Battle of Kernstown

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Second Battle of Kernstown
Civil War Virginia History

Date: 24 July 1864

Campaign: Early's Maryland Campaign, aka Early's Raid and Operations Against the B&O Railroad (June-August 1864)

Principal Commanders: [C] Lt. Gen. Jubal Early; [U] Brig. Gen. George Crook

Forces Engaged: [C] Four infantry divisions (Gordon, Rodes, Ramseur, and Breckinridge/Wharton), four brigades of cavalry, and artillery, totaling about 13,000; [U] Three infantry divisions (Thoburn, Duval, and Mulligan), two cavalry divisions (Averell and Duffi), and three batteries of artillery, numbering about 10,000.

Casualties: [C] unreported, est. 600 (100k/500w); [U] about 1,200 (120k/600w/480m&c)

Map of Virginia Civil War Battles in 1864
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Battle of Kernstown Map
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2nd Battle of Kernstown Map

Significance: In late June and early July 1864, Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early's Confederate army used the strategic Shenandoah Valley corridor to terrorize Maryland, defeat a Union army at Monocacy, and march on Washington, D.C. Only the diversion of reinforcements from the Army of the Potomac, bogged down in the trenches before Petersburg, turned back the invasion. Early returned to the Valley and achieved a decisive victory over George Crook's command at Second Kernstown on 24 July. He subsequently sent cavalry to burn Chambersburg, Pennsylvania on 30 July. These disasters forced Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant to take immediate action to solve the Valley problem. The VI Corps and elements of the XIX Corps were returned to the Valley and united with Crook's corps (called the Army of West Virginia). Additional cavalry units were diverted to the Valley. More importantly, Grant unified the various military districts of the region into the Middle Military District and appointed Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan as overall commander. Sheridan took command of the newly christened Army of the Shenandoah on 7 August at Harpers Ferry. Sheridan's leadership and his strongly reinforced army turned the tide against Confederate power in the Shenandoah Valley.

Rutherford B. Hayes, later president of the United States, commanded a brigade during the battle on the left of the US line. Lt. William McKinley, another future US president, served as Hayes' aide. John C. Breckinridge (cousin to First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln), former senator and vice president of the United States, commanded the Confederate division that confronted Hayes. Meanwhile, Gen. George "Old Blood and Guts" Patton's grandfather, Colonel George S. Patton, served as a brigade commander under Breckinridge. Colonel Patton subsequently died at the Third Battle of Winchester, VA. (See the Pattons.)

Second Battle of Kernstown
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County: Frederick, VA and City of Winchester General Location: US 11 (Valley Pike) and Hoge Run; Old Opequon Church is approximate center of the field; Pritchard's Hill.

Second Battle of Kernstown Civil War Map
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Civil War 2nd Battle of Kernstown Battlefield Map

Description of the Battle

Phase One. Skirmishing at Kernstown (23 July): On the afternoon of 23 July 1864, CS cavalry advanced aggressively down the Valley Pike, driving US cavalry from Newtown (Stephens City) to Kernstown. Brig. Gen. George Crook directed Duval's infantry division to deploy across the pike and clear the town of Confederates, which they did with little difficulty. Crook then withdrew his infantry to Winchester behind Abrams Creek, leaving a brigade of cavalry to picket Kernstown. The CS army encamped in the vicinity of Strasburg with headquarters at the Kendricks' House: Ramseur at Capon Grade, Rodes at Fisher's Mill, Wharton and Gordon on Hupp's Hill. The CS cavalry withdrew to the vicinity of Newtown.

Phase Two. Advance of CS Infantry (24 July): At first light, the CS infantry left their encampments near Strasburg and advanced down the Valley Pike. At Bartonsville, Ramseur's division was directed west on side roads to the Middle Road. Gordon, Wharton, and Rodes continued ahead on the pike. Early sent two columns of cavalry to the east and west on a wide- ranging maneuver to converge on Winchester and the Federal rear. Cavalry led the advance down the pike, coming up against the main US force at Kernstown about 1000 hours. About noon, the vanguard of the CS infantry reached Kernstown. Gordon deployed to the left of the Valley Pike, Wharton to the right. Ramseur deployed across the Middle Road at Mrs. Massie's house. Rodes moved east from the Pike, following a ravine.

