The Shenandoah Valley's strategic location and rich farmland caused it to be the scene of two major Civil War campaigns that comprised hundreds of battles and skirmishes.
Many Valley farms, like Rose Hill, became battlefields or campgrounds unexpectedly and often repeatedly.
By far the most significant event to occur here was the 1st Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862. Here soldiers fought the first Civil War battle in the Sheanandoah Valley. Here Southern Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson suffered his only tactical defeat.
The battle began about 9:00 a.m. in Kernstown approximately 1½ miles southeast, behind the wooded ridge, called Sandy Ridge, in front of you. Northern Colonel Nathan Kimball (Indiana) held the high ground on the Pritchard Farm. He was not supposed to be in charge, but his commander, Brigadier General James Shields, had been injured the day before.
After unsuccessfully trying to dislodge Northern troops under Colonel Kimball from high ground on the neighboring Pritchard Farm, Southern General "Stonewall" Jackson placed artillery on even higher ground - the east side of Sandy Ridge (the far side of the high ground in front of you).
Northern forces sent to dislodge these guns ran into Southern forces sent to defend them.
As you follow the paths to learn more about this battle, notice how the land rises and falls. Would you be able to see if enemy soldiers were over the next rise?
Other Civil War Action at Rose Hill
June 1863 - Northern and Southern troops moved through farm fields during the 2nd Battle of Winchester.
July 1864 - Northern and Southern troops moved through farm fields during 2nd Battle of Kernstown.
Early August 1864 - William Wood Glass sold grain to Southern troops.
August 17, 1864 - Northern Troops destroyed the barn, wheat and hay worth $2,590.
August 17, 1864 - Southern forces defeated Northern cavalry at Rose Hill.
Winter 1864-65 - Northern cavalry from Gen. George A. Custer's division camped here, burning 16,700 fence rails and 132 cords of wood worth $1,565.