A história

Campanhas do Vale de Shenandoah


Durante a Guerra Civil Americana (1861-65), Shenandoah Valley, na Virgínia, viu uma série de confrontos militares quando as forças da União e dos Confederados tentaram obter o controle da área. Na primavera de 1862, o general confederado Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson liderou seus homens por mais de 650 milhas em uma campanha que ameaçou Washington, D.C., e desviou as forças da União de um ataque planejado a Richmond, Virgínia. Em 1864, o General da União Philip Sheridan embarcou em uma campanha destinada a privar o Exército Confederado de recursos e suprimentos naturais vitais. Sheridan venceu uma série de batalhas que tirou o controle do vale dos confederados, embora combates esporádicos continuassem até o final da guerra.

Campanhas do Vale de Shenandoah, (julho de 1861 a março de 1865), na Guerra Civil Americana, campanhas militares importantes em uma luta de quatro anos pelo controle do Vale de Shenandoah estratégico na Virgínia, correndo aproximadamente ao norte e ao sul entre o Blue Ridge e as Montanhas Allegheny . O Sul usou as vantagens de transporte do vale com tanta eficácia que muitas vezes se tornou o “vale da humilhação” para o Norte. Durante a maior parte da guerra, os exércitos confederados foram capazes de se mover para o norte através do vale e em direção a Washington, D.C., enquanto os exércitos da União que avançavam para o sul se viram empurrados para longe de Richmond, a capital confederada. Quando um exército do sul cruzou o Potomac em sua confluência com o rio Shenandoah, cortou a ferrovia de Baltimore e Ohio e estava a apenas 60 milhas (100 km) a noroeste de Washington. Conseqüentemente, a presença de um exército confederado na parte norte do vale do Shenandoah era freqüentemente considerada uma ameaça suficiente para justificar o chamado de volta das tropas da União de campanhas em outros lugares para garantir a segurança da capital. No final da guerra, as forças da União finalmente assumiram o controle indiscutível da região.

Durante os primeiros anos da guerra, o vale foi a arena para uma série de ataques confederados e manobras comandadas por generais como P.G.T. Beauregard, Thomas (“Stonewall”) Jackson, Richard S. Ewell e Wade Hampton. De março a junho de 1862, Jackson liderou sua famosa “cavalaria a pé” em uma campanha que durou mais de 650 milhas (1.050 km) e travou cinco batalhas (Kernstown, 23 de março; Front Royal, 23 de maio; Winchester, 25 de maio; Cross Keys , 8 de junho; Port Republic, 9 de junho) em uma ação brilhante que prendeu forças da União muito maiores e representou uma ameaça contínua para Washington, DC Além de catapultar Jackson para a fama, essas ações tiraram milhares de soldados federais de uma investida em Richmond; As diversões de Jackson podem muito bem ter salvado a capital do sul da captura precoce.

O vale foi palco de outro período intenso de campanha no final da guerra, quando em agosto de 1864 o general Ulysses S. Grant despachou o general Philip H. Sheridan para limpar o Shenandoah de uma vez por todas, em parte para livrar os federais de uma ameaça contínua e em parte para negar ao Sul os ricos produtos agrícolas do vale. Como Jackson antes dele, a campanha agressiva e móvel de Sheridan o tornou famoso. Do final de setembro ao final de outubro de 1864, as forças de Sheridan venceram três grandes batalhas: a Terceira Batalha de Winchester (19 de setembro), a Batalha de Fishers Hill (22 de setembro) e a Batalha de Cedar Creek (19 de outubro). Essas vitórias deram aos Federados uma vantagem no vale que eles nunca abandonaram. Embora a campanha de Sheridan estivesse essencialmente encerrada, a posição sulista não seria eliminada até que uma divisão de cavalaria liderada pelo general George Custer derrotasse as tropas do general Jubal Early em Waynesboro em 2 de março de 1865. Um mês depois, a Confederação entrou em colapso e Robert E. Lee se rendeu o último exército de campo do sul.


As campanhas

Outro 01 de março de 1862 e 02 de março de 1865 Resultado: inconclusivo

Desde a Campanha do Vale de Stonewall Jackson em 1862, que ajudou a salvar a confederação incipiente, até a Campanha de Shenandoah de Phillip Sheridan em 1864, que ajudou a selar sua condenação, o Vale de Shenandoah foi o cenário de algumas das campanhas mais importantes e memoráveis ​​da Guerra Civil Americana.

Na primavera de 1862, com fortunas confederadas caindo em todos os pontos, Jackson conduziu uma das campanhas mais brilhantes da história militar, uma façanha rápida de luta, marcha, engano, contramarcha e ousadia que confundiu seus oponentes e líderes da União, atraiu milhares de soldados da União da campanha federal para tomar Richmond, e infundiu uma nova esperança e entusiasmo pela causa confederada.

Em 1863, Robert E. Lee usou a geografia e a posição únicas do Vale do Shenandoah como uma "avenida de invasão" durante seu avanço para o norte - e como um refúgio seguro quando se retirou para o sul após sua custosa derrota na Pensilvânia. Em 1864, a guerra no Vale atingiu um crescendo violento, com uma série de campanhas em gangorra que devastou a paisagem.

A Campanha de Lynchburg viu cada lado comercializar vitórias e os primeiros movimentos em direção a uma guerra de destruição mais ampla. Com suas linhas de suprimento vitais ameaçadas, um Lee, já com poucos funcionários, apostou enviando quase um terço de seu exército sob o general Jubal Early para se defender da ameaça federal. Durante sua campanha em Maryland, Early não só expulsou as forças da União do Vale, ele e seus homens avançaram até os próprios portões de Washington. Finalmente, líderes federais desesperados recorreram a um novo comandante, o general Philip H. Sheridan.

No outono de 1864, Sheridan entregou uma série de derrotas dolorosas, frustrando as esperanças dos confederados - e contribuindo para a reeleição de Abraham Lincoln em novembro de 1864. No meio da campanha, as forças federais também embarcaram em operações de terra arrasada que queimaram e devastaram muito da generosidade agrícola do Vale, uma nova virada para a “guerra total” que veio a ser conhecida como The Burning.

A Confederação havia perdido o controle do Vale do Shenandoah, e as palavras de Stonewall Jackson provaram ser proféticas. Poucos meses depois, a própria Virgínia caiu quando Lee entregou seu exército a Ulysses S. Grant em Appomattox.


Stonewall Jackson & # 8217s Primeira obra-prima & # 8211 Shenandoah Valley

A batalha de 1862 no Vale de Shenandoah foi considerada uma das maiores obras-primas da história militar.

O Vale do Shenandoah situado na Virgínia e limitado ao norte por Blue Ridge e ao sul pelas Montanhas Allegheny ofereceu proteção estratégica e vantagens de transporte para as forças confederadas, e com seu solo fértil e comunidades agrícolas, forneceu comida para eles durante o Civil Americano Guerra (que durou de julho de 1861 a março de 1865).

General Jackson & # 8217s & # 8220Chancellorsville & # 8221 Retrato, tirado em uma fazenda do condado de Spotsylvania em 26 de abril de 1863, sete dias antes de seu ferimento mortal na Batalha de Chancellorsville.

O Vale do Shenandoah não é apenas lembrado por hospedar dezenas de intensos combates sangrentos entre as Forças Confederadas hostis que lutaram contra as intimidantes Forças da União pelo controle da região, as campanhas no Vale do Shenandoah (ao lado dos eventos de First Manassas, ou Bull Run) permanece significativo na ascensão do general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson à fama.

Durante a campanha de Shenandoah Valley, Jackson marchou com uma tropa de 17.000 homens por 650 milhas em 48 dias, em confronto com cerca de 40.000 Forças da União lideradas pelo General Nathaniel P. Banks e General John C. Frémont.

Sua 'cavalaria a pé' travou cinco batalhas (as batalhas de McDowell, Front Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys e Port Republic.), Que resultou em um grande esgotamento das forças federais, ameaçou a queda de Washington DC e forçou uma retirada de as tropas do norte impressionadas da capital do sul, salvando-a da captura.

