Thursday, 14 July 2016

American adventure day three : Shenandoah Valley

Day three is a trip down the Shenandoah Valley. Scene of some of the most famous smaller campaigns from 1862 and 1864. The plan was to take my time and end up some where near New Market. It kind of worked....again I have taken too many photos so will only cover a fraction of the detail.

First up a drive to Winchester and the site of the 3rd Battle to take place here. This is quite a complex site with only a small portion of the battlefield preserved.....a few more trails markers would help as well ! It looks cloudy but was hot !

You enter the site from behind the left wing of the Confederate army.
Confederate battery placed in the morning to protect the left flank later this areas over run by union troops.
The crossing point of the small Run which allowed the Union forces to outflank and push back the confederates...a really nice spot.
The middle field where the Federal forces advanced, I' m roughly on the confederate lines at the start of the battle before they were pushed back. Then on the Winchester itself the Court House museum with as many artefacts as you could shake a stick at...nicely presented if you had more time than me.
But next surprisingly the highlight of the day the Jackson Headquarters Museum, only one shot of the outside as no photos inside. I could talk all day about this place, you have to ring the bell to get in ! then are met by two very knowledgable and friendly women dressed in period costume who show you around. In the house you find a fabulous collection of authentic Stonewall Jackson stuff. From his bible to his campaign trunk and table. Fantastic stuff 😀 he lived here quite a lot and wrote about the place whilst he planned his various campaigns.
Then to Kernstown....technically shut at least the visitor centre but the guy on the mower said it was ok to spend some time walking the trails.
Pritchard farm and Hill
Then south long the Old Valley Turnpike (now route 11 only busy on the first stretch)
Next up Cedar Creek battle from the end of the 1864 Campaign....I had planned to go to Front Royal but the lady in the museum suggested is was a bit disappointing I guess I may never know ? Anyway Cedar Creek was a big battle, you can pick up a podcast or as I did collect a CD from the NPS in Middletown. There they have a useful overview of the battle. The driving tour was perfect as a thunderstorm came through.
Low tech but fun explanation of the battle. The tour is about an hour and a half 18 miles so only a couple of shots, quite a bit of the field has been built but you can understand the battle quite well.
Rebel crossing point of Ceder Creek, quite atmospheric ....
Belle Grove an old plantation which served as the union hq until it was over run ! You can go in but I didn't.
The high point of the Rebel advance from the Union lines.
Over look of the whole battle, Rebels attacked from the left pushing repeated attempts by the Union forces to hold.
Then back in the car a quick stop at Fisher's Hill battlefield....
The Confederates held the hill I am standing on with skirmishers on the small hill in front but they were out flanked from the left and pushed back. to New Market ...yes a big day fantastic scenery and enough history to drown a dead cat....yepeee😀


  1. Really great to see the lay of the land

    1. If you ever get the chance there is lots to entertain😀

  2. You have to be impressed at how well they preserve and document their history.

    1. Yep fantastic...they do have a little more space than some other countries.

  3. I think Civil war battlefields are wonderful. Great photos.

    1. Thanks ....having a great time so far😀

  4. Great stuff! I've visited a few battlefields since living over here. They are fascinating and usually well laid out.

    1. They are definitely well organised and in the main well preserved.