Belle Boyd

Belle Boyd (HM1U8)

Location: Front Royal, VA 22630 Warren County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 54.145', W 78° 12.213'

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Jackson Prepares for Battle

— Battle of Front Royal - May 23, 1862 —

Early in the warm afternoon, Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and Gen. Richard S. Ewell and their staffs stopped here at the head of Jackson's army. As the two commanders studied the ground leading to Front Royal, Capt. Henry Kyd Douglas, one of Jackson's aides caught the attention of Capt. G. Campbell Brown of Ewell's staff. Brown later wrote that he focused his gaze on "a woman running like mad down from the hill on our right?gesticulating wildly to us." Douglas, at Ewell's behest, rode to the hill to meet this "romantic maiden" with a "tall, supple, graceful figure" who, to his amazement, called him by name. He quickly recognized her as the "well-known Belle Boyd whom [he] had known from her earliest girlhood."

Winded and gasping, Boyd told her friend to advise Jackson that the Federal forces in Front Royal were minimal: "Tell him to charge right down and he will catch them all."

Jackson already had begun deploying his command. With a company of the 6th Virginia Cavalry - the Wise Troop - in the lead, Col. Bradley T. Johnson's 1st Maryland Infantry (CSA) moved into line of battle. The Louisiana Brigade, including Maj. Chatham Roberdeau Wheat's colorful New Orleans battalion, Wheat's Tigers, filed in behind the Marylanders. Part of the brigade was in immediate support while the remainder assembled in the open fields to the west of Gooney Manor Road (now Browntown Road). Soon, Jackson ordered his force to advance.

(Sidebar): Belle Boyd, 18-years-old at the time of the battle, moved to Front Royal in 1861 after being acquitted of murder charges in her home town of Martinsburg (now West Virginia). She was accused there of killing a Union soldier attempting to hoist a national flag above her house.
HM NumberHM1U8
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 12:39pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 742502 N 4309665
Decimal Degrees38.90241667, -78.20355000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 54.145', W 78° 12.213'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 54' 8.70" N, 78° 12' 12.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 7077-7149 State Rte 649, Front Royal VA 22630, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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