Battle of Cedar Creek

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Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia

Battle of Cedar Creek

Other Names: Belle Grove

Location: Frederick County, Shenandoah County and Warren County, Virginia 

Campaign: Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign (August-October 1864) 

Date(s): October 19, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright and Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan [US]; Lt. Gen. Jubal Early [CS]

Forces Engaged: 52,945 total (US 31,945; CS 21,000)

Estimated Casualties: 8,575 total (US 5,665; CS 2,910)

Result(s): Union victory

Description: At dawn, October 19, 1864, the Confederate Army of the Valley under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early surprised the Federal army at Cedar Creek and routed the VIII and XIX Army Corps.  Commander Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan arrived from Winchester to rally his troops, and, in the afternoon, launched a crushing counterattack, which recovered the battlefield. Sheridan’s victory at Cedar Creek broke the back of the Confederate army in the Shenandoah Valley. Lincoln rode the momentum of Sheridan’s victories in the Valley and Sherman’s successes in Georgia to re-election.

Battle of Cedar Creek Map
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Civil War Cedar Creek Battlefield Map

Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek
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Union Gen. Phil Sheridan

Introduction: The last great battle of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia took place on October 19, 1864, along Cedar Creek between the towns of Strasburg and Middletown. It marked the end of Confederate power in the Valley, and its timing three weeks before the national elections unquestionably influenced the magnitude of President Lincoln's reelection. Despite this significance, the battle has been buried in the legend of Philip H. Sheridan's famous ride from Winchester and the controversy over Jubal Early's lost victory. The land over which the battle raged is still nearly the same as it was in 1864, yet few people visiting it are even aware that a battle took place. This work is intended to introduce the Battle of Cedar Creek to those not yet aware and help those already interested to better understand the history which took place over this quiet farmland.

The Battle of Cedar Creek, or Battle of Belle Grove, fought October 19, 1864, was the culminating battle of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 during the American Civil War. Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early launched a surprise attack against the encamped army of Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, across Cedar Creek, northeast of Strasburg, Virginia. During the morning fighting, seven Union infantry divisions were forced to fall back and lost numerous prisoners and cannons. Early failed to continue his attack north of Middletown and Sheridan, dramatically riding to the battlefield from Winchester, was able to rally his troops to hold a new defensive line. A Union counterattack that afternoon routed Early's army.

The final Confederate invasion of the North, furthermore, effectively ended. The Confederacy was never again able to threaten Washington, D.C., through the Shenandoah Valley, nor protect one of its key economic bases in Virginia. The stunning Union victory aided the reelection of Abraham Lincoln and Sheridan won lasting fame.

Two future Presidents of the United States fought at the Battle of Cedar Creek. Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, who commanded the second division of Gen. George Crook’s VIII Corps was elected the nineteenth President of the United States in 1876. He served one term. Capt. William McKinley, who performed staff duties with the VIII Corps at the battle of Cedar Creek, was elected the twenty-fifth President of the United States in 1896. He was shot on September 6, 1901, at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He died eight days later.

American Civil War in 1864 Map
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Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia

Battle of Cedar Creek History
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Gen. Jubal Early

Setting the Stage: At the beginning of 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to lieutenant general and given command of all Union armies. He chose to make his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, although Maj. Gen. George G. Meade remained the actual commander of that army. He left Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in command of most of the western armies. Grant understood the concept of total war and believed, along with Sherman and President Abraham Lincoln, that only the utter defeat of Confederate forces and their economic base would bring an end to the war. Therefore, scorched earth tactics would be required in some important theaters. He devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the heart of the Confederacy from multiple directions: Grant, Meade, and Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler against Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia near Richmond; Sherman to invade Georgia and capture Atlanta; and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks to capture Mobile, Alabama.
 
Early's Campaign: Gen. Robert E. Lee, whose Army of Northern Virginia was being maneuvered by Grant into a siege around Richmond and Petersburg, was also concerned about Hunter's advances in the Valley. He sent his Second Corps, now designated the Army of the Valley, under Jubal Early to sweep Union forces from the Valley and, if possible, to menace Washington, D.C., hoping to compel Grant to dilute his forces around Petersburg. Early was operating in the shadow of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, whose 1862 Valley Campaign against superior forces was fabled in Confederate history.
 
