Judge Parker's "Retreat" & the Battle of Cool Spring

Judge Parker's "Retreat" & the Battle of Cool Spring (HM2GEB)

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N 39° 8.164', W 77° 52.179'

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Welcome to Shenandoah University's River Campus at the Cool Spring Battlefield

"I do not remember to have been engaged in a more sharp and obstinate affair." (Confederate veteran in Gen. Robert E. Rodes' division)

During the Civil War era the 195 acres that comprise the River Campus were part of a 1,120 acre plantation owned by Judge Richard Parker. While Parker, best-known for presiding over John Brown's trial in the autumn of 1859, owned the property and spent time at the "Retreat," his primary residence was in Winchester. Today, the house, built in 1799, which stands on the opposite side of the road is privately owned.

While both Union and Confederate armies frequently passed through the area during the conflict, using Snickers Gap as a gateway into the Shenandoah Valley, Judge Parker's Retreat figured significantly in the largest and bloodiest battle fought in Clarke County—the Battle of Cool Spring. The battle pitted elements of Confederate general Jubal Early's command against a contingent of Union forces led by Gen. Horatio G. Wright. In total 13,000 Union and Confederate troops fought at Cool Spring. The battle, a Confederate victory, resulted in more than 800 casualties.

On the afternoon of July 18, 1864, approximately 5,000 Union soldiers commanded by Col. Joseph Thoburn marched across Parker's property and crossed the Shenandoah



River. Three Union artillery batteries also deployed on the heights in the battle's final phase. In the battle's aftermath exhausted and wounded Union soldiers sought safety on this side of the Shenandoah and during the night of the 18th and into the following morning troops from the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry picketed the river's eastern bank and provided cover for wounded Union soldiers escaping to this side.
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HM NumberHM2GEB
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Placed ByShenandoah University's McCormick Civil War Institute
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 at 11:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 251967 N 4335798
Decimal Degrees39.13606667, -77.86965000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 8.164', W 77° 52.179'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 8' 9.84" N, 77° 52' 10.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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