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

Ah, April! Certainly every month is unique in its own way, but April! It‘s one of our favorite months in the Shenandoah Valley. There‘s new energy. More and more great reasons to be outdoors. The outdoor festivals and concerts are cranking up and the backroads beckon. April means longer days, warmer temperatures and nature always looking so much greener than at any other time of the year.

  Happening today

Civil War history program in Harrisonburg, Va.

Annual Confederate Memorial Day. Memorial service in the Confederate section of Woodbine Cemetery. Historical lecture at 7 p.m., Rockingham County Administration building, Stephen Lee Ritchie: titled Brocks Gap Rifle Company. Hosted by Col. D.H. Lee Martz Camp 10 - Sons of Confederate Veterans. Open to the public. For more information, call 540-879-2465

Art exhibition in Winchester, Va.

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St. Tones of a New Day: Works of Radford Wine. Glen Burnie House Drawing Room. Runs through Dec. 31. For more information, call 1-888-556-5799 or visit


Traditional music concert at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. Nashville father-son duo, Tim and Myles Thompson. For more information, visit

Film screening at Shenandoah University

Room 102 of the Bowman Building, 20 S. Cameron St. America`s Diplomats: A Front Line Preserving U.S. Interests Abroad. Documentary. Discussion follows from 8- 8:30 p.m. led by former Foreign Service Officer Mark Lore and former Spanish Ambassador to the U.S., Jaime de Ojeda. Hosted by Center for Lifelong Learning. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-665-5442 or 540-678-0963 or visit

Click here to see more things to do...


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.

Shenandoah Valley storm, from Bears Den in Clarke County, Virginia

Bears Den is a hiking resort owned by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, looking out over the Valley from the East

About William I. Spinrad, Jr - Land Matters Photography

William I. Spinrad, Jr. resides in Frederick County, Va. and is a former Park Ranger with the National Park Service, as well as a Land Resources Officer. He has a degree in Geology and working towards a Masters in Recreation Resources Management. He works part time as a Visitor Assistant at the Virginia State Arboretum/Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Virginia, and believes in conserving land and natural and cultural resources. Photography is both a hobby and a professional pursuit. Mr. Spinrad owns and operates Land Matters Photography. by William I. Spinrad, Jr - Land Matters Photography