Early had a good start. He drove down the Valley without opposition, bypassed Harpers Ferry, crossed the Potomac River, and advanced into Maryland. Grant dispatched a corps under Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright and other troops under Crook to reinforce Washington and pursue Early. Early defeated a smaller force under Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace in the Battle of Monocacy on July 9, but this battle delayed his progress enough to allow time for reinforcing the defenses of Washington. Early attempted some tentative attacks against Fort Stevens (July 11–12) on the northern outskirts of Washington, but then withdrew to Virginia. A number of small battles ensued as the Union pursued, including the defeat of Crook at the Second Battle of Kernstown on July 24.

Sheridan's Campaign: Grant decided Early's threat had to be eliminated—particularly in the wake of a cavalry raid that burned Chambersburg. He saw that Washington had to be heavily defended if Early was still on the loose. One problem was that Early's moves cut through four federal departments. Grant considered unity of command to be essential and recommended George Meade for the position, but Lincoln vetoed that because Radicals had launched a major political attack on Meade. Grant's next choice was a man aggressive enough to defeat Early: Philip Sheridan, the cavalry commander of the Army of the Potomac. Sheridan took command of all forces in West Virginia, western Maryland, and the Shenandoah Valley, the Middle Military Division; his field army was called the Army of the Shenandoah. Sheridan initially started slowly, primarily because the impending presidential election of 1864 demanded a cautious approach, avoiding any disaster that might lead to the defeat of Abraham Lincoln.

Battle of Cedar Creek
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Civil War Cedar Creek History

The Battle of Cedar Creek was one of several battles fought during Sheridan's Valley Campaign (August – October 1864). Sheridan's Valley Campaign, part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864, was the last of three principal campaigns fought throughout the valley region.
 

Sheridan's Valley Campaign [August-October 1864] witnessed the following battles: Guard Hill – Summit Point Smithfield CrossingBerryville3rd Winchester – Fisher's Hill – Tom's Brook – Cedar Creek.

 

Opposing Commanding Generals:

 

Major General Philip H. Sheridan (1831-1888), commander of the Union forces at Cedar Creek, began the war as a first lieutenant in the infantry. Appointed Colonel, Second Michigan Cavalry, in May 1862, his brilliant performance led to command of a brigade and promotion within a month. In September 1862 he was given command of an infantry division. The performance of his tightly controlled and aggressive unit led to Sheridan's promotion to major general in December 1862.


Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early (1816-1894) commanded the Confederate army at Cedar Creek. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1837 and practiced law before entering Confederate service as a colonel, 24th Virginia Infantry, in April 1861. A division commander by 1862 and corps commander by 1864, Early was a superb, aggressive division commander. In corps command, however, he tended to commit assets piecemeal and never showed much understanding of the uses of cavalry.

Sheridan's Campaign Map (August - October 1864)
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Battle of Cedar Creek Map

Shenandoah Valley Campaign Map (May - July 1864)
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Civil War Cedar Creek Battle Map

Battle: Early's men began preparing three columns on the evening of October 18. Gordon's column (the divisions of Ramseur, Pegram, and Evans), with the farthest to march, departed just after it became dark, about 8 p.m. They stealthily followed a narrow path (a "pig path") between the Shenandoah and the nose of Massanutten Mountain, previously scouted by Gordon and mapmaker, Maj. Jedediah Hotchkiss. The path required single file passage in places, and did not support the movement of artillery. The columns of Wharton and Kershaw departed at about 1 a.m. on October 19, and all three columns of infantry were in position by 3:30 a.m. Rosser's cavalry prepared to advance along the western side of the valley to attack in the vicinity of Cupp's Ford. (The 300-man cavalry brigade of Col. William H. Payne, Rosser's division, was assigned to lead Gordon's men to the battle and then break off in an attempt to reach Belle Grove and capture General Sheridan from his headquarters. The Confederates were unaware that Sheridan was not present that morning.) Lomax's cavalry was to advance on the Front Royal–Winchester Road to cut off any Union withdrawal in the area of Newtown (current Stephens City).