Jackson & # 8217s Valley Campaign: Kernstown to McDowell. Red & # 8211 Confederate, Blue & # 8211 Union. Mapa por Hal Jespersen / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Após as hostilidades em First Manassas que resultaram em favor dos Confederados, as probabilidades se voltaram contra as forças confederadas, acumulando-se contra elas enquanto as forças da União se moviam com determinação feroz, fazendo progressos significativos nas batalhas de Fort Donelson e Shiloh no Oeste Theatre, e se aproximando de Richmond (a capital do sul) tanto do norte quanto do sudeste.

As tropas do general Nathaniel P. Banks estavam surgindo em uma tentativa de conquistar o Vale do Shenandoah. É à luz disso que Stonewall Jackson escreveu a um membro da equipe dizendo: “Se este vale está perdido, a Virgínia está perdida”.

Banks em seu uniforme militar, c. 1861

Enquanto a batalha parecia desesperadamente desfavorável para os confederados, Jackson, que havia assumido o comando das tropas confederadas no vale, tinha um objetivo do general Joseph E. Johnston: proteger o vale e evitar que as tropas da União partissem.

Isso foi fundamental porque parte das tropas da União sob o comando do general Nathaniel P. Banks foram despachados para se juntar ao general George B. McClellan na campanha da península contra Richmond, enquanto outra parte foi enviada para ajudar o general Irvin McDowell em Fredericksburg.

Isso havia reduzido drasticamente a força numérica de Bank e, aproveitando a oportunidade, Jackson avançou atrás deles em Kernstown com seus 4.600 homens. Embora ainda estivessem substancialmente em menor número e sofrendo uma derrota técnica, a tropa de Jackson atingiu Banks com tanta força que ele teve que chamar de volta algumas de suas unidades que havia despachado para McClellan e McDowell.

A batalha de Kernstown produziu cerca de 590 baixas para as forças da União e cerca de 718 baixas dos Confederados, com a maioria dos feridos ou capturados.

Primeira batalha de Kernstown & # 8211 Hal Jespersen CC BY 3.0

Enquanto a campanha da Península de McClellan estava em andamento, Joseph E Johnston enviou a maioria de suas tropas para ajudar na proteção de Richmond. No entanto, ele reforçou Jackson com 8.500 homens sob o comando do major-general Richard S. Ewell com ordens para impedir que Banks capturasse Staunton, Virgínia e a Ferrovia do Tennessee.

Jackson havia planejado para Ewell seguir em frente com suas tropas para Swift Run Gap para desorientar o flanco de Banks enquanto ele se juntava ao Brig. General Edward & # 8220Allegheny & # 8221 Johnson em Staunton. Ele queria defendê-lo contra o ataque do Brig. Gen. Robert H. Milroy, que foi a figura principal das forças do Major Gen. John C. Frémont & # 8217s.

General Jackson e # 8211 Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau CC BY-SA 3.0

Este plano tinha sido estritamente para evitar que as tropas de Banks e as tropas de Fremont unissem forças. Jackson estava preocupado que, se isso fosse permitido, a tropa do confederado seria esmagada.

Quando Jackson se juntou a Johnson em Staunton, o exército de Johnson contava com cerca de 2.800 homens, enfrentando a força de Fremont de cerca de 20.000 homens. No entanto, com a ajuda do turbulento exército de Jackson, eles dominaram o exército de Fremont e # 8217s perto de McDowell, perseguindo-os por mais de 30 milhas subindo o South Branch Valley até Franklin.

Em 22 de maio, Jackson se juntou a Ewell e então enviou o general Ashby para o norte para fazer Banks acreditar que havia um ataque chegando a Estrasburgo. Mas seu primeiro plano era derrotar o destacamento menor da União em Front Royal.

General Irvin McDowell (à esquerda) com General George B. McClellan

As tropas de Ashby encontraram uma pequena força de infantaria da União que defendeu brevemente o depósito da União e a base ferroviária na estação de Buckton. As tropas de Ashby os dominaram, destruíram o depósito e cortaram todos os fios telegráficos disponíveis, eliminando a comunicação do Front Royal com Banks, que estava em Estrasburgo.

Jackson Valley Campaign & # 8211 Front Royal to Port Republic & # 8211 Hal Jespersen CC BY 3.0

Jackson, entretanto, estava em sua jornada em direção a Front Royal e acabou capturando-o. As forças da União em Front Royal sofreram cerca de 773 baixas, das quais 691 foram capturadas. Os confederados perderam cerca de 36 homens ao todo e capturaram uma grande quantidade de suprimentos federais.

O evento em Front Royal incomodou o presidente Lincoln o suficiente para trazer de volta cerca de 20.000 homens sob o comando do major-general Irvin McDowell de seu movimento inicial para se juntar a George B. McClellan na campanha da Península.

Front Royal Va. & # 8211 O Exército da União sob o comando de Banks entrando na cidade, 20 de maio de 1862.

Após a notícia da perda em Front Royal, Banks ordenou que seus homens recuassem para Winchester. Esta informação chegou a Jackson, que imediatamente deu uma perseguição aos Federais. O exército da União correu cerca de 35 milhas em 14 horas, cruzando o rio Potomac, iludindo as forças de Jackson.

A fuga se deve em grande parte porque a cavalaria de Ashby não estava disponível quando eles eram necessários. No final, este evento resultou em cerca de 2.000 vítimas das forças da União e 400 vítimas de Jackson.

As notícias das façanhas de Jackson chegaram a Washington, onde o presidente Abraham Lincoln estava preocupado com as possibilidades de Jackson surgindo em Washington. Em resposta, Lincoln ordenou que Fremont marchasse de Franklin a Harrisonburg para enfrentar Jackson e ajudar a remover a pressão exercida sobre Banks pelas forças inimigas.

Ele também cancelou a marcha de McDowell para Richmond, ordenando-lhe que marchasse para Shenandoah com 20.000 homens com o objetivo de capturar as forças de Jackson e Ewell. Essa mudança drástica de plano tinha o objetivo de prender o exército de Jackson usando três exércitos da União de três abordagens diferentes.

Marcador histórico marcando o fim da perseguição do Gen. Stonewall Jackson e # 8217 aos Federais após a Batalha de McDowell, 12 de maio de 1862. Foto: Jarek Tuszyński / CC-BY-SA-3.0 e amp GDFL

Fremont aumentaria sua linha de abastecimento de Harrisonburg enquanto Banks se moveria de volta através do Potomac e atacaria Jackson se ele subisse o vale. As tropas de McDowell estariam posicionadas em Front Royal à espera das tropas em fuga de Jackson e as esmagariam com Fremont em Harrisonburg.

Embora o plano parecesse correto, ele exigia operações síncronas dos três diferentes generais da União. Além disso, McDowell não estava muito entusiasmado com seu papel e, em vez de seguir as ordens, enviou a divisão do Brig. Gen. James Shields (que acabou de vir do exército de Banks). Fremont, por sua vez, ignoraria as diretrizes de Lincoln e tomaria a rota ao norte de Moorefield.

Em 30 de maio, Shields conseguiu recapturar Front Royal, e o exército de Jackson começou a se dirigir para Winchester.

General confederado Thomas J. & # 8220Stonewall & # 8221 Jackson.

Em 2 de junho, o exército de Jackson estava em fuga enquanto os exércitos da União se aproximavam de vários ângulos. O general Ashby morreu mais tarde em um confronto com a cavalaria de Fremont em Chestnut Ridge. Os homens de Jackson marcharam 40 milhas em 36 horas e escorregaram pelas Forças da União, que foram impedidas pelas chuvas e estradas lamacentas.

Perseguir Jackson separadamente foi um grande erro por parte do Federal, e Jackson foi rápido em agarrar esta oportunidade. Jackson moveu suas tropas pela ponte North River em Port Republic, onde os rios Norte e Sul se juntaram para se tornar o South Fork do Shenandoah. Ele sabia que a pequena cidade de Port Republic era crucial e ao destruir a ponte na confluência, ele seria capaz de manter Shield e Fremont separados.

