The Battle of New Market, May 15, 1864

lelliott19

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Great thread James N. with wonderful pictures and good commentary. Thanks for posting it!

Isn't there a smaller version of that Statue at the Museum?
The 3/4 scale replica statue Virginia Mourning Her Dead is at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.
Statue MOC.PNG

http://www.moc.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/spring_2011_magazine.pdf

From the Confederate Veteran Magazine 1915, Volume 23, page 44.
Virginia Mourning Her Dead.PNG

https://books.google.com/books?id=Frc_AQAAMAAJ&lpg=PA44&ots=bFUwvU6Zl7&dq=Virginia mourning her dead Museum of the Confederacy&pg=PA44#v=onepage&q=Virginia mourning her dead Museum of the Confederacy&f=false
 

unionblue

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dsc03318-jpg.jpg


I'd intended to point out that it's plainly visible at the left in the background of this photo; in fact, there's a tunnel that goes beneath it for the walking trail that connects the Bushong Farm/Field of Lost Shoes area from the eastern flank/Pennsylvania Monument! In this day of lazy travelers who lack map skills and depend on things like GPS, the Interstate here is probably a GOOD thing because it makes this battlefield so "convenient" for them, whereas we lost about an hour trying to locate the almost-unmarked Piedmont battlefield.

James N.,

Once again, you have done a thread proud on this forum!

Thanks for posting the great pics and the words that went with each one. Always enjoy seeing and reading them.

Thanks again, James, appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

southern blue

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I don't remember seeing one in the Virginia Museum of the Civil War on the battlefield, but there could well be one. Here's a link to my thread on it: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-virginia-museum-of-the-civil-war-new-market-virginia.113441/

Now that is going to keep me awake at nights. I KNOW I have seen a smaller version of that statue somewhere and for whatever reason I thought it was at the museum...probably because that seems to be a logical place for it.

For whatever its worth... I have never been to the museum in Richmond so I didn't see it there.

?????
 

Delhi Rangers

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Part III - The Field of Lost Shoes
View attachment 67785

Breckinridge's infantry stopped briefly along the fence that separated the Bushong house and its dependencies from what became known as the Field of Lost Shoes which lay between them and the main Union line on the rise to the north. Below along the fence is a postwar memorial erected by probably the most unusual unit from either side that fought here, Woodson's Missouri Cavalry ( Dismounted ), a company-sized group of some 40 men that had been captured in the western theater but exchanged in Virginia and had no homes to return to and no way to get there even if they did! They were attached to a Virginia unit and fought here as dismounted cavalry (infantry, really); their monument reads,

This mystic pile
The simple tale will tell;
It marks the spot
Where Woodson's Heroes fell.


View attachment 67784

Most of the field can be seen in the photo below taken from the high ground next to the Shenandoah River where two Union batteries were posted; the main line ran from here gradually downhill to the east toward Massanutten Mountain in the background. The Field of Lost Shoes crossed by the Confederates at the height of the battle can be seen between here and the orchard in middle distance. After days of soaking rain it was a quagmire that sucked shoes and socks off the feet of the VMI cadets and others during the attack, hence the name it was given. As can be seen the field was in a low spot almost like a shallow bowl; it's no wonder it was a sump!

View attachment 67787

Opposite the Confederate center held by the cadets was Von Klieser's 30th New York Battery firing canister. The quick rush threatened to overrun the guns however, and all but one was as quickly withdrawn; the abandoned gun became a trophy of the cheering cadets. Sigel, Stahel, and several of their staff members became so excited by the turn of events they began issuing orders in German which did little to help stabilize the situation, instead creating further confusion among their native-born contingents that made up most of the Union force. Several units began to crumble and others began moving towards the rear precipitating a general retreat that threatened to dissolve into a rout. Only the timely arrival of Capt. Henry DuPont's 5th U. S. Battery on a hill to the north of the battlefield slowed Confederate pursuit and provided time for Sigel's retreat.

View attachment 67786
Next, Reflections on the battle.

