The Heart of Jackson’s Valley Campaign, A Field & Walking Tour ~ May 20

On May 20, 2017 - 08:30 - 16:30
  • Activity Level: Easy
Jackson's Valley Campaign, Ecelbarger, Civil War Tour, Stonewall,

Before it began, critics denounced General Jackson as a "queer, blundering, thick-skulled, honest dunce." After it ended, his soldiers worshiped him - one of them exalting him as "my earthly God." Between those opinions came the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. Three days of that three-month campaign altered the course of the Civil War more than any other event within the Blue Ridge corridor. From May 23 to May 25, Major General Thomas J. Jackson led his Valley District army into the northern Shenandoah Valley and surprised an unwary Union army under the command of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks.

In three consecutive days of continuous battles the Southerners swept away that Union army by chasing it across the Potomac River. These three days of dazzling marches and battles proved to be the heart of the entire campaign, for they tremendously impacted grand strategy for both Union and Confederate War Departments. The results heightened Abraham Lincoln's role as Commander in Chief of the United States, but they also guaranteed the continued survival of the Confederacy—with "Stonewall" Jackson becoming the most famous military figure on the face of the earth.

Recently discovered documents and maps punch gaping holes into the traditional interpretation of this campaign, allowing fresh light to expose the participants as they never have been revealed before. We see a deeply troubled but decisive General Banks whose calm leadership in the midst of chaos goes against the grain of the dogma that previously defined him as "Commissary Banks." More pieces of the Stonewall Jackson puzzle fit into place to reveal a strikingly determined general, plowing through tremendous obstacles of the kind that tend to paralyze lesser commanders - faulty intelligence, poor combat performances, and personal oversights to name a few - to prevail in his first sustained offensive of the Civil War.

This one-day tour will follow the footsteps of Jackson and his army over historic terrain rarely viewed by organized groups. We will explore the small but vicious killing fields at Front Royal, Buckton Station, Fairview, Middletown and Newtown (today's Stephens City). In addition, we will stand on and near the heretofore forgotten Valley crossroads where on-the-spot decisions altered the length, course, and momentum of the campaign. This includes stops at Asbury Chapel, Double Tollgate, Cedarville and Milltown. When all is said and done, each participant will leave with a comprehensive understanding of the Heart of the Valley Campaign that exceeds that of anyone who has written about it before.

Gary Ecelbarger

Gary Ecelbarger is a leading authority of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley. He has written or co-written eight books, including We Are In For It!: The First Battle of Kernstown; Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at Front Royal & Winchester; & The Day Dixie Died,  along with biographies of Civil War generals “Black Jack” Logan & Frederick W. Lander.

Registration Fee, includes lunch : $150.

What is included in your registration:

·      The services of an expert historian chosen for his knowledge and experience

·      Transportation to all sites as described

·      Lunch

·      Refreshments and snacks during the tour

·      Map package and handouts

If You Need Lodging – Here are some suggested nearby motels:

  • Hampton Inn, 9800 Winchester Avenue, Front Royal – 540-635-1882
  • Super 8 Motel, 111 South Street, Front Royal – 540-636-4888
  • Quality Inn, 10 Commerce Avenue, Front Royal – 540-635-3161

 

Saturday, May 20

8:30 AM              Depart from Walmart parking lot, in Riverton Commons Shopping Center, 10 Riverton

                          Commons Drive, Front Royal, VA (north of I-66, off of Route 522 on East side)

5:00 PM               Arrive Back at Walmart parking lot  

Front Royal

If You Need Lodging – Here are some suggested nearby motels:

  • Hampton Inn, 9800 Winchester Avenue, Front Royal – 540-635-1882
  • Super 8 Motel, 111 South Street, Front Royal – 540-636-4888
  • Quality Inn, 10 Commerce Avenue, Front Royal – 540-635-3161

 

Locations

Hampton Inn
9800 Winchester Avenue
Front Royal , VA
United States
540-635-1882
Super 8 Motel
111 South Street
Front Royal, VA
United States
540-636-4888
Quality Inn
10 Commerce Avenue
Front Royal, VA
United States
540-635-3161