Ele colocou Ewell em seu caminho para um cume a 7 milhas de Cross Keys, para enfrentar Fremont. Em 8 de junho, Fremont marchou para encontrar Ewell com uma força de 11.500. As tropas de Ewell eram apenas 5.800 depois de destacar a brigada de Richard Taylor para se juntar a Jackson.

A batalha de Cross Keys por Edwin Forbes, 7 de junho de 1862

Fremont atacou primeiro, mas se enganou sobre o ‘flanco estratégico’ de Ewell. Enquanto ele engajava os confederados em bombardeios pesados, ele ordenou 5 regimentos sob o Brig. O general Julius Stahel para encontrar o flanco de Ewell & # 8217s, mas durante a execução de suas ordens, Stahel foi recebido pelo general confederado Isaac R. Trimble & # 8217s brigada.

Os homens de Trimble enviaram uma rajada de fogo, chovendo sobre os homens de Stahel. Isso resultou em mais de 200 vítimas, pois os homens de Stahel recuaram com pressa. Quando Fremont recebeu a notícia, ele ordenou que suas forças recuassem para Keezletown Road. Ewell e suas tropas perseguiram e recuperaram mais terreno, mas não atacaram agressivamente as unidades da União em retirada.

Enquanto isso, Jackson estava completamente envolvido quando os cavaleiros da União surgiram inesperadamente em Port Republic, onde ele fez seu quartel-general. Ele escapou por pouco de ser capturado enquanto corria pela ponte North River para se juntar a suas unidades na crista além. Seus homens mais tarde reentraram na cidade e enviaram as unidades de cavalaria de volta ao South River. O incidente também anunciou a presença da coluna de Shield.

General Erastus B. Tyler durante a Guerra Civil.

Mais tarde naquele dia, Brig. O general Erastus B. Tyler marchou com duas brigadas de infantaria da União em uma pista submersa que se estendia pelos campos entre Lewiston e South Fork. Aqui, Tyler montou seis canhões, pronto para trazer o inferno para os confederados.

Jackson, não se intimidando com as ameaças de Tyler, ordenou o equipamento. O general Charles S. Winder cruzou South Fork com a Brigada Stonewall para atacar a linha Tyler & # 8217s, mas não teve sucesso.

Batalha de Port Republic.

Jackson ordenou que as forças de Ewell voltassem para Port Republic, e eles seguiram pelo Southern River. Jackson também ordenou que as brigadas de Taylor em Louisiana fossem pela floresta e interromper o ataque de Winder.

Taylor foi com seus homens, flanqueando os canhões de Winder. Eles capturaram os canhões pela retaguarda, virando-os contra a União. Simultaneamente, as forças de Jackson avançaram de Port Republic, levando as forças da União em seus calcanhares mais uma vez.

Jackson e Little Sorrel, pintura de David Bendann

A batalha em Port Republic marcou o fim da campanha de Jackson em 1862. Ele havia marchado contra um inimigo muito maior em número e consistentemente os superou. Embora o nível de vítimas na campanha tenha sido muito menor em comparação com as campanhas posteriores, a Campanha do Vale de Jackson foi fundamental para garantir a proteção de Richmond.

Através dessas batalhas ferozes, ele retirou as tropas do norte de Richmond, salvando-o da captura final. Com apenas uma força de cerca de 17.000 homens, ele provou que às vezes, quando os números parecem estar além de você, sua determinação em continuar lutando é o suficiente para virar a batalha a seu favor.


Campanhas do Vale de Shenandoah - HISTÓRIA

Quatro séculos atrás, quando toda a América era a Virgínia, o Shenandoah Valley, uma via natural fértil e abundante de 320 quilômetros formada por oceanos antigos, era o local de antigas lendas e contos reverenciados. Índios nativos detalhados para os primeiros ingleses que chegaram ao solo americano nos anos 1600 de vastos rebanhos de animais pastando e florestas intermináveis ​​de árvores americanas, incluindo castanheiras, muitas com 600 anos de idade e 30 metros de altura. Por milhares de anos, os índios americanos prosperaram no abundante campo de caça do Vale Shenandoah, mais tarde comercializando peles de alto valor para serem usadas na Europa.

Essa abundância de terras imaculadas e caça não passaria despercebida na Inglaterra (ainda no final dos anos 1600), onde o jovem Lord Fairfax, um favorito da corte de Carlos I e II, acabara de se tornar herdeiro de 5.282.000 acres de terra na Virgínia.

A palavra "Shenandoah" é de origem desconhecida do nativo americano. Foi descrito como derivado da anglicização do nativo americano, resultando em palavras como: Gerando, Gerundo, Genantua, Shendo e Sherando. Da mesma forma, o significado dessas palavras é questionável. Schin-han-dowi, o "Rio através dos Abetos", On-an-da-goa, o "Rio das Montanhas Altas" ou "Água Prateada e uma palavra Iroquois para" Grande Prado "foram propostos pela Native Etimologistas americanos. A crença mais popular e romantizada é que vem de uma expressão dos nativos americanos para "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars". [1]

Lorde Fairfax, residindo em esplendor real em sua confortável residência na Inglaterra, ouviu falar de um explorador alemão na década de 1670 que disse que o vale de Shenandoah era "maravilhosamente fértil com grama tão alta que os topos podiam ser amarrados na frente do seu peito como você sentou na sua sela. " Outros exploradores nos anos que se seguiram trouxeram de volta contos semelhantes. Naturalmente, como aquela era a terra de Fairfax, ele estava curioso para ver se tudo o que ouvia era verdade.

Embora Lord Fairfax não tenha sido capaz de deixar a Inglaterra imediatamente (mais tarde ele viveria o resto de sua vida na Virgínia, cavalgando quase todos os dias por incontáveis ​​quilômetros), ele encontrou o explorador perfeito na pessoa de Alexander Spotswood, o primeiro governador da Virgínia . Spotswood tornou-se governador interino da Virgínia em 1710, altura em que a pressão sobre a colônia para se expandir tornou-se mais aguda do que nunca. Um aventureiro de coração e um grande cavaleiro que amava a sela, Spotswood precisava de pouco incentivo para atender ao pedido de Lord Fairfax para cavalgar até as Montanhas Blue Ridge e ver o que está além.


Campanhas do Vale de Shenandoah - HISTÓRIA

Campanhas do Vale Shenandoah de 1864

Vale de Shenandoah na Guerra Civil

Campanhas do Vale Shenandoah de 1864

Campanha de Lynchburg (maio a junho de 1864)

Em março de 1864, o tenente-general Ulysses S. Grant assumiu o comando geral dos exércitos da União, a leste e a oeste. Em maio, ele ordenou que o major-general Franz Sigel cooperasse com a ofensiva de primavera do Exército de Potomac, avançando vale acima para interromper as comunicações dos confederados em Staunton e Charlottesville. Em 15 de maio, enquanto Grant e Lee travavam um combate desesperado no Tribunal de Spotsylvania, Sigel fez contato com uma força confederada sob o comando do ex-vice-presidente dos Estados Unidos John C. Breckinridge no New Market. Sigel foi derrotado e recuou rapidamente para além de Strasburg, cruzando Cedar Creek ao anoitecer em 16 de maio. Grant então substituiu Sigel pelo major-general David "Black Dave '' Hunter, que recebeu a tarefa de cortar a ferrovia Central da Virgínia.

Nesse ínterim, a divisão de Breckinridge foi chamada para o leste para reforçar o Exército da Virgínia do Norte na junção de Hanover, e o Brig. O general William E. "Grumble '' Jones assumiu o comando das forças confederadas restantes no Vale. Em 5 de junho, Hunter esmagou o exército confederado menor em Piedmont, matando Jones e fazendo quase 1.000 prisioneiros. Os confederados desorganizados não podiam fazer nada para atrasar O avanço de Hunter para Staunton, onde se juntou a reforços marchando de West Virginia.

