AMERICAN CIVIL WAR IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY HISTORY
|List of Civil War Battles in the Shenandoah Valley
|Civil War Shenandoah Valley Virginia Map
The Crossroads of Our Being
Into little more than four years, from April 1861 to June 1865, were
compressed the passions, the violence, the hopes, and the agonies of generations. More than 600,000 American soldiers of North
and South died of battle or disease. Nearly 300,000 others were scarred by shot and shell but lived to return home at war's
end, to begin their lives anew in a country now indissolubly united. The American Civil War, in the words of historian Shelby
Foote, ``was the crossroads of our being.'' Former Poet Laureate of the United States Robert Penn Warren once wrote:
The Civil War is, for the
American imagination, the great single event of our history. Without too much wrenching, it may, in fact, be said to be American
history. Before the Civil War we had no history in the deepest and most inward sense. There was, of course, the noble vision
of the Founding Fathers articulated in the Declaration and the Constitution--the dream of freedom incarnated in a more perfect
the Revolution did not create a nation except on paper; and too often in the following years the vision of the Founding Fathers,
which men had suffered and died to validate, became merely a daydream of easy and automatic victories, a vulgar delusion of
manifest destiny, a conviction of a people divinely chosen to live on milk and honey at small expense. The vision had not
been finally submitted to the test of history. There was little awareness of the cost of having a history. The anguished scrutiny
of the meaning of the vision in experience had not become a national reality. It became a reality, and we became a nation,
only with the Civil War. The Civil War is our only ``felt'' history--history lived in the national imagination. This is not
to say that the War is always, and by all men, felt in the same way. Quite the contrary. But this fact is an index to the
very complexity, depth, and fundamental significance of the event. It is an overwhelming and vital image of human and national
Fully one-third of the recorded events of armed conflict of the Civil
War occurred in Virginia, where the proximity of Washington,
D.C., and Richmond--capitals
of the opposed camps--spurred campaign after campaign. The passing of the armies in Virginia
left an indelible impression upon the American cultural landscape, endowing posterity with the resonance of such names as
Manassas and Bull Run, Malvern Hill, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg,
Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg--and others less well rehearsed--Seven Pines,
Gaines' Mill, Cedar Run, Chantilly, North Anna, and Yellow Tavern.
Few places associated with the Civil War in Virginia
evoke more recognition or response among students of the time than the Shenandoah Valley, where a Southern
VMI professor-turned-general named Thomas J. Jackson defeated three Northern armies in a single month. The battles
of Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862 are known to students of the war, not only in the United States, but across the world. General Norman Schwarzkopf
recently credited Jackson's campaign in a televised interview as one of the guiding lights
behind his strategy in the Middle East. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the ``Desert Fox,'' is
said to have been well versed in Stonewall's maxims, and an apocryphal story has Rommel visiting the Valley and following
in Jackson's footsteps. To this day, the U.S. Army regularly
conducts ``staff rides'' in the Valley for its officers, following the course of Jackson's
famed ``Foot Cavalry.''
Less romantic, less well known than the 1862 campaign, but no less significant,
were the events of the war's later years as the North tried to exorcise the ghost of Jackson and gain control of the Shenandoah
Valley, Virginia's most important agricultural region. The war acquired a dark and desperate edge. In October 1864, Union
general Philip Sheridan introduced total warfare to the Valley, a concept that Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman introduced
in Mississippi and would bring to Georgia
in November and December, during his ``March to the Sea.'' In Sheridan's words: ``I have destroyed over 2,000 barns, filled
with wheat, hay, and farming implements; over 70 mills, filled with flour and wheat.... When this is completed, the Valley
from Winchester up to Staunton,
ninety-two miles, will have but little in it for man or beast.'' This bitter month became known to Valley residents as ``The
Few regions in the United
States have experienced the horrors of systematic destruction, and the memories are still
close to the surface for many long-time Valley residents. Family histories are filled with stories that relate to the hardships
of that time. It took a generation to repair the ravages of ``The Burning'' and another generation before life in the Valley
returned to its pre-war condition. There can be found there today a fierce pride in ancestors who survived the war and who
struggled to rebuild all that was lost.
