Shenandoah Valley

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"We Are In For It!" The First Battle of Kernstown

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The full story of the First clash in the series that comprised Stonewall Jackson's legendary Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
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Battle of Fisher's Hill Breaking the Shenandoah Valley's Gibraltar

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The Battle of Fisher's Hill created a greater opportunity to destroy harvests from the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy" than any other Union victory in the hotly contested Shenandoah Valley. Union major general Philip Sheridan's men forced Confederate lieutenant general Jubal A. Early's smaller force to retreat, leading to the burning of barns and mills across the region. In this first-ever book focused on this engagement, Civil War historian Jonathan A. Noyalas explains the battle, its effect on area civilians and its meaning to both sides, as well as the battlefield's important role in postwar reunion and reconciliation.
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Battle of Piedmont and Hunter's Campaign for Staunton The 1864 Shenandoah Campaign

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In 1864, General Grant tasked General David Hunter with raiding the breadbasket of the Shenandoah Valley and destroying the Confederate factories and supply lines. General Lee dispatched General William E. "Grumble" Jones, and the forces collided up the fertile fields of eastern Augusta County. It was a bloody day--the Battle of Piedmont saw more men killed and wounded than in any of Stonewall Jackson's 1862 Valley encounters. Sweeping on to victory, Federal forces then occupied Staunton and laid waste to the railroad and Confederate workshops. Join Civil War historian Scott C. Patchan as he chronicles the campaign and sheds light on its place in the war.
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Decision at Tom's Brook: George Custer, Thomas Rosser, and the Joy of the Fight

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The Battle of Tom's Brook, recalled one Confederate soldier, was "the greatest disaster that ever befell our cavalry during the whole war." The fight took place during the last autumn of the Civil War, when the Union General Phil Sheridan vowed to turn the crop-rich Shenandoah Valley into "a desert." Farms and homes were burned, livestock slaughtered, and Southern families suffered.

The story of the Tom's Brook cavalry affair centers on two young men who had risen to
prominence as soldiers: George A. Custer and Thomas L. Rosser. They had been friends since their teenage days at West Point, but the war sent them down separate paths--Custer to the Union army and Rosser to the Confederacy. Each was a born warrior who took obvious joy in the exhilaration of battle. Each possessed almost all of the traits of the ideal cavalryman--courage, intelligence, physical strength, inner fire. Only their judgment was questionable.

Their separate paths converged in the Shenandoah Valley in the autumn of 1864, when Custer was ordered to destroy, and Rosser was ordered to stop him. For three days, Rosser's gray troopers pursued and attacked the Federals. On the fourth day, October 9, the tables turned in the open fields above Tom's Brook, where each ambitious friend sought his own advancement at the expense of the other. One capitalized upon every advantage fate threw before him, while the other, sure of his abilities in battle and eager to fight, tried to impose his will on unfavorable circumstances and tempted fate by inviting catastrophe. This long-overlooked cavalry action had a lasting effect on mounted
operations and influenced the balance of the campaign in the Valley.

Based upon extensive research in primary documents and gracefully written, award-winning author William J. Miller's Decision at Tom's Brook presents significant new material on Thomas Rosser and argues that his character was his destiny. Rosser's decisions that day changed his life and the lives of hundreds of other men. Miller's new study is Civil War history and high personal drama at its finest.

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George Crook: From the Redwoods to Appomattox

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Renowned for his prominent role in the Apache and Sioux wars, General George Crook (1828-90) was considered by William Tecumseh Sherman to be his greatest Indian-fighting general. Although Crook was feared by Indian opponents on the battlefield, in defeat the tribes found him a true friend and advocate who earned their trust and friendship when he spoke out in their defense against political corruption and greed.

Paul Magid's detailed and engaging narrative focuses on Crook's early years through the end of the Civil War. Magid begins with Crook's boyhood on the Ohio frontier and his education at West Point, then recounts his nine years' military service in California during the height of the Gold Rush. It was in the Far West that Crook acquired the experience and skills essential to his success as an Indian fighter.

This is primarily an account of Crook's dramatic and sometimes controversial role in the Civil War, in which he was involved on three fronts, in West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia. Crook saw action during the battle of Antietam and played important roles in two major offensives in the Shenandoah Valley and in the Chattanooga and Appomattox campaigns. His courage, leadership, and tactical skills won him the respect and admiration of his commanding officers, including Generals Grant and Sheridan. He soon rose to the rank of major general and received four brevet promotions for bravery and meritorious service. Along the way, he led both infantry and cavalry, pioneered innovations in guerrilla warfare, conducted raids deep into enemy territory, and endured a kidnapping by Confederate partisans.

George Crook offers insight into the influences that later would make this general both a nemesis of the Indian tribes and their ardent advocate, and it illuminates the personality of this most enigmatic and eccentric of army officers.

