Willow Grove Mill, Burning the Bread Basket, 1864 Valley Campaign
Inscription reads: "On October 2, 1864, elements of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry Division under Col. William H. Powell reached this area near Luray and quickly laid waste to the Willow Grove Mill. Amanda Moore, wife of the mill's owner, later recalled, "We had the Mill, Saw Mill, barn and all the stabling, grainery, corn crib, and everything burnt.The barns were full of wheat and there was also a great deal in the Mill."" In addition to Willow Grove, several other flourmills, barns, sawmills, stables, tanneries, and lumberyards in Page County also fell under the torch within the next 36 hours. These events, and others like them, were part of Gen. Philip Sheridan's infamous "burnings" in the Shenandoah Valley. By the time Powell departed five days later, the county had sustained well over $1 million in damages. By October 24, citizens of Page County petitioned the Confederate Government for relief from conscription stating that there was "just sufficient reason to fear starvation will be the fate of some of our citizens should the call for all men be enforced." Willow Grove Mill & Mundellsville: Prior to the establishment of the town of Luray in 1812, Willow Grove Mill was the focal point of the thriving village of Mundellsville. Powered by an 18-foot overshot water wheel, the mill was a prime example of the quality mills that later earned the Valley the title of the "Bread Basket of the Confederacy." Another superb example of a period mill survived the "burnings" and still stands at Edinburg in Shenandoah County.