Official chronologies record 326 incidents of armed conflict in the
Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War: 6 battles, 21 engagements, 21 actions, and 278 skirmishes,
on the average one conflict every 4-5 days. This reckoning does not include many of the raids, ambushes, and partisan affairs
that made warfare in the Valley a daily dance with death. More than half of the recorded armed conflicts occurred in the final
year of the war. Map 6 shows how these events plot out in terms of frequency with the reddest areas showing most frequent
fighting and the bluest areas showing least frequent fighting.
The total numbers of killed and wounded in these conflicts has never
been tallied, nor do the records exist to allow it. Thousands more died in hospitals of disease than in battle. The Confederate
and National cemeteries at Winchester alone account for nearly
7,500 dead, and it is difficult to locate a city or private cemetery in the Valley that does not comment silently on the commitment
and valor of the Valley's soldiers. The history of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley
bears witness to the devastation and waste of warfare, but more importantly, it underscores the irrepressible human will to
survive, to rebuild, to carry on. These lessons will continue to have relevance for generations to come. The historic events
and the human players of the Valley--the heroic and the tragic alike--have contributed significantly to the texture of our
American cultural heritage.
|Shenandoah Valley Campaign History
|Shenandoah Valley and the Civil War
Geography and Strategic Importance of the
The Shenandoah Valley is that portion of the Great Valley of Virginia that is drained
by the Shenandoah River and its affluents. The Valley
extends on a southwest to northeast bearing, from its headwaters north of Lexington to the
Potomac River, a distance of about 140 miles. For convenience, the Valley can be said to
extend from Lexington to the Potomac River, although the watershed in the immediate vicinity
of Lexington drains south to the James River.
The Shenandoah Valley is bounded on the northwest by North
Mountain, the first range of the Allegheny Mountains, and on the southeast by the
Blue Ridge, which separates the Valley from the Piedmont region and coastal plain of eastern Virginia. The distance from Washington to the Blue Ridge
at Snickers Gap is about fifty-five miles; from Richmond to the Blue Ridge
is about a hundred. At its widest, the Valley is nearly twenty-five miles across. North of the Potomac River, the Valley continues
into Maryland and Pennsylvania with a similar configuration,
but there it is called the Cumberland Valley,
and the Blue Ridge is named South Mountain.
The Shenandoah Valley encompasses two counties in West Virginia:
Berkeley and Jefferson; and seven counties in Virginia: Frederick,
Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Rockingham, and Augusta.
Highland County has been included in the
study region because of its intimate association with Jackson's 1862 Campaign, even though
it is beyond North Mountain.
Berkeley, Jefferson, Frederick, Clarke, and Warren counties are referred to as the Lower (downstream)
Valley; while the counties south of Strasburg are called the Upper
The Shenandoah Valley's unique feature is Massanutten
Mountain, a complex ridge that extends for some fifty miles through its middle, from
Strasburg southwest to Harrisonburg. Throughout its length,
the Massanutten divides the Valley into two smaller valleys, the main or Strasburg
Valley, which is drained by the North Fork
Shenandoah River, and the narrower Page
or Luray Valley, drained by the South Fork Shenandoah
River. Just south of Strasburg, the main Valley is only about five miles
across, while on the far side of the Massanutten, the Luray Valley
funnels down to a width of less than a mile and a half at the town of Overall (antebellum Milford).
Streams and Rivers
From the general vicinity of Lexington, a series of
small streams flows northerly; these combine to form the South River near Waynesboro, the Middle
River near Staunton, and the North River near Bridgewater.
The North and Middle rivers conjoin west of Grottoes, and the South River merges a few miles downstream at Port Republic to form the South Fork Shenandoah
Republic marked the upstream limit for seasonal navigation of the river,
hence its name. The South Fork flows down the Luray or Page
Valley to Front Royal.
The North Fork Shenandoah
River arises from the many small streams that spring from Shenandoah and North Mountain west
and south of Timberville. The river's largest tributary--Smith Creek--joins near Rude's Hill at Mt. Jackson. Two other important tributaries
join farther downstream--Stony Creek at Edinburg and Narrow Passage Creek near Woodstock. From here the river meanders northeast through a series of incised meanders, known
as ``Seven Bends.'' At Strasburg, the North Fork turns abruptly east across the head of the
Massanutten, where it is joined by Cedar Creek. At Front Royal the North and South forks conjoin, forming the Shenandoah River proper, now several hundred
yards wide. From Front Royal, the Shenandoah flows steadily to the northeast along the flank of the Blue Ridge to empty into
the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry. At the time of the Civil War, locks on the Potomac River
allowed access to the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal,
which carried canal boat traffic to Georgetown.