De Staunton, Hunter continuou para o sul, destruindo esporadicamente moinhos, celeiros e prédios públicos, e tolerando saques generalizados por suas tropas. Em 11 de junho, Hunter afastou uma pequena força de cavalaria e ocupou Lexington, onde incendiou o Instituto Militar da Virgínia e a casa do ex-governador da Virgínia John Letcher. Os sucessos de Hunter forçaram Lee a devolver Breckinridge e enviar o Segundo Corpo do Exército da Virgínia do Norte sob o tenente-general Jubal A. Early para a defesa de Lynchburg. Enviar Cedo para o Vale foi uma decisão desesperada que restringiu a capacidade de Lee de realizar operações ofensivas contra Grant na frente de Richmond-Petersburg (ver Cerco de Petersburgo).

Na tarde de 17 de junho, o exército de Hunter alcançou os arredores de Lynchburg, mesmo quando a vanguarda de Early começou a chegar de trem de Charlottesville. Após um breve, mas intenso combate, Hunter retirou-se para West Virginia. Perseguido cedo por dois dias, mas depois voltou para o Vale e iniciou suas tropas para o norte, para o Rio Potomac.

Mapa da campanha de Shenandoah Valley de 1864

Campanha do Vale Shenandoah da Guerra Civil em maio - julho de 1864

Campanhas do Vale de Shenandoah em maio - agosto de 1864

Campanhas do Vale de Shenandoah em maio - agosto de 1864

Raid and Operations Against the B & ampO Railroad [junho-agosto de 1864], também conhecido como Campanha de Maryland de Early, compreendeu as seguintes batalhas: Monocacy & # 8211 Fort Stevens & # 8211 Heaton's Crossroads & # 8211 Cool Spring & # 8211 Rutherford's Farm & # 8211 Kernstown II & # 8211 Folck's Mill & # 8211 Moorefield.

Em 18 de julho, uma divisão da União cruzou o rio Shenandoah a oeste de Snickers Gap, mas foi jogada para trás na batalha de Cool Spring. A cavalaria da União foi rechaçada em Berry's Ferry, 14 quilômetros mais ao sul, no dia seguinte. Em 20 de julho, Union Brig. O comando montado do general William Averell, apoiado pela infantaria, mudou-se para o sul de Martinsburg na Valley Turnpike e atacou a divisão de infantaria do major-general Stephen D. Ramseur na Fazenda de Rutherford perto de Winchester e a derrotou. Em resposta a este revés e ameaças convergentes, Early retirou-se para Fisher's Hill, ao sul de Estrasburgo.

A retirada de Early convenceu Wright de que ele havia cumprido sua tarefa de expulsar os invasores confederados. Ele, portanto, ordenou que o VI e o XIX Corpos retornassem a Alexandria, onde embarcariam em transportes para se juntar ao Exército do Potomac. Wright deixou Crook com três pequenas divisões de infantaria e uma divisão de cavalaria em Winchester para cobrir o Vale.

Sob uma diretiva permanente para impedir que os reforços da União alcancem Grant, Early foi rápido em aproveitar a partida de Wright. Ele atacou e derrotou o comando de Crook em Second Kernstown em 24 de julho e pressionou de perto as forças da União em retirada. Quando Crook recuou em direção a Harpers Ferry, Early enviou sua cavalaria para Chambersburg, Pensilvânia, para cobrar tributo ou queimar a cidade. Os cidadãos se recusaram a obedecer, e a cavalaria de McCausland queimou o centro da cidade em retaliação aos excessos de Hunter no Vale.

Mapa da campanha de Shenandoah Valley de 1864

Guerra Civil no Vale de Shenandoah durante 1864

Mapa da campanha do Vale Shenandoah da Guerra Civil

Campanhas do Vale Shenandoah de 1864 em agosto - outubro de 1864

Guerra Civil no Vale de Shenandoah, Virgínia

Campanhas do Vale de Shenandoah em agosto de 1864 - março de 1865

A ameaça de Early a Washington, a derrota de Crook em Second Kernstown e o incêndio de Chambersburg forçaram o tenente-general Ulysses S. Grant a agir de forma decisiva para acabar com a ameaça dos confederados no vale de Shenandoah inferior. Grant devolveu o VI e o XIX Corps ao Vale, reforçado por duas divisões de cavalaria, e consolidou os vários distritos militares da região sob o major-general Philip H. Sheridan, que assumiu o comando do Distrito Militar Médio em Harpers Ferry em agosto 7

Early desdobrou suas forças para defender as abordagens de Winchester, enquanto Sheridan movia seu exército, agora com 50.000 homens, para o sul via Berryville com o objetivo de cortar a Valley Turnpike. Em 11 de agosto, a cavalaria e a infantaria confederadas repeliram a cavalaria da União em Double Toll Gate em combates esporádicos de um dia inteiro, evitando essa manobra.

Lee foi rápido em reforçar o sucesso e enviou a divisão de infantaria do major-general Joseph Kershaw do Primeiro Corpo de exército, a divisão de cavalaria de Fitzhugh Lee e um batalhão de artilharia, sob o comando geral do tenente-general Richard Anderson, para se juntarem ao Early. Em 16 de agosto, a cavalaria da União encontrou esta força avançando através de Front Royal, e em um combate violento em Guard Hill, Brig. A brigada do general George A. Custer capturou mais de 300 confederados.

Sheridan recebera ordens de se mover com cautela e evitar uma derrota, principalmente se Early recebesse reforço da linha de Petersburgo. Incerto sobre a força combinada de Early e Anderson, Sheridan retirou-se para uma linha defensiva perto de Charles Town para cobrir as travessias do Rio Potomac e Harpers Ferry. As forças de Early derrotaram a retaguarda da União em Abrams Creek em Winchester em 17 de agosto e seguiram para o norte na Valley Turnpike até Bunker Hill. Julgando o desempenho de Sheridan até agora, o General Early o considerou um comandante "tímido".

Em 21 de agosto, Early e Anderson lançaram um ataque convergente contra Sheridan. Quando Early atingiu o corpo principal da infantaria da União no Cameron's Depot, Anderson moveu-se para o norte de Berryville contra a cavalaria de Sheridan em Summit Point. Os resultados da luta foram inconclusivos, mas Sheridan continuou a se retirar. No dia seguinte, Early avançou corajosamente sobre Charles Town, assustando uma parte do exército da União em retirada, mas no final da tarde, Sheridan havia se retirado para trincheiras formidáveis ​​em Halltown, ao sul de Harpers Ferry, onde estava fora de ataque.

Logo cedo, tentou outra incursão em Maryland, esperando com essa manobra manter a iniciativa. Deixando Anderson com a divisão de Kershaw entrincheirada na frente de Sheridan em Halltown, ele dirigiu o resto do exército para o norte, em direção a Shepherdstown. Em 25 de agosto, duas divisões da cavalaria de Sheridan interceptaram o avanço de Early, mas a infantaria confederada os levou de volta ao rio Potomac em uma série de ações ao longo da estrada Kearneysville-Shepherdstown. As intenções de Early foram reveladas, no entanto, e em 26 de agosto, a infantaria de Sheridan atacou e invadiu uma parte das trincheiras confederadas em Halltown, forçando Anderson e Kershaw a se retirarem para o Depósito de Stephenson. Abandonou seu ataque e voltou para o sul, estabelecendo uma linha defensiva na margem oeste de Opequon Creek de Bunker Hill até Stephenson's Depot.

Mapa de campanha da Guerra Civil no Vale de Shenandoah

Mapa da campanha de Shenandoah Valley


Vale Shenandoah

Em 29 de agosto, a cavalaria da União vadeou o Opequon em Smithfield Crossing (Middleway), mas foi rapidamente empurrada de volta para o outro lado do riacho e para além da aldeia pela infantaria confederada. A infantaria da União do VI Corpo de exército então avançou e recuperou a linha do Opequon. Este foi mais um de uma série de estocadas e defesas que caracterizaram essa fase da campanha, conhecida pelos soldados como a "guerra da imitação".

