O.R.- SERIES I – VOLUME XII/1 [S#15] pp. 360-361

No. 12.- Reports of Col. Nathan Kimball, Fourteenth Indiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade.(*)

Camp near Strasburg, Va., March 26, 1862

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle which was fought near Winchester, Va., on Sunday, the 23d instant, between the forces composing the division which I had the honor to command and the rebel forces under General Jackson:

Early in the morning of the 23d the enemy commenced the attack, advancing from Kernstown and occupying a position with their batteries on the heights to the right of the road and the woods in the plain to the left of the road with cavalry and infantry and one battery. I at once advanced the Eighth Ohio, Colonel Carroll with four companies taking the left and Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer with three companies the right of the turnpike road. Colonel Carroll advanced steadily, coming up with two companies of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, who had been out as pickets. Uniting them with his command, he drove one of the enemy’s batteries which had opened a heavy fire upon him, and after a sharp skirmish routing five Companies of the enemy, which were posted behind a stone wall and supported by cavalry, holding his position during the whole day, thus frustrating the attempts of the enemy to turn our left.

The right of the Eighth Ohio remained in front until about 4 o’clock p.m., when they were recalled to support one of our batteries on the heights. The Sixty-seventh Ohio were thrown on a hill to our right to support Jenks’ battery, which had been advanced to a position commanding the village of Kernstown and the wood on the right. The Fourteenth Indiana was sent forward to support Clark’s battery, which advanced along the road. The Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania was thrown over the hills to the right to prevent a flank movement of the enemy.

The Second Brigade, commanded by Colonel Sullivan, Thirteenth Indiana, composed of the Thirteenth Indiana, Fifth Ohio, Sixty-second Ohio, and Thirty-ninth Illinois, was sent to the left, supporting Carroll’s skirmishers, a section of Daum’s battery, and Robinson’s First Ohio Battery, [L], and to prevent an attempt which was made to turn that flank. We had succeeded in driving the enemy from both flanks and the front until about 4 o’clock p.m., when Jackson, with the whole of his infantry, supported by artillery and cavalry, took possession of the hill on the right, and planted his batteries in commanding position, and opened a heavy and well directed fire upon our batteries and their supports, attracting our attention whilst he attempted to gain our right flank with his infantry.

At this juncture I ordered the Third Brigade, Col. E. B. Tyler, Seventh Ohio, commanding, composed of the Seventh and Twenty-ninth Ohio, First Virginia, Seventh Indiana, and One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania, to move to the right to gain the flank of the enemy, and charge them through the wood to their batteries posted on the hill. They moved forward steadily and gallantly, opening a galling fire on the enemy’s infantry. The right wing of the Eighth Ohio, the Fourteenth and Thirteenth Indiana Regiments, Sixty-seventh Ohio, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, and Fifth Ohio, were sent forward to support Tyler’s brigade, each one in its turn moving gallantly forward, sustaining a heavy fire from both the enemy’s batteries and musketry. Soon all of the regiments above named were pouring forth a well-directed fire, which was promptly answered by the enemy, and after a hotly contested action of two hours, just as night closed in, the enemy gave way and were soon completely routed, leaving their dead and wounded on the field, together with two pieces of artillery and four caissons. Our forces retained possession of the field and bivouacked for the night.

The batteries, under their chief, Lieutenant-Colonel Daum, were well posted and ably served during the day and the whole action. I respectfully refer you to the several accompanying reports for the details of the engagement.

I regret to report the loss of the gallant Colonel Murray, Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, who fell while bravely leading forward his gallant men, amidst a perfect storm of shot and shell.

Where all have done so well, both officers and men, and achieved so much, it would be seemingly invidious to particularize any individual officer; yet I can say, without doing injustice to others, that Colonel Tyler deserves the highest commendation for the gallant manner in which he led his brigade during the conflict, and he, with the gallant Carroll, Harrow, Foster, Voris, Patrick, Thoburn, Sawyer, Buckley, Cheek, and Creighton, deserve well of their country. Colonel Sullivan, commanding the Second Brigade, and on the left, though not attacked in force, his batteries and skirmishers engaged the enemy and prevented the turning of that flank. He too merits the highest commendation. I am under many obligations to Colonel Clark, Majors Copeland and Perkins, and Captains Shriber and Sheffler, of Major-General Banks’ staff, for valuable assistance rendered, and it is with pleasure I mention their gallantry on the field. To Col. John S. Mason, of the Fourth Ohio, and his adjutant, Lieutenant Green, I am deeply indebted for valuable assistance rendered. To my own staff officers, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. John J.P. Blinn and Aide-de-Camp Lieut. Charles T. Boudinot, I am under many obligations for the gallant and efficient manner in which they discharged their duties on the field.

I herewith submit a plan of the battle, prepared by Captain Mason, of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, to whom I am much indebted for this valuable assistance.

A recapitulation of the killed, wounded, and missing is also appended.(*)

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Colonel Fourteenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Commanding.

     Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


The Kernstown Battlefield Association is sponsoring guided battlefield tours on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 10:30am and 2:00pm.  Bob Hileman, Jr. will serve as the guide.  Both tours focus on the first battle of Kernstown. 

The Pritchard House, located on the battlefield, will also be open for tours from 10:00am-4:00pm.  The battlefield tours are free; Pritchard House tours are $3.00 per person.  This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the efforts of the association and to explore the site of Stonewall Jackson’s only defeat.

For those who cannot make it this Saturday, tours will be offered again on June 12, 2010 at 11:00am and 2:00pm.

O.R.- SERIES I-VOLUME XII/1 [S# 15] pp. 379-384

No. 23.-Reports of Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, C. S. Army, commanding the Valley District, with resolution of the Confederate Congress.

Rapidan, Va., March 25, 1862.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

SIR: I have just received the inclosed letter from General Jackson. He evidently attacked the enemy under a misapprehension as to his force. He had previously reported it reduced from about 28,000 to 10,000 men. He now represents the Federal force in the valley as too strong to be driven back by a mere detachment of this army. In such an operation our communications would be completely exposed to McClellan.

It is reported that a bridge over the Shenandoah has been made on the Snickersville road.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

           J. E. JOHNSTON.


Near Newtown, Va., March 24, 1862.