For the last forty miles of its journey to the Potomac, the Shenandoah
River is paralleled on the west by a meandering, high- banked stream called Opequon
Creek, or simply the Opequon (Oh- PECK-n) which arises in the vicinity of Winchester and drains
the western portion of the Lower Valley,
emptying into the Potomac River.
|Shenandoah Valley Civil War Map of Battles
|Shenandoah Valley Civil War Map of Battles
Valley Turnpikes, Roads, and Gaps
The Valley Map of cartographer Jedediah Hotchkiss (produced 1862- 1863)
reveals an intricate web of turnpikes and farm roads within the Valley, reflecting its densely settled agricultural character
at the time of the Civil War. In most places, the modern network of State and county roads is congruent with the historic
network. The primary historic Valley highways and roads are in use today.
The major northeast-southwest thoroughfare of the Shenandoah Valley
at the time of the Civil War was the Valley Turnpike, which extended from the Potomac River at Williamsport via Martinsburg,
Winchester, Middletown, Strasburg, New Market, Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Fairfield to Lexington. This road is one of the
oldest and most historic transportation routes in America. In prehistoric times, Indians
followed buffalo herds along its route. Later it was referred to as the Warrior Trace. The first settlers entered the Valley
from Maryland, crossed the Potomac River at Williamsport,
Shepherdstown, and Harpers Ferry, and followed the road south. In the 18th century, it was
part of the Great Wagon Road, which ran from Philadelphia to the back country of the Carolinas and the Cumberland Gap.
When it was incorporated as the Valley Turnpike (a toll road) in the 19th century, it had already contributed mightily to
the settlement of the American frontier. In the 20th century, first US 11 and then I-81 were laid out to follow its course.
In the 19th century, the Valley Turnpike was part of a fledgling State
transportation network of turnpikes, local roads, railroads, and canals. It boasted a macadamized surface that enabled travel
in wet weather. The army that controlled this road had the advantage of being able to move swiftly up or down the Valley,
while its enemies bogged down on the muddy side roads. Not surprisingly, most of the Shenandoah Valley's
battles and smaller engagements were fought somewhere along the Valley Turnpike. Two dirt roads ran parallel with the Turnpike
for most of the distance between Winchester and Staunton,
and these roads were used extensively in conjunction with troop movements along the Turnpike. The Back Road, which skirted the flank of Little North Mountain, was known for years as the
Cattle Road after the herds that were once driven
north along its route to market. The Middle Road traced
a meandering course between the Back Road and the
Valley Turnpike. These routes today are followed by paved county roads.
The placement of the major east-west routes through the Valley depended
on the location of gaps through the Blue Ridge on the east and through the Alleghenies on
the west. The Blue Ridge gaps were low and relatively numerous, while only a few natural gaps in the North Mountain of the
Alleghenies allowed settlers to penetrate farther into the interior. Roads were built through these gaps to carry traffic
into West Virginia and to the Ohio River. The modern road
network utilizes many of these natural gaps.
Winchester was a vital transportation
hub in the Lower Valley.
Including the Valley Turnpike (sometimes known as the Martinsburg Turnpike north of town), nine important roads or turnpikes
radiated from the city. North of town, the Old Charles Town Road
(rte. 761) diverged from the Valley Turnpike at Stephenson's Depot, leading to Harpers Ferry
via Summit Point and Charles Town. The ``Berryville'' turnpike (modern VA 7 east) led through Snicker's Gap to Bluemont (antebellum
Snickersville) where branches continued to the seaport of Alexandria via Leesburg (Leesburg and Snicker's Gap Turnpike, Leesburg
and Alexandria Turnpike) and through Aldie (Snicker's Gap Turnpike) to Fairfax Courthouse on the Little River Turnpike. From
Winchester, the Winchester and Berry's
Ferry Turnpike (US 50 east) ran southeast
through Ashby's Gap. The Front Royal and Gaines's Crossroads Turnpike (US
522 south) led south to the town of Front Royal. Middle Road
(rte. 628) led south to Strasburg and Cedar Creek Grade or Cedar Creek Turnpike (rte. 622) led southwest to Cedar Creek Gap.