Phase Three. US Deployment on Pritchard's Hill: Crook received information that Early's army was approaching and brought two of his three divisions into line just north of Hoge's Run at Kernstown. Mulligan's division held the US center behind a stone fence at the Pritchard House, supported by Capt. Henry DuPont's artillery massed on Pritchard's Hill to his rear. Duval's two brigades were separated and posted on Mulligan's flanks with Hayes' brigade extending the US line east of the Valley Pike. A strong skirmish line was posted near Opequon Church. Thoburn's division was held in reserve on Pritchard's Hill to the right rear of the main US line. Cavalry protected both flanks.

Phase Four. CS Attack on Center: About noon, Gordon's division advanced in line west of the pike, driving back the skirmishers and closing with the main US line in the vicinity of Opequon Church. Mulligan's division counterattacked, supported by Hayes on his left and took possession of the churchyard. Soldiers sheltered there from the intense firing behind stone fences and headstones in the cemetery. Gordon regrouped and again advanced, compelling Mulligan to fall back 250 yards to the stone fence along Pritchard's Lane. Gordon reached Opequon Church but could make no further headway. CS artillery was brought up south of the church to engage US artillery on Pritchard's Hill. One of Wharton's brigades came into line on Gordon's right. Crook repositioned his forces. Duval's right flank brigade was moved west, astride Middle Road. Thoburn's division was brought forward to fill the gap between Mulligan and Duval. Elements of Duffi‚'s cavalry supported the right flank on the Middle Road and picketed Cedar Creek Grade to the west.

Phase Five. CS Attack on Left: Ramseur's division came into line from the Middle Road on Gordon's left and advanced. Gordon shifted a brigade to the open ground west of Opequon Church and advanced against Thoburn in conjunction with Ramseur. Without orders Gordon's brigade attacked and dislodged US troops sheltering behind two stone fences. Thoburn withdrew to the base of Pritchard's Hill, bending his line back to the north and exposing Mulligan's right flank. Ramseur advanced in force, wheeling right to confront Thoburn's line and bringing a heavy enfilade fire against Mulligan's line.

Phase Six. CS Attack on Right: Wharton's division moved along the ridge east of the Pike to threaten the US left flank held by Hayes. Elements of Averell's cavalry division were in position to delay this maneuver but withdrew without engaging. In conjunction with Ramseur's advance on the CS left, Wharton attacked about 1500 hours and quickly turned the US left. Hayes retreated to the stone walls that lined the Valley Pike and rallied his brigade, facing east at right angles to the center held by Mulligan.

Phase Seven. US Retreat: Three CS divisions now moved in concert to envelope the US center. Mulligan's division was under fire from three directions. While trying to direct the defense, Mulligan himself was pierced by five mini‚ balls and fell mortally wounded. ``Lay me down and save the colors!'' he snapped at the officers who tried to assist him. The US center collapsed, and soldiers began streaming to the rear. Hayes' brigade stood long enough on the crest of Pritchard's Hill to allow the US artillery to escape. Elements of Duffi‚'s cavalry made a brief counterattack along the Middle Road, buying time for Thoburn's division to retire in relatively good order.

Phase Eight. Rear Guard Actions: A brigade of Thoburn's division made a stand near the toll gate at the intersection of the Valley Pike and Cedar Creek Grade, while the rest of Crook's infantry retreated through the streets of Winchester. Rodes' division, in the meantime, crossed from the Valley Pike to the Front Royal Road and marched north to cut off the Federal retreat, meeting only light opposition from the US cavalry. Rodes followed the Federal forces north to Stephenson's Depot, taking hundreds of prisoners until darkness ended the pursuit. The CS cavalry did not advance as Early expected. The disorganized Federal army retreated to Bunker Hill where it regrouped. Crook continued the retreat before dawn and eventually reached the Potomac River on 27 July. For a few days after the battle, Federal prisoners were held in Star Fort.

The Kernstown Battles with Maps
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Battle of Kernstown, Virginia, Map
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2nd Battle of Kernstown, VA., Map

Aftermath: The victory marked the high-water point for the Confederacy in the Valley in 1864. Crook's broken army retreated to the Potomac River and crossed near Williamsport, Maryland, on July 26. With the Shenandoah Valley clear of Union forces, Early launched a raid into northern territory, the last made by a substantial Confederate force during the war, burning Chambersburg, Pennsylvania as retribution for David Hunter's burning of civilian houses and farms earlier in the campaign. (Hunter had also burned the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, but Early's orders to his cavalry under John McCausland did not mention this as a justification.) They also attacked Union garrisons protecting the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad near Cumberland, Maryland. As a result of this defeat and McCausland's burning of Chambersburg on July 30, Grant returned the VI and XIX Corps to the Valley and appointed Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan as commander of Union forces there, turning the tide once and for all against the Confederates in the Valley.

