Published on November 23, 2021

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National Conference: “A Star Has Arisen”:
Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign

April 21-23, 2022

Staunton, Virginia

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation’s 2022 National Civil War Conference will focus on Stonewall Jackson’s famed Valley Campaign.  This storied campaign featured battles ranging from the mountains above McDowell to the ferocious climactic struggle at the Coaling in Port Republic; fascinating figures such as John C. Fremont, one of the most famous men in the country, and the multi-talented Jedediah Hotchkiss; critical decisions by Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee; storied units such as the Stonewall Brigade and the Pennsylvania Bucktails; and remarkable events such as the Rockingham Rebellion and the Slaughter of the 8th New York.

The conference, “A Star Has Arisen”: Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign, will be headquartered at the Hotel 24 South in Staunton, Virginia, from April 21-23, 2022, and will include tours of the McDowell, Cross Keys, and Port Republic battlefields, talks and programs, and special events.  Guides and speakers will include Jonathan M. Berkey, Gary L. Ecelbarger, Robert E. L. Krick, Robert K. Krick, William J. Miller, Scott C. Patchan, and Robert G. Tanner.


Thursday (April 21, 2022) – Bus Tour and Open Evening

  • 7am: Buffet Breakfast
  • 8am-6pm: Bus Tour – “God Blessed Our Arms With Victory”: The Battle of McDowell – Tour of sites related to the May 8, 1862, battle.  Lunch included.  Guides: Scott Patchan, Gary Ecelbarger, and William Miller.
  • Open Evening

Friday (April 22, 2022) – Speaker’s Programs and Awards Banquet

  • 8am: Buffet Breakfast
  • 9am-5pm: Speaker’s Programs – Programs will include:
    • 9am – Keven M. Walker – Welcome and Introductions
    • 9:15am – Robert G. Tanner – Lee and Jackson Jumpstart the Valley Campaign. Two critical decisions – one by Robert E. Lee and one by Stonewall Jackson – at the end of April 1862 set the stage for much of what was to follow during the Valley Campaign.  This talk will discuss Lee’s operational guidance on what he wanted to achieve in the spring campaign (and his options); the options Jackson had as he attempted to implement Lee’s guidance; Jackson’s evaluation of how he could respond to what Lee wanted; and how Jackson implemented his decision by his march toward McDowell in May.
    • 10:15am – Scott C. Patchan From Dred Scott to Chinn Ridge: the Saga of Justice John McLean and His Son Col Nathaniel McLean on the Long Road to Freedom.  John McLean was a U.S. Supreme Court justice who cast a dissenting vote in the famous 1857 Dred Scott decision – a decision that was one of the pivotal events that led to the Civil War.  His son, Nathaniel McLean, was a pre-war attorney who led Union regiments in the Battles of McDowell and Cross Keys, including the assault on the Confederate left flank at McDowell.  McLean would be promoted to general after his brigade helped prevent the Union army’s destruction at Second Manassas, and at Chancellorsville (May 1863), his brigade would be among the first struck by Jackson’s crushing flank attack.
    • 11:15am – Jonathan M. Berkey – “Now…We Will Have War in Earnest”: Manning the Valley Army.  Encamped at Rude’s Hill in mid-April 1862, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson reacted with uncharacteristic enthusiasm to the news that the Confederate Congress had passed a conscription act to bolster Southern armies.  “Now, Major,” Jackson told quartermaster John Harman, while slapping him on the shoulder, “we will have war in earnest!  Virginia has waked up!”  Jackson’s unabashed enthusiasm for the Conscription Act was not shared by many residents of the Shenandoah Valley.  The region’s militiamen, soldiers, and civilians reacted to conscription with a mix of acceptance, disdain, and anguish that added a sense of uncertainty to Jackson’s army as the Valley Campaign began..
    • Noon – Lunch
    • 1:00pm – William J. MillerMr. Hotchkiss Delivers:  Jedediah Hotchkiss During the Valley CampaignLike all active and aggressive commanders, Stonewall Jackson faced a never-ending series of complex problems, and he sought to surround himself with problem solvers. In the 1862 Valley Campaign, Jackson leaned heavily on a civilian school teacher with no military training named Jed Hotchkiss. Again and again, from Conrad’s Store to McDowell to Harper’s Ferry to Port Republic, Jackson called upon “Mr. Hotchkiss” to perform difficult assignments, and the schoolmaster’s performance contributed greatly to Jackson’s success. This talk will consider a handful of Jackson’s strategic or tactical problems for which Hotchkiss delivered solutions.
    • 2:00pm – Gary L. Ecelbarger The Unheralded Dramatic Week of the Campaign: May 30-June 5, 1862.  This talk will describe the Whats, Wheres, Whens, Hows, and Whys of the Confederate retreat/ Union pursuit from Harper’s Ferry to Harrisonburg and analyzes what happened – as well as what could have happened – during that week.
    • 3:00pm – Robert E. L. Krick – “Cause and Effect? Or Much Ado About Nothing?: A search for links between the Valley Campaign and Stonewall Jackson’s troubles during the Seven Days battles.  Jackson’s spring campaign in the Shenandoah Valley elevated him to a position of permanent military fame.  In his next opportunity he faltered—some say badly—in the operations east of Richmond known as the Seven Days battles.  What effect, if any, did the triumphs and stresses of the Valley Campaign have on Jackson and his command in the final days of June 1862?
  • 7pm-9pm: Awards Banquet with Keynote Speaker Robert K. Krick “The Metamorphosis in Stonewall Jackson’s Public Image”

