‘But the Enemy Were Obliged to Give Way’ – Early Makes His Retreat

November 12, 1864 (Saturday) Jubal Early’s Confederates were on the move once more. Marching north from New Market, they had arrived at the old battlefield at Cedar Creek the day previous. Finding it vacant, Early sent his cavalry farther north, toward Middletown and Newtown, pushing back the Union pickets and espying Philip Sheridan’s army, nowRead More

Jubal Early Pushes North Once More

November 11, 1864 (Friday) Word had come to Jubal Early that Philip Sheridan was preparing to send troops to Grant’s army before Petersburg. Since being defeated at the battle of Cedar Creek, Early’s command had licked their wounds near New Market. Sheridan, it was told, had vacated his position at Cedar Creek and moved north,Read More

‘The Yankees Got Whipped, and We Got Scared’ – The Battle of Cedar Creek

“The moon was was now shining and we could see the camps,” Confederate commander, Jubal Early wrote after the war. “The division was halted under cover to await the arrival of the proper time, and I pointed out to Kershaw, and the commander of his leading brigade the enemy’s position, and described the nature ofRead More

‘And We Will Crush Sheridan’ – Catching Up with the Shenandoah Valley

October 17, 1864 (Monday) Since last we left the Shenandoah Valley, Philip Sheridan’s Union Army of the Shenandoah had crossed to the northerly side of Cedar Creek to more or less hunker down. Sheridan, feeling Jubal Early was less of a threat than ever before, began to select troops to leave his own army andRead More

‘Merely a Question of the Endurance of Horseflesh’ – A Day at the Woodstock Races

October 9, 1864 (Sunday) Alfred Torbet had had enough. For days, the Confederate cavalry had dogged his own as he played rear guard for Philip Sheridan’s army moving north from the upper Shenandoah Valley. But the previous night it was decided – Both George Armstrong Custer’s Division and that of Wesley Merritt would be enjoinedRead More

‘We Were Forced to Fall Back’ – Prelude to Tom’s Brook

October 8, 1864 (Saturday) As Philip Sheridan’s army marched north, down the Shenandoah Valley, his three divisions of cavalry acted as rear guard, buffering the infantry from their probing Rebel counterparts. Under the command of Alfred Torbert, the three divisions were dispersed in a wide arch. To the east, in the Luray Valley, was WilliamRead More

Sheridan to Render the Shenandoah Unfit for Man or Beast

October 7, 1864 (Friday) While Philip Sheridan pillaged his way out of the upper Shenandoah Valley, Jubal Early’s Confederates crept forward from their cover in Brown’s Gap, east of Harrisonburg. Early had been rejoined by Joseph Kershaw’s Division, as well as an additional brigade of cavalry. With this, he “determined to attack the enemy inRead More

‘A Sum of Destruction that Baffles the Pen’ – Sheridan Unleashes Custer

October 3, 1864 (Monday) Toward dusk, Lt. John R. Meigs, son of the Quartermaster-General Montgomery Meigs, was riding with two fellow topographers to plot out of the land near the Federal position in the Shenandoah Valley. They rode near the village of Dayton, a few miles southwest of Harrisonburg, and were still very much withinRead More

Lee Has High Hopes for Early’s Campaign

September 25, 1864 (Sunday) “If you feel strong enough,” wrote General Lee to Jubal Early, “better move at once after the enemy and attack him, and if possible destroy him.” This was, of course, a brilliant idea. If Early would destroy Philip Sheridan’s army, the Valley of the Shenandoah would once more be in ConfederateRead More

Early Retreats Farther Up the Valley

September 24, 1864 (Saturday) “The whole of the army is now moving forward,” wrote Philip Sheridan to General Grant. His victory at Fisher’s Hill in the Shenandoah Valley had yielded him twenty pieces of artillery and over 1,000 prisoners of war. Though he was unable to bag Early’s entire force as he has wished, itRead More