Fighting Jackson at Kernstown

The Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley
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Victory in Defeat

While conditions were notoriously cold and harsh and provisions were in short supply, it was at the Though neither the Union nor the Confederacy had a formal military intelligence network during the Civil War, each side obtained crucial information from spying or espionage operations. From early in the war, the Confederacy set up a spy network in the federal capital of He demonstrated his capacity for command during assignments on the U.

When General Ulysses S. Grant assumed command of all Union Jubal Early was a U.

Early participated in nearly all the major campaigns of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and figured prominently during the Battles This Day In History. Vicksburg Campaign. Surviving Valley Forge. Campaign Tech. Tony Blair Campaigns.

Atlanta Campaign In the summer of , during the U. Richard B. The lead brigade under Fulkerson was repulsed, so Jackson decided to move around the Union right flank, about 2 miles west on Sandy Ridge, which appeared to be unoccupied. If this were successful, his men could move down the spine of the ridge and get into the Union rear, blocking their escape route to Winchester.

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Kimball countered the maneuver by moving his brigade under Col. Tyler to the west, but Fulkerson's men reached a stone wall facing a clearing on the ridge before the Union men could. Jackson's aide, Sandie Pendleton, obtained a clear view from the ridge of the Union forces arrayed against them and he estimated that there were 10, He reported this to Jackson, who replied, "Say nothing about it.

We are in for it. Around 4 p. The Confederates were temporarily able to counter this attack with their inferior numbers by firing fierce volleys from behind the stone wall. Jackson, finally realizing the strength of the force opposing him, sent out Col. Jesse Burks's brigade, which had been held in reserve, but by the time they arrived around 6 p.

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Panic set in among the Confederates, and as Burks's brigade arrived, it was caught in the fleeing mob and forced to retreat. Jackson tried in vain to rally his troops. He called out to a soldier "Where are you going, man? However, the soldier ignored him and kept running. Kimball organized no effective pursuit. That night, a cavalryman sat with Jackson by a campfire alongside the Valley Pike and jokingly said "It was reported that they were retreating, General, but I guess they were retreating after us.

Union casualties were killed, wounded, 22 captured or missing , [2] Confederate 80 killed, wounded, captured or missing. Despite the Union victory, President Abraham Lincoln was disturbed by Jackson's audacity and his potential threat to Washington. He sent Banks back to the Valley along with Alpheus Williams's division. He also was concerned that Jackson might move into western Virginia against Maj.

John C. Lincoln also took this opportunity to re-examine Maj. McClellan 's plans for the defenses of Washington while the Peninsula Campaign was underway and decided that the forces were insufficient. He eventually ordered that the corps of Maj. Irvin McDowell , which was moving south against Richmond in support of McClellan, remain in the vicinity of the capital. McClellan claimed that the loss of these forces prevented him from taking Richmond during his campaign.

The strategic realignment of Union forces caused by Jackson's battle at Kernstown—the only battle he lost in his military career—turned out to be a strategic victory for the Confederacy.

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The remainder of Jackson's Valley Campaign consisted of lightning movements and five victories against superior forces organized into three Union armies, which elevated him to the position of the most famous general in the Confederacy until this reputation was later supplanted by his superior, Gen. Robert E. Peter Cozzens, Shenandoah [11].

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Jackson refused to accept any responsibility for the defeat and subsequently arrested the commander of his old Stonewall Brigade , Brig. Garnett , for retreating from the battlefield before permission was received. The Stonewall Brigade's withdrawal, which came after it received the bulk of the Union fire and suffered the majority of Confederate casualties, uncovered the right of Fulkerson's Brigade, forcing it to also withdraw and starting a panic.

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He was replaced by Brig. The division of Brig. James Shields in fact outnumbered Jackson more than two-to-one. On the afternoon of 22 March, Ashby's cavalry and horse artillery skirmished with US forces near Kernstown. General Shields was wounded in this affair, his arm broken by a shell fragment, and divisional command devolved to Col. Nathan Kimball. Phase One. Sullivan's and a portion of Kimball's US brigades advanced, straddling the pike, and pushed Ashby south of Hoge's Run, taking possession of Pritchard's Hill.

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Ashby's troopers formed a new defensive line, which was later supported by infantry and maintained throughout the battle. About hours, Jackson's infantry began to concentrate south of Kernstown.

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It was soon evident to Kimball that Jackson's army was arriving on the field. Kimball consolidated his position and awaited reinforcements.

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Phase Two. Jackson launched a feint toward Kimball's main position along the Pike with a portion of Burks' brigade, but this was to disguise a flanking movement to his left along Sand Ridge on the west. Jackson directed Fulkerson's and Garnett's brigades to the ridge, leaving Burks to support Ashby. Confederate artillery 3 batteries were positioned on the eastern face of the ridge and engaged US batteries on Pritchard's Hill. Fulkerson advanced under fire on the left, and managed to seize a stone fence running generally east-west on the Glass farm.

This gave the Confederates covoer and an excellent firing position. Garnett came up on Fulkerson's right, extending the CS battle line from Opequon Creek east across the front of the ridge, then bending back south to cover the artillery. A regiment was deployed across the Middle Road to maintain a connection between the Confederates flanks. Recognizing the threat to his right, Kimball moved Tyler's brigade forward from its reserve position near the toll gate at the intersection of the Valley Pike and Cedar Creek Grade to confront Fulkerson and Garnett. As the artillery duel continued, skirmishers closed and the fighting began to heat up.