The North Western Turnpike (US 50 west)
left the Valley by Petticoat Gap on its way to Romney. Just beyond the gap, the Hardy and Winchester Turnpike (rte. 608 south)
diverged southwest to Moorefield in Hardy County
via Wardensville. The North Frederick Turnpike (US 522 north) led west
and north to Hancock, Maryland.
Because of its strategic location in the Lower
changed hands an estimated 72 times during the war, as the armies repeatedly advanced and receded. Five major battles (three
at Winchester, two at Kernstown) and many smaller engagements (including Rutherford's
Farm and Abrams Creek) were fought in the vicinity.
Front Royal, situated at the confluence of the North and South forks
of the Shenandoah River
at the head of the Massanutten, was a second important transportation node. In addition to the turnpikes leading north to
Winchester and Berryville, roads ran west to intersect the Valley Turnpike at Strasburg (VA 55 west), east through Manassas
Gap to join the Warrenton Turnpike at Gainesville (VA 55 east), and southeast through Chester Gap to Massie's Corner (US 522
south). The Luray and Front Royal Turnpike (US 340) led southwest through
along the course of the South Fork to Luray.
From Luray, the New Market and Sperryville Turnpike (US 211 east) crossed Thornton's
Gap to Sperryville, where roads branched northeast to Warrenton and southeast to Culpeper Courthouse. Heading west from Luray,
the turnpike crossed Massanutten Mountain
to New Market, from where it continued (VA 211 and 259) to Brock's Gap in Little North Mountain. The Luray Road (US 340) continued south
to Waynesboro via Shenandoah, Elkton, and Port
Harrisonburg, situated on the Valley
Turnpike near the base of Massanutten Mountain,
was an important crossroads. The Swift Run Gap Turnpike (US
33 east) passed along the base of the Massanutten via Elkton over Swift Run Gap to Gordonsville. From Harrisonburg,
a road (US 33 west) led into the Alleghenies through Dry River Gap to Franklin, West Virginia. The Warm Springs
Turnpike (VA 42) led southwest into Bath County.
An important Blue Ridge crossing in this area, which led from Port Republic through Brown's Gap (rte. 663) to Charlottesville,
no longer carries modern traffic.
From Harrisonburg, the Valley Turnpike
(US 11 south) continued to Staunton where
it intersected the major east-west thoroughfare of the Upper
Road'' (US 250). This road actually comprised three turnpikes on its course from central Virginia to Parkersburg, West
Virginia. From Charlottesville, the Rivanna and Rockfish Gap Turnpike
led to the gap where it entered the Staunton and Scottsville
Turnpike, leading to the city. From Staunton west, the Staunton
and Parkersburg Turnpike passed through Buffalo Gap to reach Parkersburg via McDowell and Monterey. Staunton's location at the
intersections of the Valley Turnpike, the Parkersburg Road,
and the Virginia Central Railroad, made it the most vital transportation center of the Upper Valley. It was an important supply and
staging area for Confederate armies operating in the Valley until the summer and fall of 1864, when it was repeatedly ravaged
by Union forces.
Deserving notice are several other Blue Ridge
gaps, which are sometimes mentioned in historic accounts. Seven miles south of Harpers Ferry is Keyes Gap, crossed by VA 9
from Charles Town into Loudoun County.
Six miles farther south is Gregory's or Wilson Gap, which is no longer in use. Between Chester Gap and Thornton's Gap above Luray, were two minor gaps, which are not in use today--Gravelly Spring
and Beham's gaps. East of Waynesboro near Rockfish Gap is a cluster of little-used gaps--Turk's, Jarman's, and Beagle. Farther
south are Howardsville Gap, Reed's Gap (rte. 664), and Indian or White's Gap (US
60 east), which carries the road from Lexington and eventually to Richmond.
