Storyteller and Guitarist to Interpret Soldiers’ Stories through Verse and Song

Winchester, VA. 3/20/2014…Published Civil War poet Kenneth Postalwait and guitarist Lynn Routzahn will combine music, history, and rhyme to tell the more personal side of the Civil War in a special performance at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) this Saturday, March 22, from 2 to 3 p.m.

According to Rhonda Smith, MSV adult and gallery programs coordinator, the event is being held in remembrance of the 152 anniversary of the Civil War’s First Battle of Kernstown.

From San Antonio, Texas, Kenneth Postalwait has published five illustrated books of Civil War poetry. Titles by Postalwait include Red Hawk: A Civil War Journal, Valentine from a Texan 1861, First Manassas to Fredericksburg, Born Again Rebel, and Return to Gettysburg.  From western Maryland, singer and songwriter Lynn Routzahn has been performing as an acoustic guitar soloist from more than 20 years. He has played in a wide variety of venues ranging from pubs to the White House and performed at events as diverse as weddings and funerals. After meeting in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and realizing their shared interest in the Civil War, the two decided to combine their storytelling and musical skills to record the CD, Red Hawk: A Civil War Journal. Released in 2012, the collaborative album includes 10 original songs that aim to illustrate soldiers’ personal experiences and convey the fears, joys, and other emotions felt by soldiers during the Civil War. Based largely on Postalwait’s poems, the songs tell many personal stories, including those of a grave digger and the story of an unrequited love story between a General and nurse Clara Barton.

Admission to Saturday’s performance is $5 for MSV Members and $10 for all others. The fee includes admission to the Museum galleries. Those planning to attend Saturday afternoon’s performance are encouraged to arrive early; seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for the show will be available at the Visitor Information Desk beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia.  The MSV complex—which includes the Museum, the Glen Burnie House, and six acres of gardens—is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Museum galleries are open year-round; the gardens are open seasonally. The gardens will reopen on April 1 and the house will reopen on June 10, 2014, following a two-year rehabilitation project. Additional information is available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.


Media Background Information: The History of the First Battle of Kernstown 
First Kernstown was fought on March 23, 1862. The battle involved more than 3,000 Confederate and 8,000 Union soldiers and raged over hundreds of acres south of Winchester. It was the first battle in the war’s famous Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. Ultimately lost by Confederate forces, First Kernstown was Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s only tactical defeat of the war. Early stages of the battle were fought on the Pritchard-Grim Farm, now owned by the Kernstown Battlefield Association (KBA). Rose Hill, owned by the MSV, was the scene of the battle’s later phase and final conflict. It was at a stone wall on the Rose Hill property that Confederate troops—under the command of Brig. Gen. Richard Garnett—resisted approaching Federal forces until light began to fail and ammunition began to run out. Garnett retreated, not knowing that his fellow Confederate troops were close to victory at nearby Sandy Ridge. The Rose Hill property is closed for the installation of walking trails and renovations through 2015.