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Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign: A Synopsis and Index to Threads

Discussion in 'Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson' started by James N., May 10, 2016.

  1. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Part I - February - March, 1862
    VHS Spring.jpg
    Artist Charles Hoffbauer's epic mural Spring, one of the Four Seasons of the Confederacy, in the Virginia Historical Society's Richmond headquarters known as the Battle Abbey depicts Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and his hard-marching Foot Cavalry. This three-part thread is intended to be both a synopsis of Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign of Spring, 1862, plus an index to my past threads on the subject with links embedded in appropriate places.


    The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
    DSC03556.JPG
    The Blue Ridge Mountain chain, today Shenandoah National Park, borders the Valley on the east separating it from the Virginia Tidewater. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/shenandoah-national-park-virginia.83215/#post-628026

    The broad valley watered by the Shenandoah River was during the Civil War the scene of several memorable individual battles and at least two stirring campaigns. The area's importance lay in its agricultural abundance, vital to the war effort of the struggling Confederacy, plus its unique geographical position relative to the Seat of War farther to the east. It was separated from the latter by the mountain range known as the Blue Ridge, penetrated by only a few widely-spaced passes known in Virginia as gaps. Both North and South vied for control of the region which was at first under Confederate control dating from the secession of Virginia and seizure of the U. S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, which was soon placed under the command of a stern former professor from the Virginia Military Institute, Thomas Jonathan Jackson.

    Jackson_Valley_Campaign_Part1.png
    Map by Hal Jesperson, www.cwmaps

    There are several significant facts concerning the terrain in the valley, as can be seen on the campaign map above. For one thing, the Shenandoah River flows north, meaning that to travel south one is going up the valley towards its watershed; conversely north is down the valley. The Shenandoah River proper is formed of two principal branches, the North Shenandoah and the South Shenandoah which meet at Front Royal. Between them is a forty-mile-long ridge known as the Massanutten Mountain which has a single gap at New Market leading to the town of Luray; to the west of the Massanutten lies the twenty-mile-wide main valley, while east of it is the narrow Luray Valley. The principal road was the Valley Turnpike, a wide, straight, hard-surfaced road that remained passable in all seasons. There were other lesser turnpikes, such as the Parkersburg-to-Staunton Turnpike in the south; most other roads became bottomless morasses in inclement weather like that during which the campaign occurred. Railroads connected Winchester with Harpers Ferry in the north and Staunton with Charlottesville and on to Richmond in the south, while another central route led from Strasburg through Front Royal and on to Manassas.

    The Campaign Opens, February 26, 1862

    [​IMG]
    The town of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, now West Virginia, nestled in the gap created by the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-harpers-ferry-jacksons-greatest-victory.104193/

    Several different Federal expeditions attempted to wrest control of the Valley beginning in early 1862 when Union Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks crossed the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry. It was only a short march from there to the headquarters at Winchester of the commander of the Valley District, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, now styled Stonewall after his performance at the battle of Manassas the previous year. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jackson-at-first-manassas.87115/#post-683290

    DSC03452.JPG
    Jackson's Winchester headquarters , now preserved as a museum. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/stonewalls-winchester-va.91319/#post-740316

    Jackson was in a quandary as how best to respond to this threat, alerting his force on hand which consisted only of his own small division and the 7th Virginia Cavalry led by Col. Turner Ashby. After some indecision involving the movements of his men he determined to attack Banks north of Winchester, but was thwarted when his supply train moved farther to the south than he intended. Outnumbered seriously, he was forced to withdraw up the Valley all the way to Mount Jackson.

