Shenandoah Valley 1864 The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864: A Synopsis and Index to Threads

James N.

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Part I - The Shenandoah Before Sheridan
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Cannon at New Market State Park, Virginia, marking the position of a Union artillery battery.

From the beginning of the Civil War the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia played an important role in the strategy of both sides. After brief skirmishing and small maneuvers in 1861 the Union made its first serious attempt to remove it as the Confederacy's storehouse, breadbasket, and manpower source, vital to the fledgling nation; as its commander at the time, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson wrote, "If this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost." Jackson soon afterward embarked on a campaign that thwarted Union designs, protecting the Valley, its people, and their harvests in a series of moves that came to be known as the Valley Campaign: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/sto...paign-a-synopsis-and-index-to-threads.124248/

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Following his successes in Spring, 1862, the Valley became an avenue of invasion for Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during the Maryland and Gettysburg Campaigns of 1862 and 1863. There were only a few battles and skirmishes that occurred within the Valley proper in the course of these actions, the Second Battle of Winchester being the largest. Despite having continued to strengthen the defenses of the town by erecting works like the Star Fort above, Union commander Maj. Gen. Robert Milroy's force was surprised and routed, largely by the same force led the previous year by Jackson.

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Map by Hal Jesperson, www.cwmaps

War returned with a vengeance in the spring of 1864, when Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant conceived his Overland Campaign which was designed to apply pressure on each front of the dwindling Confederacy. His strategy called for three simultaneous advances in Virginia stretching on a broad front from the Appalachian Mountains in the west to the Chesapeake Bay in the east. The western arm was to be led by political general Franz Sigel and consisted largely of troops from Midwestern states like Ohio, Indiana, and the new state of West Virginia.

The Battle of New Market, May 15, 1864
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The Valley was only lightly defended by only a scratch force of cavalry and a few small infantry brigades, all under the command of former Vice President of the United States and 1860 Presidential candidate, Lt. Gen. John C. Breckinridge. In a battle fought in a thunderstorm Breckinridge's men managed to overcome Sigel's poorly-deployed force at the strategically-located town of New Market. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-new-market-may-15-1864.113540/ Above, the battlefield as seen from the Union position with Massanutten Mountain looming in the background; the Bushong House and orchard through which the cadets of Virginia Military Institute charged is in middle distance.

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The Battle of Piedmont, June 5, 1864
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The unexpected Confederate victory at New Market soon proved less than a windfall when Robert E. Lee prematurely decided the Shenandoah was secure and ordered Breckinridge and most of the infantry with him to the vicinity of Richmond to replace the staggering losses he had incurred fighting Grant. Although Breckinridge and his men arrived to take a small part in the victory at Cold Harbor, this was more than offset by the latest Federal incursion in the Valley. Unlike following previous defeats, the Federals recovered quickly and under a new and aggressive leader, the sexagenarian Maj. Gen. David "Black Dave" Hunter they encountered another scratch force made up mostly of cavalry and dismounted cavalry led by irascible Confederate Brig. Gen. William "Grumble" Jones. The forces met at the village of Piedmont south of the old Port Republic battlefield of two years earlier and after a stiff fight Jones' center gave way and he was killed while trying to stem the rout of his men.

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Hunter quickly took advantage of his victory, marching south through the Valley all the way to Lexington where he destroyed Confederate stores and burned the home of Virginia Governor John Letcher and the buildings of Virginia Military Institute, seen above as they now look rebuilt and vastly expanded in the Twentieth Century. Hunter's actions precipitated a crisis in the Confederate command, especially when he next proceeded to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains and threaten the rail hub and major supply depot at Lynchburg. Lee was forced to return Breckinridge and ultimately detach a third of his infantry and most of his cavalry under Lt. Gen. Jubal Anderson Early to meet Hunter's threat. When Early's Second Corps arrived at Lynchburg and Hunter realized he was facing a major part of Lee's veterans and not just militia he quickly disengaged and beat a retreat for the Alleghenies thereby taking himself and his army from the Shenandoah for several crucial weeks.

