In the spring of 1862, with Confederate fortunes falling at every point, Stonewall Jackson conducted one of the most brilliant campaigns in military history.
|First Kernstown (March 23)|
|McDowell (May 8)|
|Front Royal (May 23)|
|First Winchester (May 25)|
|Cross Keys (June 8)|
|Port Republic (June 9)|
A stunning string of Union victories – and the destruction of “The Burning” – changed the course of the war in the Valley and helped ensure Abraham Lincoln’s reelection.
|Guard Hill (August 16)|
|Berryville (Sept. 3-4)|
|Third Winchester (Opequon) (Sept. 19)|
|Fisher's Hill (Sept. 22)|
|Tom's Brook (Oct. 9)|
|Cedar Creek (Oct. 19)|
Just before the start of the Civil War, Torbert was appointed a first lieutenant in the Confederate States Army on March 16, 1861, but he refused the appointment and remained a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Gen. David Hunter became the target of criticism following the Battle of Lynchburg. Eventually, he would be relieved of his duties by Gen. Philip Sheridan.
Tyler was in command of the Union forces engaged at the Battle of Port Republic during Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign.
Francis McFarland was born in County Tyrone, Ireland in 1788. When he was five, his family immigrated to Pennsylvania. Much of his youth was spent on his parents’ farm in Washington County, Pennsylvania. When he was twenty-two, McFarland made a public profession of faith and joined Cross Roads Presbyterian Church in rural Pennsylvania.
Union General serving under Grant, who initiated the 1864 Valley campaign and was defeated at the Battle of New Market, May 15, 1864.
Despite graduating last in his class at West Point, George Armstrong Custer rocketed to fame during the Civil War, becoming the youngest general in the Union army and playing major roles at the Battle of Gettysburg, during Sheridan’s Shenandoah Campaign, and in the final pursuit of Robert E. Lee’s army that would end at Appomattox.
Born in 1833 George S. Patton (grandfather of the famed World War II general) grew up listening to the heroic deeds of his grandfather—Gen. Hugh Mercer—during the American Revolution. Patton graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1852. He spent the next nine years of his life practicing law and organizing a militia company near Charleston, Virginia (later West Virginia)—the Kanawha Minutemen.
Ironically the first man to die in John Brown’s raid on Harper's Ferry was a free black man from Winchester, Heyward Shepherd. Shepherd resided in Winchester with his wife and five children. He worked as a baggage handler at Harper's Ferry on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
John Charles Frémont was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States.
John S. Mosby was feared by Union commanders who operated in northern and western Virginia. Born near Richmond, Virginia, in 1833 he was a bit of a ruffian in his teenage years and imprisoned for shooting one of his classmates at the University of Virginia. Mosby pursued a legal career and practiced law before the Civil War in Bristol, Virginia.
As commander of the Confederate Army of the Valley, Jubal Early temporarily drove Union forces from the Shenandoah in 1864 – and threatened Washington, D.C. itself – before being defeated in a series of battles that climaxed at Cedar Creek.
While it is difficult to determine precisely the size of Winchester’s Unionist population during the Civil War one most certainly existed. One of Winchester’s more noted Union sympathizers, Julia Chase was born in Maine in 1831. While still a child her family moved to Winchester and made their home at the corner of Loudoun Street and Fairfax Lane.
Joseph Kershaw was a Confederate general who took part in the capture of Harpers Ferry in 1862 and fought in Gen. Jubal A. Early's Army of the Valley in 1864
Mary Greenhow was born in 1819 in Richmond, Virginia. She married Winchester attorney Hugh Holmes Lee in 1843, but his death before the war left her a widow. She resided on North Cameron Street in a house near the intersection of today’s Cameron and Piccadilly Streets.
In the fall of 1861, Sheridan was ordered to travel to Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, Missouri, for assignment to the 13th U.S. Infantry. He departed from his command of Fort Yamhill, Oregon, by way of San Francisco, across the Isthmus of Panama, and through New York City to home in Somerset for a brief leave.
Rebecca McPherson, a Union spy during the Civil War, was born near Winchester, Virginia, in January, 1838. Her family was one of the few in Winchester who supported the Union. Her father, Amos Wright, died in a Confederate prison early in the war. Rebecca was a schoolteacher, and due to her Quaker beliefs, she abhorred slavery.
Regarded as one of the finest generals in the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert Rodes’ early life was steeped in military tradition—his father and grandfather having military backgrounds. Born in 1829 in Lynchburg, he entered the Virginia Military Institute at age sixteen and graduated in 1848.
A native of Indiana, Robert H. Milroy received a military education at Captain Partridge’s Military Academy in Norwich, Vermont. He graduated from the school first in his class in 1843.
Union General Robert C. Schenck was involved in several battles in the Shenandoah Valley, including McDowell, Cross Keys, and Second Winchester - where his fate was intertwined with that of fellow Union Gen. Robert H. Milroy.
Born in 1824 in Clarksburg in western Virginia (now West Virginia), Stonewall Jackson’s early childhood was riddled with hardship.
Rosser was commissioned a first lieutenant and became an instructor to the famed "Washington Artillery" of New Orleans. He commanded its Second Company at the First Battle of Manassas in July 1861.
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The Valley was stage for decisive events and significant leaders. It was also the scene of innumerable smaller stories of tragedy and triumph, hope and loss. Learn about the area and the civilians caught in the whirlwind.Stories