    The Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862
    [​IMG]
    The Pritchard House on the slope of Pritchards Hill stands at the center of the Kernstown battlefield park. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jacksons-valley-campaign-begins-the-battle-of-kernstown.122430/

    Soon, however, Jackson received intelligence supplied by his cavalry chief Ashby that having captured Winchester Banks was now abandoning the town leaving only a small garrison there. Jackson decided to strike what he believed was only a small brigade of four regiments under Col. Nathan Kimball so moved his division by forced march to Kernstown, a hamlet only a few miles south of Winchester. Meanwhile, on March 22nd Ashby's troopers skirmished with Kimball's men, wounding division commander Brig. Gen. James Shields in the process but failing to discover the important fact that instead of a single brigade of Federals Shields' entire division was present. The following day Jackson brought up his command but outnumbered by Kimball was forced to abandon the field at the end of the day, retreating by night back up the valley the way he had come. Kernstown was the only outright defeat suffered by Jackson during the Valley Campaign but nevertheless served his overreaching purpose to keep as many Federals as possible in the Shenandoah and away from the main theater of operations east of the Blue Ridge when Banks entire corps was directed to remain in the Valley.

    Union Commanders in the Valley Campaign
    Nathaniel_P._Banks-Shields-Fremont.jpg

    Jackson's principal opponents during the campaign, left-to-right: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks, former congressman and governor of Massachusetts had no military background whatsoever but was made Major General of Volunteers in 1861 by President Lincoln for his early support of the war effort; Irish immigrant Brig. Gen. James Shields was another political general who had been an Illinois congressman and friend of the new president; and Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont, famous as The Pathfinder of the American West, a leader in the movement for California's independence from Mexico and statehood, and the first Republican candidate for President in 1856. Although a military man by reputation, the fact was that Fremont was a topographical engineer, explorer, and map maker but had only led very small expeditions and had no experience commanding large bodies of troops. Of the three, although Shields had had some previous military experience, he never personally faced Jackson in battle though it was troops under his command that fought the first and last battles of the campaign; Shields himself was wounded by a shell splinter during a skirmish with Ashby's cavalry the day before Kernstown but liked to boast that it was he who had beaten Stonewall in his only defeat!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
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  3. Bee

    Bee 1st Lieutenant

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    Thank you thank you for doing this. As a late arrival on some of these topics, it is tedious to look them up without knowing of their existence in the first place. I can now "favourite" this post as a gateway to the others.
     
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  4. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    Stonewall in the Valley in 1862 was the closest thing to a masterpiece of any campaign conducted by a Confederate General. Grant's Vicksburg campaign is it's opposite rival. Just my opinion.
    Jackson should have been made a full General in June of 1862, and given the 40,000 men he requested. Other men we're made full General with much less accomplishment.
     
  5. truthckr

    truthckr Sergeant Major

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    Another very fine job!
     
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  6. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Part II - April - May, 1862
    [​IMG]
    Fort Edward Johnson in the Allegheny Mountains guarded the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike between the towns of McDowell and Staunton. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jacksons-valley-campaign-fort-edward-johnson.113247/

    Following the tactical defeat at Kernstown, Jackson's force recuperated first at Strasburg then farther south back all the way to Mount Jackson when Banks moved on that place. Banks had been recalled to rejoin Shields and began to fortify Strasburg, building a massive earthen fort there. Meanwhile, Jackson received conflicting orders from his superior Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, first to abandon the valley, then to protect it and its harvest of grain. He managed to gain a measure of control over another force of Confederates under Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell across the Blue Ridge at Gordonsville, so asked Ewell to move his division to Swift Run Gap where he could keep an eye on the stationary Banks while Jackson hurried his men in a rainstorm to the relief of Brig. Gen. Edward Johnson near Staunton. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jacksons-valley-campaign-journey-to-mcdowell.83439/#post-631774

    The Battle of McDowell, May 8, 1862
    DSC03544.JPG Summit of Sitlington's Hill overlooking the village of McDowell, Virginia. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jac...e-of-mcdowell-and-pursuit-to-franklin.124147/

    Johnson led a small force of only about 2700 men in the Allegheny Mountains along the Parkersburg-Staunton Turnpike guarding the important supply center from the Federals of the Mountain Department commanded by Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont. The brigade of Brig. Gen. Robert Milroy was threatening Johnson from the west prompting Jackson to decide to hasten to Johnson's aid, combine his men with Jackson's 6000, and overwhelm Milroy's Ohioans and western Virginia Unionists before Fremont could interfere. The resulting battle at the tiny village of McDowell proved costly to Johnson's men who bore the brunt of it atop the mountain known as Sitlington's Hill, inflicting heavier losses on the Confederates; but this time it was the Federals who retreated, all the way to Franklin in what is now the state of West Virginia. Jackson followed them but found them in a strong position with all Fremont's force united; just then, he received word that once again Banks was making ready to abandon the Valley to join the strong Federal force at Manassas or Fredericksburg.

