Published on June 1, 2017

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During the Civil War, the rise and fall of Confederate and Union cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley echoed the fates and fortunes of the respective armies.  The early dominance of Confederate horsemen, which reflected the southern successes in the Valley, continued almost unabated through the Battle of New Market in May 1864…but by the fall of 1864, the growing strength of Union cavalry mirrored the rise of Federal power and the waning of Confederate fortunes, culminating in the prominent role that Federal cavalry played in crushing Union victories at the final clashes in the Valley.

On Saturday, August 5, 2017, from 9am to 4pm, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District will look back at those events with a Civil War Conference entitled “Like a Thousand Bricks”: Cavalry in the Valley.  The program will cover colorful characters such as Turner Ashby, John Mosby and George A. Custer, the pivotal role that cavalry played at battles such as New Market, Third Winchester, and Tom’s Brooks, the effects on the civilian population – and what it was like to face a “thousand bricks”-worth of horseflesh thundering your way.  The conference will be held at the Mimslyn Inn (401 W. Main Street) in Luray, Virginia. The cost to attend will be $35 ($30 for SVBF Members), and includes lunch from the Mimslyn Inn’s Circa ’31 Dining Room.

PLEASE NOTE:  The conference has SOLD OUT.  If you’d liked to be placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations, please call 540-740-4545. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or email

“They came pouring down upon us like a thousand bricks which of course we could not stand.”Confederate Sgt. Sam Collier, describing the Union cavalry charge at Third Winchester

Speakers and Topics

Keven Walker – The Passing of the Black Knight: Turner Ashby and the Early Role of Cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley
Charles Knight – “Vare Ish Mein Cavalrie?”: Cavalry During the New Market Campaign
Eric Buckland – “Ranger Retaliation”: Mosby’s Rangers in the Valley – August to November, 1864
Robert K. Krick – “The Undisciplined Valley Cavalry”: Jubal Early and His Cavalry
Jonathan A. Noyalas – “Like a Besom of Destruction”: Fort Collier and the Cavalry Charge at Third Winchester
William J. Miller – “Risk and Reward”: Custer and Rosser at Tom’s Brook
Caroline Janney – “After Appomattox”: Ending the War in the Valley

About the Speakers

Eric Buckland has written six books about some of the men who rode with Mosby’s Rangers.  In 2011 he was presented the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal for: historical research on the 3rd Arkansas Infantry; writing Mosby’s Keydet Rangers; and editing The Millionaire Mosby Ranger, Charles Broadway Rouss.  In 2013 he received a second award of the Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal for his “Mosby Men” series of books.   He graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in English and a commission as a 2LT in the United States Army. He followed that with a 22-year military career and retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. The majority of his career was spent in Special Forces. Some of his awards include the Special Forces and Ranger Tabs, Master Parachutist Badge, Special Operations Combat Diver Badge and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He currently works for the United States Government. He and his wife, Maureen, have been married 38 years and have three sons, two of whom are serving in the Army.

Caroline E. Janney is professor of history at Purdue University. A specialist in the Civil War era, she is the author of Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (2008) and Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation (2013) as well as co-editor with Gary W. Gallagher of Cold Harbor to the Crater: The End of the Overland Campaign (2015). She serves as a co-editor of the University of North Carolina Press’s Civil War America Series and is the past president of the Society of Civil War Historians.

Charlie Knight grew up in Richmond, VA, and has spent nearly 20 years working in museums and historic sites, including the Museum of the Confederacy; New Market Battlefield State Historical Park; Gen. Douglas MacArthur Memorial; Arizona Capitol Museum; and the North Carolina Museum of History, where he has been Military Curator) since January 2017.  Knight has written articles for various publications including Blue & Gray, Classic Trains, and the Civil War Preservation Trust’s Hallowed Ground magazine. His first book, Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market, was published in 2010 by Savas Beatie. He is currently finishing a day-by-day reference study of Robert E. Lee during the Civil War to be published by Savas Beatie, and also completing a biography of Confederate general and railroad magnate William Mahone.

