The Battle of Cross Keys

The Battle of Cross Keys (HMAK3)

Location: Harrisonburg, VA 22801
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 21.444', W 78° 50.528'

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"It was not in men to stand such fire as that."

— 1862 Valley Campaign —

Following Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's victory at Winchester, Union troops pursued the Confederates south, "up" the Shenandoah Valley. While Gen. John C. Fremont advanced on the Valley Turnpike, another Union force, led by Gen. James Shields, pursued Jackson through the Page (Luray) Valley father east.

Jackson took position at Port Republic, four miles east of you, to engage Shields, leaving Gen. Richard Ewell here at Cross Keys to hold back Fremont. Ewell posted his 5,000 men on a ridge overlooking Mill Creek, one mile to your right. The 15th Alabama Infantry regiment remained here at union Church to give timely warning of Fremont's approach.

Early on June 8, 1862, Fremont brushed aside the Alabamians. He posted 40 cannon in the fields to your front and began furiously shelling the Confederate position. Two hours later Fremont attacked, blindly throwing Gen, Julius Stahel's brigade forward toward Ewell's right. The 8th New York was slaughtered by Gen. Isaac R, Trimble's Confederate brigade, which was sheltered behind a rail fence. Attacks against Ewell's center and left achieved no better success.

Fremont withdrew here to the Keezeletown Road. Ewell slipped away, joining Jackson on the banks of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River at Port Republic. The last battle of the 1862 Valley Campaign was fought there June 9, 1862.
HM NumberHMAK3
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2002
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 10:50am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 688542 N 4247674
Decimal Degrees38.35740000, -78.84213333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 21.444', W 78° 50.528'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 21' 26.64" N, 78° 50' 31.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6019 VA-679, Harrisonburg VA 22801, US
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