets that, in May of 1864, had been given the order to march from Lexington, Va. north to New Market and stand beside some hardened Confederate regulars to defend what was then called “the Breadbasket of the Confederacy,” the Shenandoah Valley.

What resulted was a famous battlefield drama. Teenage cadets faced Union troops in actual combat and helped achieve a Confederate victory. The story quickly became legend.

A Shenandoah Springtime

The Shenandoah Valley gets its bloom on in May. From the banks of the Shenandoah River to the wildflowers on the Blue Ridge mountain skyline, nature comes alive. For locals and out-of-towners alike, a wonderful place to discover and rediscover, right here …in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia.

  Happening today

Music and Dancing in Raphine, Va.

Clarks Ole Time Music Center, located at Clarks Lumber Co., 1288 Ridge Road. longtime Friday-night tradition of old-time music and dance from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission: $8 per person, $15 per couple. For more information, call 540-377-2490.

Art exhibition at OASIS Fine Art and Craft in Harrisonburg, Va.

103 S. Main St. Paper Grace, Contemporary Quilling, by Deb Booth. Show runs from May 5-June 30. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit

Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit

Theater performance at Southern Virginia University

One University Drive, Chandler Hall. The Music Man. Classic musical. Shows on May 26 - May 27, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Presented by Southern Virginia University Theatre. Family friendly but may not hold the interest of very young children. Admission: $10. For more information, call 540-261-8464 or visit

Stage show at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W. Main St. Letters Home. Actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. 50 percent off for veterans and military. Discussion follows performance. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit

Downtown festival in Buena Vista, Va.

Glen Maury Park, 101 Maury River Drive. Fridays in the Park concert series. The Konnection Band. Admission: $4, ages 16 and under free admission with adult. For more information, visit

Night Skies skygazing program at Shenandoah National Park

Big Meadows Area mile 51, inside the Rapidan Camp Gate. Night Skies. 8:30 p.m., May 26, June 23, July 21, Aug. 12, Sept. 22, Oct. 20. Blanket, chair, and flashlight recommended. Look at unpolluted night sky through telescope. Weather permitting. Free admission. For more information, call 540-999-2222 or visit

Outdoor music concert in Staunton, Va.

Sunspots Pavilion, Byers St, in the Wharf district. April through October, music and other types of live performances on outdoor stage. Schedule available online. For more information, call 540-885-0678 or visit

Outdoor program in Lexington, Va.

Boxerwood Nature Center, 963 Ross Rd. Music in The Garden series. Red Hill Band performs live music. Bring a picnic meal. Food available. For all ages. Free admission. For more information, visit

Public program at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W. Main St. Letters Home. Actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. Admission: $30. Veterans and military, 50 percent discount. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit

Holiday celebration in Shenandoah, Va.

First St. 20th Annual Memorial Festival and Parade. May 26 at 6:30 p.m., all day on May 27. Veterans memorial service. Car show, antique tractor, motorcycle and dog shows, patriotic parade, volunteer firemen food shack, featuring steamed shrimp on May 27. For more information, call 540-742-1141 or visit

Stage show at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 S. Loudoun St. Bright Box Comedy with Rob Maher and Keith Purnell May 26-27. For more information, visit

Fishing event in Luray, Va.

Lake Arrowhead. Lake Arrowhead Night Catfishing. Every 2nd and 4th Friday through October. Open until midnight For more information, visit

Outdoor concert downtown in Luray, Va.

Ruffner Plaza, Luray Greenway. Evenings on Main Concert series. Red Roots performs country music. Free admission. For more information, visit

Auto race at Natural Bridge Dragstrip in Natural Bridge, Va.

168 N. Dry Well Rd. Fast and Furious Friday Nite, Bike Night-Dragon Style MC. Racing schedule subject to change. For more information, call 540-291-3724 or visit

Art exhibition in Staunton, Va.

Staunton Augusta Art Center galleries RR Smith Center for History and Art, 20 S. New St. Beyond the Mask, paintings by Janet Dance and Intimate and Infinite, photography by Michele Fletcher. May 19 through June 24 Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Opening Reception on May 19, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Free admission. For more information, call 540-886-8636

Art workshop at Shenandoah Valley Art Center in Waynesboro, Va.

122 South Wayne Ave. Community Craft Circle. Social networking. Every 4th Thursday from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. For all ages. For more information, call 540-949-7662 or visit

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You’ve just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA.
“The daughter of the stars.” is owned and operated by Shenandoah Valley Productions, a little “mom-and-pop” business, but one that’s located right here in the region. Our mission has long been to showcase the area’s visual beauty, unique “Valley” people and culture and, of course, some really, really rich history.

We first fell in love with Virginia in 1970, courtesy of the U.S. Navy, stationed in Norfolk. That was the year Virginia officially declared itself “for lovers.” But for us, the real love affair started in 1977, when we first visited the Shenandoah Valley on our wedding night. We moved here a year later, and well ...we are still here!

So it’s kind of a long story how we got from 1978 to this website, but here it is.

Website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras. Words alone may not really describe the place.

Our regional events listings are always up to date, and we’re not really selling anything on here. In fact, we get no outside funding, but are wholly independent. Like many of our friends and neighbors who also feel blessed to live here, free and independent, surrounded by peace and beauty.

Each month we head out to some part of this diverse region and do a feature story and travel video about it -- some cool event, piece of history or special place that makes the name "Shenandoah" so uniquely known worldwide.

So, come and set a spell, and please also consider making a donation. Either way, we’re glad you stopped by. Come on back to see us again!

Oh, and please visit our Facebook page, too.

The Miller-Kite House in Elkton, Virginia

Built in 1827, during the American Civil War it was the headquarters of Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The house is now a museum and is regularly open to the public.

About Hank Zimmerman

Hank Zimmerman owns and operates Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC, publisher of by Hank Zimmerman