Of these many gaps, Snickers, Ashby's,
Manassas, Chester, Swift Run, Brown's, Thornton's, and Rockfish gaps are most often mentioned in Civil War literature.
|American Civil War Railroads
|US Civil War Railroad Map
Crucial for understanding military operations in the Shenandoah Valley were the
railroads. By 1860, about 1,600 miles of railroads had been built in Virginia.
The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O), Winchester & Potomac (W&P), and Manassas Gap railroads traversed the Lower Valley; while the Virginia Central served the Upper Valley. The
most important of these railroads in terms of volume of traffic was the B&O Railroad, which ran from Baltimore
to Wheeling, West Virginia, via Harpers
Ferry, Martinsburg, and Grafton. The B&O served as a major east-west transportation artery for the North and
remained in Federal hands on-and-off for most of the war.
As a vital rail, river, and canal junction, Harpers
Ferry was occupied by the Confederacy early in the war and later served as Union general Philip H. Sheridan's
principal base of operations for his 1864 campaign. The Confederates raided the B&O throughout the war at Harper's Ferry,
Duffield's Depot, Martinsburg, and elsewhere. The B&O was severed repeatedly, but the North's ability to repair damage
and keep the trains running outstripped the South's ability to disrupt the railroad. When West Virginia
was admitted into the Union in 1863, the West Virginia Panhandle (Jefferson, Berkeley, and
Morgan counties) was added to the new State in a bid to maintain control of the B&O Railroad, even though most of the
citizens of those counties supported the Southern cause.
The W&P Railroad ran from Winchester
to Harpers Ferry via Charles Town, a distance of 32 miles. Farther south, the Manassas Gap
Railroad ran 78 miles from near Mt. Jackson
via Strasburg, Front Royal, and Manassas Gap to Manassas Junction where it joined the Orange & Alexandria Railroad (O&A).
Before the war, these railroads carried the produce of the Lower
Valley to the markets of Baltimore and Washington. By 1862, both the
W&P and the Manassas Gap had been thoroughly dismantled. The Union army made some attempt to repair these railroads in
1864 but abandoned the effort because of the activities of Col. John S. Mosby and his partisan rangers.
Serving the Upper Valley, the Virginia Central Railroad ran more than 195 miles from Jackson's
River Depot near Covington to Richmond--via Buffalo Gap to Staunton and via Rockfish Gap Tunnel to Charlottesville
and beyond. Between Charlottesville and Gordonsville, the Virginia Central used the same tracks
as the O&A, enabling connections to Lynchburg and points south, or Culpeper, Manassas, and Alexandria to the north.
From Gordonsville, the Virginia Central continued east via Hanover Junction to Richmond.
This railroad carried vital supplies from the Valley to the Confederate capital (with disruptions) well into 1864.
Although not geographically part of the Shenandoah Valley, Lynchburg served as a major rail and canal center, supply depot, and
hospital complex for the Confederacy. Produce from the Upper Valley
could be shipped there by road or stream and thence to Richmond on the James
River Canal, the Southside Railroad, or the O&A Railroad via
Charlottesville and Gordonsville. The Southside Railroad linked
Richmond with the western Confederacy through its connections
with the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad. The Southside Railroad continued to supply Richmond,
with interruptions from Federal raiders, until the Battle of Five Forks (1 April 1865).
Overview of Military Strategy in the Shenandoah Valley
Throughout the Civil War, Confederate armies used the Shenandoah
Valley as a natural corridor to invade or threaten invasion of the North. Because of its southwest-northeast orientation,
Confederate armies marching down the Valley approached Washington and Baltimore, while Union armies marching up the Valley
moved farther away from Richmond. The Blue
Ridge served as a natural screen for the movement of troops. By defending the gaps with cavalry, Confederate armies
could move swiftly north behind the protective wall of the Blue Ridge into Maryland and Pennsylvania; General Robert E. Lee did this in the Gettysburg Campaign
in 1863, as did Jubal Early in 1864. The Blue Ridge offered similar protection to Lee's army during its retreats from Antietam
When the need arose, Confederate defenders could hold the gaps in reverse
against a Union army operating in the Valley. By withdrawing to the Blue Ridge near Brown's Gap to protect Charlottesville
and eastern Virginia, the Confederates could threaten the flank and rear of any Union forces
intent on penetrating the Upper Valley.