GENERAL: As the enemy had been sending off troops from the district and from what I could learn were still doing so, and knowing your great desire to prevent it, and having a prospect of success, I engaged him yesterday about 3 p.m. near Winchester and fought until dusk, but his forces were so superior to mine that he repulsed me with the loss of valuable officers and men killed and wounded; but from the obstinacy with which our troops fought and from their advantageous position I am of the opinion that his loss was greater than mine in troops, but I lost one piece of artillery and three caissons.

On Saturday two brigades went down to Berryville with their baggage. The supposition is that they have crossed at Castleman’s Ferry. From a prisoner whom we took I learn that more troops had marching orders at Winchester. This fight will probably delay, if not prevent, their leaving and I hope will retain others. From what I hear there are 15,000 troops at Berryville, Charlestown, and Harper’s Ferry. Shields yesterday appears to have had seventeen regiments of infantry. I heard he had much less when I made the attack. To drive him back if he advances I ought to have 5,000 infantry. I have enough artillery. The heavy guns were sent to Gordonsville. I will try and remain on this side of Strasburg. My wagons have gone to the rear and my forces are waiting to see whether the enemy will advance. Ashby is about 5 miles from Winchester.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,




     Comdg. Dist. of Northern Va.


Near Mount Jackson, March 29, 1862.

MY DEAR GENERAL: My information, from a spy who left Winchester on day before yesterday, is that from 8,000 to 10,000 of the enemy came in pursuit of me on Monday, and that nearly the same number has come from Winchester in the direction of Strasburg since then; that they had been leaving in this direction every day since Sunday up to the time of his leaving town, and that there must be about Strasburg between 16,000 and 20,000. From the report of Captain Hess, who has charge of a party of observation, there were about 10,000 who came out on Monday. No passes, not even to negroes, are given to leave Winchester in the direction of Strasburg. On the roads leading northward persons leave town without passes. The enemy continued to return to Winchester from Castleman’s from near 10 a.m. till near 4 p.m., and it is believed that all the force that had recently gone to Castleman’s, with the exception of about three regiments, returned, and all the force at Winchester, with the exception of two or three regiments, has moved toward Strasburg.

There are no troops left at the encampment near Mrs. Carter’s, beyond Winchester. The lowest estimate made in Winchester of the killed and wounded of the enemy is 1,000; the highest 1,500. Mr. Philip Williams, of Winchester, whom you probably know, says that he feels safe in putting the number at 1,200. My impression is that the estimate is too large, though I can only judge from the history of battles and what I saw. Three hundred and forty-one of my command fell into the hands of the enemy, so far as could be ascertained in Winchester; of this number, 81 killed and about 40 so badly wounded that they could not be sent off to the east. A committee of the citizens buried our dead, and the wounded have received that attention which only women can give.

Philip Williams has been told by a gentleman from Baltimore that there is an expedition fitting out against Magruder, and he attaches importance to the statement. It is well to remark that Mr. Williams is a warm friend to our cause, but sustains no other relation to the Army. I make this statement lest this letter might fall into the hands of the enemy.

The Federal troops at Moorefield have taken possession of the keys of the courthouse and jail. It appears that one object of their incursion is to unite that section of the State to the Peirpoint government.

Very truly, yours,




Near Mount Jackson, Va., April 9, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle near Kernstown, Va., on Sunday, March 23:

On the preceding Friday evening a dispatch was received from Col. Turner Ashby, commanding the cavalry, stating that the enemy had evacuated Strasburg. Apprehensive that the Federals would leave this military district, I determined to follow them with all my available force. Ashby, with his cavalry and Chew’s battery, was already in front. Col. S. V. Fulkerson’s brigade, consisting of the Twenty-third and Thirty-seventh Regiments Virginia Volunteers and Shumaker’s battery, was near Woodstock. Brig. Gen. R. B. Garnett’s brigade, consisting of the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Twenty-seventh, and Thirty third Regiments Virginia Volunteers, and McLaughlin’s, Carpenter’s, and Waters’ batteries, was near 2 miles below Mount Jackson. Col. J. S. Burks’ brigade, consisting of the Twenty-first, Forty-second, and Forty-eighth Regiments Virginia Volunteers and the First Virginia Battalion, Provisional Army Confederate States, and Marye’s battery, was near 2 miles above Mount Jackson.

The three brigades were ordered to march at dawn of the following morning. All the regiments, except the Forty-eighth (Col. John A. Campbell’s), which was the rear guard, arrived within a mile or two of Kernstown by 2 p.m. on the 23d, and directions were given for bivouacking.

During the march information had reached me from a reliable source that the Federals were sending off their stores and troops from Winchester, and after arriving near Kernstown I learned from a source which had been remarkable for its reliability that the enemy’s infantry force at Winchester did not exceed four regiments. A large Federal force was leaving the valley, and had already reached Castleman’s Ferry on the Shenandoah. Though it was very desirable to prevent the enemy from leaving the valley, yet I deemed it best not to attack until morning. But subsequently ascertaining that the Federals had a position from which our forces could be seen, I concluded that it would be dangerous to postpone it until the next day, as re-enforcements might be brought up during the night.

After ascertaining that the troops, part of which had marched over 14 miles since dawn, and Garnett’s and Burks’ brigades, which had made a forced march of near 25 miles the day previous, were in good spirits at the prospect of meeting the enemy, I determined to advance at once.

Leaving Colonel Ashby, with his command, on the Valley turnpike, with Colonel Burks’ brigade as a support to the batteries, and also to act as reserve, I moved with one piece of Carpenter’s battery and Colonel Fulkerson’s brigade, supported by General Garnett’s, to our left, for the purpose of securing a commanding position on the enemy’s right, and thus, turning him by that flank, force him back from his strong position in front, which prevented a direct advance.

Soon after, Captain Carpenter brought up his other pieces, also McLaughlin’s and Waters’ batteries came forward, the eminence was reached, and the three batteries, under their respective captains, commenced playing on the enemy, whose position was now commanded. We continued to advance our artillery, keeping up a continuous fire upon the Federals on our right, while Col. John Echols, with his regiment (the Twenty-seventh), with its skirmishers thrown forward, kept in advance and opened the infantry engagement, in which it was supported by the Twenty-first, under Lieut. Col. J. M. Patton, jr., as no other regiment of General Garnett had yet come up. Well did these two regiments do their duty, driving back the enemy twice in quick succession.

Soon a severe wound compelled the noble leader of the Twenty-seventh to leave the field, and the command devolved upon its lieutenant colonel, the dauntless Grigsby. Great praise is due to the officers and men of both regiments.