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Confederate commanders in the Shenandoah Valley during 1864, from left to right: Lt. Gen. John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, victor at New Market and second-in-command of the enlarged force; Brig. Gen. William "Grumble" Jones who was killed at Piedmont; and Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early, last commander of the Valley District. Stonewall Jackson himself had anticipated the situation that existed there when he wrote in a letter to Valley congressman Col. Alexander R. Boteler in December, 1862,

My dear Colonel,
In reply to my communication to Genl. Lee, respecting the sending of troops to the Valley, he expressed his desire to do so, if he had the troops to spare. As he asked the question whether I thought troops could be wintered there to advantage, I stated that 20,000 could be wintered near Winchester if entrusted to an enterprising officer... I named the officer to whom the trust might be confided-Genl. Early-. I have repeatedly urged upon Genl. Lee the importance of protecting the Valley... I am well satisfied that General Lee desires to protect the Valley.


When Lee sent Early to Lynchburg it was with instructions to 1) relieve the town; 2) clear the valley of Hunter's Federals; 3) if possible, cross the Potomac River into Maryland; and 4) threaten Washington, D. C. "Old Jube" soon proved he was worthy of Jackson's recommendation and Lee's trust, accomplishing all that was asked of him in a campaign that rivaled that of the great Stonewall: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jubal-earlys-1864-raid-on-washington-d-c.103669/ In a series of forced marches through a brutally hot July Early's small army defeated a scratch force led by Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace at the Monocacy River in Maryland http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-monocacy.103560/ and advanced to the outskirts of the capital http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the...ns-and-battleground-national-cemetery.103589/ before withdrawing back into Virginia.

The Battle of Cool Spring, July 18, 1864
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Smarting from the humiliation of Jubal's Raid, the Washington authorities ordered a pursuit of the Rebels by Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright and his VI Corps from Grant's Army of the Potomac that had been rushed to protect the capital. Wright's pursuit went as far as Cool Spring, above, where a division of the supporting corps of Maj. Gen. George Crook was badly mauled. Crook next followed Early who was mistakenly thought to be withdrawing from the Valley to rejoin Lee at Petersburg.

The Second Battle of Kernstown, July 24, 1864
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Crook soon was disabused of his notion when Early suddenly turned on his pursuer in the battle of Second Kernstown, fought over exactly the same ground as the first of Jackson's Valley battles. Crook was caught without all his force deployed; his center stood firm behind the low stone wall at the Pritchard Farm lane above but both flanks had been turned and fled. Irish-born Col. James Mulligan commanding the center was mortally wounded in the fight and carried into the Pritchard House below where he died. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/cro...cond-battle-of-kernstown.125887/#post-1361997

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Kernstown was considered by Early's men a complete victory but it came with a high price: President Abraham Lincoln was forced to give in to the requests of Grant to combine the heretofore separate forces facing Early into one. The errant Hunter had by then returned to the main theater of operations following his sojourn in the mountains of western Virginia and as senior was offered command, but when he confessed to Grant that he had no idea of the whereabouts of Early and his army, Grant instead insisted on his original choice for the job, Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan.

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Federal commanders in the Shenandoah in 1864; Ultimate victor Maj. Gen. Phillip "Little Phil" Sheridan was propelled to fame, as evident from this print by Currier and Ives, and is flanked by his predecessors Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel at left and Maj. Gen. David Hunter, known as "Black Dave" for his depredations, at right.


Next, Part II
 
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James N.

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Part II - Sheridan the Inevitable
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For most participants, both North and South, the highpoint of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign was the recovery of the Federal army one the field of Cedar Creek, prompted in myth and legend by Sheridan's Ride as here depicted by wartime artist-correspondent Alfred Waud.

The Battle of the Opequon or Third Winchester, Sept. 19, 1864
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Position of Major James Breathed's Confederate horse artillery on the field of Opequon or Third Winchester. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-opequon-or-third-winchester-sept-19-1864.127249/

After taking control of the separate commands in his new district Phil Sheridan seemed as lethargic as some of his predecessors as he organized and prepared for the upcoming renewal of the campaign. This seemed to breed a false sense of security in his opponent Early, who at this time had just a little under the 20,000 men suggested by Jackson to create a suitable diversion. Lee had even dared to send Lt. Gen. Richard H. Anderson of the First Corps to Early with the division of Maj. Gen. Joseph B. Kershaw as a reenforcement. Sheridan, however, enjoyed a combined total nearing 45,000 men in four separate army corps of varying sizes commanded by reliable subordinates like those below.

