Fort Johnson, Virginia

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Viper21

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
2,469
Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
This past weekend, I went on a nice 5 county bike ride. At the top of a mountain where, Augusta County, & Highland County meet, I came across an obscure Civil War site.

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The site had a 1/2 mile trail that overlooked some amazing views, & you can clearly see the breast work embankments still intact.

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Fascinating to see these still intact 150+ yrs later.

My final picture here, doesn't do the site, or the view justice. This was truly an amazing view. The breastworks are viewable in this pic but, hard to depict.

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A pretty cool little stop off, hidden in plain sight, at the top of a mountain.



Fort Edward Johnson was a series of Confederate States of America (CSA) military breastworks constructed in April 1862 by the four-thousand member brigade known as the "Army of the Northwest".[1] The Army of the Northwest was a remnant of the Confederate Army of the Northwest which had been disbanded in February 1862. The Army of the Northwest was commanded by Colonel Edward "Alleghany" Johnson and had been ordered to secure a major roadway through the Appalachian Mountains known as the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike. Johnson ordered the construction of fortifications and breastworks at a high point along the turnpike on top of Shenandoah Mountain, which is in the U.S. state of Virginia, 26 miles (42 km) west of Staunton.[1]

Though Colonel Johnson had been victorious at the Battle of Camp Allegheny, where Johnson had been given the nickname "Allegheny" and was subsequently officially promoted to General, they suffered significant losses, and other Confederate setbacks in the Western Theater of operations influenced Robert E. Lee to order Johnson to take his forces east to better protect the strategic city of Staunton, as well as the Shenandoah Valley.[1] Johnson moved his forces 40 mi (64 km) east along the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike and determined that the low gap along the crest of Shenandoah Mountain where the turnpike passed through would be the best location to build a defensive position to fight off any advancing Union Army forces. Starting on April 5, 1862, members of the Army of the Northwest spent the next two weeks constructing breastworks and cutting down parts of the forest along the western approaches to the fort. The fort was named after the commanding officer on April 6.[1] General Johnson was ordered east to rendezvous with General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's army near Staunton on April 19, and the fort was abandoned to the advancing Union forces who occupied the position without a shot being fired. On May 7, 1862, Johnson's resupplied army again advanced west and retook the fort that had been abandoned by the Union forces. Johnson did not linger, by the next day his forces had left the fort and they marched westward to engage their opponents.[2]

Fort Edward Johnson is adjacent to U.S. Route 250 at the mountain pass of the route on top of Shenandoah Mountain and is 26 miles (42 km) west of Staunton, Virginia (38°18′54″N 079°23′12″W / 38.315°N 79.38667°W / 38.315; -79.38667Coordinates: 38°18′54″N 079°23′12″W / 38.315°N 79.38667°W / 38.315; -79.38667).[3] A .50-mile (0.80 km) walkway leading from a parking area through the confederate breastworks provides an interpretive opportunity. The parking area also provides access to the Shenandoah Mountain Trail and Ramsey's Draft Wilderness. The remains of the fort are within George Washington and Jefferson National Forests on the border of Augusta and Highland counties, Virginia.[4]


 
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Stone in the wall

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
1,027
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
This past weekend, I went on a nice 5 county bike ride. At the top of a mountain where, Augusta County, & Highland County meet, I came across an obscure Civil War site.

View attachment 320907

View attachment 320908

The site had a 1/2 mile trail that overlooked some amazing views, & you can clearly see the breast work embankments still intact.

View attachment 320909


View attachment 320910


View attachment 320911


View attachment 320912


View attachment 320913

Fascinating to see these still intact 150+ yrs later.

My final picture here, doesn't do the site, or the view justice. This was truly an amazing view. The breastworks are viewable in this pic but, hard to depict.

View attachment 320914

A pretty cool little stop off, hidden in plain sight, at the top of a mountain.



