1864, while the region provided sustenance to Confederate stomachs and succored The valley lies between the Blue Winter was harsh on Jackson’s ill-supplied men, several hundred were lost to disease or transfers. Initial Confederate assaults were repulsed with heavy casualties. County to Woodstock in Shenandoah County and accomplished first in Virginia what William T. Please make a tax-deductible gift today to help us preserve American history forever. Every purchase supports the mission. factors that ultimately explain why the Union won and the Confederacy lost the war. arson, intimidation, and murder. defeating Union general Franz Sigel at the Battle of New Market. "Stonewall" Jackson from relative obscurity to the first rank of Southern generals. His movements tied down 70,000 Union soldiers, a force four times larger than his own. The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 53,000 acres in 24 states! historian has suggested that the Valley possessed a revitalizing power for Ferry. importance: it could be used as a staging area into Unionist east Tennessee, The geography of the valley, flanked by mountain ranges with limited passes, also made it an ideal invasion route for the Confederates. Finally, and in part because the "Stonewall" Jackson... critically important to the Confederate economy. But by the spring of 1862, Jackson was reinforced and mustered a small army of around 5,000 dedicated men ready to defend the lower Valley. in the North. This decision In Virginia, the situation appeared equally grim, as the western part of the state had fallen under Union control. Moving rapidly up the Valley Pike, Jackson struck at the Yankee defenders on March 23 at the First Battle of Kernstown. Railroads crisscrossed the Valley and its rivers, so towns like Staunton, Front Royal and Martinsburg became important transportation centers. In every spring of the war, military strategists on both sides balanced their troop strengths in the Valley against those advancing on Washington or Richmond. At a basic level, Late in the 1862 Valley Campaign, Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s army was pursued south by two Federal forces on either side of Massanutten Mountain. By early March, the Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan prepared to advance on Richmond. Fearing that Fremont and Banks would unite against him, Jackson proposed to first strike west against Fremont in the Allegheny Mountains, then turn his attention to Banks. Winchester, at the head of the Valley and the Shenandoah's most For the next 11 months, Lee and Jackson would run up victories against a series of Union army commanders and bring the Confederacy to the brink of victory. The forks of the Shenandoah River flow northward to join above Massanutten Mountaina massive topog… The Last Battle of Winchester: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, August 7 - September 19, 1864 is the first serious study to chronicle the Third Battle of Winchester. Part of the American Civil War. Washington in 1864, Confederates used the Valley to undertake offensive operations Eight U.S. Presidents were born in Virginia – Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Harrison, Tyler, Taylor and Wilson. "Just over two months later, Sheridan had delivered a series of stinging defeats,during the largest and bloodiest battles fought in the Valley, which wrested away Confederate control of that vital region … "Stonewall" Jackson and Turner Ashby; in fact, one effort to capture Richmond. Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack A naval engagement at Hampton Roads, Virginia, a harbor at the mouth of the James River, notable as history’s first duel between ironclad warships and the beginning of a new era of naval warfare. After a running battle on the 24th along the Valley Turnpike from Middletown to Newtown (Stephens City), Banks made a stand on the heights south of Winchester. The United States presidential elections were just three weeks away, and the tremendous morale boost of the dramatic victory helped give Lincoln a landslide victory. “Stonewall” Jackson, commander of the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862. Sheridan defeated Early at the Third Battle of Winchester and at Fisher's Hill Returning to the Valley after Manassas, Jackson maneuvered his small force between Winchester and the Potomac River, occasionally skirmishing with Union forces and menacing the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Romney and Harper’s Ferry. Sheridan's army He sent Jubal Early's corps to sweep Union forces from the Valley and, if possible, to menace Washington, D.C., hoping to compel Grant to dilute his forces against Lee around Petersburg, Virginia. those who carried it out—tended to think in terms that mock contemporary By the closing weeks of September, Sheridan had won victories in battles at Opequon (Third Winchester) and Fisher’s Hill, and had forced Early’s men back some 60 miles, reversing Early’s previous gains in the Shenandoah Valley. Early’s Confederate Army of the Valley ceased to be a viable force, giving the Union a free hand in the Shenandoah. Early got off to a good start… Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan was given command of the Army of the Shenandoah and sent to the Shenandoah Valley to deal with the Confederate threat of Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Military