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From left to right above, commanders of Sheridan's three infantry corps: Maj. Gen. William Emory, leading the XIX Corps, recently transferred to the Valley from the West where they had participated in the siege of Port Hudson and the Red River Campaign under Nathaniel Banks; Maj. Gen. George Crook led the sturdy mid-westerners who had previously served under Sigel and Hunter in what was called the Army of Virginia but had been re-titled the VIII Corps; and Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright commanding the VI Corps from the Army of the Potomac and had served as a division commander in most of the battles of that army.

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Early had seriously weakened his position around the road hub at Winchester by sending three of his four small infantry divisions north to Martinsburg in order to threaten another crossing of the Potomac. When Sheridan learned of this and the return of Anderson and Kershaw to Lee's army he suddenly struck on the morning of Sept. 19, 1864. At first he was opposed only by the small division of Maj. Gen. Stephen D. Ramseur but a traffic jam in Berryville Canyon prevented full deployment of the Federals for several hours while Early rushed his force back to Ramseur's aid. The divisions of Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon and Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes joined Ramseur in line on successive ridges just east of Winchester in the area above; meanwhile, Early's second-in-command Breckinridge attempted to hold back the growing tide of Federal cavalry growing to the north of the town.

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Around 4 pm Sheridan's Cavalry Corps under Maj. Gen. Alfred Torbert descended on the outnumbered Confederates in the vicinity of Fort Collier above; this move was in concert with a steady lengthening of the Federal battleline which had outflanked Gordon's Division, forcing it back at a right angle to the rest of Early's position. The combined pressure proved too great and the sounds of fighting in their rear soon caused the entire Confederate line to give way. Ramseur continued to withdraw slowly before Wright's corps but soon there was a flood of Rebels rushing south out of Winchester; amazingly they managed to salvage most of their supply train wagons and artillery though the loss in exhausted and demoralized prisoners was high.

The Battle of Fisher's Hill, Sept. 22, 1864
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Two days following the rout at Winchester the scene was replayed at Fisher's Hill where once again Early attempted to hold a defensive position with a force too small for the ground covered. Also as on the previous occasion the confederate position was outflanked on the left by the Union VIII Corps of George Crook who led his men on a little-known trail around the dismounted Confederate cavalry holding Early's left. With their flank again turned, the Confederates fled south not stopping until they reached Mount Jackson. This time however, it was Sheridan who fell victim to overconfidence and the feeling that the campaign had been won and was largely over.

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Left-to-right above, some of Early's subordinates included men such as his chief-of-staff Col. Alexander S. "Sandie" Pendleton, who was killed at Fisher's Hill while trying to rally the fleeing Rebels; Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon commanding a division and after Fisher's Hill and the departure of Breckinridge served as Early's second-in-command; and Maj. Gen. Stephen D. Ramseur who was to be the next to fall at Cedar Creek.

"The Burning", Sept. 26 - Oct. 8, 1864
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Grant had given Sheridan orders to not only clear Early and his little army out of the Valley but to also remove it as a source of Confederate supply; the result was an episode known throughout the Shenandoah simply as The Burning. Although private houses were supposed to be spared in the conflagration, most barns and gristmills were considered fair game and few from that time survived. Two of the mills which did are those above and below, Spengler's at Strasburg and George Shaver's near Staunton. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/two-that-survived-the-burning.118308/

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By this time Sheridan's Cavalry Corps had surpassed the Confederate horsemen in almost every respect: morale, weapons and equipment, uniforms, horseflesh, and especially leadership; the days of unquestioned Rebel superiority in the mounted arm were over. Leaders like those above were now in command; at center is Maj. Gen. Alfred Torbert who was largely overshadowed by his principal subordinate division commanders, Brig. Gen. George A. Custer at left, and Brig. Gen. Wesley Merritt at right. Custer had only just replaced Maj. Gen. William W. Averill who Sheridan unjustly blamed for the escape of the Confederates at Fisher's Hill.

