The Battle of New Market

The Battle of New Market (HMGVC)

Location: New Market, VA 22844 Shenandoah County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 39.317', W 78° 40.343'

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May 15, 1864

— 1864 Valley Campaign —

In the spring of 1864, Union Gen. Franz Sigel marched his 10,000-man army south through the Shenandoah Valley as part of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's strategy to attack the Confederacy on several fronts simultaneously. To counter this threat, Gen. John C. Breckinridge led 4,000 Confederate troops to New Market, located on the only road over Massanutten Mountain, which divides the Valley and channels troop movements. In desperate need of soldiers, Breckinridge summoned the Corps of Cadets from Virginia Military Institute. The boys marched north from Lexington to join him.

On the evening of May 14, advance elements of Sigel's army reached New Market, encountering Confederate Gen. John D. Imboden's cavalry. The next morning, Breckinridge brought his full force to Shirley's Hill, two miles south of here. When the Federals pulled back, Breckinridge ordered a general advance, with the cadets in reserved.

Sigel occupied a hill north of town on Jacob Bushong's farm, where for several hours fighting swirled around the house and across an orchard and wheat field muddied by torrential thunderstorms. Casualties in the Confederate center created a hole that Breckinridge reluctantly filled with the cadets. After his forces repulsed two final infantry and cavalry charges, Breckinridge ordered an attack along his entire front. The Federals retreated in good order as the cadets overran an exposed battery, capturing one cannon and many prisoners.

Union losses totaled 841 killed, wounded, and missing, while the Confederates suffered 531 casualties, including 10 VMI Cadets killed and more than 40 wounded. With Sigel's army no longer an immediate threat, Breckinridge took most of his troops east to join the defense of Richmond.
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 5:51am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 702539 N 4281094
Decimal Degrees38.65528333, -78.67238333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 39.317', W 78° 40.343'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 39' 19.02" N, 78° 40' 20.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9500 George R Collins Pkwy, New Market VA 22844, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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