    Confederate Commanders in the Valley Campaign
    Winchester Jackson-R S Ewell-Turner Ashby.jpg

    Above, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson at right in a photograph made later that year back in Winchester following the Antietam Campaign; Maj. Gen. Richard S. "Old Bald Head" Ewell is at left and Brig. Gen. Turner Ashby, the Black Knight of the Confederacy, center, in a postwar sketch by Valley native and opponent, Union Col. David Hunter Strother. Ashby's relationship with the demanding Stonewall was at times a stormy one, but Jackson reportedly wept at the news of his death.

    Ewell had been left in the dark at Swift Run Gap because, true to character, Jackson had failed to inform him of any of his moves or objectives, causing Ewell to complain at one point "Jackson is as crazy as a March hare!" and threaten to return east of the Blue Ridge with his men. Jackson finally arrived to soothe Ewell's ruffled feathers and showed him a message he had received from Gen. Robert E. Lee, military advisor to President Jefferson Davis, advising him "Whatever movement you make against Banks, do it speedily, and if successful, drive him back towards the Potomac..." and that Ewell was to cooperate fully with Jackson. The Army of the Valley had already increased to 9000 with the addition of Johnson's men, although he himself had been incapacitated by a wound; Ewell's 8000 now almost doubled it in size, making it the third largest force in the entire Confederacy behind the armies of Virginia and Tennessee.

    The Battle of Front Royal, May 23, 1862
    [​IMG]
    Fairview where the last shots of the Battle of front Royal were fired and where the wounded Col. Kenly was taken prisoner. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jacksons-valley-campaign-the-battle-of-front-royal.113772/

    Now began a bewildering series of moves northward against Banks who remained inactive at Strasburg, as Jackson seemed unable to decide exactly how to proceed; finally he directed his entire force, less Ashby's cavalry left to "amuse" Banks, into the Luray Valley towards the lightly-held town of Front Royal at its head. A small garrison of around a thousand men, chiefly members of the 1st Maryland Regiment, U.S., under Col. John R. Kenly, held the town and its important rail junction and river crossing. Following a spirited battle and chase over three miles, Kenly's force was overwhelmed and run to ground, largely thanks to the Louisiana Brigade and 1st Maryland, C.S., of Ewell's Division.

    The First Battle of Winchester, May 25, 1862
    [​IMG]
    Above, Larricks Tavern, now the Wayside Inn in Middletown, through which Ashby and Jackson pursued Banks' retreating Federals. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jacksons-valley-campaign-pursuit-of-banks-through-winchester.113806/

    Banks at first intended to remain at Strasburg when he heard of trouble to his east at Front Royal but was soon persuaded that an unknown force was on his flank and might cut him off from his base in Winchester. Incredibly, he was now outnumbered by Jackson's enlarged force because Shields' division had been detached from him and sent east to Manassas leaving him with a single division and some attached cavalry. He sent his wagon trains north along the Valley Pike but split his infantry between it and the so-called Back Road to the west. At first Jackson was unsure of Banks' whereabouts, so delayed his move until a cavalry probe discovered the Union trains along the pike between Middletown and Newtown. Ashby's cannon and whatever troopers remained with him raided and stampeded the train through Middletown but unfortunately for Stonewall the bulk of Banks' force slipped away.

    Jackson drove his men hard all night until finally yielding to an entreaty from a colonel of the Stonewall Brigade to stop. The following morning, he was rewarded by the sight of Banks' outnumbered division drawn up on fog-shrouded hills south of Winchester. In a sweeping assault they were sent whirling through Winchester in rout, once again the Louisiana Brigade of Brig. Gen. Richard Taylor leading the way on the left. Banks finally regained control of his fugitive army north of Winchester at Martinsburg but thought it prudent to continue the retreat not only to but all the way across the Potomac; by this decision Banks fulfilled Jackson's primary objective to clear the Shenandoah of Federals.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  7. SharonS

    SharonS Private

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    What an outstanding, concise review of the Valley campaign. I've always believed that Jackson's unhappy experience at Kernstown colored the rest of his war and even contributed to his death. After Kernstown, where he relied on Ashby's reconnaissance, you can find repeated examples of him exposing himself to enemy fire in order to examine the various situations with his own eyes. It worked out all right until late on May 2 at Chancellorsville, when it suddenly didn't.
     