Colonel Fulkerson having advanced his brigade, consisting of the Twenty-third and Thirty-seventh, which were, respectively, commanded by Lieut. Cols. A. O. Taliaferro and R. P. Carson, to the left of Colonel Echols, judiciously posted it behind a stone wall toward which the enemy was rapidly advancing, and opened a destructive fire, which drove back the Northern forces in great disorder after sustaining a heavy loss and leaving the colors of one of their regiments upon the field. This part of the enemy’s routed troops having to some extent rallied in another position was also driven from this by Colonel Fulkerson. The officers and men of this brigade merit special mention.

Soon after the Twenty-seventh had become engaged General Garnett, with the Second, Fourth, and Thirty-third Regiments, commanded, respectively, by Col. J. W. Allen, Lieut. Col. C. A. Ronald, and Col. A. C. Cummings, moved forward and joined in the battle, which now became general. The First Virginia Battalion, Provisional Army Confederate States, under Capt. D. B. Bridgford, though it unfortunately became separated in advancing, was in the engagement, and from near 5 to 6.30 p.m. there was almost a continuous roar of musketry. The enemy’s repulsed regiments were replaced by fresh ones from his large reserve. As the ammunition of some of our men became exhausted noble instances were seen of their borrowing from comrades, by whose sides they continued to fight, as though resolved to die rather than give way.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald, commanding the Fourth, having been injured during the early part of the engagement by being thrown from his horse, the command of the regiment devolved upon Maj. A. G. Pendleton.

Though our troops were fighting under great disadvantages, I regret that General Garnett should have given the order to fall back, as otherwise the enemy’s advance would at least have been retarded, and the remaining part of my infantry reserve have had a better opportunity for coming up and taking part in the engagement if the enemy continued to press forward. As General Garnett fell back he was pursued by the enemy, who, thus turning Colonel Fulkerson’s right, forced him to fall back.

Soon after this the Fifth Regiment, under Col. W. H. Harman, came up, and I directed it to advance and support our infantry; but before it met the enemy General Garnett ordered it back, and thus the enemy were permitted unresisted to continue the pursuit. So soon as I saw Colonel Harman filing his regiment to the rear I took steps to remedy, as far as practicable, this ill-timed movement by directing him to occupy and hold the woods immediately in his rear; and calling General Garnett’s attention to the importance of rallying his troops, he turned and assigned the Fifth a position, which it held until the arrival of Colonel Burks with the Forty-second, under Lieut. Col. D. A. Langhorne. Colonel Barks and the officers and men of the Forty-second proved themselves worthy of the cause they were defending by the spirit with which this regiment took and held its position until its left was turned by the Federals, pressing upon the Fifth as it fell back.

Col. John A. Campbell was rapidly advancing with his regiment to take part in the struggle, but night and an indisposition on the part of the enemy to press farther had terminated the battle, which had commenced near 4 p.m.

Leaving Ashby in front, the remainder of my command fell back to its wagons and bivouacked for the night. Our artillery had played its part well, though we lost two pieces, one belonging to Waters and the other to McLaughlin, the former from having upset when hard pressed by the enemy and the latter from having its horses killed when it was on the eve of leaving the field, which it had so well swept with canister as to have driven back the enemy from a part of it over which he was pressing near the close of the battle.

During the engagement Colonel Ashby, with a portion of his command, including Chew’s battery, which rendered valuable service, remained on our right, and not only protected our rear in the vicinity of the Valley turnpike, but also served to threaten the enemy’s front and left. Colonel Ashby fully sustained his deservedly high reputation by the able manner in which he discharged the important trust confided to him.

Owing to the most of our infantry having marched between 35 and 40 miles since the morning of the previous day many were left behind. Our number present on the evening of the battle was, of infantry 3,087, of which 2,742 were engaged; twenty-seven pieces of artillery, of which eighteen were engaged. Owing to recent heavy cavalry duty and the extent of country to be picketed only 290 of this arm were present to take part in the engagement.

There is reason to believe that the Federal infantry on the field numbered over 11,000, of which probably over 8,000 were engaged. It may be that our artillery engaged equaled that of the enemy, and that their cavalry exceeded ours in number.

Our loss was, killed, 6 officers, 12 non-commissioned officers, and 62 privates; wounded, 27 officers, 53 non-commissioned officers, and 262 privates, of which number some 70 were left on the field; missing, 13 officers, 21 non-commissioned officers, and 235 privates. Nearly all the missing were captured.

A few days after the battle a Federal officer stated that their loss in killed was 418. Their wounded, upon the supposition that it bears the same relation to their killed as ours, must be such as to make their total loss more than three times that of ours.

Our wounded received that care and attention from the patriotic ladies of Winchester which they know so well how to give, and our killed were buried by the loyal citizens of that town. The hospitality of Baltimoreans relieved the wants of the captured. For these acts of kindness, on both sides of the Potomac, I am under lasting obligations.

The officers and men of the various regiments and batteries deserve great praise.

In consequence of Maj. F. B. Jones, Second Regiment Virginia Volunteers, being familiar with the locality, he was detached from his regiment and acted as a staff officer during the engagement, and from his familiarity with the country, added to his zeal and daring, rendered very valuable service.

Dr. Hunter McGuire, medical director, discharged his duties in a manner which proved him admirably qualified for his position. Maj. J. A. Harman, chief quartermaster, ably discharged his duties. Maj. W. J. Hawks, chief commissary, with his usual foresight, had the wants of his department well supplied.

First Lieut. G.G. Junkin, aide-de-camp and acting assistant adjutant-general, faithfully and efficiently devoted himself to his duties until near the close of the engagement, when, I regret to say, he was captured by the enemy.

First Lieut. A. S. Pendleton, aide-de-camp, who is an officer eminently qualified for his duties, discharged them in a highly satisfactory manner.

First Lieut. J. K. Boswell, chief engineer, rendered valuable service. Though Winchester was not recovered, yet the more important object for the present, that of calling back troops that were leaving the valley, and thus preventing a junction of Banks’ command with other forces, was accomplished, in addition to his heavy loss in killed and wounded. Under these circumstances I feel justified in saying that, though the field is in possession of the enemy, yet the most essential fruits of the battle are ours.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,




     Assistant Adjutant-General.


General ORDERS No. 37.

Rapidan, April 8, 1862.

