Claire Kinney traveled from the Tidewater in Virginia to the Shenandoah Valley to begin work as a teacher in a small school June 1861.
Claire was a woman determined about everything. The first winter she was stalked by Samuel Hotchkiss, a dangerous man bent on taking her by force. The second summer Ficklin Sheets boarded up the school and held the children inside with a gun. She overcame both the winter and the summer.
Edward Selcer was the man who fixed everything and Claire had her eye on him but he was a drinking man. She decided to turn him in a different direction.
Then Union troops marched into Virginia. Selcer got conscripted for Lee's march to Gettysburg. He was badly wounded there and left behind when Lee came back the Fairfield Road.
Claire was told he was missing, which meant gone. She simply closed the school and said, “I’m going to Gettysburg to bring Edward Selcer back.” She said, “We’ll open the school two weeks from tomorrow.”
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