Second Kernstown was the last major Confederate victory in the Shenandoah Valley and temporarily removed Federal control of Winchester and the northern Shenandoah Valley.
The battle was fought on much of the same ground as the First Battle of Kernstown in 1862. It is interesting that Federal forces under Col. Hayes, who later became the President of the United States, fought directly against Gen. Breckinridge, who was a former Vice President of the United States and also the Democratic candidate for president in 1860.
The Second Kernstown battlefield occupies the open, relatively flat farmlands south and southwest of Winchester along with the southern portion of Old Town Winchester. Except for areas protected by the Kernstown Battlefield Association and its partners, most of the battlefield has been lost to development.
Much of the landscape has been altered and fragmented, leaving some essential features. About 75 percent of the surviving historic landscape is already protected. Given accelerating land development in the area, the chance to preserve the battlefield’s few remaining acres with historic integrity may vanish before 2015. The planned widening of I-81, if not designed by preservation advocates and transportation planners to avoid or minimize impacts, will destroy portions of the battlefield landscape.
Visitor InformationCivil War Orientation Center & Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center
1400 S. Pleasant Valley Road
Winchester, VA 22601
877-871-1326 Daily 9am to 5pm