The commanding general has the pleasure to publish to the troops under his command the following resolution of Congress, and at the same time to express his own sense of the admirable conduct of Major-General Jackson and his division, by which they fully earned the high reward bestowed by Congress:

Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are due, and they are hereby tendered, to Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson and the officers and men under his command for their gallant and meritorious service in the, successful engagement with a greatly superior force of the enemy, near Kernstown, Frederick County, Virginia, on the 23d day of March, 1862.

By command of Major-General Johnston:

          THOS. G. RHETT,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Battle of Kernstown – March 23, 1862
From Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Volume 2

This map shows the battle shortly before the climax of the fighting on Sandy Ridge (left), where the Stonewall Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General Richard B. Garnett, along with the small brigade of Samuel V. Fulkerson, clashed with Tyler’s brigade of Shields’s division.  Troops of both sides raced for the protection of a stone wall.  Though Fulkerson’s men arrived first, Tyler’s men held on.  As reinforcements joined Tyler’s determined infantrymen, the Stonewall Brigade reached its breaking point.  

With ammunition running low and the ranks of his brigade in disarray, but without authorization from Jackson, Garnett ordered a withdrawal.  By this time, superior numbers and hard fighting had turned the scales decisively against Jackson’s forces, which were now in full retreat.  Darkness prevented a more effective Federal pursuit.

Despite the success of Federal forces on the battlefield, Jackson’s unexpected assault detained Banks’s forces in the Valley.  Kernstown, therefore, was the first in series of events that deprived McClellan of reinforcements for his effort on the Peninsula.  For Jackson and Lee, this was a primary goal of the Valley Campaign.

By Nathan Kimball, Brevet Major General, U.S.V.
From Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Volume 21

EARLY in 1862 the division of the Union army afterward commanded by General James Shields was reorganized by General Frederick W. Lander, under whose lead it had taken part in the hardships of a winter campaign through the mountains and in the valleys of the upper Potomac. On the 1st of March orders were received directing General Lander to move his division from West Virginia into the valley of the Shenandoah, to unite with the divisions under General Banks in the operations already begun against “Stonewall” Jackson.2 But the brave Lander was not again to lead us. When the order came, it found him overcome by exposures and hardships, and on the 2d of March he died, at the camp of the division, on the Great Cacapon River. The division began the movement under this order on the 5th, and on the 7th, while we were on the way, General Shields arrived from Washington and assumed command.

General Banks had already crossed the Potomac with his divisions, and with but little opposition had occupied Harper’s Ferry, Charlestown, and Martinsburg, the enemy retiring toward Winchester. When our division arrived at Martinsburg on the 10th, General C. S. Hamilton’s had moved forward, and was then advancing near Winchester.3 Expecting that the enemy would resist his farther advance, General Hamilton requested General Shields to push forward to his support. General Shields, complying, sent forward, on the evening of the 11th, his First Brigade (my own), which, after a night’s hard march, united, early on the morning of the 12th, with Hamilton’s division, and advanced with it, and at 2 P. M. General Hamilton’s troops occupied the city and its defenses without serious opposition. Jackson, having abandoned the place, retreated up the valley toward Strasburg. On the 13th, General Shields arrived with his Second and Third Brigades (Sullivan’s and Tyler’s), having left detachments to garrison Martinsburg, while other forces of General Banks’s command remained at Harper’s Ferry and Charlestown. General Hamilton, commanding the First Division, having received orders assigning him to duty elsewhere, General Banks assigned General Alpheus S. Williams to the command of that division.

Early on the morning of March 17th, Shields, under orders from General Banks to make a reconnaissance, moved out from Winchester, following the route taken by Jackson along the turnpike up the valley toward Staunton, with flanking parties of cavalry upon the Front Royal and other parallel roads.

In the afternoon of the 17th, a force of the enemy with cavalry and artillery was met at Fisher’s Hill, near Strasburg, where brisk skirmishing was commenced and continued until toward the close of the day, when Shields ordered the advance of the Second Brigade, the enemy retreated, and Shields’s division encamped for the night in possession of the positions which had been held by the enemy.

On the morning of the 18th, General Shields pushed forward —meeting with but little resistance—as far as Woodstock; then, halting with his infantry, he sent his cavalry forward, following the enemy to Mount Jackson, where, having crossed the Shenandoah, he had disappeared. General Shields here discontinued the pursuit, and, returning, encamped again on the night of the 18th at Fisher’s Hill and Strasburg. On the morning of the 19th, waiting until the arrival of his cavalry,—at 10 o’clock,—he marched for Winchester, where the command arrived late in the evening without loss, and without being followed by the enemy.

General Shields reported to General Banks that Jackson had fled with his army from the valley, leaving only a small force under Ashby for observation, and that he had driven this force beyond the Shenandoah at Mount Jackson.

General Banks, now satisfied that Jackson had abandoned the valley, or that his force was too small and he too cautious to return to attack, and in compliance with orders previously received, removed all of his forces from Winchester (excepting Shields’s division) east of the Blue Ridge.

On the morning of the 22d, the last of his troops having moved, General Banks departed for Washington, leaving the division of Shields, the only force at and around Winchester, as the guardians of the valley. The enemy meantime had not been idle, having been kept well informed, daily and hourly,—by his friends and emissaries,—of every movement made by our forces, and also of the number and positions of the troops remaining under General Shields. Stonewall Jackson now returned intent upon victory, the recapture of Winchester, and the possession of the beautiful valley.

At 4 P. M., March 22d, Jackson announced his appearance in our front by the guns of Ashby’s artillery. Ashby, advancing from the direction of Strasburg, forced our outposts back upon their reserves, and attacked them with his cavalry. At the sound of the first gun, General Shields hurried to the front with reinforcements, returned the fire of the enemy with artillery and musketry, and, advancing his line, compelled the enemy to retire. Upon starting to the front General Shields had sent an officer of his staff to me with orders directing me “to move the residue of my brigade with one battery to a point on the Strasburg turnpike, two miles south of the city, with the least practicable delay.” Complying at once my command was moved rapidly forward, and Within an hour reached the point indicated. Here I met the general, who was being conveyed to his quarters in the city, having been severely wounded in the recent engagement. After giving me information as to the fight and the position of the forces, he directed me to take command. Our line of infantry and artillery was advanced in front of the toll-gate and in position to the right and left of the turnpike, with cavalry upon the diverging roads and flanks. No further movement on the part of the enemy took place, and night closing in, too dark for an advance, my troops bivouacked in line to await the developments of the coming Sabbath. During the night General Shields sent me instructions directing me to move forward at the earliest light with my brigade and battery, with one squadron of cavalry, along the turnpike, and drive or capture the enemy, as the force in my front was nothing more than an observation force of Ashby’s cavalry.