Saturday (April 23, 2022) – Bus Tour and Closing Dinner

  • 7am: Buffet Breakfast
  • 8am-5pm: Bus Tour – “The Horror of the Feelings”: The Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic – Tour of sites related to the June 8 and 9, 1862, battles that brought a close to the campaign, including the sites of the “Slaughter of the 8th York” and “The Coaling.”  Lunch included.  Guides: Gary Ecelbarger, Scott Patchan, and William Miller.
  • 7pm-9pm – Closing Dinner

Registration Options:

Full Conference Rate

  • Members – $395*
  • Non-Members – $425

* Members must be current.  If you’re not a member and would like more information, click here or call Brittney Hebermehl at 540-740-4545.


Per Day Options

We would love to have you present for the entire conference, but if you cannot make it to all of the events we have per day options:

Thursday, April 21, 2022 – {$125}

  • Breakfast Buffet at the Hotel 24 South
  • McDowell Bus Tour with Scott Patchan, Gary Ecelbarger, and William Miller.  Box lunch, snacks, and refreshments included.
  • Open Evening

Friday, April 22, 2022 – {$150}

  • Breakfast Buffet at the Hotel 24 South
  • Speaker Programs.
    • Speakers include Jonathan M. Berkey, Gary L. Ecelbarger, Robert E. L. Krick, William J. Miller, Scott C. Patchan, and Robert G. Tanner
  • Awards Banquet at the Hotel with Keynote Speaker Robert K. Krick “The Metamorphosis in Stonewall Jackson’s Public Image”

Saturday, April 23, 2022 – {$150}

  • Breakfast Buffet at the Hotel 24 South
  • Cross Keys and Port Republic Bus Tour with Scott Patchan, Gary Ecelbarger, and William Miller.  Sit-down lunch, snacks, and refreshments included.
  • Dinner at the Hotel 24 South


Host Site and Lodging:

The conference will be headquartered at Hotel 24 South (formerly the Stonewall Jackson Hotel), located at 24 South Market St, Staunton, VA, Virginia.

Please note that our block of rooms that was set aside at special conference rates has sold out.  Rooms at regular rates are currently still available.  To see about reserving a room, or for more information , call the hotel at (540) 885-4848 or visit their website at

Questions or Need More Information?

Call the SVBF at 540-740-4545 or email