Surprise was virtually complete and most of the Army of West Virginia troops were caught unprepared in their camps. The Confederates' quiet approach was complemented by the presence of heavy fog. Kershaw's Division attacked the trenches of Col. Joseph Thoburn's division at 5 a.m. A few minutes later, Gordon's column attacked the position of Col. Rutherford B. Hayes's division. Crook's division-sized "army" was overwhelmed and many fled, half-dressed, in panic. A brigade under Col. Thomas Wildes was one of the more alert units and they conducted a fighting withdrawal over 30 minutes to the Valley Pike. Heroic leadership by Capt. Henry A. du Pont, acting chief of Crook's artillery, saved nine of his sixteen cannons while he kept them in action, stalling the Confederate advance, eventually establishing a rallying point for the Union north of Middletown. (Du Pont later received the Medal of Honor and a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel in the regular army for his efforts.)

Battle of Cedar Creek Battlefield Map
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Civil War Cedar Creek Map

At the XIX Corps camps, General Emory reacted to the sounds of battle and Crook's fleeing men entering his lines by reorienting his lines to face Gordon's oncoming attack. In doing so, he removed a covering force that was protecting a bridge over Cedar Creek, allowing Wharton's column to move forward unimpeded at 5:40 a.m. Col. Wildes's brigade of Crook's army was ordered by Emory to stop its withdrawal, turn around, and attack the advancing Confederates to buy more time for reorienting the Union lines. General Wright accompanied Wildes and received a painful wound to his chin. The XIX Corps brigade of Col. Stephen Thomas made a similar gallant stand for over 30 minutes while McMillan's division withdrew through the thin lines of Grover's division. These actions around Belle Grove delayed the Confederates enough that most of the headquarters units and supply trains were able to withdraw to safety and the VI Corps could prepare a better defense on the high ground just northwest of the plantation.
 
The three divisions of the VI Corps were able to establish proper defensive lines. Kiefer's division aligned itself with Cedar Creek, but as retreating XIX Corps soldiers flowed through, they were unable to hold their position and withdrew to just west of Meadow Brook. Elements of McMillan's division and Merritt's cavalry extended their line to the west. At 7:15 a.m., Kershaw's Division hit the line hard, gradually forcing it back. Wheaton's division, just to the north, was similarly forced back by Gordon's continued attack. The two Union divisions eventually linked up about a mile to the northeast, joining with Getty's division, which was pulling back from a fierce fight at the Middletown cemetery. Getty had originally marched his division toward the sound of battle, but when Wheaton withdrew, his men were unsupported. Briefly defending a slight rise south of Middletown, at 8 a.m. he moved his division to the town cemetery, on a hill to the west. For over an hour, Getty's division defended this position against assaults from four Confederate divisions. Jubal Early assumed by the ferocity of the defense that he was fighting the entire VI Corps. He allowed himself to become distracted, which diluted the momentum of the overall Confederate attack. Directing all of his artillery to concentrate on the cemetery position for 30 minutes, he was able to dislodge Getty's division, ordered to withdraw to the main Federal line, now being formed about a mile to the north, by temporary commander Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Grant. (The VI Corps' temporary commander, Brig. Gen. James B. Ricketts, had been wounded and Getty assumed corps command.)

Battle of Cedar Creek Map
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(Morning) Battle of Cedar Creek

Sheridan was at Winchester at the start of the battle. At 6 a.m., pickets south of Winchester reported back that they heard the distant sounds of artillery. Not expecting any significant action from Early that day, Sheridan dismissed the report. As additional reports arrived, he assumed it was "Grover's division banging away at the enemy simply to find out what he was up to," but he ordered his horse, Rienzi, to be saddled and ate a quick breakfast. At 9 a.m. he departed with three staff officers, and soon he was joined by a 300-man cavalry escort, and with them he rode aggressively to his command. He noticed that the sounds of battle were increasing in volume quickly, so he inferred that his army was retreating in his direction. At Newtown, he ordered a young officer from Crook's staff, Capt. William McKinley, to set up a line that would intercept stragglers and send them back to the battlefield. He reached the battle about 10:30 a.m. and began to rally his men to complete the defensive line north of Middletown that General Wright had begun to organize. His presence electrified the Union soldiers and he shouted, "Come on back, boys! Give 'em hell, God damn 'em! We'll make coffee out of Cedar Creek tonight!"
 