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Gray Ghost The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby

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Confederate John Singleton Mosby forged his reputation on the most exhilarating of military activities: the overnight raid. Mosby possessed a genius for guerrilla and psychological warfare, taking control of the dark to make himself the "Gray Ghost" of Union nightmares. Gray Ghost, the first full biography of Confederate raider John Mosby, reveals new information on every aspect of Mosby's life, providing the first analysis of his impact on the Civil War from the Union viewpoint.
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Last Battle of Winchester Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7 - September 19, 1864

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The Last Battle of Winchester is the first serious study to chronicle the largest, longest, and bloodiest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley. The fighting began about daylight and did not end until dusk, when the victorious Union army routed the Confederates off the field. It was the first time Stonewall Jackson's former corps had ever been driven from a battlefield, and the stinging defeat set the stage for the final climax of the 1864 Valley Campaign at Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. The Northern victory was a long time coming.

After a spring and summer of Union defeat in the Valley, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant cobbled together a formidable force under redoubtable cavalryman Phil Sheridan. His task was a tall one: sweep Jubal Early's Confederate army out of the bountiful Shenandoah and reduce the verdant region of its supplies. Thus far, the aggressive Early had led Jackson's veterans to one victory after another at Lynchburg, Monocacy, Snickers Gap, and Kernstown.

Author Scott Patchan, recognized as the foremost authority on the 1864 Valley Campaign, dissects the five weeks of complex maneuvering and sporadic combat before the opposing armies ended up at Winchester, an important town in the northern end of the Valley that had changed hands dozens of times during the war. Tactical brilliance and ineptitude were on display throughout the day-long affair as Sheridan threw infantry and cavalry against the thinning Confederate ranks, and Early and his generals shifted to meet each assault. A final blow against Early's left flank collapsed the Southern army, killed one of the Confederacy's finest combat generals in Robert Rodes, and planted the seeds of the sweeping largescale victory at Cedar Creek the following month.

Patchan's vivid prose is based upon more than two decades of meticulous firsthand research and an unparalleled understanding of the battlefield. Nearly two dozen original maps, scores of photos, hundreds of explanatory footnotes, and seven invaluable appendices enhance our understanding of this watershed battle. Rich in analysis and dramatic character development, The Last Battle of Winchester is certain to become a classic Civil War battle study.

About the Author: A life-long student of military history, Scott C. Patchan is a graduate of James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley. He is the author of many articles and books, including The Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont (1996), Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign (2007), and Second Manassas: Longstreet's Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge (2011). Patchan serves as a director on the board of the Kernstown Battlefield Association in Winchester, Virginia, and is a member of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation's Resource Protection Committee.

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Major General Robert E. Rodes of the Army of Northern Virginia

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FINALIST FOR BIOGRAPHY, 2008, ARMY HISTORICAL FOUNDATION DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD

WINNER, 2009, THE DOUGLAS SOUTHALL FREEMAN AWARD FOR BEST BOOK ON SOUTHERN HISTORY

Jedediah Hotchkiss, Stonewall Jackson's renowned mapmaker, expressed the feelings of many contemporaries when he declared that Robert Rodes was the best division commander in the Army of Northern Virginia. This well-deserved accolade is all the more remarkable considering that Rodes, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a prewar railroad engineer, was one of a very few officers in Lee's army to rise so high without the benefit of a West Point education. Major General Robert E. Rodes of the Army of Northern Virginia: A Biography, is the first deeply researched scholarly biography on this remarkable Confederate officer.

From First Manassas in 1861 to Third Winchester in 1864, Rodes served in all the great battles and campaigns of the legendary Army of Northern Virginia. He quickly earned a reputation as a courageous and inspiring leader who delivered hard-hitting attacks and rock steady defensive efforts. His greatest moment came at Chancellorsville in the spring of 1863, when he spearheaded Stonewall Jackson's famous flank attack that crushed the left wing of General Hooker's Army of the Potomac.

Rodes began the conflict with a deep yearning for recognition and glory, coupled with an indifferent attitude toward religion and salvation. When he was killed at the height of his glorious career at Third Winchester on September 19, 1864, a trove of prayer books and testaments were found on his corpse.

Based upon exhaustive new research, Darrell Collins's new biography breathes life into a heretofore largely overlooked Southern soldier. Although Rodes' widow consigned his personal papers to the flames after the war, Collins has uncovered a substantial amount of firsthand information to complete this compelling portrait of one of Robert E. Lee's most dependable field generals.

Darrell L. Collins is the author of several books on the Civil War, including General William Averell's Salem Raid: Breaking the Knoxville Supply Line (1999) and Jackson's Valley Campaign: The Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic (The Virginia Civil War Battles and Leaders Series, 1993). A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Darrell and his wife Judith recently relocated to Conifer, Colorado.

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Second Battle of Winchester: The Confederate Victory that Opened the Door to Gettysburg

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June 1863. The Gettysburg Campaign is underway. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia is pushing northward through the Shenandoah Valley toward Pennsylvania, and only one significant force stands in its way: Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy's Union division of the Eighth Army Corps, in the vicinity of Winchester and Berryville, Virginia. What happened next is the subject of the provocative new book The Second Battle of Winchester: The Confederate Victory That Opened the Door to Gettysburg, June 13-15, 1863.

