Clarke County, Virginia was formed from Frederick County in 1836. Situated at the northern end of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Clarke County can claim a history that is rich with the exploits of the gallant men who saw action there during the American Civil War. It was out of a desire to preserve the record of that period that, in large part, created the impetus for Thomas Gold’s history of the county, originally published in 1914. Clearfield Company is pleased to reissue his History of Clarke County, Virginia-complete with a 28-page index to the volume prepared in 1962 by Patsy White.
About a third of Mr. Gold’s account deals with the general history of the county, with the balance devoted to the Civil War. In the first instance, Mr. Gold ranges over such topics as early settlers, county formation, the origin of towns like Berryville, Millwood, and White Post, the history of religious denominations, county officials, slavery in Clarke County, and so on. Starting with an essay on the formation of the county militia, the author provides an overview of the various troop movements throughout the county during the war, particularly those under the command of Confederate General Jubal Early and, after the county’s occupation by the North, Union General Philip Sheridan, The remainder of the volume examines the roles of Clarke County natives in the conflict. So, for example, we are shown rosters of the volunteer regiments the Clarke Rifles, Nelson Rifles, and the Clarke Calvary, giving name, date of enlistment, and, sometimes, battles fought in or date discharged, wounded or imprisoned. Other chapters list or discuss the service of Clarke countians who served in other theatres of the conflict. Finally, researchers looking for Clarke County forebears in Gold’s history have only to consult the comprehensive index originally published by the Virginia Book Company in 1962.