At daylight, on the 23d, my command was moving; so was the enemy’s. Advancing with infantry from the hills in my front, he opened upon my line a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, which was promptly returned, and soon our forces were engaged in severe conflict. The enemy halting, I ordered my line forward, giving and receiving heavy volleys, the dash of our men compelling the enemy to give way. With loud cheers my soldiers pushed forward, and before 8 A. M. we had the pleasure of taking possession of the positions which the enemy had held on the high ridge overlooking the village below, his forces now retreating to their supports in the woods beyond. This engagement, though of short duration, was the beginning of the battle at Kernstown.

Seeing that the force I had thus far opposed to me had been greatly reenforced, I halted for rest, observation, and further developments on the part of the enemy. Having informed the commanding general of the result of the morning’s work, I awaited further orders, which were soon received through Major Armstrong with directions to move forward at once. Colonel Sullivan, with his brigade, was within supporting distance, and the force in my front, the general thought, was not strong enough to resist me. But the enemy had by this time become active and was forming his lines, his force greatly increased by infantry. Calling Major Armstrong’s attention to the movements, strength, and position already presented to view, I requested him to return to the general and request him to send me reinforcements. I was satisfied that not only was the force of Ashby present, but the entire army of Stonewall Jackson, With that general in command, in person. The position I held was good for defense, and I determined to hold it, Sullivan coming forward with his brigade and one battery, I placed them in position on a continuation of the ridge on the left of the turnpike and of my brigade, thus extending our line in that direction.

The enemy had been active, and now relieved me from the execution of the movement directed by the general, by undertaking a like movement against me. Moving forward with infantry and artillery against Sullivan on the left and my own brigade on the right, he forced my skirmish line to retire until under cover of our main line and batteries, and still advanced until my fire compelled him to halt; then Carroll, Sawyer, and Voris were ordered forward from my lines, and their well-directed fire, with the storm of grape and canister poured from the well-managed guns of Clark’s, Jenks’s, and Robinson’s batteries, forced the enemy to retreat to his former position. At 10 A. M., while I awaited his further movements, General Shields sent the following:

“COLONEL KIMBALL: Major Armstrong informs me that the enemy at present occupies a position on an eminence on the right flank, also another on the left flank, leaving the center unsupported, which I take to be the Strasburg turnpike. If this be the state of the case, I would recommend to push a column of cavalry, four pieces of artillery, and a, body of infan- try along the turnpike to advance far enough to take them in the rear when they commence to retreat. This body, however, must be preceded by active skirmish- ing to avoid falling into a trap. When this column advances far enough, a simultaneous charge may be made upon both batteries while the center column cuts off retreat. I leave the management of this to your own discretion, not being able to be on the ground in person. I cannot accurately describe what ought to be done. If the force before you be what I suppose it is, the only way to do is to close around them by some such move as this, or some other equally decisive move as you may deem practicable. My own opinion is that there is no force before you but that we encountered the other day.”

Convinced that the general did not comprehend the situation, the strength of the enemy, nor the positions held by the respective forces, and satisfied that from his bed in the city five miles to the rear he could not properly conduct the movements which might be required by the exigencies of the situation, I determined to remain on the defensive and in the position now held by my line, from which I had an unobstructed view across the little valley and the enemy’s lines to the front; the danger was, our force being less than his, that he might turn one or the other of our flanks. Responding to my request, General Shields sent me the desired sup- port, with the following:

“COLONEL KIMBALL:- I have ordered the 13th Indiana, and 39th Illinois Infantry, and a battery, and will follow them with cavalry and other infantry. I hope you will keep me advised of the motions of the enemy by intelligent orderlies who can explain themselves when they come. Tyler’s brigade has been ordered within supporting distance and will communicate with you. Our whole force is now in your hands. If there is a greater force of the enemy against you than I supposed, increase the strength of the center column and take them in flank.”

Near 2 P. M. Jackson again moved forward to the attack with artillery and infantry, while his cavalry threatened my left flank. His advancing column came boldly forward, seemingly intent upon driving us from our position and moving directly forward to Winchester. My gallant line of skirmishers opened their fire upon the deploying column, but were forced back under cover of our main line, which once more poured its destructive fire from rifles and batteries into the ranks of the gallant enemy, and again compelled him to fall back to the point from which he had advanced. While making this second attempt by direct attack, Jackson was moving troops to his left, with the aim of passing beyond my right. Colonel Tyler coming to the front in person just after this last repulse of the enemy, I pointed out the unprotected condition of my right and the open and unoccupied position beyond it, and the movement of the enemy’s forces in that direction, and directed him to move his brigade as quickly as possible to secure the position. I also ordered what cavalry I had to move to the right of Tyler’s brigade and in support of it. When repulsed in the last attack, the enemy’s troops retreated from the front of my right toward the point in the woods where Jackson had massed his forces for an attack against my extreme right, and to move around that flank. Satisfied by this and other movements from the enemy’s right of his intentions, I prepared to meet him and end the contest. At 3:30 P. M. the enemy commenced his movement, announcing it by solid shot upon my line from the hills behind which his forces were moving, and advanced across the open field toward the point to which I had ordered Tyler’s brigade. The enemy’s skirmishers, advancing, met Tyler’s just as they were emerging from the wood and checked their advance. Tyler soon deployed and, advancing, forced this line back to their main line now under protection of a stone-wall, when the enemy poured such fire from his muskets and batteries as to check Tyler’s farther advance.