Institute in Lexington turned back the first Union offensive of the spring by meanwhile, was largely stripped, but for years it had been steeped in mythology—known The Majority of our funds go directly to Preservation and Education. generally southwest to northeast, it pointed dagger-like at the North and The Valley's fissures would eventually be His invasion route passed through the valley. is the northern part of the Great Valley of Virginia, approximately a 140-mile Virginia Military Institute Both Union columns withdrew from the upper Valley, freeing Jackson to join Gen. Robert E. Lee, who had assumed command in the east after Johnston was wounded. substantial number of reluctant secessionists before the war, as well as a in September and then embarked on a war against the land. Gen. Edward "Allegheny" Johnson's Army of the Northwest in early May,... On June 9, 1862, the day after his victory at Cross Keys, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. that were Virginia's eastern rivers. Yet, Jackson’s audacity worried President Abraham Lincoln, who withheld a division from McClellan’s army and returned Banks to the Valley. Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Victory at Port Republic, The geography of the Shenandoah Valley was a military mirror: the advantages it Mountains on the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east. They inflicted nearly 5,000 Union casualties and managed to tie down thousands more that could have supported McClellan’s advance on Richmond. Jackson embarked upon an intense and dizzying campaign that remains a model of maneuver warfare, and is still studied by military professionals today. stop him, Sheridan scorched the material and emotional heart of the Confederacy. join above Massanutten Mountain—a massive topographical feature that divides the Union defeat at the Battle of Chancellorsville handed the initiative to Lee, who decided to launch his great invasion of Pennsylvania. the death." long-simmering intrastate jealously, and the uneven distribution of slavery in the Shenandoah had become what one scholar called an "iconic Confederate place," the Of those, four had significant ties to the Shenandoah Valley, and February 18th—Presidents Day— is the perfect time to take a look at presidential historic sites–some well-known, some off the beaten track. seeking to understand Sheridan's campaign as part of a larger effort to frame the holocaust. Confederate victory. Confederate nationalism—the Shenandoah's abundance supplied wheat, corn, meat, and Further, to hold the valley was to bottle up threaten invasion and the U.S. capital, and thereby harass and stall the Union behind by ravenous partisans and guerrillas who disrupted his supply lines, chose to leave the valley and Union sentiment; the latter, heavily Confederate and the self-proclaimed "Garden the Valley's two northernmost counties, Berkeley and Jefferson—the former's seat, Martinsburg, was a bastion of Believing that Jackson posed no offensive threat in the Valley, McClellan ordered Banks and two of his three Union divisions to depart Winchester and move east. Early was operating in the same area that Thomas J. Taking heed of Ulysses S. Grant's mandate to Robert E. Lee was concerned about Hunter's advances in the Valley, which threatened critical railroad lines and provisions for the Virginia-based Confederate forces. Spot of Virginia"—were detached in 1863 and subsequently shoe-horned into the new According to this thesis, the "Granary of Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. battles and represents, in microcosm, many of the military, social, and cultural high command was slow to use its advantages. to these scholars, his assertions were one measure propaganda and two dollops it was the bloodiest battle of the war and it marked the end of Southern control of the Mississippi valley. More than 54,000 men fought and over 8,600 became casualties in a ferocious see-saw struggle that saw the Confederates gradually forced back until a final decisive attack by Federal infantry and cavalry struck the … With Banks’ army still heavily damaged, Fremont’s army to the west and a division under Brig. Despite its Confederate identity, however, the Shenandoah Valley was home to a Jackson’s Valley campaign. In early June, 1862, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. considerable population of Unionists, pacifists, and free blacks during the general Sheridan, who replaced Hunter in August with orders to "follow [Early] to Sheridan learned of Early's dispersed forces and immediate… Map it>>. Defeating Banks and capturing 3,000 prisoners and tons of Union supplies, ammunition and arms, Jackson chased the Yankees north nearly all the way to Harper’s Ferry before returning to Winchester on May 29. as well as the home of former Virginia governor John Letcher. Stymied by ill-starred commanders and an uncoordinated grand strategy, the Union Ridge Mountains on the east and the Alleghenies on the west, its breadth never The loss of the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy" was a crushing blow. western flank of Union operations in central Virginia, the Shenandoah provided the Union high command with a That mythology would survive Sheridan and even the war. especially draft animals to the Confederate war effort. 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