Inscription reads: "In September 1864, Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan detached two cavalry divisions under Gen. Alfred T.A. Torbert to move into the Page Valley. While the bulk of Sheridan's army would strike Gen. Jubal A. Early's Confederates at Fisher's Hill, Torbert was to cross Massanutten Mountain and cut off Early's avenue of retreat."
This maneuver first met resistance from well-entrenched Confederate cavalry at Milford (present-day Overall) on September 22. Unsuccessful at breaking the line, Torbert withdrew to Front Royal. By September 24, however, Torbert had learned of Sheridan's victory at Fisher's Hill and quickly marched toward Luray, catching up with remnants of Confederate cavalry under Col. William H. Payne here around Yager's Mill. Gen. George A. Custer and Col. Charles R. Lowell, Jr. attacked Payne�s brigade with two Federal cavalry brigades and artillery. Badly outnumbered and outgunned, the Confederates retreated to Honeyville before moving on to Port Republic.
Although Torbert continued across Massanutten Mountain, he was too late to cut off the Confederate retreat. Years after the war, Sheridan recollected that he could never "account satisfactorily for Lowell Payne Custer Torbert Torbert's failure."
Private Phillip James Baybutt, a native Englishman and member of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry, received this Medal of Honor for seizing the regimental flag of the 6th Virginia Cavalry in action here. Despite having received this distinction, Baybutt was denied a veteran's pension following his return to England after the war.
Last Updated: 7/20/2011 2:54 PM