James,
I am glad that you posted the Woodson's Missouri Cavalry monument. The first time that I ever saw it, I thought: What in the heck is a Missouri Cavalry unit doing here? I read about their story and they were truly a band of orphans. Here is a link with the story of Woodson's Cavalry and the monument.

http://www.shenandoah.stonesentinels.com/New_Market/Goodbye_Lieutenant_I_Am_Killed.php
 

Luke Freet

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I know this is an old thread, but thought I should add my notes.
Charles Knight, in Valley Thunder, did a lot of work to analyze the unit strengths at the Battle. For such a small battle, we are lucky to have so much detail on regiment strengths, thanks to Knight's work and that of William Davis before him. There are several holes, especially in regard to the Union cavalry numbers.
  • Breckinridge's Confederate Command (5321 men; 18 guns)
    • Echol's Brigade (1499)
      • 22nd Virginia (550)
      • 23rd Virginia Battalion (477)
      • 26th Virginia Battalion (472)
    • Wharton's Brigade (986)
      • 51st Virginia (680)
      • 30th Virginia Battalion (306)
    • The VMI Infantry Battalion (227)
    • 3rd Confederate Engineers (44)
    • Rockingham Reserve Militia (500)
    • Imboden's Cavalry (1708)
      • 18th Virginia Cavalry (600)
      • 23rd Viriginia Cavalry (315)
      • 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry (580)
        • Woodson's Missouri Company (62)
      • Davis' Maryland Cavalry (26)
      • 2nd Maryland Cavalry Battalion (40)
      • McNeill's Partisan Rangers (60)
      • 3rd Battalion, Virginia Mounted Reserves (87)
    • McLaughlin's Artillery (357 men; 18 guns)
      • Chapman's Battery (135 men; 6 guns)
      • Jackson's Battery (94 men; 4 guns)
      • McClanahan's Battery (93 men; 6 guns)
      • VMI Artillery Section (35 men; 2 guns)
  • Sigel's Union Troops (?, 5502 men; 28 guns)
    • Sullivan's Infantry Division (4937)
      • Moor's 1st Brigade (2555)
        • 18th Connecticut (599)
        • 28th Ohio (574)
        • 116th Ohio (766)
        • 123rd Ohio (616)
      • Thoburn's 2nd Brigade (2382)
        • 1st West Virginia (387)
        • 12th West Virginia (929)
        • 34th Massachusetts (500)
        • 54th Pennsylvania (566)
    • Stahel's Cavalry Division (?)
      • Tibbetts' 1st Brigade (?)
        • 1st New York Lincoln Cavalry (?)
        • 1st New York Veteran Cavalry (?)
        • 21st New York Cavalry (?)
        • 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade Cavalry (?)
        • 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry (?)
      • Wynkoop's 2nd Brigade (?)
        • 15th New York Cavalry (?)
        • 20th Pennsylvania Cavalry (?)
        • 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry (?)
    • Unorganized Artillery (?, 565 men; 28 guns)
      • Battery B, 1st Maryland (143 men; 6 guns)
      • Battery B, 5th US (133 men; 6 guns)
      • 30th New York Independent Battery (150 men; 6 guns)
      • Battery D, 1st West Virginia (139 men; 6 guns)
      • Battery G, 1st West Virginia (? men; 4 guns)
 

frontrank2

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Part II - The Bushong House, Garden, and Farmstead
View attachment 67745

At the center of the battlefield stood the home and farm belonging to Jacob Bushong, head one of the many families of German descent that had populated the Shenandoah Valley in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries. It now became the focus of the battle as the Confederate commander, former U. S. Vice President and 1860 Presidential candidate Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge, decided to attack, hopefully before all of Sigel's forces arrived on the field. The view above shows the farm as Breckinridge's Confederate infantry saw it as they advanced across open fields under Federal fire.

View attachment 67747

The Bushong farmhouse was surrounded by fences and outbuildings that broke up the Confederate advance; the battalion of Virginia Military Academy cadets Breckinridge had reluctantly added to the center of his line to plug a gap was forced to divide with companies going to the right and left around the house.

View attachment 67749

The interior of the original 1825 house has been furnished on the lower floor with a parlor above reflecting happier times that might've been celebrated by a prosperous valley farm family. Across the hall, another parlor represents the use of the building as a field hospital during and following the battle. There was an 1852 addition to the house that remains closed off, as is the original ca. 1818 house that stands behind this one.

View attachment 67748

After taking casualties crossing the open ground the VMI cadets, along with the other units of Breckinridge's small army, sought shelter behind a Virginia worm fence like the one below that stood between them and the Union center; here they drew their breaths and prepared for the assault that they hoped would decide the issue.

View attachment 67750
Next, The Field of Lost Shoes and Confederate victory!
See that mountain in the first photo, it is named Short Mountain, and we literally live on the side of it.
 
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