Village of McDowell, Battle of McDowell, 1862 Valley Campaign

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Bullpasture River Rd. (Rte. 678)
McDowell, VA
Region Shenandoah Valley
Locality Highland

Inscription reads: "Union troops camped in the fields south of here between April 17, 1862, and the Battle of McDowell on May 8. They deployed artillery, including "two twelve pounders [that] were planted on the plateau in the rear of [the church] so as to cover the bridge" over the Bullpasture River. After the battle, wounded of both armies were cared for in the church. The dead were buried in its cemetery, across modern U.S. 250 (the old Staunton-to-Parkersburg Turnpike)." The house of Confederate Capt. Felix Hull is to the northwest facing the turnpike. It was Federal headquarters before the battle and Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson's headquarters afterward. U.S. Gen. Robert C. Schenck probably wrote the message below from that building. The home of Hull's brother, George Washington Hull, just west on the turnpike, also served as a hospital after the battle. A Virginia Military Institute cadet, who arrived on May 9, later recalled, "There was a dead man laid on top of the piano, and in the dining-room on the table there was a litter with a man on it.... He died after about half an hour.... I was ordered to...bury the two of them, which I did. They found a resting place under a big sugar maple along the bank of the river." That same day, Jackson pursued the Federals west on the Staunton-to-Parkersburg Turnpike, veering north toward Franklin on present-day State Route 629. "There is not a particle of forage here. The last has been given out, and all the horses of cavalry, artillery, and others have been without food today. The place is otherwise untenable and unfit for military defense. The rebels have appeared on the hills over-looking us today and we have shelled and had skirmishing, with no particular result.... If our horses starve a day longer they will not be able to draw away the train or carry us off." � Gen. Robert C. Schenck, May 8, 1862.

Last Updated: 7/20/2011 2:48 PM
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