Published on February 19, 2016

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Civil War trails sign on Jackson’s Valley Campaign  and the burning of the Red Bridge over the South fork of the Shenandoah River.

Two markers at this location are interpretive sites of action in the Shenandoah Valley.  Following the Battle of Kernstown, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson moved south into the Shenandoah Valley to meet up with General Richard B. Ewell’s Division near Conrad’s Store in present day Elkton, VA.  On April 19, 1862, Jackson dispatched his Mapmaker, Jedediah Hotchkiss to burn three bridges over the South Fork of the Shenandoah River in Page County.  Due to heavy rains, Federal resistance and apparent drunkenness of some of the 150 Cavalrymen who joined Hotchkiss at Shenandoah Iron Works, only one bridge, Red Bridge was burned.  Already frustrated by a lack of discipline in his Calvary, Jackson replaced two Calvary commanders which led to a disagreement and the attempted resignation of Col. Turner Ashby.  Jackson would retract his actions and Ashby would stay in under his command, but none the less the event caused a rift in the army.

The Somerville Heights sign is in regards to action in the area in early May 1862 when Jackson was thought to be headed east to Richmond, when in fact he had gone west and defeated a Union army in McDowell in Highland County.  During this period of uncertainty, the 13th  Indiana Infantry was ordered to reconnoiter to the “burned bridge” or Red Bridge.  The Union forces under General John Sullivan were met by a Confederate Brigade, yet still managed to force them to withdraw.  This freed the 13th  Indiana to countermarch back to relieve a company of Vermont Calvary that had happened upon the Confederate reserves further down the river.

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Grove Hill River Rd.
Grove Hill, VA 22849