The enemy made frequent attempts to advance, but they were held by Tyler’s gallant men to their cover, and the battle now raged in all its fury, neither line giving way. Jackson had withdrawn his brigades from his right, leaving only a small force to guard that flank. To meet his masses, now moving to force Tyler back, regiments and batteries were drawn from our left to strengthen our center. The time having come for the decisive movement, my First Brigade, with the supports from the left, and Sullivan’s, were made ready. Directing Colonel Sullivan to follow the movements of forces on our right, I ordered the line forward. With a quick move at right-half-wheel, the gallant fellows, under Harrow, Patrick, Foster, Murray, and Voris, with loud cheers, dashed forward through the terrific storm of shot and shell from the enemy’s stone-wall and batteries; nor did they halt or falter until the enemy was driven from his protection, and his advancing lines were checked. Our line now had the wall so long held by Jackson. But soon the sturdy foe, reenforced, advanced again to retake the position; they were met by men as gallant and as determined as themselves, and in answer to their wild “rebel yell” loud cheers were given from our line as it dashed forward. With Tyler’s gallant brigade and our fearless little band of cavalry rounding his flank, the enemy was forced back across the field to the woods, where he once more at- tempted to check our advancing lines. With cheers from right to left, our gallant soldiers pushed forward, and as the sun went down, the stubbornly yielding foe, who had thrice advanced to the attack, gave way, and Jackson’s army was badly beaten—his shattered brigades in full retreat from the field over which they had so gallantly fought.4

Night closing in too dark for pursuit, our weary soldiers bivouacked in positions from which they had driven the enemy. Our troops had fought without food since the evening of the 22d, and it was after midnight before this want was supplied.5 At earliest light on the morning of the 24th our troops were again on the march, in pursuit of the enemy, whose rear-guard was overtaken near Middletown. The enemy retreated across Cedar Creek to his main force, under fire from our batteries. While here skirmishing with the enemy, I had made such disposition of our troops as I believed would result in their rout and capture of their trains, by moving up the creek with a strong flanking detachment to the back or dirt road from Winchester to Strasburg, while my other troops followed along the turnpike upon which the enemy’s trains were moving. I hoped thus to head him off before he could reach Fisher’s Hill beyond Strasburg. Major-General Banks, arriving as this movement was being commenced, assumed command. He deemed it prudent to await reinforcements, and our army remained in camp at Middletown and Cedar Creek that night, while the enemy escaped to Fisher’s Hill.

Having been reenforced by the return of Williams’s division, the army under General Banks moved forward on the morning of the 25th, and after light skirmishing occupied Strasburg and Fisher’s Hill, the enemy continuing his retreat toward Woodstock and Mount Jackson. Our army remained in camp at Strasburg and Fisher’s Hill, awaiting supplies, until April 1st.

On the morning of April 1st our forces moved forward, with three days’ rations, but without tents or baggage, to Woodstock, the enemy having continued his retreat to Mount Jackson. Receiving additional supplies, we moved forward from Woodstock on the 8th, meeting and skirmishing with the enemy daily. On the 15th our army arrived near Mount Jackson, finding the enemy in force, and after a brisk engagement compelling him to fall back and his main force to cross the Shenandoah at Mount Jackson, beyond which he took position at Rude’s Hill, covering the village and the crossings of the river.

General Banks, on the morning of the 17th, directed a forward movement to force a passage across the river. The river was much swollen by rains, rendering it impossible to ford. There being but one bridge, it became the center of contest, the enemy having failed to destroy it, although he had set fire to it. A splendid dash by a detachment of our cavalry through the bridge drove the enemy away and extinguished the flames. This gallant charge was made by two companies of the 1st Ohio, under Captains Menken and Robinson, and one company of the 1st Michigan, led by a little corporal. Dismounting, they put out the fire, carrying water from the river in their old slouched hats for the purpose. (The name of this dashing corporal was George R. Maxwell, who afterward, by his gallantry and daring achievements, rose to the command of his regiment and brigade under the heroic Sheridan.) The bridge secured, our army moved forward under a heavy fire from the enemy’s line and batteries. By 11 A. M. the crossing was completed, and the enemy, forced from his position, retreated beyond New Market toward Harrisonburg and Port Republic, and our forces encamped in positions in advance of New Market.

In this engagement our forces captured one company of cavalry, and inflicted other heavy losses upon the enemy, our loss being light. For his success General Banks received that night the thanks of the President.

On the 19th and 20th our forces, under General Williams, advanced and occupied Harrisonburg, while Shields’s division held the roads to Luray, the crossings of the Shenandoah, and New Market. General Banks, in “General Orders, No. 20,” dated New Market, Virginia, April 21st, 1862, congratulated

“the troops under his command upon the success of their achievement, and the permanent expulsion of the rebel army from the valley of Virginia.”

General Shields, who had remained out of the field on account of wounds received in the engagement of the 22d of March with Ashby’s cavalry in front of Winchester, now arrived, and in “General Orders, No. 28,” dated New Market, April 30th, 1862, relieving me from command of the division, said:

“The general commanding the division, having so far recovered from his wounds as to be able to serve in the field with his brave troops, desires to make it known to them that he places himself again at their head. Brigadier-General Kimball will rejoin the First Brigade, and again resume command of it. And, thus directing, the general cannot suffer the occasion to pass without expressing to that gallant officer and his staff his grateful acknowledgments for the efficient manner in which they managed the division and directed its affairs while he was compelled by his condition to be absent from the field. His special thanks are due to General Kimball for his devotion to the interests and honor of the command and the signal service he has rendered it in this emergency.”

With a commission, now as Brigadier-general (for my victory over Stonewall Jackson at Kernstown), I resumed command of my gallant old brigade, rejoiced to be freed from the greater responsibilities, gratified with the success attending me while in command of the division, and grateful to the Government for the recognition of my services.
Stonewall Jackson, although out of the valley, was still immediately in our front. He was daily increasing in strength by reinforcements, and was active in demonstrations. On the 1st of May, Jackson’s army made movements threatening our right at Harrisonburg, and our left near the crossing of the Shenandoah toward Luray. Under cover of these a part of the force under Edward Johnson moved, on the 7th, to prevent the capture of Staunton by Milroy, Meeting General Milroy at McDowell and checking Milroy’s advance, Jackson again returned to our front. Both sides claimed success in the affair at McDowell on the 8th of May [see p. 286].

The operations against ” Stonewall Jackson” were successful, with the valley of Virginia in our possession, and Jackson’s army held in check beyond the Shenandoah by Banks and Shields. General McDowell, with his army, held Fredericksburg and the line of the Rappahannock, General Frémont moving toward Staunton from the west, and General McClellan, with the Army of the Potomac, was advancing up the peninsula, confronting the Confederate army under Johnston. Thus was Washington protected, and the ruin of the Confederacy imminent, when a blunder in the management of our armies in Virginia was made. The order directing Shields’s division to join General McDowell’s army at Fredericksburg was most unfortunate. The divisions were indignant in contemplation of the results, knowing the situation as they did. On receipt of the order General Banks said:

“Results are not for us to consider, and orders are received to be obeyed. I regret it because I feel that the policy of which this order is a part is to end in allowing the grand army of the rebels to escape unharmed from Virginia, and add another year to the war. It is impossible to anticipate what work lies before us; I feel the imperative necessity of making preparations for the worst.”