The western gaps in the Allegheny chain were defended by Confederates against sporadic Union feints and incursions from West Virginia.
On the whole, Confederate armies succeeded in preventing deep Union
penetration of the Upper Valley
until late in the war, and Valley geography cooperated with the defense. Where the Massanutten
Mountain rises abruptly between Front Royal and Strasburg, the width
of the Valley is greatly decreased. With strong infantry at Fisher's Hill in the main valley south of Strasburg and cavalry
at Overall (antebellum Milford) in the Luray Valley, a Confederate general could effectively hold the Upper
Valley against a numerically superior enemy. Fisher's Hill astride the
Valley Turnpike was an important strategic ``choke point'' throughout the war.
If Confederate generals chose to withdraw up the Valley Turnpike from
Fisher's Hill, any pursuing Union general was forced to split his forces at the Massanutten
in order to cover an advance up both the main and the Luray valleys. Once divided, he could not again reunite his forces for
more than fifty miles because of the intervening mountain. Only a single rough road crossed the Massanutten--running from
New Market to Luray through the New Market Gap.
Thomas Jonathon “Stonewall” Jackson
used Massanutten Mountain
to screen his offensive movements in the 1862 Valley Campaign. Crossing from New Market to the Luray
Valley in May, he advanced on Front Royal and then on Winchester, forcing the Union army, then at Strasburg, into abrupt withdrawal. Later in the
campaign, he prevented two Union columns advancing against him up the main and Luray valleys from reuniting and defeated each
separately in the climax of his campaign at the battles of Cross Keys and Port
The Shenandoah Valley was referred
to as the ``Granary of Virginia.'' It was the richest agricultural region in Virginia,
and its abundance supplied the Confederate cause. Because a large number of the inhabitants of Frederick, Shenandoah, Rockingham,
and Augusta counties were pacifist Quakers or Dunkers who refused to fight in the war, the
Valley continued to produce horses, grains, and livestock even after other portions of Virginia
were made barren by the flight of slaves or the enlistment and conscription of the farmers. As the war continued, the City
of Richmond and the Army of Northern Virginia, pinned down in the trenches at Richmond
and Petersburg, came to depend more heavily on produce shipped
from the Valley on the Virginia Central Railroad. Capturing the supply depot of Staunton
and severing this railroad became a major objective of the Union armies in 1864.
As the war progressed, Lynchburg,
too, became an important objective of Union campaigns in the Valley. In 1864, several expeditions--up the Valley from Winchester, and north from Bulls Gap, Tennessee--were devised to capture
Lynchburg, but the city remained in Confederate hands until
the end of the war.
For the Union, defending the vulnerable B&O Railroad and the line
of the Potomac River were essential considerations for any operations in the Shenandoah Valley.
Because of implicit threats against Washington, a small
Confederate army in the Valley could pin down three to five times its number in Union defenders, threaten vital Union transportation
and communication lines, and carry the war to the North, if opportunity presented itself.
As the war dragged on, the Shenandoah
Valley increased in importance to the Southern cause, and correspondingly it became more urgent that the Northern
armies succeed there after dramatic failures in 1862, 1863, and May 1864. Ultimately, the Northern army was forced to lay
waste to the agricultural abundance of the Valley in order to destroy support for the Southern war effort.
(See sources and related reading below.)