Em 2-3 de setembro, a divisão de cavalaria de Averell cavalgou para o sul de Martinsburg e atingiu o flanco esquerdo confederado em Bunker Hill, derrotando a cavalaria confederada, mas sendo repelida pela infantaria. Enquanto isso, Sheridan concentrou sua infantaria perto de Berryville. Na tarde de 3 de setembro, o comando de Anderson encontrou e atacou elementos do corpo de Crook (Exército da Virgínia Ocidental) em Berryville, mas foi repelido. Cedo trouxe todo o seu exército no dia 4, mas descobriu que a posição de Sheridan em Berryville estava fortemente entrincheirada para atacar. Mais uma vez, cedo se retirou para a linha Opequon.

Em 15 de setembro, Anderson com a divisão de Kershaw e um batalhão de artilharia deixou a área de Winchester para retornar ao exército de Lee em Petersburgo e no dia 18 havia alcançado o Virginia Piedmont. Logo espalhou suas divisões restantes de Winchester a Martinsburg, onde mais uma vez cortou a B & ampO Railroad. Quando Sheridan soube da partida de Anderson e do ataque a Martinsburg, ele decidiu atacar imediatamente enquanto o exército confederado estava disperso.

Em 19 de setembro, Sheridan avançou seu exército na Berryville Turnpike, precipitando a batalha de Opequon. Por meio de marchas forçadas, Early concentrou seu exército a tempo de interceptar o golpe principal de Sheridan. A batalha durou o dia todo nas colinas a leste e ao norte de Winchester. Os veteranos de Early dizimaram duas divisões do XIX Corps e uma divisão do VI Corps em combates no Middle Field e perto do Dinkle Barn. Comandante da divisão confederada Major-General Robert E. Rodes e comandante da divisão da União Brig. O general David A. Russell foi morto a poucas centenas de metros um do outro no calor da luta. No final da tarde, um movimento de flanco do corpo de Crook e da cavalaria da União finalmente rompeu a linha excessivamente estendida de Early ao norte da cidade. Opequon foi um esforço de vida ou morte da parte de ambos os exércitos, resultando em quase 9.000 baixas.

Sheridan 's victory was decisive but incomplete Early retreated twenty miles south to his entrenchments at Fisher’s Hill and Sheridan followed. Preliminary skirmishing on the 21st showed that a frontal assault would be costly, so Sheridan resorted to a flanking movement on September 22. Hidden from the Confederate signal station on Massanutten Mountain by the dense forest, Crook's two divisions marched along the shoulder of Little North Mountain to get behind the Confederate lines. In late afternoon, Crook's soldiers fell on Early's left flank and rear ``like an avalanche,'' throwing the Confederate army into panicked retreat. At Milford (Overall) in the Luray Valley on the same day Confederate cavalry prevented two divisions of Union cavalry from reaching Luray and passing New Market Gap to intercept Early's defeated army as it withdrew up the Valley.

Early retreated to Rockfish Gap near Waynesboro , opening the Valley to Union depredations and what became known as ``The Burning'' or ``Red October.'' Sheridan thought he had destroyed Early's army, but Kershaw's division and another brigade of cavalry were returned to the Valley, nearly making up the losses suffered at Opequon and Fisher's Hill. After convincing Grant that he could proceed no farther than Staunton, Sheridan withdrew down the Valley systematically burning mills, barns, and public buildings, destroying or carrying away the forage, grain, and livestock. During this portion of the campaign, Confederate partisan groups under John S. Mosby and Harry Gilmor increased their activities against Union supply lines in the Lower Valley .

Early followed Sheridan 's withdrawal, sending his cavalry under Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Rosser to harass the Union rear guard. Angered by Rosser's constant skirmishing, Sheridan ordered his commander of cavalry, Maj. Gen. Alfred T. Torbert, to ``whip the enemy or get whipped yourself.'' On October 9, Torbert unleashed the divisions of his young generals, Wesley Merritt and George Custer, on the Confederate cavalry, routing it at Tom’s Brook. In the melee that followed, victorious Union troopers chased the Confederates twenty miles up the pike and eight miles up the Back Road, in what came to be known as the ``Woodstock Races.'' The morale and efficiency of the Confederate cavalry were seriously impaired for the rest of the war.

On October 13, Early reoccupied Fisher's Hill and pushed through Strasburg to Hupp's Hill where he engaged a portion of Sheridan 's army. When Sheridan realized the proximity of Early's forces, he recalled the VI Corps, which had again been dispatched to join Grant. On October 19, at dawn, after an unparalleled night march, Confederate infantry directed by Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon surprised and overwhelmed the soldiers of Crook's corps in their camps at Cedar Creek . The XIX Corps suffered a like fate as the rest of Early's army joined the attack. Only the VI Corps maintained its order as it withdrew beyond Middletown , providing a screen behind which the other corps could regroup.

Sheridan, who was absent when the attack began, arrived on the field from Winchester and immediately began to organize a counterattack, saying ``if I had been with you this morning, boys, this would not have happened.'' In late afternoon, the Union army launched a coordinated counterattack that drove the Confederates back across Cedar Creek. Sheridan 's leadership turned the tide, transforming Early's stunning morning victory into afternoon disaster. Early retreated up the Valley under sharp criticism of his generalship, while President Abraham Lincoln rode the momentum of Sheridan 's victories in the Valley and Sherman 's successes in the Atlanta campaign to re-election in November. A campaign slogan of the time duly noted that the ``Early'' bird had gotten its ``Phil.''

Early attempted a last offensive in mid-November, advancing to Middletown . But his weakened cavalry was defeated by Union cavalry at Newtown ( Stephens City ) and Ninevah, forcing him to withdraw his infantry. The Union cavalry now so overpowered his own that Early could not maneuver offensively against Sheridan . On November 22, the cavalry fought at Rude's Hill, and on December 12, a second Union cavalry raid was turned back at Lacey Springs, ending active operations for the winter season. The winter was disastrous for the Confederate army, which was no longer able to sustain itself on the produce of the devastated Valley. Cavalry and infantry were returned to Lee's army at Petersburg or dispersed to feed and forage for themselves.

Riding through sleet on March 2, 1865, Custer's and Brig. Gen. Thomas Devin's cavalry divisions advanced from Staunton , arriving near Waynesboro in the early afternoon. There, they found Early's small army, consisting of a remnant of Brig. Gen. Gabriel Wharton's division and some artillery units. Early presented a brave front although the South River was to his rear, but in a few hours, the war for the Shenandoah Valley was over. Early's army fled before the Union cavalry, scattering up the mountainside. Early escaped with a few of his aides, riding away from his last battle with no forces left to contest Union control of the Shenandoah Valley .

With the Confederate threat in the Valley eliminated, General Sheridan led his cavalry overland to Petersburg to participate in the final campaign of the war, Richmond-Petersburg Campaign , in Virginia . On April 9, 1865, after collapse of the Petersburg lines and a harried retreat, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House .


HISTORY CORNER: The Historic Shenandoah Valley

As the climate warmed during the last part of the Ice Age, large mammals such as the Mastodon migrated into the Shenandoah Valley and were hunted by the Indians.

This re-creation of frontier life in the Shenandoah Valley by the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Va., depicts early settlement in the valley mostly by English, Irish and Germans starting in the 1700s.

Tennessee rifleman heading from Strasburg through Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley to join the Virginia Army early in the Civil War (1861).

The 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek effectively ended the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns when Union Major General Philip Sheridan routed Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early, thus preventing any further threat to Washington, D.C., and eliminated a major source of food for the Confederacy.

Artist Charles Hoffbauer's epic mural depicts Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and his troops marching 650 miles to the north through the Shenandoah Valley in 1862.

The Federal victory at the Battle of Fisher’s Hill on Sept. 22, 1864, led by Union General Philip Sheridan was followed by the Union forces “scorched earth” burning of the Confederacy’s crops and food sources in the Shenandoah Valley.

