“The Burning” was the period in 1864, where the Union was committed to burning the farms, mills and other buildings associated with the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy” in order to weaken General Robert Edward Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. On October 4th, 1864, the ninth day of the burning, Union troops attempted to burn down Abigail Lincoln’s home. Abigail told the troops that she was the cousin of the President, and the troops refrained from their order to destroy her home.
That day many women and children, living within Dayton, pleaded with Union Lieutenant Colonel Thomas F. Wildes to not burn down their down. Lieutenant Colonel Wildes defied General Philip Henry Sheridan’s burn order, with the risk of a court m-martial. General Sheridan, after hearing his subordinate’s concerns, rescinded the burn order.
Next to a World War I cannon, in downtown Dayton, is a plague dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas F. Wildes.
Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather, Abraham “Linkhorn” Lincoln, lived at the farm until his friend Daniel Boone convinced him to move to Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln served as a captain during the American Revolution. In May of 1786, Abraham “Linkhorn” Lincoln was working by his cabin, near Eastwood, Kentucky, and was shot dead by a Native American. Abraham “Linkhorn” Lincoln was buried near the grounds of his cabin, which is located within the present day Long Run Baptist Church and Cemetery.
While Captain Abraham “Linkhorn” Lincoln, and some of his decendants were buried in Kentucky, some relatives of President Abraham Lincoln are buried in a gravesite, surrounded by an iron dense, near the home that the former President’s great-uncle, Captain Jacob Lincoln, built.
The Lincoln Family Cemetery was restored by the Massanutten Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, and the Blue Ridge and the Illinois chapters of the National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America.
The Libera House is the site where Confederate President Jefferson Davis watched the First Battle of Bull Run. A year later President Abraham Lincoln visited the same home to discuss the war efforts.