Sources: National Park Service; National Archives; Library of Congress; Official Records of the Union and
Reading: Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, by Peter Cozzens (Civil War America)
(Hardcover). Description: In the spring of 1862, Federal troops under the command of General George B. McClellan launched
what was to be a coordinated, two-pronged attack on Richmond
in the hope of taking the Confederate capital and bringing a quick end to the Civil War. The Confederate high command tasked
Stonewall Jackson with diverting critical Union resources from this drive, a mission Jackson fulfilled by repeatedly defeating
much larger enemy forces. His victories elevated him to near iconic status in both the North and the South and signaled a
long war ahead. One of the most intriguing and storied episodes of the Civil War, the Valley Campaign has heretofore only
been related from the Confederate point of view. Continued below…
1862, Peter Cozzens dramatically and conclusively corrects this shortcoming, giving equal attention to both Union and Confederate perspectives. Based on a multitude of primary sources, Cozzens's groundbreaking
work offers new interpretations of the campaign and the reasons for Jackson's success. Cozzens also demonstrates instances in which the
mythology that has come to shroud the campaign has masked errors on Jackson's part. In addition, Shenandoah 1862 provides the first detailed
appraisal of Union leadership in the Valley Campaign, with some surprising conclusions. Moving seamlessly between tactical
details and analysis of strategic significance, Cozzens presents the first balanced, comprehensive account of a campaign that
has long been romanticized but never fully understood. Includes 13 illustrations and 13 maps. About the Author: Peter Cozzens
is an independent scholar and Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State. He is author or editor of nine highly
acclaimed Civil War books, including The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka and Corinth
(from the University
of North Carolina Press).
The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 (McFarland & Company). Description: A significant part of the Civil War was fought in the Shenandoah
Valley of Virginia, especially in 1864. Books and articles have been written about the fighting that took place there, but
they generally cover only a small period of time and focus on a particular battle or campaign. Continued below.
This work covers
the entire year of 1864 so that readers can clearly see how one event led to another in the Shenandoah Valley and turned once-peaceful
garden spots into gory battlefields. It tells the stories of the great leaders, ordinary men, innocent civilians, and armies
large and small taking part in battles at New Market, Chambersburg, Winchester, Fisher’s
Hill and Cedar Creek, but it primarily tells the stories of the soldiers, Union and Confederate,
who were willing to risk their lives for their beliefs. The author has made extensive use of memoirs, letters and reports
written by the soldiers of both sides who fought in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864.
Reading: From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign
of 1864. Amazon.com Review: Virginia's Shenandoah Valley was a crucial avenue for Confederate armies
intending to invade Northern states during the Civil War. Running southwest to northeast, it "pointed, like a giant's lance,
at the Union's heart, Washington, D.C.,"
writes Jeffry Wert. It was also "the granary of the Confederacy," supplying the food for much of Virginia. Both sides long understood its strategic importance, but not until the fall of
1864 did Union troops led by Napoleon-sized cavalry General Phil Sheridan (5'3", 120 lbs.) finally seize it for good. He defeated
Confederate General Jubal Early at four key battles that autumn. Continued below…
to a narrative of the campaign (featuring dozens of characters, including General George Custer and future president Rutherford
B. Hayes), this book is a study of command. Both Sheridan and Early were capable military leaders, though
each had flaws. Sheridan tended to make mistakes before battles,
Early during them. Wert considers Early the better general, but admits that few could match the real-time decision-making
and leadership skills of Sheridan once the bullets started
flying: "When Little Phil rode onto the battlefield, he entered his element." Early was a bold fighter, but lacked the skills
necessary to make up for his disadvantage in manpower. At Cedar Creek, the climactic battle of the 1864 Shenandoah campaign,
Early "executed a masterful offensive against a numerically superior opponent, only to watch it result in ruin." With more
Confederate troops on the scene, history might have been different. Wert relates the facts of what actually happened with
his customary clarity and insightful analysis.
Reading: Stonewall in the Valley: Thomas J.
Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign, Spring 1862. Description: The Valley Campaign conducted by Maj. Gen. Thomas
J. "Stonewall" Jackson has long fascinated those interested in the American Civil War as well as general students of military
history, all of whom still question exactly what Jackson
did in the Shenandoah in 1862 and how he did it. Since Robert G. Tanner answered many questions in the first edition of Stonewall
in the Valley in 1976, he has continued to research the campaign. This edition offers new insights on the most significant
moments of Stonewall's Shenandoah triumph. Continued below…
About the Author:
Robert G. Tanner is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. Tanner is a native of Southern California, he now lives
and practices law in Atlanta, Georgia. He has studied
and lectured on the Shenandoah Valley Campaign for more than twenty-five years.