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Custer's division covered the area from the Valley Turnpike to the west, ranging north from Staunton while Merritt's division withdrew northward along the Pike, both burning as they went. Columns of black smoke created a pall over the Valley and its citizens, creating great disaffection and a burning desire in Early and his veterans for a revenge that was soon in coming.

The Battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864
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http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-cedar-creek-october-19-1864.118560/

Sheridan was called to a meeting with Grant to discuss the redeployment of his Valley army to more active fields where they could apply new pressure on the tottering Confederacy; in his absence the army was turned over to Gen. Wright who commanded it from the imposing 1790's mansion above at Belle Grove Plantation south of Middletown. His forces were strung out along nearby Cedar Creek deployed more for convenience than defense; Torbert's recently-returned cavalry were encamped farther from what should have been the front than the infantry, most of whom were in unprotected hilltop positions. The night of Oct. 18 - 19, Gen. Gordon led his divisions across Cedar Creek where before dawn they surprised and routed Crook's VIII Corps; next, joined by Kershaw's Division returned from Lee's army they fell on Emory's XIX Corps.

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Wright's own VI Corps was farther to the rear and had more time to ready itself for the Confederate assault. The division of Gen. George Getty stood off several uncoordinated attacks by individual brigades against their position on Middletown's Cemetery Hill above before joining in the Union retreat. The pressure overall drove the Union troops back about three miles before the exhausted Confederates gave up the pursuit. This proved to be their undoing, however, because around noon Sheridan arrived after a storied ride from his quarters at Winchester and took charge. Wright had already begun to straighten out the Federal forces and Sheridan "showed himself" by riding along the lines reassuring his men that they would soon be back in their old camps.

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Around 4 pm the hammer blows fell on the Confederates, the worst and most demoralizing of which being those of Custer's division on the right and Merritt's and the Reserve Division on the left along the Valley Pike. Early's tired divisions, demoralized by being turned by horsemen on both flanks, gave up the contest and broke for the rear, losing in the process the guns and wagons captured earlier in the day when they overran the Federal camps. Most of their own artillery and wagons were lost to Custer's pursuing troopers in a bottleneck over the creek at Spengler's Mill south of Staunton. The captured and recaptured vehicles joined over a thousand prisoners crowding the fields around Belle Grove house; inside mortally wounded Gen. Ramseur lay dying, visited by his old friends and classmates Custer and Merritt. This time there would be no relief for Early or his routed army; the last campaign in the Shenandoah Valley had ended in a dismal defeat. John Gordon led the remnant of the once proud Second Corps of Stonewall Jackson back to rejoin Lee's army at Petersburg where they endured another harsh winter before the end came in April, 1865 at Appomattox. Early remained in the Valley where he was effectively a district commander with no command until February, 1865, when his tiny force was smashed by Custer's cavalry in the Battle of Waynesboro.

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It was no question that the greatest benefits from the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 were felt by Phillip Henry Sheridan, who was elevated in the public mind to the first rank of Union Generals and Heroes of the war alongside Grant and Sherman. His complete victory there was credited, along with Sherman's capture of Atlanta, with securing the reelection of Abraham Lincoln in the November election and along with it the continuation of the war. Sheridan went on to command the Army of the United States following Grant and Sherman and died in that post. Even thirty years after-the-fact, Sheridan's Ride was still being celebrated in song, story, verse, and prints like that of Kurz and Allison above. Titled The Battle of Cedar Creek, it shows a much older Sheridan leading a cavalry charge and is incorrect in almost every respect; however, it nicely sums up the campaign and its most memorable moments.
 
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Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Great photos! Great story-telling!

My wife's ancestor, Lt. George W. Ward of the 3rd NC Infantry Regiment, was a veteran of the Valley Campaign of 1864. His unit was attached to Gen. Early's command. He missed some of the early engagements of the campaign because he was home in NC recovering from a serious wound received at Spotsylvania Court House, but had rejoined his unit in time for the battle of Third Winchester.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
The official regimental history of the 3rd N.C. makes special mention of the death of Gen. Robert Rodes, killed in action at Third Winchester. His death, along with the death of Gen. Ramseur, was said to have a demoralizing effect on the unit.
 

Jamieva

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This is a great bump of an older thread and very timely for October.