  8. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Part III - June, 1862
    [​IMG]

    The defense position above on Bolivar Heights at Harpers Ferry was used by whoever happened to be in possession of the town; after Jackson routed Banks from Winchester Union Brig. Gen. Rufus Saxton arrived there to organize a defense of the place, earning a Medal of Honor for his efforts. With Banks now safely across the Potomac at Williamsport, Maryland, Stonewall began a pursuit in that general direction until he received orders to continue to apply pressure to help relieve any advance on Richmond from north of the city. Accordingly, he figured a threat on Harpers Ferry would prove more effective in that regard than pursuing Banks, turning his efforts in that direction sending his old Stonewall Brigade, now under Brig. Gen. Charles Winder, to invest the place. Meanwhile, events proceeded as hoped when President Lincoln, working through his Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, took a hand at directing the Union response to Jackson.

    Jackson_Valley_Campaign_Part2.png
    Map by Hal Jesperson, www.cwmaps

    Lincoln ordered Shields division to retrace its steps from Manassas back to the Valley, aiming to threaten to cut the Confederates at Winchester off from their communications with Richmond; Banks was ordered to recross the Potomac and again march for Winchester; and Fremont was to cross the intervening Allegheny Mountain and march on Harrisonburg. Unfortunately for the plan, when Fremont received his orders he was still at Franklin and made excuses why he was not yet ready to march. When he was prodded to do so anyway, instead of marching directly eastward through gaps that had been blocked by some of Ashby's cavalry at the direction of Jackson's topographical engineer Maj. Jedidiah Hotchkiss, Fremont instead marched north to Moorefield then east towards Winchester where he thought Banks still was.

    Some Notable Subordinate Union and Confederate Commanders
    Bayard-Milroy-Winder-Taylor.jpg

    Left to right: Brig Gen. George D. Bayard, whose Federal cavalry brigade led the dogged pursuit of Jackson's army from Strasburg to Harrisonburg, was killed by a shell later that year at the Battle of Fredericksburg; had he lived his fame might've rivaled that of Buford, Custer, and Sheridan. Maj. Gen. Robert Milroy of Fremont's army was the most aggressive of the Union commanders: in addition to his spoiling attack at McDowell, his brigade made the greatest advance against Ewell's center at Cross Keys and he was incensed when Fremont called off the attack. Later as commander of the garrison at Winchester during the second battle there in June, 1863, Milroy was made the scapegoat for the defeat which ended his career.

    After giving outstanding service as commander of the Stonewall Brigade in the Valley Campaign, Brig. Gen. Charles S. Winder of Maryland was promoted to the head of Jackson's old division before his untimely death later that year at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. Commander of the Louisiana Brigade Richard Taylor, son of President Zachary Taylor, ended the war as a Lieutenant General commanding Confederate troops in Alabama and Mississippi after again besting Nathaniel Banks in his ill-fated Red River Campaign of April, 1864. Taylor's memoir of his service titled Destruction and Reconstruction is an important source of information about Jackson and the Valley Campaign.

    The Battle of Harrisonburg, June 6, 1862
    [​IMG]
    Monument marking the spot outside Harrisonburg where Turner Ashby was killed in battle. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jacksons-valley-campaign-the-battle-of-harrisonburg.114382/

    Fremont was now in position to join with Shields in the vicinity of Port Republic which the latter reached and recaptured after surprising and scattering the hapless 12th Georgia Regiment that was defending it. Jackson was returning by train from Harpers Ferry when he learned of Shields' arrival in his rear and immediately set in motion the evacuation of Winchester. Using the hard-surfaced Valley Turnpike to best advantage, he managed to slip between the jaws of this potential vise. Winder at Harpers Ferry made a forced march of thirty-six miles in a single day, narrowly clearing the spot near Strasburg where Ewell was making a bold front against Fremont's timid probes while Ashby took position to cover his rear.