General Sheridan wrote in his official report an account of the famous ride:
 
[I] was unconscious of the true condition of affairs until about 9 o'clock, when having ridden through the town of Winchester, the sound of the artillery made a battle unmistakable, and on reaching Mill Creek, half a mile south of Winchester, the head of the fugitives appeared in sight, trains and men coming to the rear with appalling rapidity. I immediately gave directions to halt and park the trains at Mill Creek, and ordered the brigade at Winchester to stretch across the country and stop all stragglers. Taking twenty men from my escort, I pushed on to the front, leaving the balance under General Forsyth and Colonels Thom and Alexander to do what they could in stemming the torrent of fugitives. I am happy to say that hundreds of the men, when of reflection found they had not done themselves justice, came back with cheers. ... still none behaved more gallantly or exhibited greater courage than those who returned from the rear determined to reoccupy their lost camp.

American Civil War Railroad Map
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Virginia Civil War Railroads Map

Thomas Buchanan Read wrote a popular poem, Sheridan's Ride, to commemorate Sheridan's exploit. The general took notice of the widespread public acclaim by renaming his horse "Winchester". In 1908, Gutzon Borglum created an equestrian statue of Sheridan and Winchester riding to Cedar Creek, which stands in Sheridan Circle, Washington, D.C.

Fortunately for Sheridan, Early's men were too occupied to take notice of the Union general's dramatic arrival; they were hungry and exhausted and fell out of their ranks to pillage supplies from the Union camps. By 10 a.m., Jubal Early had developed a stunning Confederate victory, capturing 1,300 Union prisoners, 24 cannons, and driving seven infantry divisions off the field with a smaller force. But rather than exploiting his victory, Early ordered a halt in his offensive to reorganize, a decision for which he later received criticism from his surviving subordinates. John B. Gordon wrote years later, "My heart went into my boots. Visions of the fatal halt on the first day at Gettysburg, and of the whole day's hesitation to permit an assault on Grant's exposed flank on the 6th of May in The Wilderness rose before me." Early wrote to Robert E. Lee, "So many of our men had stopped in the camp to plunder (in which I am sorry to say that officers participated), the country was so open, and the enemy's cavalry so strong, that I did not deem it prudent to press further, especially as Lomax had not come up." The two armies stood about a mile apart in lines perpendicular to the Valley Pike. At 1 p.m. Early gave a halfhearted order to Gordon to attack the Union line, but "not if he found the enemy's line too strong to attack with success." Gordon's division moved forward against the XIX Corps, with Kershaw and Ramseur ready to support them, but after firing a heavy volley into the Union line, they withdrew.

Civil War Cedar Creek Battlefield Map
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(Evening) Battle of Cedar Creek

Sheridan's boast about making coffee from Cedar Creek that evening means that he was immediately contemplating a counterattack. He placed a cavalry division on each end of the line, which was made up of Wright's VI Corps and Emory's XIX Corps. Crook's Army of West Virginia was in reserve. While his cavalry pressed both of Early's flanks, Sheridan planned for the XIX Corps to execute a "left half-wheel" to the southeast, pivoting on Getty's VI Corps division, and driving the Confederates into the Pike. The main attack began at 4 p.m., meeting significant Confederate resistance north of Middletown for about an hour. Early's left flank began to crumble and Custer's cavalry raced into the Confederate rear. Many of the Confederate soldiers panicked as they envisioned their escape route across Cedar Creek being blocked by the Federal cavalrymen who had been so successful during the campaign. After the breakthrough on the Union right, Sheridan stepped up the pressure with an attack on Ramseur's Division. General Ramseur was mortally wounded and his men joined the retreat. Although the Confederate artillery made a few delaying stands along the way, Early had lost control of his army.