Current Condition of the Battlefield

The core of the battlefield, the US center and goal of decisive CS assaults, is Pritchard's Hill and the Pritchard Farm, owned by the Charles Hardy Grim Estate. The ``Pritchard-Grim'' property (roughly from rte. 652 to Pritchard's Hill and from rte. 628 to the historic Opequon Church, about 200 acres) is agricultural land that retains a marked similarity to its Civil War appearance. The property features a fine brick antebellum structure (Pritchard House), a frame tenant house, and several outbuildings that date from the time of the battle. Col. James Mulligan, commander of the Union center, was wounded in front of and died in the Pritchard House two days after the battle. The stone fence defended by Mulligan's infantry still runs along Pritchard's Lane. CS forces attacked across the open meadow south of the house. Pritchard's Hill served as a Union artillery strongpoint and was assaulted directly during the battle's closing phases.

Opequon Church was the focal point of initial fighting; the original building was destroyed during the war but rebuilt in 1896. Union accounts describe firing from behind tombstones in the cemetery. An adjacent parcel (bounded by rte. 37, Cedar Creek Grade, and Middle Road to the Winchester city limits) is primarily agricultural with some new residences along Middle Road and Cedar Creek Grade. This land, about 275 acres, was significant during First Kernstown, and was the location of the US far right at Second Kernstown, anchored on Sand Ridge until turned by Ramseur's advance. Of about 2,200 acres of battlefield core, excluding Rodes' pursuit and cavalry actions, an estimated 625 acres of contiguous open ground remains.

Ramseur's deployment area on Middle Road is bisected by the four- lane rte. 37-bypass. Gordon's deployment area is occupied by an industrial building and a housing subdivision. The area where Wharton made his decisive flanking movement and attack Rutherford B. Hayes' brigade is occupied by a high density industrial park along US 11 and the railroad corridor. Dense industrial and commercial development characterizes the land adjacent to and east of US 11. The Pritchard-Grim property and Pritchard's Hill are the last portions of open ground south of the Winchester city limits.

Most historic buildings of old Kernstown have been lost, with the notable exception of Hoge's Ordinary or Beemer's Tavern, which has been renovated into office space and anchors a five-acre office-commercial development. Taylor provides a useful drawing of this structure in his sketchbook. The Frederick County Historical Society has recently erected new interpretive signs and a map adjacent to Opequon Church, making the action more comprehensible to visitors.

2nd Battle of Kernstown
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Battle of Kernstown Civil War History

Perception of Threats to the Battlefield

Land east of US 11 (Valley Pike) along the railroad tracks has been developed for a large-scale industrial/business park. Route 11 is zoned commercial/industrial and has been densely developed from south of Kernstown to the Winchester city limits, causing concern over potential development plans west of the highway. A new business/office park was recently constructed near the entrance to the Opequon Church with Hoge's Ordinary as its center piece.

A county planning official noted, however, that watershed and ground water considerations make development in the Pritchard's Hill and Sand Ridge areas less desirable. These factors would need to be considered before any development plans would be approved. Residential development is encroaching on the northern part of Pritchard's Hill. For the present, a large portion of this land remains in private ownership and has been altered little since the Civil War. The Pritchard-Grim farm and adjacent portions of Pritchard's Hill are owned by the Charles Hardy Grim Estate. Advance to: Second Battle of Kernstown and Shenandoah Valley and the American Civil War.

Union Order of Battle

The following Union Army units and commanders fought in the Second Battle of Kernstown in the American Civil War, on July 24, 1864 in Kernstown, now part of the City of Winchester, Virginia.

