On May 23, Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate forces, spearheaded by the Louisiana "Tigers" and the 1st Maryland, surprised and overran the pickets of a 1,000-man Federal garrison under command of Col. John Kenly at Front Royal. Driven through the town, the Federals made a stand on Camp Hill and again at Guard Hill after attempting to burn the Shenandoah River bridges. Outnumbered and outflanked, Kenly continued the retreat to Cedarville, where two Confederate cavalry charges broke the makeshift line and routed the Federal force as some 900 men surrendered. Jackson's victory at Front Royal forced the Federal army under Gen. Nathaniel Banks to abandon his position at Strasburg and conduct a hurried retreat northward to Winchester.
Brother fought against brother as Confederate 1st Maryland attacked Federal 1st Maryland. With fighting in the streets, the Battle of Front Royal was a rare example of urban combat during the Civil War. The Confederates’ use of surprise resulted in flanking the Federals under Gen. Banks at Strasburg.
The Battlefield Today:
To learn more about the Front Royal battlefield today, click here
Front Royal Visitor Center
414 E Main St, Front Royal
Open daily – 9am to 5pm
Self-Guided Tours: A free printed driving tour of the Battle of Front Royal and a walking tour of Front Royal are available at the visitor center.