    The chase now commenced south up the Valley Pike in another driving rainstorm all the way to Harrisonburg where Jackson turned off on the road leading to Port Republic. Ashby had been hard-pressed most of the way by the unexpectedly aggressive Union cavalry of Shields' division led by Brig. Gen. George Bayard which had been loaned to Fremont. Bayard scooped up many Confederate stragglers who had fallen out of ranks, unable to keep up with the punishing pace set by Stonewall. In another rearguard action just outside Harrisonburg on June 6, Ashby was killed, likely by a Union sharpshooter from the Pennsylvania "Bucktail" Regiment. Jackson's weary men collapsed for the night along the muddy road between the Port and the crossroads tavern known as Cross Keys.

    The Battle of Cross Keys, June 8, 1862
    DSC03273.JPG
    Civil War Centennial markers still overlook the ground across which Union brigades of Fremont's army maneuvered towards Ewell's position on the distant ridge. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jacksons-valley-campaign-the-battle-of-cross-keys.114398/

    Richard Ewell's division was now in the rear of Jackson's army, positioned along a ridge astride the Port Republic Road facing Fremont, whose force had been almost doubled since McDowell by the addition of the German Division led by Brig. Gen. Louis (Ludwig) Blenker. Although his force was nearly double that of Ewell, Fremont characteristically took his time to ponderously deploy, sending his brigades forward one-at-a-time and uncoordinated. A Confederate counterattack led by the feisty sexagenarian Brig. Gen. Issac Trimble drove back Fremont's left and brought his abortive attack to a halt as the evening of June 8 drew near.

    The Battle of Port Republic, June 9, 1862
    DSC03280.JPG
    Above, the Frank Kemper House in Port Republic where Turner Ashby's body lay in state June 7-8 before the battle. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jacksons-valley-campaign-the-battle-of-port-republic.114445/

    While Ewell's battle at Cross Keys was getting underway a commotion was occurring at Port Republic when a force of Federal cavalry stormed into the town from the north and almost captured Stonewall himself; fortunately, the force was quickly driven off. It was the vanguard of Shields' division which had marched in parallel south up the Luray Valley as Fremont pursued Jackson on the Valley Turnpike; because of the condition of this relative backroad with its bridges across the Shenandoah's South Fork having been burned by some of Ashby's cavalry, Shields' progress had been retarded. Responding to a rumor that James Longstreet's Confederate division was approaching for the relief of Jackson, Shields remained at Conrad's Store with two of his brigades, sending only the other two under Brig. Gen. Erastus Tyler to Port Republic. The Union raiders had only retired a short distance north of town where they found a strong position with secure flanks and waited for Shields and the remainder of his division.

    The morning of June 9 found Jackson with his army divided by the flooded South Fork, joined only be the sole remaining bridge at Port Republic. Ewell was ordered to get his division away from Cross Keys and across the Shenandoah as quickly as possible, while Winder led Jackson's own division against the waiting Federals. Winder's force entered the battle piecemeal under heavy artillery fire from a high hill known locally as The Coaling; again it was Richard Taylor's Louisiana Brigade, the first of Ewell's force to appear, that charged and captured the position after a bloody struggle. With their flank now turned the Federal brigades sullenly retired from the field, Shields having never budged from Conrad's Store. Fremont finally put in a belated appearance at the end of the battle but was stymied because Ewell had burned the only bridge after crossing it, leaving the Federals to impotently shell the battlefield.

    End of the Valley Campaign
    DSC03269crop.jpg
    Tattered Confederate battle flag marking Ewell's artillery position at Cross Keys battlefield.