Confederate prisoners captured at the Battle of Fisher’s Hill in Virginia being guarded by Union troops.

Late in the Civil War, Union General Philip H. Sheridan, shown here, led his troops in a series of battles that took back control of the Shenandoah Valley and cut off a major source of the Confederacy’s food supply.

Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia in Staunton, Va., exhibit of replica of typical frontier cottages of original immigrants to Shenandoah Valley.

General “Stonewall” Jackson (1803-1863), riding Little Sorrel in this painting, led victorious battles by Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley.

Stonewall Jackson had only two portrait photographs taken during the Civil War, one in Winchester, Va., in November 1862 and the other near Fredericksburg, Va., this photo may be a third, Jackson on left leaning on rail.

General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on his deathbed in 1863 after his left arm was injured in battle by friendly fire and amputated, with the wound leading to pneumonia and possible pulmonary embolism.

Staunton, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley today.

The Civil War played a big role in Shenandoah Valley’s history, but less known history is that it didn’t pay to be a stylish-looking con-man in Staunton, Va., as “F.T. Wister” found out in 1878 when he was caught after bilking several hotels and boarding houses — earning five lashes in a public whipping.

The Shenandoah Valley shared by both Virginia and West Virginia is truly a natural wonder, with velvety mountain ridges looking down on bucolic meadows, farm lands, forests and rivers teaming with life and feeding a nation.

Native Americans knew about the valley 10 millennia ago — maybe longer. They were hunters and gatherers — and among the hunted were mastodons with 10-foot-long ivory tasks, their bodies protected with 3-foot-long hair.

Just who was living there when the Europeans first arrived is a bit hazy. There are historical documents that claim that the Shenandoah was inhabited by primitive tribes “who were massacred by a mysterious tribe of ‘Southern Indians.’”

One report says that “By the seventeenth century, conflicts over trade and territory among the Indian nations inhabiting the Shenandoah forced them to abandon the land, leaving it seemingly deserted.”

A 1671 expedition journal by Johann Lederer exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains mentions the Rickohocken Tribe in southwest Virginia later called the “Cherokees.”

And to this day there are mounds, large indigenous town sites and pre-European ruins that can be seen in Western Virginia.

In 1760, travel writer Andrew Burnaby crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains and was awed by the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.

“I could not but reflect with pleasure on the situation of these people and think if there is such a thing as happiness in life, that they enjoy it,” he wrote. “Far from the bustle of the world, they live in the most delightful climate, and richest soil imaginable… in perfect liberty: they are ignorant of want, and acquainted with but few vices…

“They possess what many princes would give half their dominions for — health, content, and tranquility of mind.”

Much of that would change around the early 1700s. European settlers came from England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere. Quakers and Mennonites arrived from Pennsylvania.

There were some Native Americans in the Shenandoah at that time, and soon trouble brewed between the competing cultures.

That lasted until 1736, when Virginia Governor Sir William Gooch settled the turmoil by paying the Iroquois £100 for any settled land that they were claiming, and another £200 in gold the following year to stop any further claims.

Rich in agricultural resources, the Shenandoah Valley runs 140 miles northeast to southwest between the Allegheny Mountains in Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains in West Virginia — which in those early days was considered America’s Western Frontier.

Locals say “going up” the Shenandoah Valley means heading southwest to higher parts of the valley, while going northeast would be “down the valley,” to lower elevations.

During the ensuing century and a half, the valley sprouted farms and towns as the population grew.

Then in the middle of the 1900s, dark clouds of Civil War began gathering. After it started in 1861, both the Union and Confederacy battled for control of the Shenandoah for its food resources and strategic importance — especially for the South.

During the war, the valley was subjected to many battles in what became known as the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns.

For the first two years, the Confederates dominated then after that it was the Union for the rest of the war.

In the spring of 1862, Confederate morale was low. They’d been defeated at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and Shiloh by General Ulysses S. Grant, and the South’s prospects seemed bleak.

In the East, Union forces were making important footholds, while in the South, Union gunboats had captured New Orleans.

Then Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson came into the scene.

He’d fought in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) with distinction, and then spent 10 years teaching physics and artillery tactics at Virginia Military Institute.

He was an excellent teacher but the students didn’t like him much because of some quirky habits.

Nevertheless, he earned a reputation as an honest and dutiful man of devout faith, who didn’t drink, gamble or smoke.

When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, Jackson joined the Confederate cause and accepted a commission as a colonel in the Confederate army.

He quickly established his reputation as a brilliant military tactician in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

His genius was embodied in two maxims: “Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy” and “never fight against heavy odds” if you can “hurl your own force on the weakest part of your enemy and crush it.”

Jackson put both strategies to use when he was given the daunting assignment of defending the Shenandoah Valley, while at the same time preventing Union troops there from being sent to either Fredericksburg or Richmond.

Jackson’s creative battle tactics constantly baffled the Union commanders.

His finest hour was from March to June 1862 when he won a series of five swift battles in the Shenandoah Valley by leading 17,000 Confederate troops 650 miles through the valley for 48 days and threatened Washington, D.C.

“We made a forced march … that resulted in aching limbs, sore feet and empty stomachs,” wrote Cleon Moore of the Second Virginia. “For one day and a half we marched — as only Jackson’s men could march.”

Jackson’s victories included the battles of Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys and Port Republic.

The Battle of Port Republic was particularly significant, because it helped stop the Union plan during the Peninsula Campaign to capture Richmond, Va., the heart of the Confederacy.

Stonewall Jackson become a Confederate hero, while Robert E. Lee’s star was still yet to rise.

After Jackson’s Shenandoah Campaign — Confederate General Jubal A. Early continued driving out the remaining Union forces, and then proceeded to raid Maryland, Pennsylvania and D.C.

However, his successes ended in the autumn of 1864 when General Ulysses S. Grant ordered General Philip Sheridan to remove the Confederates once-and-for-all from the valley. He said to use the “scorched earth” tactic of burning the mills, crops and barns — like William Tecumseh Sherman did in Georgia.

“Do all the damage to railroads and crops you can,” he said. “If the war is to last another year, we want the Shenandoah Valley to remain a barren waste.”

Sheridan obeyed the order, declaring, “The people must be left nothing but their eyes to weep with over the war,” promising that the valley “from Winchester to Staunton will have but little in it for man or beast.”

He attacked from Winchester in the north to Harrisburg in the south, and the Shenandoah Valley battles became some of the most pivotal and memorable campaigns of the American Civil War.

Sheridan’s Shenandoah Campaign of 1864 included the battles of Guard Hill, Berryville, Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, Tom’s Brook and Cedar Creek — all Union victories that gave the Union forces control of the strategic valley, that they held for the rest of the war.

The last battle in the Shenandoah Valley was on March 2, 1865, when General George Armstrong Custer’s 3rd Cavalry Division destroyed Jubal A. Early’s troops at Waynesboro.

The final battle that ended the Civil War was a Union victory at the Battle of Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, when Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Grant at a gentlemanly ceremony in a farmhouse owned by Wilmer and Virginia McLean.

Stonewall Jackson’s last hurrah was at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863, when he attacked Union General Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac from the rear, inflicting heavy casualties. Within days, Hooker pulled his troops out.

During that battle, Jackson was on a scouting mission when a North Carolina Confederate regiment mistook his band as the enemy and fired on them by mistake.

His left arm was shattered below the shoulder and had to be amputated.

While trying to recover, he developed pneumonia and possibly a pulmonary embolism and started to fade.

His bedside was surrounded by his wife, Anna, baby daughter Julia and several surgeons holding a vigil as he lapsed in and out of consciousness.

When he awoke and noticed the others, he said, “I see from the number of physicians that you think my condition dangerous, but I thank God, if it is His will, that I am ready to go. I am not afraid to die.”

Stonewall Jackson died on May 19, 1863, at age 39, and his body returned to Lexington in a casket for burial.

He was a true hero of the Confederacy.

