The Courthouse

The Courthouse (HM3EW)

Location: Front Royal, VA 22630 Warren County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 55.071', W 78° 11.574'

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Front Royal Street Fighting

— Battle of Front Royal, May 23, 1862 —

As Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's army pushed its way into Front Royal, Col. Bradley T. Johnson's 1st Maryland Infantry (CSA) confronted Col. John R. Kenly's 1st Maryland Infantry (US). The street fighting grew especially hot here, between the Warren County Court House and the Confederate military hospital just across the street to the west.

Federal troops delivered "hot musketry fire" from the large windows of one of the two-story hospital buildings, threatening the Southern advance. Gen. Richard S. Ewell asked Johnson, "Colonel, can you take that building?" Johnson replied, "Yes, sir, in five- minutes." His Marylanders, led by Capt. William H. Murray, charged and "the building was taken in half the time promised." The tide of battle then flowed from the courthouse area north on Crescent Street toward Chester Street. House-to-house fighting ensued as the Federals retreated to Richardson's Hill.

The Confederates were surprised to find themselves dodging enthusiastic civilians as well as bullets when sucessionist women ran into the streets to greet their liberators, waving their bonnets, cheering and screaming. One soldier wrote, "Indeed the ladies were perfectly regardless of danger, balls flying in every direction, but there they stood, pointing out where some Yankees had hidden and encouraging us in every way." Soon many of these women would be caring for the wounded of both sides.

(sidebar) In June, 1861, the Confederate government established three military hospitals in Front Royal. Federal troops use the two-story barrack-style building for cover during the battle on May 23, 1862.

The present Warren County courthouse was built in 1835-36 on the site of the antebellum one, which was also occupied by the 1st Maryland Infantry, USA during the battle.

Warren County was named for Gen. Joseph Warren, from Massachusetts, who was killed during the battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. The county was formed in 1836 from parts of Frederick and Shenandoah Counties.
HM NumberHM3EW
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByCivil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 3:44pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 743373 N 4311407
Decimal Degrees38.91785000, -78.19290000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 55.071', W 78° 11.574'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 55' 4.26" N, 78° 11' 34.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 105 E Main St, Front Royal VA 22630, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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