And by this order the worst came, and the opportunity was given to Stonewall Jackson for the display of his peculiar strategic ability.

On the 12th of May General Shields moved from New Market for Fal- mouth, and General Banks moved down the valley to Strasburg, thus opening the way for Jackson [see map, p. 284]. With Shields’s division far away at Fredericksburg,6 and Frémont beyond the Shenandoah mountains, Jackson, on the 23d, with his army of about 1500, dashed down upon Banks’s 9000, mostly stationed in detachments at Strasburg and Front Royal, nearly 20 miles apart, by the route Banks was forced to take.

But not until after three days of hard fighting did he force the heroic soldiers of Banks’s division from the valley.7 With the information of this reverse came the Order directing Shields’s division to move back to the Shenandoah, while Frémont crossed the mountains to strike the army of Jackson before it could retreat from the valley. On the 25th Shields’s division commenced its return, and, without halting, reached Rectortown on the evening of the 28th, where we stopped for rest and to await supplies. At 4 P. M. of the 29th the following order was received: “COLONEL KIMBALL, commanding First Brigade: You will march immediately; leave your teams and wagons, take only ambulances, ammunition-wagons, and provisions, as much as on hand in haversacks. SHIELDS, Brigadier-General commanding.”

At 6 P. M, my command was moving for Front Royal. Marching all night (save 2 1/2 hours for rest and refreshment at Manassas Gap), we arrived and took position at 11:30 A. M., May 30th, upon the ridge east of and overlooking the village, before our presence was known to the enemy. Having only one company (30 men) of cavalry, my infantry was sent to surround the Confederates, but before this could be accomplished the attempt was discovered. The enemy, setting fire to the depots, warehouses, and railroad freight trains, made away in retreat under rapid firing from our battery. My cavalry pushed forward fearlessly after the enemy, closely followed by a portion of my infantry, to the junction of the Strasburg and Middletown roads, beyond the branches of the river; here, being completely exhausted, my troops halted, the enemy having gone from view in the direction of Strasburg and Winchester. That portion of our command left in the village had saved the loaded freight trains, but the warehouses and depots were completely destroyed, with most of their contents. General Shields came up at 5 P. M. With the other brigades of the division, and the town and the captures were left to his direction.8 With the regiments of my brigade and the 4th, Colonel Carroll’s, I returned to the front and encamped in line for the night.

On the 31st the enemy appeared in considerable force in our front. I directed Carroll to move out with his command and attack them, which was promptly done, and after a sharp conflict the enemy was forced back, Carroll taking several prisoners and one piece (11-pounder) of artillery. The enemy having retreated and night having set in, Carroll returned to his position.

Our command was aroused from its slumbers early on the morning of the 1st of June by the roar of cannon away to our left toward Strasburg. Frémont had passed over the mountains and attacked Jackson’s forces at Fisher’s Hill. General Shields, at Front Royal, was informed of the fight going on at Strasburg and came to the front, but declined to send our forces to join in the fight, and directed us to remain in our position to await the arrival of General Irvin McDowell and Ord’s (Ricketts’s) division.

General McDowell arrived on the evening of June 1st. Ord’s division relieved ours in front, and Bayard’s cavalry was sent to aid Frémont, Our division returned to Front Royal and encamped two miles south on the road to Luray.

By the Wisdom (?) of Generals McDowell and Shields, our division was sent up the Luray valley, east of the south branch of the Shenandoah and Massanutten mountain, while Jackson’s army, pursued by Frémont, was moving up the valley, along the Staunton turnpike. Jackson had destroyed all bridges and other means of crossing the Shenandoah, from Front Royal to Port Republic, rendering it impossible for Shields’s division either to strike Jackson or communicate with Frémont. Shields’s division reached Luray June 4th, after having marched 1150 miles in forty-three days, fighting one severe battle and many lesser engagements. Forty per cent. of the command were now without shoes, two per cent. without trousers, and other clothing was deficient. And now, without any supplies, officers and men were well-nigh worn out.

On the 5th, Carroll’s brigade, now partially supplied, moved with only 1200 men and 1 battery, by order of General Shields, for Port Republic, to secure and hold the bridge at that crossing, if it should not already be destroyed. On the 6th, Tyler’s brigade of 2000 men and 1 battery followed to support Carroll. Ferry’s brigade was at Columbia crossing, 8 miles south, and mine was 6 miles north of Luray. Frémont’s and Jackson’s guns were distinctly heard beyond the river and mountain, but we were powerless to render assistance to our friends because of the impassable river. On the 7th, Frémont forced the enemy from Mount Jackson, and pursued him to New Market and Harrisonburg, but failed to bring him to battle.

On the 8th, Carroll reached the bridge at Port Republic with Tyler yet fifteen miles in rear. My brigade, under orders for Stanardsville, passed Luray and encamped with Ferry’s, and on the 9th moved forward, leaving Ferry in his position.

On the 8th, Frémont brought Jackson to bay, and engaged him in battle at Cross Keys.9 Jackson, being hard pressed, prepared to save his army by retreat. Sending one brigade, with artillery, to secure a crossing for his army at Port Republic, he met Carroll, and, forcing him back, secured the bridge. That night, Jackson’s entire force fled from Frémont, crossed the bridge, burned it, and was free from the destruction that had threatened him.

Jackson, on the morning of the 9th, with his army, attacked the now united detachments of Tyler and Carroll, and with his overwhelming force compelled the retreat of our small but gallant command. Jackson’s own old Stonewall Brigade was first repulsed by Carroll’s, and Jackson himself was compelled to rally and lead them back to the contest; then, with “Dick” Taylor’s and other brigades and batteries, he forced our men from the field.10

On the 9th, at sundown, Shields, now with me, received by the gallant Myles W. Keogh11 news from Tyler of his disaster. My brigade was ordered at once to move forward, to be followed by Ferry’s, then ten miles in my rear. At 10 o’clock on the morning of the 10th, after a terrible night’s march, we reached Conrad’s store, some six miles below the field of action, where I met our worn and defeated comrades of Tyler’s and Carroll’s commands; and here I formed a new line, and in position awaited the expected attack from Jackson, and the arrival of Ferry’s brigade.

Ferry came with our supports, but Jackson, having been severely handled by a small detachment, although he had defeated it, was satisfied, now that he was free from Frémont, not to try conclusions with the division, united, that had defeated him at Kernstown.

