McNeill’s Rangers/Hill’s Hotel (Massanutten Regional Library)

Capt. John Hanson McNeill’s company of the 18th Virginia Cavalry became a Confederate partisan ranger unit on March 20, 1863. Nineteen days earlier, McNeill auctioned captured “horses and harness” at the courthouse in Harrisonburg for $36,000. On the morning of October 3, 1864, Capt. McNeill was mistakenly wounded by his own men while leading an attack on a Union camp in Shenandoah County. He died of his wounds on November 10 at Hill’s Hotel in Harrisonburg.
Lt. Jesse C. McNeill, the captain’s son, soon took over command of the company. A plan had been developed two years before; Captain Jesse McNeill had heard his father boast about a raid he was going to make into Cumberland, Maryland in order to capture two Federal generals. The prospective victims were generals Benjamin F. Kelley and George Crook.


174 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA 22801