    No one realized it at the time, but the celebrated Valley Campaign had come to an end with Port Republic, largest and bloodiest of all its battles. Jackson immediately withdrew to Brown's Gap in the Blue Ridge, and although he returned to the nearby Wyer's Cave to rest and recuperate his army, he was soon in motion toward Richmond and participation in the Seven Day's Battles. He had succeeded in his main objective of keeping nearly 60,000 Federals relatively immobilized in the Valley and also at Manassas Junction and Fredericksburg - and therefore away from direct participation in the struggle for Richmond - and all with an army that never numbered over 17,000 men. The forces of Banks, Fremont, and Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell at Fredericksburg were soon combined in the new and grandiosely-styled Army of Virginia led by the blustering Maj. Gen. John Pope who would soon enough have his fill of Jackson and Lee at Cedar Mountain http://civilwartalk.com/threads/stonewall-jackson-at-the-battle-of-cedar-mountain.116559/ and Second Manassas. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/stonewall-jackson-at-second-manassas.117221/
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  9. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Thank you all for your kind comments! You might want to go back to the first post now that it's finished and all 3 parts are in place since I have edited and added to it.
     
  10. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    Thank you for the hard work!
     
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  11. Virginian Sharpshooter

    Virginian Sharpshooter Private

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    Congratulations JamesN, you have done a Magnificent job here - Well done indeed !
     
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  12. truthckr

    truthckr Sergeant Major

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    Great photos and an excellent narrative.
     
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  13. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Addendum - Books About the 1862 Valley Campaign
    Wyeth Jackson.jpg
    N. C. Wyeth's portrait of Stonewall Jackson originally served as the frontispiece of Mary Johnston's novel The Long Roll.

    I have listed and described all these previously in the thread A Stonewall Jackson Bookshelf http://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-stonewall-jackson-bookshelf.82361/ but will mention briefly the ones directly relating to the Valley Campaign. Naturally the major biographies of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson all include many pages to this, his greatest military achievement, but those mentioned here are strictly devoted to it. Probably the best and most complete account is Robert G. Tanner's landmark Stonewall in the Valley; if it has a flaw, it lies in its one-sidedness, giving the story almost entirely from the perspective of Jackson and the Confederates. This is now available in a relatively new edition since its original publication in the 1970's, understandable since the author changed his mind about interpretation of certain facts. Presumably Peter Cozzens' Shenandoah 1862 provides a more balanced view (I still have yet to read it), important because the campaign unfolded the way it did as much due to Union blunders and missteps as to any over-arching strategy of Jackson's.

    Shorter accounts can be found in three series books, all volumes from larger sets: Decoying the Yanks by Champ Clark is part of the Time-Life set The Civil War. Taken together the twenty-plus volumes form a history of the entire struggle but this one concentrates entirely on the Valley Campaign in a comprehensible and well-illustrated account. David G. Martin's Jackson's Valley Campaign is part of a series called Great Campaigns and is also well-written, as is the Osprey paperbound Shenandoah Valley 1862. The latter two both suffer from the formats of their respective series - Martin's is organized in a manner utilizing numerous sidebars that might be chronologically confusing to readers not familiar with this style; also the maps are poor and do too little to help understand the sometimes confusing maneuvers. Osprey books are noted for their illustrations and maps but here they are poorly integrated into and do little to further the otherwise adequate text. All three of these books provide at least decent accounts of a complex campaign in fewer than 200 pages each.

    Stonewall Books 001.jpg Shenandoah 1862.JPG Stonewall Books 008.jpg Image (2).jpg Shenandoah Valley 1862 Osprey.jpg

    The battles of the Valley Campaign were smallish affairs, often involving only 20,000 men or fewer total. The only study of any of them separately that I'm aware of is the fine Conquering the Valley by Robert K. Krick which deals with the double battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic. Like the Tanner book, however, it is told almost entirely from the Confederate perspective. I include here the 1959 pamphlet Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign 1862 with a short text by Edward T. Downer which was the very first thing I read on the subject, and which I purchased at Jackson's headquarters museum in Winchester back in 1961.

    There are accounts of the campaign written as articles and memoirs by participants, two of the best being I Rode With Stonewall by his aide-de-camp Henry Kyd Douglas and General Richard Taylor's Destruction and Reconstruction (not pictured). Another of some interest is by Marylander Randolph H. McKim called A Soldier's Recollections. Another series book is Time-Life's Voices of the Civil War - Shenandoah 1862 which combines a short narrative of events with excerpts from period memoirs, letters, and diaries and many wonderful illustrations in color and black-and-white to form a mosaic of the campaign.

