Shenandoah Valley 1862: Stonewall Jackson outmaneuvers the Union (Campaign)

Shenandoah Valley 1862: Stonewall Jackson outmaneuvers the Union (Campaign)

Clayton Donnell, James Donnell

Language: English

Pages: 96

ISBN: 1780963785

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"Stonewall" Jackson's Valley Campaign saw a Confederate Army outmaneuver and defeat three times their number of Union troops in a lightning-swift campaign in the following battles: First Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, First Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic.

On the morning of June 9 1862, victorious Confederate troops under the command of Major General "Stonewall" Jackson began a general advance in pursuit of the withdrawing Union forces following the battle of Port Republic. This was the sixth major battle fought between Union and Confederate troops during a three-month period in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the spring of 1862. It was also, effectively, the final battle of what became known as Jackson's Valley Campaign. The campaign, which had begun with a Confederate defeat at the First Battle of Kernstown on March 23, became a showcase for the maneuverability and mobility of Jackson's forces as, heavily outnumbered, they kept the larger Union forces pinned and down and off balance.
"Stonewall" Jackson had performed his task of keeping General McDowell's Union forces away from the Peninsula Campaign better than anyone could have expected, and following his final victory at Port Republic he was able to force march his men to join up with Lee at Richmond in time to take part in the Seven Days Battles that saved Richmond for the Confederacy.
Jackson became a legend for his actions in the Valley Campaign. His army marched over 600 miles in 48 days to win five major battles. His forces, at no time numbering more than 17,000 men, overwhelmed a combined Union force of 50,000, demonstrating in every case his ability to maneuver his troops into a tactical advantage of at least four to three.

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leading his troops in the field. Despite the Union commander’s faults, Johnston and Davis knew he would take the field eventually. A conference of the senior leadership of the Confederate Army at the end of September had persuaded Davis that a shortage of the basic requirements of an army, namely men and equipment, dictated a primarily defensive stance against the North, at least initially. Johnston felt that “the next important service of that army would be near the end of October, against the

plan to withdraw to New Market. There he would have the choice of continuing up the Valley to Staunton, “if the enemy should move in that direction,” or take, in his mind, the less attractive option of leaving the Valley altogether. In the end, the decision was made for him. Everyone knew that McClellan was going to march eventually, they just didn’t know how or when. When unusual activity was noted in the Federal camps on the Maryland side of the Potomac on March 5, Johnston gave the order to

he resupplied his army and pondered his next move. © Osprey Publishing • www.ospreypublishing.com i+BDLTPOIBTCFFOTFFONPWJOH

then start again. At 5.45pm, tired of doing nothing, Ewell had written to Jackson suggesting that he march with Trimble’s Brigade to Newtown. He waited an hour without reply before deciding to take a chance and proceed anyway, but to Winchester rather than Newtown. Fifteen minutes later, Jackson’s note approving his march to Newtown arrived, but by this time Ewell was too far down the road toward Winchester. He decided to continue, and sent the courier back to Jackson, stating so. So many

1862 at Chestnut Ridge, near Harrisonburg, he was fatally shot while attempting to ambush Federal troops pursuing Jackson just prior to the battle of Cross Keys. UNION COMMANDERS Major-General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks was born in Massachusetts and served as a US Congressman and Governor of the state until 1861. At the outbreak of the war, he offered his services to President Lincoln, who appointed him a Major-General of Volunteers in return for his support for the war effort in his home state.

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