Battle of Cool Spring

Battle of Cool Spring (HM1G9E)

Location: Bluemont, VA 20135 Clarke County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 8.169', W 77° 52.193'

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Sharp Action at the Shenandoah River

— Early's 1864 Attack on Washington —

To draw Union troops from Petersburg to Washington, Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early attacked the capital defenses on July 11, 1864. He then withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley, where he had left Gen. John C. Breckinridge division to hold the Shenandoah River fords. Union Gen. George Crook, pursuing Early, decided to make a reconnaissance in force across the river near hear on July 18 after his cavalry was repulsed the previous day, a Sunday.

Guided by a Confederate deserter well acquainted with the area, three brigades forded the river about a mile north of Castleman Ferry concealed by woodlands and virtually undetected by Early pickets. Federal skirmishers moved forward while the brigades formed a line of battle in the woods behind a stone fence on Cool Spring Farm (present-day Holy Cross Monastery).

Breckinridge, who was attending services at Grace Episcopal Church in Berryville when he was informed of the Federal cavalry probes, dispatched Gens. John B. Gordon and Gabriel C. Wharton divisions to positions in front of the Union line. While Confederate skirmishers engaged the Federals, Gen. Robert E. Rodes led his division behind the Southern lines to strike the Union right flank and rear. An attack by all three divisions threw the Federals into confusion, and they retreated across the river to the safety of their artillery on the east bank. Losing 422 killed, wounded, and missing (some drowned). Confederate casualties totaled about 295. Early continued his withdrawal to Winchester, where his army regrouped for the next phase of the Valley Campaign.
HM NumberHM1G9E
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2014
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 12:09pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 251947 N 4335808
Decimal Degrees39.13615000, -77.86988333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 8.169', W 77° 52.193'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 8' 10.14" N, 77° 52' 11.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1400 Parker Ln, Bluemont VA 20135, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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