Does Ewell get enough credit for Cross Keys?

Jamieva

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Recently read a book that covered Cross Keys as part of the overall story of Port Republic. Of course we talk about Stonewall's Valley Campaign, and Cross Keys is a Confederate victory. However, Ewell was basically on his own on the day of the battle and making all the tactical decisions. Jackson had been at Port Republic with the other part of the Valley army and came briefly to consult with Ewell.

I get the impression that when talking about Ewell's accomplishments during the war, most scholars and posters here focus on his tenure in corps command, but his performance at Cross Keys was quite good in a semi independent command.

Thoughts?
 

rpkennedy

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Recently read a book that covered Cross Keys as part of the overall story of Port Republic. Of course we talk about Stonewall's Valley Campaign, and Cross Keys is a Confederate victory. However, Ewell was basically on his own on the day of the battle and making all the tactical decisions. Jackson had been at Port Republic with the other part of the Valley army and came briefly to consult with Ewell.

I get the impression that when talking about Ewell's accomplishments during the war, most scholars and posters here focus on his tenure in corps command, but his performance at Cross Keys was quite good in a semi independent command.

Thoughts?

I tend to agree. People forget that he was an outstanding division commander under Jackson but he gets overlooked because he was gone for so long and missed some of the AoNV's most memorable battles (Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville).

Ryan
 

Virginia Dave

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Here is a little more information on the battle.

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jackt62

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I've recently re-read Douglas Southhall Freeman's book, "Lee's Lieutenants." Freeman gives a load of credit to Ewell's leadership during the Valley Campaign and including the engagement at Cross Keys, while Jackson was dealing with Tyler's force the next day at Port Republic. Overall, Ewell was a critical commander during the Valley Campaign; his later less effective Corps command however, seems to get most attention.
 

Jamieva

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I've recently re-read Douglas Southhall Freeman's book, "Lee's Lieutenants." Freeman gives a load of credit to Ewell's leadership during the Valley Campaign and including the engagement at Cross Keys, while Jackson was dealing with Tyler's force the next day at Port Republic. Overall, Ewell was a critical commander during the Valley Campaign; his later less effective Corps command however, seems to get most attention.

Agreed and that is why I brought it up, I think Ewell really does get the short end of the stick in regards to his pre wounding command work.
 

Stone in the wall

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The best compliment would be the fact that Jackson had high confidence in Ewell's leadership during the Valley Campaign.
Often overlooked, Jackson had enough confidence to try and put Ashby and his troopers under the control of the ex dragoon.
 

bdtex

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Good thread. I don't know much about the Valley Campaign. I always learn something from threads like this.
 

AA484

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If you ever go to Cross Keys and stand on the Ewell's position, I believe you will agree that it was "a position of uncommon strength" as the Fremont said.
I went there for the first time last month. The foliage made it difficult to see but the strength of the position was still very easy to ascertain. That's the downside of visiting battlefields during the spring and summer months but I like to see it how "they" saw it.
 

nc native

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Before his wound that necessitated the loss of his leg, General Ewell did an excellent job handling his division during the Valley Campaign and earned the trust of Stonewall Jackson which was not a easy thing to do. Ewell may have saved the day at Port Republic
with his timely reinforcement of Jackson's line just when it seemed it would break during Tyler's counterattack.

Richard Ewell was one of the first, if not the first Confederate general to propose arming black troops and using them to fight in the Confederate Army. After First Manassas, he told Jefferson Davis he would recruit, train and even lead black troops in battle if he were allowed to do so. Davis just brushed Ewell's idea off to the determent of the Confederacy as the war wore on and the North's numbers and material began to grind the South down.
 

Jamieva

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Good thread. I don't know much about the Valley Campaign. I always learn something from threads like this.

There are 2 major books that cover the entirety of the campaign if you want to do some reading. The original one was Stonewall in the Valley by Robert Tanner. However, that work is told overwhelmingly from a COnfederate perspective and sources. A more balanced work is Cozzens' Shenandoah 1862 which I just recently read.
 
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