Cedar Creek Civil War History
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Cedar Creek Battlefield

Battle of Cedar Creek History
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Battle of Cedar Creek Historical Marker

The situation worsened for the Confederates when a small bridge on the Valley Pike collapsed, making it impossible to cross with wagons or artillery over "No Name Creek" south of Strasburg. Early's army was forced to abandon all of the captured Union guns and wagons from the morning attack, as well as most of their own. Sheridan's pursuit ended at nightfall. The retreating Confederate soldiers gathered temporarily on Fisher's Hill and then the army retired the following day to New Market.
 
Early's military career, moreover, effectively ended. His surviving units returned to the Army of Northern Virginia in Petersburg that December. He was abandoned during the winter and commanded less than 3,000 men at Waynesboro. On March 2, 1865, Sheridan marched his command to join Grant in the Siege of Petersburg -- while Custer's cavalry division routed Early's small command along the way. Early escaped with a small escort and spent the next two weeks running from Federal patrols before reporting to Lee's headquarters. On March 30, Lee relieved Early and sent him home.

Casualties: Casualties for the Union totaled 5,665 (644 killed, 3,430 wounded, 1,591 missing). Confederate casualties are only estimates, about 2,910 (320 killed, 1,540 wounded, 1,050 missing). In addition to the mortal wounding of Confederate general Ramseur (who died at Belle Grove in the company of Union officers who were former colleagues and friends), two Union brigadier generals were killed at Cedar Creek: Daniel D. Bidwell and Charles R. Lowell, Jr.

1864 Virginia Civil War Map
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Cedar Creek Battlefield Map

Aftermath and Analysis: Nearly all of Early's Confederate artillery was captured by the Union in the Battle of Cedar Creek. It was the last major battle in the Shenandoah Campaign, and Early was never able to mount a serious offensive again.
 
Completing his missions of neutralizing Early and suppressing the Valley's military-related economy, Sheridan returned to assist Grant at Petersburg. Most of the men of Early's corps rejoined Lee at Petersburg in December, while Early remained to command a skeleton force. His final action was defeat at the Battle of Waynesboro on March 2, 1865, after which Lee removed him from his command because the Confederate government and people had lost confidence in him. (Shenandoah Valley and the American Civil War and American Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley.)

Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur
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Stephen Dodson Ramseur Monument

After President Abraham Lincoln’s call for troops on April 15, 1861, most residents of the Shenandoah Valley joined their fellow Virginians in supporting secession of the Southern states from the Union and establishing the Confederacy. A considerable number supported the Union and some remained indifferent. Wartime demands and war weariness increasingly alienated almost all elements of society as they saw livestock taken by both sides, crops burned in the fields, and sons and husbands reported dead or missing. Among the dissident elements were those of German ethnicity, many of whom were members of the region’s historic peace churches who conscientiously objected to participation in war.
 
(Right) Maj. Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur Monument on Cedar Creek Battlefield. "Dod," as he was affectionately called, was one of the youngest Confederate generals in the American Civil War. He was 27 years young when he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek (May 31, 1837 – October 20, 1864). "Dod" had previously fought in the following campaigns and battles: Seven Days Battles, Battle of Malvern Hill, Battle of Chancellorsville (Ramseur was personally commended by "Stonewall" Jackson, who was mortally wounded at Chancellorsville, in a letter to General Lee), Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of the Wilderness, Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Battle of Cold Harbor, Battle of Opequon (aka Winchester), and Battle of Cedar Creek.

During the early years of the war, the productive granary in the Shenandoah Valley had served as the Breadbasket of the Confederacy, but regular conscriptions of food and livestock had slowly impoverished local landowners. Displays of Confederate support included soldier recruitment, intelligence gathering, provisioning of Southern units, and guerrilla activity against Union forces. The strategic as well as the agricultural importance of the Lower Shenandoah meant that it became the locale of many skirmishes and battles, thus devastating the landscape and leaving the area a wasteland at the war’s end.