Fort Edward Johnson was a series of Confederate States of America (CSA) military breastworks constructed in April 1862 by the four-thousand member brigade known as the "Army of the Northwest".[1] The Army of the Northwest was a remnant of the Confederate Army of the Northwest which had been disbanded in February 1862. The Army of the Northwest was commanded by Colonel Edward "Alleghany" Johnson and had been ordered to secure a major roadway through the Appalachian Mountains known as the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike. Johnson ordered the construction of fortifications and breastworks at a high point along the turnpike on top of Shenandoah Mountain, which is in the U.S. state of Virginia, 26 miles (42 km) west of Staunton.[1]

Though Colonel Johnson had been victorious at the Battle of Camp Allegheny, where Johnson had been given the nickname "Allegheny" and was subsequently officially promoted to General, they suffered significant losses, and other Confederate setbacks in the Western Theater of operations influenced Robert E. Lee to order Johnson to take his forces east to better protect the strategic city of Staunton, as well as the Shenandoah Valley.[1] Johnson moved his forces 40 mi (64 km) east along the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike and determined that the low gap along the crest of Shenandoah Mountain where the turnpike passed through would be the best location to build a defensive position to fight off any advancing Union Army forces. Starting on April 5, 1862, members of the Army of the Northwest spent the next two weeks constructing breastworks and cutting down parts of the forest along the western approaches to the fort. The fort was named after the commanding officer on April 6.[1] General Johnson was ordered east to rendezvous with General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's army near Staunton on April 19, and the fort was abandoned to the advancing Union forces who occupied the position without a shot being fired. On May 7, 1862, Johnson's resupplied army again advanced west and retook the fort that had been abandoned by the Union forces. Johnson did not linger, by the next day his forces had left the fort and they marched westward to engage their opponents.[2]

Fort Edward Johnson is adjacent to U.S. Route 250 at the mountain pass of the route on top of Shenandoah Mountain and is 26 miles (42 km) west of Staunton, Virginia (38°18′54″N 079°23′12″W / 38.315°N 79.38667°W / 38.315; -79.38667Coordinates: 38°18′54″N 079°23′12″W / 38.315°N 79.38667°W / 38.315; -79.38667).[3] A .50-mile (0.80 km) walkway leading from a parking area through the confederate breastworks provides an interpretive opportunity. The parking area also provides access to the Shenandoah Mountain Trail and Ramsey's Draft Wilderness. The remains of the fort are within George Washington and Jefferson National Forests on the border of Augusta and Highland counties, Virginia.[4]


Surely it was a beautiful, clear day to be in Virginia and on on sacred ground.
 
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Viper21

Sergeant Major
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Jul 4, 2016
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Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
Wow!!! That's absolutely awesome. And you just ran across it while out riding your bike?
Yes..! I had no idea it existed, & had never seen it before. Just happened across it.

Honestly, this happens a lot around here...lol. There's all kinds of obscure historical sites. I just don't always stop & film them. I may photograph another one, next time I run across one inadvertently.
 
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Viper21

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Rockbridge County, Virginia
Wonderful pictures and an amazing historical spot!
You get an idea why the people of Virginia loved their country so much! It's breathtakingly beautiful!
I have made the statement plenty of times, "It's easy to see why our ancestors fell in love with this place...."

A significant portion of Virginia is VERY easy on the eyes. Pretty good mix of extremes too. In a few hours you can be at the Ocean, vs. the Mountains. Within about 3-4 hours, one could go from historic battlefields like New Market, or Appomattox, to Jamestown, or Colonial Williamsburg.
 
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Viper21

Sergeant Major
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Rockbridge County, Virginia
I did leave out a few of the particulars of the Mission... :D

This was an official STX for a junior rider. The route taken was certainly challenging, especially for a novice rider. SOP's were violated a few times so, as you can imagine, there were several Counseling sessions along the way :bounce:

I have definitely added to the METL for our next FTX. :D
 
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Viper21

Sergeant Major
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Jul 4, 2016
Messages
2,469
Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
Yup travel further down that road a bit and you will come to the battle of McDowell.

Very scenic area.
We did. Though, we didn't stop there. Our next stop was Monterey. We then took 220 all the way to Covington. 18 to 616 came out in Selma/Low Moor. Hopped the Interstate for a short bit to the Goshen exit (43), & rolled the back roads home from there. Put in about 250 very scenic miles. Was a decent day of sight seeing, enjoying the weather, & getting a young buck some miles, & experience.
 
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