Army of West Virginia

Bvt MG George Crook

Division Brigade Regiments and Others

First Division

      Col Joseph Thoburn

First Brigade


   Col George D. Wells

  • 34th Massachusetts Infantry
  • 116th Ohio Infantry
  • 123rd Ohio Infantry
  • 170th Ohio Infantry
  • 5th New York Heavy Artillery
Second Brigade


   Col William G. Ely

  • 18th Connecticut Infantry
  • 2nd Maryland Eastern Shore Infantry
  • 1st West Virginia Infantry
  • 4th West Virginia Infantry
  • 12th West Virginia Infantry

Second Division

     Col Isaav H. Duval

First Brigade


   Col Rutherford B. Hayes

  • 23rd Ohio Infantry
  • 36th Ohio Infantry
  • 5th West Virginia Infantry
  • 13th West Virginia Infantry
Second Brigade


   Col Daniel D. Johnson

  • 34th Ohio Infantry
  • 91st Ohio Infantry
  • 9th West Virginia Infantry
  • 14th West Virginia Infantry

Third Division

     Col James A. Mulligan

First Brigade


   Col Thomas M. Harris

  • 23rd Illinois Infantry
  • 10th West Virginia Infantry
Second Brigade


   Ltc John P. Linton

  • 54th Pennsylvania Infantry
  • 11th West Virginia Infantry
  • 5th West Virginia Infantry
Artillery
  • 30th Battery, New York Light Artillery
  • 1st Battery, Ohio Light Artillery
  • Battery F, 1st West Virginia Light Artillery
  • Battery E, 1st West Virginia Light Artillery

Cavalry

Division Brigade Regiments and Others

First Division

     BG Alfred N. Duffie

First Brigade


   Col William B. Tibbits

  • 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade Cavalry
  • 15th New York Cavalry
  • 21st New York Cavalry
  • 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Second Brigade


   Col Jacob Higgins

  • 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry
  • 1st New York (Veteran) Cavalry
  • 20th Pennsylvania Cavalry
  • 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry

Second Division

     BG William W. Averall

First Brigade


   Col James M. Schoonmaker

  • 8th Ohio Cavalry
  • 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Second Brigade


   Col William H. Powell

  • 1st West Virginia Cavalry
  • 2nd West Virginia Cavalry
  • 3rd West Virginia Cavalry
Artillery
  • Battery L, 5th United States

Mulligan's Final Stand
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Confederate Order of Battle

The following Confederate States Army units and commanders fought in the Second Battle of Kernstown in the American Civil War, on July 24, 1864 in Kernstown, now part of the City of Winchester, Virginia.

Army of the Valley

LG Jubal A. Early

Breckinridge’s Command
   MG John C. Breckinridge [1]

Division Brigade Regiments and Others

First Division
(Echols’ Division)
      BG Gabriel C. Wharton

Wharton’s Brigade
   Col Augustus Forsberg

  • 30th Virginia Infantry
  • 45th Virginia Infantry - Maj Francis Miller
  • 51st Virginia Infantry
Echols’ Brigade


   Col George S. Patton

  • 22nd Virginia Infantry
  • 23rd Virginia Infantry
  • 26th Virginia Infantry
Smith’s Brigade


   Col Thomas A. Smith

  • 36th Virginia Infantry
  • 45th Virginia Infantry Battalion
  • 60th Virginia Infantry
  • Thomas' Legion (Dismounted)

Second Division
(Gordon’s Division)
      MG John B. Gordon

Evans’ Brigade


   Col E.N. Atkinson

  • 13th Georgia Infantry
  • 26th Georgia Infantry
  • 31st Georgia Infantry
  • 38th Georgia Infantry
  • 60th Georgia Infantry
  • 61st Georgia Infantry
  • 12th Georgia Infantry Battalion
York’s Consolidated Louisiana Brigade


   BG Zebulon York

Hays’s Old Brigade (Louisiana Tigers) - Col W. R. Peck

  • 5th Louisiana Infantry
  • 6th Louisiana Infantry
  • 7th Louisiana Infantry
  • 8th Louisiana Infantry
  • 9th Louisiana Infantry

Stafford’s Old Brigade - Col E. Waggaman

  • 1st Louisiana Infantry
  • 2nd Louisiana Infantry
  • 10th Louisiana Infantry
  • 14th Louisiana Infantry
  • 15th Louisiana Infantry
Terry’s Consolidated Virginia Brigade


   BG William Terry

Stonewall Brigade - Col J.H.S. Funk

  • 2nd Virginia Infantry
  • 4th Virginia Infantry
  • 5th Virginia Infantry
  • 27th Virginia Infantry
  • 33rd Virginia Infantry

