The Valley Campaign Tour - Day 4

On the fourth day, we started by going to the New Market Battlefield. This was not in Jackson's 1862 Valley campaign, but we went there because the VMI cadets fought there and the museum was highly recommended. Daddy did a talk on Economics Before the Civil War before our tour. Then the tour guide came out, and marched us to the battlefield, where she told us about the battle.

This battlefield was one of the nicest we went to, mostly because a couple hundred of the VMI cadets fought there, and they turned the tide of the battle, and now VMI takes care of and owns the battlefield. The battle was between General John Breckenridge for the Confederates, and General Franz Sigel for the Unions. The middle of the Confederates was caving in, so they put in the cadets to sure it up. The Unions had about twice as many men as the Confederates, but by Sigel's poor handling of them, only half of them were fighting the Confederates.

He got excited, and since he was a German immigrant, he started to give his commands in German. He gave the command to charge, but because of this, only one regiment got the order to charge, and so they charged, and the rest of the regiments followed in a broken and disorderly manner. Breckenridge ordered his men to charge too, and they advanced in a steady organized line, and drove the Unions away.

Then we went to Prospect Hill Cemetery in Front Royal, where we could see all around us, and Joshua described the battle of Front Royal. He also did a talk on the battle of Winchester, which was between Front Royal and the next battle, where Jackson routed what was left of Bank's army at Winchester. We also stopped at Bel Aire, which was Lucy Buck's home, since Rachel read some excerpts from her diary on the way to Front Royal and Daddy talked about some of her character qualities, like courage and hospitality.

Then we went to Cross Keys, which was just a field, most of which was being farmed and you could not go in it. There, Joshua gave a talk on the battle, and Daddy gave a talk on Richard Ewell. Then we went to the Frank Kemper House, which is where Turner Ashby's body was viewed after his death, and it was near Jackson's Headquarters while his army was in Port Republic.

The tour guide also talked about a Union Calvary raid there just before the battle of Port Republic and they almost captured Stonewall Jackson, and probably would have if he had not been in his blue US Army uniform, which made them think he was a federal officer.

After that, we went to a hill called the "Coaling" (because they burned wood to make charcoal there), which was important in the battle of Port Republic. The Union had some cannons up there, and once the Confederates took it after a few charges the Union retreated. It was the last battle in Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862. Afterwards, Lee called him to Richmond to help participate in the battle of the Seven Days.

An original sword in the Frank Kemper House

Daddy talking at the Coaling

Joshua talking at Prospect Hill Cemetery

A barn which was subjected to crossfire at the battle of New Market

My Replica Pistol


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