The Battle of Cross Keys, 1862 Valley Campaign

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5094 Battlefield Rd. (Rt. 679), just south of Rt. 276
Cross Keys, VA

Inscription reads: "Following Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's victory at Winchester, Union troops pursued the Confederates south, "up" the Shenandoah Valley. While Gen. John C. Fr�mont advanced on the Valley Turnpike, another Union force, led by Gen. James Shields, pursued Jackson through the Page (Luray) Valley farther 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 Fr�mont. 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 Fr�mont's approach. Early on June 8, 1862, Fr�mont brushed aside the Alabamians. He posted 40 cannon in the fields to your front and began furiously shelling the Confederate position. Two hours later Fr�mont 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. Fr�mont withdrew here to the Keezletown 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.

Last Updated: 8/1/2011 11:48 AM
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