Washington College in, Rockbridge County, Virginia, was a small but lively liberal arts college in the . During the (1861–1865), its students largely supported Virginia’s secession from the Union while its older faculty members, including the Presbyterian clergyman Dr. George Junkin, the father-in-law of future Confederate general , were staunch Unionists. A of infantry formed at the school became part of the . In June 1864, during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, Union general David Hunter entered Lexington and ransacked the college. In an effort to rejuvenate the college following the war, the Board of Trustees hired former Confederate general to serve as college president, which he did until his death in 1870.