Suggested readings for this campaign:

From Winchester to Cedar Creek by Jeffrey Wert
The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 edited by Gary Gallagher
Sheridan in the Shenandoah By Edward Stackpole

For New Market:
The Battle of New Market by William C Davis
Union Command Failure in the Shenandoah by David Powell
Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market by Charles Knight
 

Virginia Dave

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Location
Waynesboro, Virginia
Part I - The Shenandoah Before Sheridan
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Cannon at New Market State Park, Virginia, marking the position of a Union artillery battery.

From the beginning of the Civil War the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia played an important role in the strategy of both sides. After brief skirmishing and small maneuvers in 1861 the Union made its first serious attempt to remove it as the Confederacy's storehouse, breadbasket, and manpower source, vital to the fledgling nation; as its commander at the time, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson wrote, "If this Valley is lost, Virginia is lost." Jackson soon afterward embarked on a campaign that thwarted Union designs, protecting the Valley, its people, and their harvests in a series of moves that came to be known as the Valley Campaign: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/sto...paign-a-synopsis-and-index-to-threads.124248/

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Following his successes in Spring, 1862, the Valley became an avenue of invasion for Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during the Maryland and Gettysburg Campaigns of 1862 and 1863. There were only a few battles and skirmishes that occurred within the Valley proper in the course of these actions, the Second Battle of Winchester being the largest. Despite having continued to strengthen the defenses of the town by erecting works like the Star Fort above, Union commander Maj. Gen. Robert Milroy's force was surprised and routed, largely by the same force led the previous year by Jackson.

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Map by Hal Jesperson, www.cwmaps

War returned with a vengeance in the spring of 1864, when Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant conceived his Overland Campaign which was designed to apply pressure on each front of the dwindling Confederacy. His strategy called for three simultaneous advances in Virginia stretching on a broad front from the Appalachian Mountains in the west to the Chesapeake Bay in the east. The western arm was to be led by political general Franz Sigel and consisted largely of troops from Midwestern states like Ohio, Indiana, and the new state of West Virginia.

The Battle of New Market, May 15, 1864
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The Valley was only lightly defended by only a scratch force of cavalry and a few small infantry brigades, all under the command of former Vice President of the United States and 1860 Presidential candidate, Lt. Gen. John C. Breckinridge. In a battle fought in a thunderstorm Breckinridge's men managed to overcome Sigel's poorly-deployed force at the strategically-located town of New Market. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-new-market-may-15-1864.113540/ Above, the battlefield as seen from the Union position with Massanutten Mountain looming in the background; the Bushong House and orchard through which the cadets of Virginia Military Institute charged is in middle distance.

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The Battle of Piedmont, June 5, 1864
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The unexpected Confederate victory at New Market soon proved less than a windfall when Robert E. Lee prematurely decided the Shenandoah was secure and ordered Breckinridge and most of the infantry with him to the vicinity of Richmond to replace the staggering losses he had incurred fighting Grant. Although Breckinridge and his men arrived to take a small part in the victory at Cold Harbor, this was more than offset by the latest Federal incursion in the Valley. Unlike following previous defeats, the Federals recovered quickly and under a new and aggressive leader, the sexagenarian Maj. Gen. David "Black Dave" Hunter they encountered another scratch force made up mostly of cavalry and dismounted cavalry led by irascible Confederate Brig. Gen. William "Grumble" Jones. The forces met at the village of Piedmont south of the old Port Republic battlefield of two years earlier and after a stiff fight Jones' center gave way and he was killed while trying to stem the rout of his men.

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Hunter quickly took advantage of his victory, marching south through the Valley all the way to Lexington where he destroyed Confederate stores and burned the home of Virginia Governor John Letcher and the buildings of Virginia Military Institute, seen above as they now look rebuilt and vastly expanded in the Twentieth Century. Hunter's actions precipitated a crisis in the Confederate command, especially when he next proceeded to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains and threaten the rail hub and major supply depot at Lynchburg. Lee was forced to return Breckinridge and ultimately detach a third of his infantry and most of his cavalry under Lt. Gen. Jubal Anderson Early to meet Hunter's threat. When Early's Second Corps arrived at Lynchburg and Hunter realized he was facing a major part of Lee's veterans and not just militia he quickly disengaged and beat a retreat for the Alleghenies thereby taking himself and his army from the Shenandoah for several crucial weeks.

