Guard Hill

Guard Hill (HM1WA)

Location: Front Royal, VA 22630 Warren County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 56.976', W 78° 11.892'

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"Oh, What an Opportunity for Artillery!"

— Battle of Front Royal - May 23, 1862 —

Closely pursued by the 8th Louisiana Infantry, Union Col. John R. Kenly's rear guard occupied Guard Hill just west of here. The two-gun section of Knap's Battery E, Pennsylvania Light Artillery, commanded by Lt. Charles Atwell, covered part of the peninsula between the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River as the Confederates surged toward the North Fork Bridge.

As the Confederate forces crossed the South Fork onto the peninsula, Kenly's Union troops deployed on the Winchester side of the Pike Bridge over the North Fork. The prominence of Guard Hill offered Kenly a good position to slow down the Southern advance. Atwell unlimbered his cannons on the height west of the turnpike near Dr. Kenner's home, while the Federal infantry dug in on either side of the road to combat any attempt by the Confederates crossing at the bridge.

Atwell's guns held off the commands of Col. Bradley T. Johnson and Maj. Chatham Roberdeau Wheat for almost an hour, despite being shelled by Capt. John A. Lusk's Confederate battery from Atwell's former position on Richardson's Hill. When Kenly rode forward to check the progress of his bridge-burning orders, he found "the river below the bridges ... alive with horsemen [Lt. Col. Thomas S. Flournoy's 6th Virginia Cavalry], crossing in two different places by fording." Kenly ordered a retreat, leaving two companies of the 5th New York Cavalry as a rear guard while the infantry and artillery hastened north on the Front Royal Turnpike.
HM NumberHM1WA
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 12:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 742805 N 4314917
Decimal Degrees38.94960000, -78.19820000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 56.976', W 78° 11.892'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 56' 58.56" N, 78° 11' 53.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 11001 Dam Fishing Trail, Front Royal VA 22630, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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