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Shenandoah valley,part of the Great Valley of the Appalachians, c.150 mi (240 km) long, N Va., located between the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny mts. The valley is divided into two parts by Massanutten Mt., a ridge c.45 mi (70 km) long and c.3,000 ft (915 m) high. The Shenandoah River, c.150 mi (240 km) long, rises in two forks on either side of the ridge, uniting near Front Royal, Va., and flowing northeast to enter the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, W.Va. The Shenandoah valley was first explored in the early 1700s. The valley was an important corridor in the westward pioneer movement, and it became a rich agricultural area with farm-land, orchards, and pastures. During the Civil War, the valley was the ideal avenue of approach for the Southern invasion of the North, and it served as one of the Confederates' principal storehouses. Shenandoah figured in the "valley campaign" of Stonewall JacksonJackson, Stonewall
(Thomas Jonathan Jackson), 1824–63, Confederate general, b. Clarksburg, Va. (now W.Va.), grad. West Point, 1846. Like a Stone Wall
..... Click the link for more information. in 1862; Lee retreated through the valley after being checked in the Antietam campaign (1862) and the Gettysburg campaign (1863). By early 1865, the valley was completely lost to the South. The principal cities are Winchester, Front Royal, Staunton, and Waynesboro. The many recreational areas include Shenandoah National ParkShenandoah National Park,
198,081 acres (80,195 hectares), N Va., extending 80 mi (129 km) along the crest of the Blue Ridge. Authorized in 1926, it was fully established as a national park in 1935. Skyline Drive, a north-south highway, winds for 105 mi (169 km) through the park.
..... Click the link for more information. , in the surrounding uplands; there also are several notable tourist caverns.