Contact Syd Albright at [email protected]

Saving sovereignty — not Slavery…

“It was not for the defense of slavery that these men left their homes and suffered privation and faced the peril of battle. Bred in whatever school of American politics, these men believed, to a man, in the integrity and sovereignty of the commonwealth, and, men like Robert E. Lee, they laid down everything and came to the borders to resist invasion at the call of the Mother. The troops that Stonewall Jackson led were like him, largely, in principle and in aim, and he rode among them as one of themselves – a war genius of their own breeding.”

— James Power Smith, Confederate officer, writing in 1920

Nickname “Stonewall” …

At the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861 — also called the First Battle of Manassas — Jackson boldly charged his army into the defensive line to shore up a hole and stop a Union attack. Confederate General Barnard E. Bee, who was later killed in the battle, was watching all this and was impressed with Jackson’s quick thinking and told his men to take heart and to look at Jackson standing there “like a stone wall.” The nickname stuck.

Sheridan’s “scorched earth” tactic…

“We burnt some 60 houses and all most of the barns, hay, grain and corn in the shocks for 50 miles (south of) Strasburg… It was a hard-looking sight to see the women and children turned out of doors at this season of the year… the burning does not seem real soldierly work. We ought to enlist a force of scoundrels for such work.”

— Union soldiers in Shenandoah Valley (1864)

Shenandoah Valley attractions…

Rivaling California’s Napa Valley, the Shenandoah Valley has 14 wineries scattered throughout the valley, and interesting attractions include Civil War battelfields, the Luray limestone caverns, a 105-mile skyline drive with incredible vistas of the picturesque valley, a limestone arch called Natural Bridge, worshipped by the Monacan Indians, owned by Thomas Jefferson, and defaced by a young George Washington, and the valley is home to Black Bears and endangered salamanders.

VR IMAGE BY RICHARD THORNTON

As the climate warmed during the last part of the Ice Age, large mammals such as the Mastodon migrated into the Shenandoah Valley and were hunted by the Indians.

This re-creation of frontier life in the Shenandoah Valley by the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Va., depicts early settlement in the valley mostly by English, Irish and Germans starting in the 1700s.

Tennessee rifleman heading from Strasburg through Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley to join the Virginia Army early in the Civil War (1861).

The 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek effectively ended the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns when Union Major General Philip Sheridan routed Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early, thus preventing any further threat to Washington, D.C., and eliminated a major source of food for the Confederacy.

VIRGINIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Artist Charles Hoffbauer's epic mural depicts Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and his troops marching 650 miles to the north through the Shenandoah Valley in 1862.

SHENANDOAH VALLEY BATTLEFIELDS NATIONAL HISTORIC DISTRICT

The Federal victory at the Battle of Fisher’s Hill on Sept. 22, 1864, led by Union General Philip Sheridan was followed by the Union forces “scorched earth” burning of the Confederacy’s crops and food sources in the Shenandoah Valley.

Confederate prisoners captured at the Battle of Fisher’s Hill in Virginia being guarded by Union troops.

Late in the Civil War, Union General Philip H. Sheridan, shown here, led his troops in a series of battles that took back control of the Shenandoah Valley and cut off a major source of the Confederacy’s food supply.

FRONTIER CULTURE MUSEUM OF VIRGINIA

Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia in Staunton, Va., exhibit of replica of typical frontier cottages of original immigrants to Shenandoah Valley.

General “Stonewall” Jackson (1803-1863), riding Little Sorrel in this painting, led victorious battles by Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley.

Stonewall Jackson had only two portrait photographs taken during the Civil War, one in Winchester, Va., in November 1862 and the other near Fredericksburg, Va., this photo may be a third, Jackson on left leaning on rail.

General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on his deathbed in 1863 after his left arm was injured in battle by friendly fire and amputated, with the wound leading to pneumonia and possible pulmonary embolism.


The Campaign:

In practice, it didn’t work out that way. Jackson’s swift-moving infantry, or “foot cavalry,” never numbered more than 6,000 men, but their mysterious marches, countermarches, and sudden attacks, were enough to mislead, surprise, and defeat the enemy throughout the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862 in the battles at Kernstown (23 March, a tactical defeat but a strategic victory because it diverted troops from McClellan’s Richmond campaign), McDowell (8 May), Front Royal (23 May), Winchester (25 May), Cross Keys (8 June), and Port Republic (9 June).


The Valley’s Civil War History

Memories of the Civil War are rife throughout the Shenandoah Valley.

There are even eight counties in the Valley that have been Congressionally designated as a National Heritage Area – the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District–an effort led by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (540-740-4545), which works with partners to preserve and advance interest in the Valley’s battlefields.

Passionately preserved battlefields, museums small and large, colorful re-enactments and year-round special events honor those who fought and fell during that terrible conflict.

While a comprehensive guide is too wide-ranging for our allotted space, and we regret being unable to mention them all, here are some of the Valley’s most notable stops to make on a self-guided tour of Civil War sites.

Martinsburg, WV:
In 1861, when Belle Boyd was 17, she shot a Union soldier who cursed at her mother while he was searching the Boyd home for Confederate flags. Afterwards, Boyd became a notable spy for the Confederates. You can still tour the Belle Boyd House, also serving as the Berkeley County Museum, which was built by Boyd’s father in 1853.

Harpers Ferry:
See the U.S. Armory and Arsenal held by John Brown and his men in 1859.

Winchester: Civil War sites like the Kernstown Battlefield abound in and around Winchester. A good place to start is the Civil War Orientation Center, in the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center. Also, don’t miss Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters. This Virginia and National Historic Landmark was used as headquarters by Jackson during the winter of 1861-1862. The house contains a large collection of Jackson memorabilia.

Middletown: Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park offers exhibits representing the history of the Shenandoah Valley, the Civil War and the 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek. Guided and self-guided tours, and interpretive ranger programs enhance this battlefield experience. Start at the Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main Street, Middletown.

Belle Grove is one of the outstanding historic mansions in the region. At its peak, the plantation property spanned 7,500 acres. This 1797 National Historic Landmark now serves as an educational center through the many interpretive programs it offers. Its priorities are to stimulate historical and preservation awareness among regional residents and visitors.

Strasburg: Hupp’s Hill Cedar Creek Museum commemorates the 1864 Valley campaign through artifacts, collections and theater presentations. The walking trails of the Civil War Park wind through 18 acres of well-preserved earthworks and tell the story of the property’s occupation by Federal troops in 1864.

Stephens City: Home to The Newtown History Center , one of many small museums in the Valley that do an exceptional job of preserving local history. Civil War Walking Tours are conducted and interpretive displays showcase the town’s wagon-making history and the cultural heritage of the region’s early settlers.

Front Royal: The Warren Rifles Confederate Museum houses firearms, flags, uniforms and accoutrements, cavalry equipment, rare documents and pictures, personal and domestic items and memorabilia of Belle Boyd, Mosby’s Rangers, Generals Jackson, Lee, Early, Longstreet, Ashby, and more.

New Market: The Virginia Museum of the Civil War, historic Bushong Farm, and a self-guided, 300-acre battlefield tour transport you to the Battle of New Market, fought just outside the museum and farm on May 15, 1864. Museum exhibits include Civil War art, firearms, and artifacts from the battle. More than 250 VMI cadets fought in this battle, many losing their shoes in the mud, an area now called the Field of Lost Shoes.

Harrisonburg: No less than 30 Civil War sites and six Civil War Trail markers can be found in Harrisonburg/Rockingham County. A sensible place to start is the Civil War Orientation Center. Housed in the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center, the center displays a large map of the Valley’s major battles, a timeline of the Civil War in the Valley, and photos, a video presentation and more.

Dayton: Just outside Harrisonburg travelers can find The Heritage Museum. Among their Civil War exhibits is an Electric Map of Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign. Other periods of local history are represented as well. Find more sites in and around Harrisonburg here.

Lexington: An iconic area in Civil War history. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are buried here. Jackson’s home in the downtown historic district, and Washington and Lee University keep the memories of both alive. In 1864, VMI was burned in Hunter’s Raid. Today, the VMI Museum—the oldest public museum in Virginia–is located in Jackson Memorial Hall on the Virginia Military Institute campus. If you can catch a Cadet Parade you’ll never forget it. Explore Lexington’s many other important sites here.