Reading: Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at Front Royal and Winchester (Campaigns and
Commanders) (Hardcover). Description: The battles of Front Royal and Winchester are the stuff of Civil War legend. Stonewall Jackson swept
away an isolated Union division under the command of Nathaniel Banks and made his presence in the northern Shenandoah Valley so frightful a prospect that it triggered an overreaction from President
Lincoln, yielding huge benefits for the Confederacy. Continued below…
has undertaken a comprehensive reassessment of those battles to show their influence on both war strategy and the continuation
of the conflict. Three Days in the Shenandoah answers questions that have perplexed historians for generations. About the
Author: Gary Ecelbarger, an independent scholar, is the author of Black Jack Logan: An Extraordinary Life in Peace and War
and "We Are in for It!": The First Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862.
Reading: Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign. Description: Jubal A. Early’s disastrous battles in the Shenandoah Valley
ultimately resulted in his ignominious dismissal. But Early’s lesser-known summer campaign of 1864, between his raid
on Washington and Phil Sheridan’s renowned fall campaign, had a significant impact on the political and military landscape
of the time. By focusing on military tactics and battle history in uncovering the facts and events of these little-understood
battles, Scott C. Patchan offers a new perspective on Early’s contributions to the Confederate war effort—and
to Union battle plans and politicking. Patchan details the previously unexplored battles at Rutherford’s Farm and Kernstown
(a pinnacle of Confederate operations in the Shenandoah Valley) and examines the campaign’s
influence on President Lincoln’s reelection efforts. Continued below…
He also provides
insights into the personalities, careers, and roles in Shenandoah of Confederate General John C. Breckinridge, Union general
George Crook, and Union colonel James A. Mulligan, with his “fighting Irish” brigade from Chicago.
Finally, Patchan reconsiders the ever-colorful and controversial Early himself, whose importance in the Confederate military
pantheon this book at last makes clear. About the Author: Scott C. Patchan, a Civil War battlefield guide and historian, is
the author of Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont, Virginia, and a consultant and contributing writer for Shenandoah, 1862.
descriptions of the battles are very detailed, full or regimental level actions, and individual incidents. He bases the accounts
on commendable research in manuscript collections, newspapers, published memoirs and regimental histories, and secondary works.
The words of the participants, quoted often by the author, give the narrative an immediacy. . . . A very creditable account
of a neglected period."-Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War News (Jeffry D. Wert Civil War News 20070914)
Summer] contains excellent diagrams and maps of every battle and is recommended reading for those who have a passion for books
on the Civil War."-Waterline (Waterline 20070831)
is interesting and readable, with chapters of a digestible length covering many of the battles of the campaign."-Curled Up
With a Good Book (Curled Up With a Good Book 20060815)
Summer provides readers with detailed combat action, colorful character portrayals, and sound strategic analysis. Patchan''s
book succeeds in reminding readers that there is still plenty to write about when it comes to the American Civil War."-John
Deppen, Blue & Grey Magazine (John Deppen Blue & Grey Magazine 20060508)
"Scott C. Patchan
has solidified his position as the leading authority of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign with his outstanding campaign
study, Shenandoah Summer. Mr. Patchan not only unearths this vital portion of the campaign, he has brought it back to life
with a crisp and suspenseful narrative. His impeccable scholarship, confident analyses, spellbinding battle scenes, and wonderful
character portraits will captivate even the most demanding readers. Shenandoah Summer is a must read for the Civil War aficionado
as well as for students and scholars of American military history."-Gary Ecelbarger, author of "We Are in for It!": The First
Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862 (Gary Ecelbarger 20060903)
has given us a definitive account of the 1864 Valley Campaign. In clear prose and vivid detail, he weaves a spellbinding narrative
that bristles with detail but never loses sight of the big picture. This is a campaign narrative of the first order."-Gordon
C. Rhea, author of The Battle of the Wilderness: May 5-6, 1864 (Gordon C. Rhea )
is a `boots-on-the-ground' historian, who works not just in archives but also in the sun and the rain and tall grass. Patchan's
mastery of the topography and the battlefields of the Valley is what sets him apart and, together with his deep research,
gives his analysis of the campaign an unimpeachable authority."-William J. Miller, author of Mapping for Stonewall and Great
Maps of the Civil War (William J. Miller)
the Search Engine for Related Studies: American Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley battle history picture, List
of Civil War battles in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign flag, battlefield map maps photograph, the campaigns of the valley
results summary details facts total killed wound Confederate Union army soldiers