Despite being heavily outnumbered, General Milroy defied repeated instructions to withdraw his command even as the overpowering Second Corps under Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell approached within striking distance. The veteran Indiana politician-turned-soldier was convinced the enemy consisted of nothing more than cavalry or was simply a feint. Milroy's controversial decision to stand and fight pitted his outnumbered and largely inexperienced men against some of Lee's finest veterans. The complex and fascinating maneuvering and fighting that followed on June 13-15 cost Milroy hundreds of killed and wounded and some 4,000 captured (about one-half of his command), with the remainder of his command routed from the battlefield. The combat cleared the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley of Federal troops, demonstrated Lee could obtain supplies on the march, justified the elevation of General Ewell to replace the recently deceased Stonewall Jackson--and sent shockwaves through the Northern states.

Today, the Second Battle of Winchester is largely forgotten. But in June 1863, the politically charged front-page news caught President Lincoln and the War Department by surprise and forever tarnished Milroy's career. The beleaguered Federal soldiers who fought there spent a lifetime seeking redemption, arguing their three-day "forlorn hope" delayed the Rebels long enough to allow the Army of the Potomac to arrive and defeat Lee at Gettysburg. For the Confederates, the decisive leadership on display outside Winchester proved an illusion that masked significant command issues buried within the upper echelons of Stonewall Jackson's former corps that would only make themselves known in the earliest days of July on a different battlefield.

Award-winning authors Eric J. Wittenberg and Scott L. Mingus Sr. combined their researching and writing talents to produce the most in-depth and comprehensive study of Second Winchester ever written. Their balanced effort, based upon scores of archival and previously unpublished diaries, newspaper accounts, letter collections, other firsthand sources, and a deep familiarity with the terrain in and around Winchester and the lower Shenandoah Valley, explores the battle from every perspective.

The Second Battle of Winchester is comprehensive, highly readable, deeply researched, and immensely interesting. Now, finally, the pivotal battle in the Shenandoah Valley that opened the door to Gettysburg has the book it has long deserved.

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Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864

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Generally regarded as the most important of the Civil War campaigns conducted in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, that of 1864 lasted more than four months and claimed more than 25,000 casualties. The armies of Philip H. Sheridan and Jubal A. Early contended for immense stakes. Beyond the agricultural bounty and the boost in morale a victory would bring, events in the Valley also would affect Abraham Lincoln's chances for reelection in the November 1864 presidential canvass.

The eleven original essays in this volume reexamine common assumptions about the campaign, its major figures, and its significance. Taking advantage of the most recent scholarship and a wide range of primary sources, contributors examine strategy and tactics, the performances of key commanders on each side, the campaign's political repercussions, and the experiences of civilians caught in the path of the armies. The authors do not always agree with one another, yet, taken together, their essays highlight important connections between the home front and the battlefield, as well as ways in which military affairs, civilian experiences, and politics played off one another during the campaign.

Contributors:
William W. Bergen, Charlottesville, Virginia
Keith S. Bohannon, State University of West Georgia
Andre M. Fleche, University of Virginia
Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia
Joseph T. Glatthaar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Robert E. L. Krick, Richmond, Virginia
Robert K. Krick, Fredericksburg, Virginia
William J. Miller, Churchville, Virginia
Aaron Sheehan-Dean, University of North Florida
William G. Thomas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Joan Waugh, University of California, Los Angeles

Generally regarded as the most important Civil War military operation conducted in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the campaign of 1864 lasted more than four months and claimed more than 25,000 casualties. Beyond the loss of agricultural bounty to the Confederacy and the boost in Union morale a victory would bring, events in the Valley also would affect Abraham Lincoln's chances for reelection in the November 1864 presidential canvass.

The eleven original essays in this volume reexamine common assumptions about the campaign, its major figures, and its significance. Taking advantage of the most recent scholarship and a wide range of primary sources, contributors consider strategy and tactics, the performances of key commanders on each side, the campaign's political repercussions, and the experiences of civilians caught in the path of the armies.

The contributors are William W. Bergen, Keith S. Bohannon, Andre M. Fleche, Gary W. Gallagher, Joseph T. Glatthaar, Robert E. L. Krick, Robert K. Krick, William J. Miller, Aaron Sheehan-Dean, William G. Thomas, and Joan Waugh. The editor is Gary W. Gallagher.























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Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864

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A significant part of the Civil War was fought in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, especially in 1864. Books and articles have been written about the fighting that took place there, but they generally cover only a small period of time and focus on a particular battle or campaign. This work covers the entire year of 1864 so that readers can clearly see how one event led to another in the Shenandoah Valley and turned once-peaceful garden spots into gory battlefields. It tells the stories of the great leaders, ordinary men, innocent civilians, and armies large and small taking part in battles at New Market, Chambersburg, Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, but it primarily tells the stories of the soldiers, Union and Confederate, who were willing to risk their lives for their beliefs. The author has made extensive use of memoirs, letters and reports written by the soldiers of both sides who fought in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864.