    Stonewall Books 004.jpg Stonewall Books 021.jpg Stonewall Books 005.jpg Image (3).jpg Stonewall Books 020.jpg

    Edit: I have just read and highly recommend Gary Eclebarger's excellent battle study "We are in for it!" - The First Battle of Kernstown.

    Image (4).jpg


     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  14. NedBaldwin

    NedBaldwin Captain

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    You should read it. It is quite good.

    I also recommend We are in for It!: The First Battle of Kernstown and Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at Front Royal and Winchester both by Gary Ecelbarger which focus on specific battles.
     
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  15. rdengmurr

    rdengmurr Private

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    Wow, great post and a wonderful narrative. The photos are amazing, the last time I was in Harpers Ferry was some time ago, I really need to go back and refresh my memory. But a great town, it has so much history. Thanks for such a great read :smile:
     
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  16. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Thanks for the recommendations - I now recollect the Kernstown book but don't think I'd heard of the other one; both of these mini-campaigns within the larger Valley Campaign should provide enough material for a book.
     
  17. dlavin

    dlavin First Sergeant

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    This thread makes me want to go visit. Thanks James!
     
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  18. SharonS

    SharonS Private

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    This synopsis is really useful as are all of the full posts. I especially liked that you began with the Hoffbauer mural. As far as I'm concerned, it's the only art that probably makes Little Sorrel look like he really did. Hoffbauer was able to run next door to the Soldiers' Home to see the still relatively new mount in its original color and actually talk to men who had seen Jackson aboard the horse with their own eyes.
     
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  19. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    I read a book published in the 1860s by a Lt. Col. of a upper Mid-Western state that was part of Banks' Army of the Gulf during the Siege of Port Hudson. It was named "Among the Cotton Theives", an appropriate title IMO.
    The writer was a Democrat, and by nature a descenter of Republican policy of the day, including all things Banks.
    In his writings about the operations around New Orleans and his journey to from that city to the battlefield, he mentioned several times that the men were in constant anxiety about the rumored empending arrival of Stonewall Jackson and a 40,000 man army that would sack New Orleans, and then move on to capture Banks and the Grant.
    What was at that time just a rumor among blue privates now sounds like the best plan I've ever heard of for reversing the course of the war in 1863. It seems to me to be very plausible.
    Instead of sending Longstreet to Suffolk, detach Stonewall with 10,000 men from the 2nd Corps. Combine that force with some of the rabble Johnston was wrangling together in Canton. Now Jackson has 30,000 men in Hattiesburg, and he's moving on NOLA and Emory's garrison of 5,000 blue bellies.
    After sacking NOLA, ferry Taylor's 6,000 men across the river, and move out to whip Banks.
    Banks would be begging Grant for men, and forced to abandon his siege because He must now turn about face to meet Jackson (once again), who now has more men than he does. Banks would retreat in all likelihood, freeing up 5,000 effective from the Port Hudson Garrison to join in Jackson's army.
    Now you'd see a showdown. The best part.... Banks had the highest rank out of any Union Major General in the South. Grant would be under his control once they combined, which is why they never did.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
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  20. Al Murray

    Al Murray Sergeant

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    Thank you @James for doing these "synopsis" threads. A tremendous amount of value in an easy to use format.
     
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  21. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    This sounds great, and much of what you say - especially about Banks - is true; but if you'll remember from this thread part of Jackson's success in the Shenandoah Valley was his familiarity with the terrain. Even reliable information about things he didn't know personally could be provided by two men who did, Turner Ashby and Jed Hotchkiss, men he trusted to a lesser and greater degree respectively. Also, many of his men were from the Valley and its Confederate Congressman Boeteler was an unofficial part of his staff. It's at least questionable that he would have met with as much dependable cooperation in a region he probably knew nothing about. Stonewall was also notoriously hard to get along with and could be considered a martinet much like Braxton Bragg in that respect, and it's problematic whether the western Confederate generals would've welcomed him.
     
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