In the afternoon General Frémont succeeded in communicating with General Shields, and arranging for the crossing of his army. It was the intention, thus united, to follow Jackson, now retreating toward Gordonsville to join Lee’s army near Richmond, but before the morning of the 11th Shields received peremptory orders, directing him to return with his command to Front Royal, where we arrived on the 16th of June.


  1. Adapted from “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Volume 2” eHistory @ The Ohio State University. 1887-1888. 5 May 2010, 22:19 <http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/battles/vol2/pageview.cfm?page=302>
  2. For an account of Jackson’s early operations in the valley, see Vol. I., p. 111.
  3. The object of this movement under Banks was the protection of the reopening of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad west of Harper’s Ferry. The region of the upper Potomac and the Shenandoah Valley was at this time included in the department under General McClellan’s immediate control, com- prising the field of operations of the Army of the Potomac, that is, northern Virginia. Banks’s com- mand was the Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac, and consisted of two divisions, that of Hamilton, afterward Williams’s, and Lander’s, afterward Shields’s. During the Peninsular campaign, Banks was given a separate command, the ” Department of the Shenandoah.”- EDITORS.
  4. Colonel E. H. C. Cavins, of the 14th Indiana, writing under date of July 9th, 1887, says of this charge: “The Confederates fell back in great disorder, and we advanced in disorder just as great, over stone-walls and over fences, through blackberry-bushes and under- growth. Over logs, through woods, over hills and fields, the brigades, regiments, and companies advanced, in one promiscuous, mixed, and uncontrollable mass. Officers shouted themselves hoarse in trying to bring order out of confusion, but all their efforts were unavailing along the front line, or rather what ought to have been the front line. Yet many of the brave Virginians who had so often followed their standards to victory, lingered in the rear of their retreating comrades, loading as they slowly retired, and rallying in squads in every ravine and behind every hill-or hiding singly among the trees. They continued to make it very hot for our men in the advance.”
  5. The losses at Kernstown were: Union, 118 killed, 450 wounded, 22 missing = 590; Confederate, 80 killed, 375 wounded, 263 missing= 718.
  6. Colonel Franklin Sawyer, in his history of the 8th Ohio, of Kimball’s brigade, records the following incident, which took place at Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg: “Kimball’s brigade was ordered into a newly fenced field for its camp, and no sooner were the men dismissed from ranks than the entire fence disappeared. General King, who was in command at this place, seeing this moment from his quarters at the Phillips Mansion, sent down an aide-de-camp to arrest all of our officers, and compel the men to rebuild the fence. Officers laughed and the men jeered at him. The rails were soon on fire, and our dinners cooking. King called up his adjutant. Major Barstow, who had been General Lander’s adjutant when he commanded us, and ordered him to detail sufficient troops to arrest our whole division, exclaiming : ‘Who are these vandals ?’ ‘Why,’ said Barstow, ‘they ere Lander’s old troops from Western Virginia; you had better keep your guards here at headquarters, for you’ll be devilish lucky if they don’t steal your house-roof before morning!’ King was dumfounded, but his fence was never rebuilt.” EDITORS.
  7. Jackson made his attack at Front Royal on the 23d, and, after a stubborn resistance, captured the command of Colonel John R. Kenly, composed of the 1st Maryland, 2 companies of the 29th Pennsylvania, and a section of Knaps’s Pennsylvania Battery, acting as guard to Banks’s communica- tions. The latter says in his report : ” The extraordinary force of the enemy could no longer be doubted. It was apparent also that they had a more extended purpose than the capture of the brave little band at Front Royal. This purpose could be nothing less than the defeat of my own (command or its possible capture by occupying Winchester, and by this movement intercepting supplies or reenforcements, and cutting off all possibility of retreat…. It was determined, therefore, to enter the lists with the enemy in a race or a battle, as he should choose, for the possession of Winchester, the key of the valley, andtion of safety.” Jackson pushed his advance rapidly from Front Royal to Middletown, and on the 24th intercepted Banks’s column, meeting, however, with repulse. At Newtown another Confederate force was met and driven off by Banks; his rear-guard also repulsed an attack near Kernstown. At Winchester, another stand was made on the 25th. General Banks says: “I determined to test the substance and strength of the enemy by actual collision, and measures were promptly taken to pre- pare our troops to meet them.” The Confederates were held in check several hours, and that night Banks’s retreat was continued toward Martinsburg. See p. 288.–EDITORS.
  8. The captures at Front Royal were: 1 piece of artillery, 3 heavily laden trains with stores, and 8 wagons, with teams, retreating with commissary stores, and 180 prisoners, including Miss Belle Boyd, a famous spy in the service of the Confederates. We also recaptured many comrades of Banks’s division, captured during the fight of a few days before.– N. K.
  9. See pp. 291-293 for details of the engagements at Port Republic and Cross Keys.
  10. See pp. 291-293 for details of the engagements at Port Republic and Cross Keys.
  11. As captain in the 7th United States Cavalry, Keogh was killed in the massacre, by the Sioux, of Custer’s command, June 25th, 1876, on a branch of the Little Big Horn River, Montana.– EDITORS.

A few readers may know me from my Civil War Battles and Battlefields blog.  For some time I have been considering another project of more substance and of more use to the Civil War community online.  Enter The Valley Campaign of 1862, my new WordPress blog.

First, I need to tip my hat to three long-time bloggers whose work has inspired this effort.  Harry Smeltzer, of Bull Runnings fame, inspired my idea of a digital resource for the Valley Campaign.  More recently, Brett Schulte started Beyond the Crater, a similar effort focused on the Petersburg campaign.  Finally, I need to mention Brian Downey’s Antietam on the Web, one of the best resources for the Maryland Campaign of 1862 available, online or in print.  Thank you all for such excellent models for this project.

I plan to collect and organize primary sources for all aspects of the Valley Campaign, and to provide overviews of available secondary sources as well.  In addition, I plan to offer my own impressions developed through ongoing research, as well as information on current issues, such as battlefield preservation and interpretation.  I am not currently an expert on this campaign.  Rather, I plan to use this blog as a gateway to a more comprehensive understanding of the campaign, its ramifications for the participants and for the course of the Civil War in the eastern theater.

I have chosen WordPress as it offers superior capabilities for organizing a project such as this.  I welcome your suggestions for improvement and hope you will join me in discussions as the project unfolds.  Comments are subject to moderation mainly to discourage spam.  Beyond that , I reserve the right not to post comments that are offensive or constitute personal attacks on myself or other parties to the discussion.