Verona: The Stonewall Brigade Museum houses a rare collection of artifacts from the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division and the U. S. Army. The origins of the 116th Infantry Regiment go back to the early 1740s, when it was part of the Colonial Virginia Militia. Drawing its strength from Citizen-Soldiers, the fabled unit saw action in the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the American Civil War earning the name “The Stonewall Brigade,” and the First and Second World Wars.

Throughout the State: Virtually all Virginia tourists have stopped to read interpretive signs at major and minor Civil War sites, put there by Civil War Trails. In the Valley, many of these 380-plus informative signs can be seen along Routes 11 and 340, among others.


Military Significance

The geography of the Shenandoah Valley was a military mirror: the advantages it gave to one side were reflected in the advantages it offered the other. As the western flank of Union operations in

central Virginia, the Shenandoah provided the Union high command with a potential back-door route into Richmond , the Confederate capital, while it circumvented the obstacles that were Virginia’s eastern rivers. Further, to hold the valley was to bottle up and contain the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia . (Broadening the map broadened the Valley’s importance: it could be used as a staging area into Unionist east Tennessee, always a priority for Lincoln.)

Those advantages transposed Confederate ones. Because the Valley’s direction is generally southwest to northeast, it pointed dagger-like at the North and especially at Washington, D.C., only sixty miles from Harpers Ferry. For the Confederates, to control it was to control a pressure point, a natural and physically protected invasion route northward. It was precisely this advantage that Jackson so aggressively seized in the Valley Campaign of 1862 , in which his small army exploited the landscape to flummox more than 60,000 Union troops, threaten invasion and the U.S. capital, and thereby harass and stall the Union effort to capture Richmond.

On two other notable occasions, the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863 and Jubal A. Early’s raid on Washington in 1864, Confederates used the Valley to undertake offensive operations in the North. Further, as the so-called “Granary of the Confederacy”—the name suggests the increasingly powerful linkage between antebellum pastoral imagery and Confederate nationalism—the Shenandoah’s abundance supplied wheat, corn, meat, and especially draft animals to the Confederate war effort.

Stymied by ill-starred commanders and an uncoordinated grand strategy, the Union high command was slow to use its advantages. Finally, and in part because the Shenandoah had become what one scholar called an “iconic Confederate place,” the Union chose to take away enemy advantages rather than claim its own. This decision played out spasmodically, in stages, as the larger Valley Campaign of 1864 unfolded.

On May 15, 1864, a small Confederate force that included 257 cadets from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington turned back the first Union offensive of the spring by defeating Union general Franz Sigel at the Battle of New Market . A second Union army under David Hunter succeeded in moving up the Valley all the way to Lexington, where on June 12 Hunter burned VMI as well as the home of former Virginia governor John Letcher .

Hunter, opposed in his front by a Confederate force under Early sent from Petersburg to stop him and from behind by ravenous partisans and guerrillas who disrupted his supply lines, chose to leave the valley and retreat into West Virginia. That movement reopened the Shenandoah Valley to Confederate control and made possible Early’s raid on Washington in July. Early’s movement, though unsustainable, brought to a head three summers of frustration in the Union high command and set the stage for a climatic, fiery autumn of holocaust.


The Valley’s Civil War History

Memories of the Civil War are rife throughout the Shenandoah Valley.

There are even eight counties in the Valley that have been Congressionally designated as a National Heritage Area – the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District–an effort led by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (540-740-4545), which works with partners to preserve and advance interest in the Valley’s battlefields.

Passionately preserved battlefields, museums small and large, colorful re-enactments and year-round special events honor those who fought and fell during that terrible conflict.

While a comprehensive guide is too wide-ranging for our allotted space, and we regret being unable to mention them all, here are some of the Valley’s most notable stops to make on a self-guided tour of Civil War sites.

Martinsburg, WV:
In 1861, when Belle Boyd was 17, she shot a Union soldier who cursed at her mother while he was searching the Boyd home for Confederate flags. Afterwards, Boyd became a notable spy for the Confederates. You can still tour the Belle Boyd House, also serving as the Berkeley County Museum, which was built by Boyd’s father in 1853.

Harpers Ferry:
See the U.S. Armory and Arsenal held by John Brown and his men in 1859.

Winchester: Civil War sites like the Kernstown Battlefield abound in and around Winchester. A good place to start is the Civil War Orientation Center, in the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center. Also, don’t miss Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters. This Virginia and National Historic Landmark was used as headquarters by Jackson during the winter of 1861-1862. The house contains a large collection of Jackson memorabilia.

Middletown: Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park offers exhibits representing the history of the Shenandoah Valley, the Civil War and the 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek. Guided and self-guided tours, and interpretive ranger programs enhance this battlefield experience. Start at the Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main Street, Middletown.

Belle Grove is one of the outstanding historic mansions in the region. At its peak, the plantation property spanned 7,500 acres. This 1797 National Historic Landmark now serves as an educational center through the many interpretive programs it offers. Its priorities are to stimulate historical and preservation awareness among regional residents and visitors.

Strasburg: Hupp’s Hill Cedar Creek Museum commemorates the 1864 Valley campaign through artifacts, collections and theater presentations. The walking trails of the Civil War Park wind through 18 acres of well-preserved earthworks and tell the story of the property’s occupation by Federal troops in 1864.

Stephens City: Home to The Newtown History Center , one of many small museums in the Valley that do an exceptional job of preserving local history. Civil War Walking Tours are conducted and interpretive displays showcase the town’s wagon-making history and the cultural heritage of the region’s early settlers.

Front Royal: The Warren Rifles Confederate Museum houses firearms, flags, uniforms and accoutrements, cavalry equipment, rare documents and pictures, personal and domestic items and memorabilia of Belle Boyd, Mosby’s Rangers, Generals Jackson, Lee, Early, Longstreet, Ashby, and more.

New Market: The Virginia Museum of the Civil War, historic Bushong Farm, and a self-guided, 300-acre battlefield tour transport you to the Battle of New Market, fought just outside the museum and farm on May 15, 1864. Museum exhibits include Civil War art, firearms, and artifacts from the battle. More than 250 VMI cadets fought in this battle, many losing their shoes in the mud, an area now called the Field of Lost Shoes.

Harrisonburg: No less than 30 Civil War sites and six Civil War Trail markers can be found in Harrisonburg/Rockingham County. A sensible place to start is the Civil War Orientation Center. Housed in the Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center, the center displays a large map of the Valley’s major battles, a timeline of the Civil War in the Valley, and photos, a video presentation and more.

Dayton: Just outside Harrisonburg travelers can find The Heritage Museum. Among their Civil War exhibits is an Electric Map of Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign. Other periods of local history are represented as well. Find more sites in and around Harrisonburg here.

Lexington: An iconic area in Civil War history. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are buried here. Jackson’s home in the downtown historic district, and Washington and Lee University keep the memories of both alive. In 1864, VMI was burned in Hunter’s Raid. Today, the VMI Museum—the oldest public museum in Virginia–is located in Jackson Memorial Hall on the Virginia Military Institute campus. If you can catch a Cadet Parade you’ll never forget it. Explore Lexington’s many other important sites here.

Verona: The Stonewall Brigade Museum houses a rare collection of artifacts from the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division and the U. S. Army. The origins of the 116th Infantry Regiment go back to the early 1740s, when it was part of the Colonial Virginia Militia. Drawing its strength from Citizen-Soldiers, the fabled unit saw action in the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the American Civil War earning the name “The Stonewall Brigade,” and the First and Second World Wars.

Throughout the State: Virtually all Virginia tourists have stopped to read interpretive signs at major and minor Civil War sites, put there by Civil War Trails. In the Valley, many of these 380-plus informative signs can be seen along Routes 11 and 340, among others.


Assista o vídeo: Shenandoah National Park (Novembro 2021).