We hope you can join us for our July 11 meeting where Robert H. Moore, II will discuss one of the more unfortunate episodes which occurred at the end of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley.
Meeting time: 7:30 p.m., July 11, 2017
Location: Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia
Topic: The Summers and Koontz Affair
On May 22, 1865, four veterans of the 7th Virginia Cavalry took horses from a Federal cavalry detachment near Woodstock, Virginia. Despite the return of the horses the next day, Federals arrested the former rebels. Two would escape. Capt. George W. Summers and Sgt. I. Newton Koontz, however, were executed without trial on June 27. Thirty years later, Capt. Thomas J. Adams and friends erected the nearby monument to commemorate their deaths.
Many have portrayed Summers and Koontz as simple horse thieves, and the Union officer responsible for their execution as a “cold and cruel Yankee”. Triggered by his many familial connections to the Summers-Koontz incident, he first published an article about it for Blue and Gray, in the early 1990s. Convinced the story was much larger, he embarked on research which resulted in the 2006 publication, Tragedy in the Shenandoah Valley: The Story of the Summers-Koontz Execution, and later into book-length treatment of the subject.
Robert H. Moore, II has written several books, ranging from unit histories for the Virginia Regimental Histories Series, to various titles pertaining to local histories in the central Shenandoah Valley. Additionally, he has published articles for Blue and Gray Magazine, Civil War Times, Ill., and America’s Civil War. He has also maintained “Cenantua’s Blog” since 2008.
In addition to his written works, he previously served on the History Committee for Virginia’s Civil War Trails, and on the Education & Interpretation Committee of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. He spends his free time studying the histories of both the Shenandoah Valley and Cumberland Valley, and considering what his next foray into historical writing might entail.