Following Confederate victory at Cross Keys on June 8, 1862, Gen. Stonewall Jackson concentrated his forces east of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River against two isolated Federal brigades. Jackson’s assaults across the bottomland were repulsed with heavy casualties, but a flanking column turned the Federal left flank at The Coaling, a charcoal-making operation. Federal counterattacks failed to re-establish the line, forcing Gen. Tyler to retreat. Confederate forces at Cross Keys marched to join Jackson at Port Republic, burning the North River Bridge behind them. Gen. John Frémont's army arrived too late to assist the Federals and watched helplessly from across the rain-swollen river. After these dual defeats at Cross Keys and Port Republic, the Union armies retreated. The twin victories left Jackson in control of the southern and central Shenandoah Valley, freeing his army to move east to reinforce Gen. Robert E. Lee in the defense of Richmond.
This victory concluded the first Valley Campaign and enabled Jackson’s army to leave the Valley to aid in Richmond’s defense.
The Battlefield Today:
To learn more about the Port Republic battlefield today, click here
Civil War Orientation Center and Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services
212 S Main St, Harrisonburg
Open daily 9am-5pm
Self-Guided Tours: A free printed driving tour of the Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic is available at the Hardesty-Higgins House visitor center. Walking tours of Harrisonburg and Port Republic are also available. For information about guided walking tours, contact Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services at 540-432-8935.