Middletown is located at the southern end of Frederick County, Virginia, at the junction of Interstates 81 and 66. The town's neighbor is the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Each year on the third weekend in October, Middletown, thousands of Civil War reenactors and spectators converge for a living history recreation of the 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek. According to a local legend, Middletown changed hands so many times during teh Civil War that the Union Army agreed not to burn down the historic 1797 Wayside Inn after each retreat because they expected to be coming back. The Inn still stands today and is open to the public.
Belle Grove National Historical Park also is home to Belle Grove Plantation, a limestone mansion built by Major Isaac Hite, Jr. and his wife, Nelly Conway Madison, who was the sister of President James Madison. Belle Grove is the site of a number of seasonal festivals and offers a regular schedule of tours in the 19th century mansion house.
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Annual October reenactment commemorates the 1864 Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek at Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown, Virginia. Photo: Hank Zimmerman