Jones’s Old Second Brigade - Col R. H. Dungan

  • 21st Virginia Infantry
  • 25th Virginia Infantry
  • 42nd Virginia Infantry
  • 44th Virginia Infantry
  • 48th Virginia Infantry
  • 50th Virginia Infantry

Steuart’s Old Third Brigade - Cpt Peter Yancy

  • 10th Virginia Infantry
  • 23rd Virginia Infantry
  • 37th Virginia Infantry

Forces reporting directly to Early

Division Brigade Regiments and Others

Rodes’ Division
     MG Robert E. Rodes

Battle’s Brigade


   Col Samuel Pickens

  • 3rd Alabama Infantry
  • 5th Alabama Infantry
  • 6th Alabama Infantry
  • 12th Alabama Infantry
  • 61st Alabama Infantry
Grimes’ Brigade


   Ltc James Moorehead

  • 32nd North Carolina Infantry
  • 43rd North Carolina Infantry
  • 45th North Carolina Infantry
  • 53rd North Carolina Infantry
  • 2nd North Carolina Infantry Battalion
Cook’s Brigade


   BG Philip Cook

  • 4th Georgia Infantry
  • 12th Georgia Infantry
  • 21st Georgia Infantry
  • 44th Georgia Infantry
Cox’s Brigade


   BG William R. Cox

  • 1st North Carolina Infantry
  • 2nd North Carolina Infantry
  • 3rd North Carolina Infantry
  • 4th North Carolina Infantry
  • 14th North Carolina Infantry
  • 30th North Carolina Infantry

Ramseur’s Division
     MG Stephen Dodson Ramseur

Lilley’s Brigade


   Col John Hoffman

  • 13th Virginia Infantry
  • 31st Virginia Infantry
  • 49th Virginia Infantry
  • 52nd Virginia Infantry
  • 58th Virginia Infantry
Johnston’s Brigade


   BG Robert D. Johnston

  • 5th North Carolina Infantry
  • 12th North Carolina Infantry
  • 20th North Carolina Infantry
  • 23rd North Carolina Infantry
Lewis’ Brigade


   Col Archibald Godwin

  • 6th North Carolina Infantry
  • 21st North Carolina Infantry
  • 54th North Carolina Infantry
  • 57th North Carolina Infantry
  • 1st North Carolina Infantry Battalion Sharpshooters

Ransom’s Cavalry Division
     BG John C. Vaughn

Imboden’s Brigade


   BG John D. Imboden

  • 18th Virginia Cavalry
  • 23rd Virginia Cavalry
  • 62nd Virginia Mounted Cavalry
  • Unauthorized Virginia Cavalry Battalion
  • McClanahan’s Co. Virginia Horse Artillery
McCausland’s Brigade


   BG John McCausland

  • 14th Virginia Cavalry
  • 16th Virginia Cavalry
  • 17th Virginia Cavalry
  • 22nd Virginia Cavalry
  • Jackson’s Co. Virginia Horse Artillery
Johnson’s Brigade


   BG Bradley T. Johnson

  • 1st Maryland Cavalry Battalion
  • 2nd Maryland Cavalry Battalion
  • 8th Virginia Cavalry
  • 21st Virginia Cavalry
  • 25th Virginia Cavalry (27th Battalion)
  • 36th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
  • 37th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
  • Baltimore (2nd Md.) Light Horse Artillery
Jackson’s Brigade


   BG W. L. Jackson

  • 19th Virginia Cavalry
  • 20th Virginia Cavalry
  • 46th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
  • 47th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
  • Lurty’s Virginia Battery Horse Artillery

Artillery
     BG Armistead L. Long

Braxton’s Battalion


   Maj Carter M. Braxton

  • Allegheny County (Virginia) Artillery
  • Lee County (Virginia) Artillery
  • Stafford County (Virginia) Artillery
King’s Battalion


   Maj J. Floyd King

  • Wise Legion (Virginia) Artillery
  • Lewisburg (Virginia) Artillery
  • Monroe (Virginia) Battery
Nelson’s Battalion


   Maj William Nelson

  • Amherst (Virginia) Artillery
  • Fluvanna (Virginia) Artillery
  • Milledge (Virginia) Artillery

[1] Breckinridge commanded the First and Second Divisions of the Army of the Valley, while the others reported directly to Early. Since the Valley District was itself the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia it is inaccurate to refer to these two divisions as a "corps", however, much of it functioned like one.

