Lacey Spring, West Point Classmates at Odds, 1864 Valley Campaigns

No Image Available
8621 North Valley Pike
Harrisonburg, VA
Region Shenandoah Valley
Locality Harrisonburg City

Inscription reads: "On the early morning hours of December 21, 1864, part of Union Gen. George A. Custer's cavalry division was eating breakfast here and preparing to advance when it suddenly came under attack. Custer had bivouacked the night before not expecting any interference from Confederate Gen. Thomas L. Rosser's smaller cavalry division nearby. After a brief and spirited skirmish, Custer elected to withdraw north and abort his mission to march to Staunton and support a larger cavalry operation on both sides of Massanutten Mountain. Custer lost forty men captured, along with a few horses and camp equipment. Lacey Spring was one of many smaller actions that followed Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's crushing defeats of Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early in September and October." Custer and Rosser were friends and members of the class of 1861 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Hundreds of former cadets and classmates served on each side during the war. The nature of academy life often forged close bonds among cadets, and many friendships survived the war. Rosser resigned from West Point in May 1861 before graduation, so he never received a class ranking. Custer, on the other hand, was the "goat" of the class, finishing last. Like many cadets, they studied each other's strengths and weaknesses while at the academy, and during the war this knowledge served them in combat. Though they fought fiercely against each other, many West Pointers remained "friendly enemies" during the war and afterward.

Last Updated: 7/20/2011 2:42 PM
  • Virginia Culinary Challenge

    Culinary Challenge 2015 logo

    March kicks off the Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Challenge for 2015. Restaurants, locals and visitors nominated their favorite entrée. Vote now for your favorite!

    Vote Now
  • Get the Virginia Travel Guide

    2015 Travel Guide promo

    Order your Free Virginia Travel Guide.

     Order now button 

  • Travel Updates

    What's going on around Virginia? Subscribe to the Virginia eNews.