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Confederate commanders in the Shenandoah Valley during 1864, from left to right: Lt. Gen. John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, victor at New Market and second-in-command of the enlarged force; Brig. Gen. William "Grumble" Jones who was killed at Piedmont; and Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early, last commander of the Valley District. Stonewall Jackson himself had anticipated the situation that existed there when he wrote in a letter to Valley congressman Col. Alexander R. Boteler in December, 1862,

My dear Colonel,
In reply to my communication to Genl. Lee, respecting the sending of troops to the Valley, he expressed his desire to do so, if he had the troops to spare. As he asked the question whether I thought troops could be wintered there to advantage, I stated that 20,000 could be wintered near Winchester if entrusted to an enterprising officer... I named the officer to whom the trust might be confided-Genl. Early-. I have repeatedly urged upon Genl. Lee the importance of protecting the Valley... I am well satisfied that General Lee desires to protect the Valley.


When Lee sent Early to Lynchburg it was with instructions to 1) relieve the town; 2) clear the valley of Hunter's Federals; 3) if possible, cross the Potomac River into Maryland; and 4) threaten Washington, D. C. "Old Jube" soon proved he was worthy of Jackson's recommendation and Lee's trust, accomplishing all that was asked of him in a campaign that rivaled that of the great Stonewall: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jubal-earlys-1864-raid-on-washington-d-c.103669/ In a series of forced marches through a brutally hot July Early's small army defeated a scratch force led by Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace at the Monocacy River in Maryland http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-monocacy.103560/ and advanced to the outskirts of the capital http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the...ns-and-battleground-national-cemetery.103589/ before withdrawing back into Virginia.

The Battle of Cool Spring, July 18, 1864
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Smarting from the humiliation of Jubal's Raid, the Washington authorities ordered a pursuit of the Rebels by Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright and his VI Corps from Grant's Army of the Potomac that had been rushed to protect the capital. Wright's pursuit went as far as Cool Spring, above, where a division of the supporting corps of Maj. Gen. George Crook was badly mauled. Crook next followed Early who was mistakenly thought to be withdrawing from the Valley to rejoin Lee at Petersburg.

The Second Battle of Kernstown, July 24, 1864
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Crook soon was disabused of his notion when Early suddenly turned on his pursuer in the battle of Second Kernstown, fought over exactly the same ground as the first of Jackson's Valley battles. Crook was caught without all his force deployed; his center stood firm behind the low stone wall at the Pritchard Farm lane above but both flanks had been turned and fled. Irish-born Col. James Mulligan commanding the center was mortally wounded in the fight and carried into the Pritchard House below where he died. http://civilwartalk.com/threads/cro...cond-battle-of-kernstown.125887/#post-1361997

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Kernstown was considered by Early's men a complete victory but it came with a high price: President Abraham Lincoln was forced to give in to the requests of Grant to combine the heretofore separate forces facing Early into one. The errant Hunter had by then returned to the main theater of operations following his sojourn in the mountains of western Virginia and as senior was offered command, but when he confessed to Grant that he had no idea of the whereabouts of Early and his army, Grant instead insisted on his original choice for the job, Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan.

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Federal commanders in the Shenandoah in 1864; Ultimate victor Maj. Gen. Phillip "Little Phil" Sheridan was propelled to fame, as evident from this print by Currier and Ives, and is flanked by his predecessors Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel at left and Maj. Gen. David Hunter, known as "Black Dave" for his depredations, at right.


Next, Part II
Kernstown drill.

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Luke Freet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Location
Palm Coast, Florida
This is a great bump of an older thread and very timely for October.


Suggested readings for this campaign:

From Winchester to Cedar Creek by Jeffrey Wert
The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 edited by Gary Gallagher
Sheridan in the Shenandoah By Edward Stackpole

For New Market:
The Battle of New Market by William C Davis
Union Command Failure in the Shenandoah by David Powell
Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market by Charles Knight
Also would recommend Scott Patchan's books:
The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter's Raid on Staunton
Shenandoah Summer
Last Battle of Winchester
 
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