Abbreviations

Military Rank

Other

  • w = wounded
  • mw = mortally wounded
  • k = killed
  • m = missing
  • c = captured

(Sources listed at bottom of page)

Recommended 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.

Review

"The author's 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)

"[Shenandoah 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)

"The narrative 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)

"Shenandoah 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)

"Scott Patchan 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 )

"[Scott Patchan] 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)

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Recommended Reading: The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 (Military Campaigns of the Civil War) (416 pages) (The University of North Carolina Press). Description: The 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign is generally regarded as one of the most important Civil War campaigns; it lasted more than four arduous months and claimed more than 25,000 casualties. The massive armies of Generals Philip H. Sheridan and Jubal A. Early had contended for immense stakes... Beyond the agricultural bounty and the boost in morale to be gained with its numerous battles, events in the Valley would affect Abraham Lincoln's chances for reelection in November 1864. Continued below...

The eleven essays in this volume reexamine common assumptions about the campaign, its major figures, and its significance. Taking advantage of the most recent scholarship and a wide range of primary sources, contributors examine strategy and tactics, the performances of key commanders on each side, the campaign's political repercussions, and the experiences of civilians caught in the path of the armies. The authors do not always agree with one another, but, taken together, their essays highlight important connections between the home front and the battlefield, as well as ways in which military affairs, civilian experiences, and politics played off one another during the campaign.

 

Recommended Reading: 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.

 

Recommended 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…

With Shenandoah 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).
 
NEW! HIGHLY Recommended Viewing! The American Civil War (DVD Megaset) (2009) (A&E Television Networks-The History Channel) (14 DVDs) (1697 minutes) (28 Hours 17 Minutes + extras). Experience for yourself the historical and personal impact of the Civil War in a way that only HISTORY can present in this moving megaset™, filled with over 28 hours of American Civil War content. This MEGASET is the most comprehensive American Civil War compilation to date and is the mother of all Civil War documentaries. A multifaceted look at “The War Between the States,” this definitive collection brings the most legendary Civil War battles, and the soldiers and leaders who fought them, vividly to life. From Gettysburg and Antietam to Shiloh, and led by the likes of Sherman, McClellan, Grant, Beauregard, Lee, Davis, and Jackson, delve into the full military and political contexts of these men, their armies, and the clashes between them. Continued below...
Almost 150 years after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, the unexpected secrets and little-known stories from Civil War history are divulged with fascinating detail. Cutting-edge CGI and accurate dramatizations illustrate archival letters and original diary entries, and the country’s most renowned historians describe the less familiar incidents that add perspective and depth to the war that divided a nation. If the DVDs in this Megaset were purchased separately, it could cost hundreds of dollars. This one-of-a-kind compilation belongs on the shelf of every Civil War buff, and if you know anyone that is interested in the most costliest and bloodiest war in American history, buy this, they will love it.
THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR contains the following programs:
* The Most Daring Mission Of The Civil War
* April 1865
* Battlefield Detectives: The Civil War (3 Episodes): Antietam, Gettysburg, Shiloh
* Secret Missions Of The Civil War
* The Lost Battle Of The Civil War
* Tales Of The Gun: Guns Of The Civil War
* Eighty Acres Of Hell
* Lincoln
* Investigating History: Lincoln: Man Or Myth
* Man, Moment, Machine: Lincoln & The Flying, Spying Machine
* Conspiracy?: Lincoln Assassination
* High Tech Lincoln
* Sherman’s March
* The Hunt For John Wilkes Booth
* Civil War Combat (4 Episodes): The Hornets’ Nest At Shiloh, The Bloody Lane At Antietam, The Wheatfield At Gettysburg, The Tragedy At Cold Harbor
* Civil War Journal (8 Episodes): John Brown's War, Destiny At Fort Sumter, The Battle of 1st Bull Run, The 54th Massachusetts, West Point Classmates—Civil War Enemies, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Sherman And The March To The Sea
BONUS FEATURES:
* Full-Length Documentary “Save Our History: Sherman’s Total War Tactics”
* Behind the Scenes Featurettes for “Sherman’s March” and “Lincoln”

Sources: National Park Service; Patchan, Scott C. Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign. University of Nebraska Press; Lincoln, Ne. 2007; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Kernstown Battlefield Association; National Archives; Library of Congress.

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