By Mark Lardas
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in 1864 was once the scene of 1 of the main an important campaigns of the Civil battle. the result of the combating there might have outcomes that stretched some distance open air the valley to aid come to a decision the destiny of the nation.
In 1864 the Union Army's new commander, Ulysses supply, created the Union's first cohesive process for conquering the Confederacy. considered one of his key targets was once to manage the Shenandoah Valley. The valley shielded the Confederacy, served because the bread basket for Lee's military of Northern Virginia, and supplied remounts for accomplice cavalry. while an preliminary invasion in spring 1864 failed within the face of a skillful counter-attack via basic Jubal Early, provide became to his cavalry commander, Brigadier-General Philip Sheridan, to force the Confederacy from the valley.
On August 7, 1864, "Little Phil" assumed command of the military of the Shenandoah, because the new command was once styled. Over the subsequent ninety days armies--the Union forces led by way of Sheridan and the accomplice troops commanded through Early--maneuvered around the Shenandoah Valley in a storied crusade of flow and countermove, the place unforeseen assaults have been met via both unforeseen ripostes. The stakes within the battles weren't simply the destiny of 1 disputed agricultural valley within the usa. relatively, its implications will be felt all through a state torn through Civil battle. Victory or defeat within the Shenandoah may well have an effect on the result of the Presidential election to be held in November 1864. accomplice lack of the Valley might cripple the military of Northern Virginia. Sheridan's eventual victory helped be certain Lincoln's re-election and got rid of the accomplice hazard, hastening the eventual finish to the Civil struggle.
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Additional info for Shenandoah 1864: Sheridan's valley campaign
Crook’s picket line (4), attacked by Kershaw’s formed infantry, scattered. They fell back one-half mile to their main battle line, on a hill shielding the divisional encampment. There the Confederate advance stopped. A confused melee broke out in the evening twilight. Darkness brought an eventual end to the fighting. Darkness also gave Kershaw and Anderson the chance to withdraw the baggage train, at risk from a Union advance. That evening’s action was indecisive, as measured by the casualty count.
Kershaw's men scattered the Union pickets, but were thrown back as the Union reacted. Before darkness ended that day’s battle, Crook suffered 166 casualties and Anderson had 60 men taken prisoner. Fortunately for the outnumbered Anderson, darkness concealed his vulnerable baggage trains, and Sheridan’s two available cavalry divisions were on a scout somewhere between Millwood and Front Royal. Early hurried to Anderson’s relief with Rodes’s, Ramseur’s, and Breckinridge’s divisions. When Early arrived on September 4, he found Kershaw in an extended skirmish line and the Army of West Virginia in front of Kershaw.
Early was finishing up another of the raids he continued to launch from the Shenandoah, sending his cavalry into Pennsylvania. His men burned Chambersburg on July 30, destroying most of the town, including homes. As they withdrew, foraging parties gathered grain from the Sharpsburg area. Sheridan opened the campaign by sending his cavalry ahead to screen his army. The 1st and 3rd Cavalry were sent probing down the passes of the Blue Ridge Mountains as far south as Manassas Gap. com These actions mirrored similar actions by Sheridan’s army as the campaign progressed, ones that were heavily criticized by the Confederates.
Shenandoah 1864: Sheridan's valley campaign by Mark Lardas