Robert K. Krick grew up in Northern California. He has lived and worked on east coast battlefields for five decades. For thirty years he was Chief Historian of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. Krick is the author of twenty books and more than two hundred published articles.  His Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain (University of North Carolina Press, 1990) won three national awards, including the Douglas Southall Freeman Prize for Best Book in Southern History.  Krick’s Conquering the Valley:  Stonewall Jackson at Port Republic (William Morrow & Co., 1996) was a main selection of the History Book Club and a selection of the Book of the Month Club.  His latest book, from the University of Alabama Press (2007), is Civil War Weather in Virginia.  During 2003-2006, Krick worked under contract on the National Museum of the Marine Corps, writing the words on the walls of that new museum.

William J. Miller has written extensively about the Civil War in Virginia, including the award-winning Mapping for Stonewall: the Civil War Service of Jed Hotchkiss, as well as essays on the Battle of McDowell in the SVBF’s interpretive booklet, “If This Valley is Lost, Virginia is Lost!”: Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign and the Battle of Tom’s Brook in the SVBF’s interpretive booklet, “Give the Enemy No Rest!”: Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Campaign.  His newest book is Decision at Tom’s Brook: George Custer, Thomas Rosser and the Joy of the Fight.

Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas is director of the McCormick Civil War Institute at Shenandoah University where he also teaches a variety of courses in Civil War era history. He is the author or editor of eleven books, and has authored more than 100 articles, reviews, chapters, and essays for a variety of publications including Civil War History, Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, Blue & Gray, Hallowed Ground, and Civil War News.  He has also worked on a variety of public history projects with the National Park Service, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Civil War Trust, and served as a consultant for National Geographic’s documentary series “Civil Warriors.”  Additionally, he has appeared on NPR’s “With Good Reason” and C-SPAN’s American History TV. Prof. Noyalas is the recipient of numerous awards for his scholarship, teaching, and service including the highest honor that can ever be bestowed upon a professor at a public or private college or university in the Old Dominion–the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award.

Keven M. Walker is the Chief Executive Officer of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District.   He came to the Historic District from the Antietam National Battlefield, where he served for 11 years as a Ranger and historian.  During that time, he served as Cultural Resources Specialist and as the Acting Cultural Resources Program Manager, and was responsible for historic research, historic architectural history, the preservation and restoration of historic structures, the survey and evaluation of historic sites, and long range multidisciplinary preservation planning. He also led teams in the preservation and restoration of Antietam’s historic structures and cultural landscapes. He serves as member of the National Park Service’s national advisory team on cultural resources and historic preservation, and is a member of the 2014 GOAL Academy class, the National Park Service’s highly competitive Leadership program designed to develop Leaders for senior leadership positions. He is the author of Antietam: A Guide to the Landscape and Farmsteads.

“[Mosby’s men] had for us all the glamour of Robin Hood and his merry men, all the courage and bravery of the ancient crusaders, the unexpectedness of benevolent pirates and the stealth of Indians.” – Sam Moore, a young boy from Berryville


Lunch is included with the registration, and will feature a delicious buffet menu from the chefs of the elegant ‘Circa 31 Dining Room of the Mimslyn Inn.

Visitor Information

For information about historic sites, attractions, lodging, and dining opportunities in the Luray and Page County area, see the Luray-Page County website here.  An online visitors guide is also available here.  For more information, call 540-743-3915 or 1-888-743-3915.

Map and Directions

For a map and directions to the Mimslyn Inn, click here.

“This Ashby was the terror and the wizard of the Shenandoah.” – Union Col. Franklin Sawyer, 8th Ohio, describing Confederate Gen. Turner Ashby


PLEASE NOTE:  The conference has SOLD OUT.  If you’d liked to be placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations, please call 540-740-4545. For more information, call 540-740-4545 or email