On October 19, 1864, the Confederates, under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early, surprised the Federal army at Cedar Creek and routed the VIII and XIX Corps, implementing a masterfully conceived and brilliantly executed tactical plan. Sheridan arrived from Winchester, rallied his troops, and in the afternoon, launched a crushing counterattack that succeeded in recovering the battlefield and in wresting control of the Shenandoah Valley from the Confederates.

Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek Battlefield Map
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Union Counterattack at Cedar Creek Battle Map

1865 Virginia Civil War Map
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Civil War Virginia Battlefield Map

The Battle of Cedar Creek was a crucial Union victory that nearly annihilated Early’s Confederate army and coupled with Sherman’s March to the Sea helped Lincoln secure his reelection at a time when the northern populace was divided over the war. As a result of the large-scale destruction of farms and mills during the Civil War, grain and livestock production declined drastically in the Lower Shenandoah, recovering only by the early 20th century. At the same time, the Lower Shenandoah experienced a phenomenal rise in apple production as apples and apple products replaced wheat as the primary cash crop.

Early had succeeded in tying down a large Federal force for several months, thus helping Lee. However, at a moment of great opportunity he pulled back fatally. He had developed a risky plan which was flawlessly executed, thus neutralizing the advantages held by his enemy. But instead of remaining with the logical consequences of his high risk, he became conservative just as they were beginning to bear fruit. One critic said such a thing is common when a general's moral courage is less than his strategic genius. Early's satisfaction with half a loaf and his fixation on the Second Division, VI Corps perhaps indicate the limits of his grasp.
 
The lessons in leadership, command, cohesion, combined arms use, and the performance of men under stress shown by this battle have a lasting value to all serious students of military history. Although technology has overtaken the tactics used, the courage and professionalism of the combatants remains inspiring. The contribution of the Second Division, VI Corps, one unit, stands as an example of the effect a single resolutely led force can have on a battle's outcome. The same may be said of an individual, as seen by the effect of Sheridan's aggressive optimism on his whole army.
 
On the other hand, the battle illustrates once again the consequences of poor security and staff coordination. The Federal deaths, in the words of one Union officer, "were a high price to pay for the failure to keep one's eyes open." The cool leadership in the face of disaster on the part of the senior Federal commanders retrieved the situation and should stand as an inspiration to any leader in a dark hour.
 
Cedar Creek is a battle with many insights, foremost of which for an embattled leader may be never to despair regardless of the situation. Jubal Early summarized the fight with the observation: "The Yankees got whipped and we got scared."

The Battle of Cedar Creek spanned three Virginia counties: Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren. While numerous battles were fought in Frederick County during the Civil War, adjacent Shenandoah County witnessed the Battle of New Market on May 15, 1864, while the Battle of Front Royal took place in neighboring Warren County on May 23, 1862.
 
Frederick County, furthermore, changed hands between the Confederate and Union Armies on average once every three weeks during the Civil War. Many battles were fought in Frederick County. Some of those battles include:
  • First Battle of Kernstown, March 1862
  • First Battle of Winchester, May 1862
  • Second Battle of Winchester, June 1863
  • Second Battle of Kernstown, July 1864
  • Third Battle of Winchester, September 1864
  • Battle of Cedar Creek, October 1864

The first constitution of West Virginia provided for Frederick County (home to President George Washington for ten years) to be added to the new state if approved by a local election. Unlike those of neighboring Berkeley and Jefferson counties (present-day West Virginia), Frederick County residents voted to remain in Virginia despite being occupied by the Union Army at the time. 

The aforementioned three counties were vital to both Union and Confederate forces. The region was a major transportation and supply route through the Shenandoah Valley and was a major center for crops. Advance to Shenandoah Valley Campaigns: The Civil War Battles.

Virginia County Map
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Map of Virginia Counties

Union Army Order of Battle

Army of the Shenandoah
Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah consisted of 32,000 men (effectives) and 90 artillery pieces.
 
    VI Army Corps
 
        1st Division
            1st Brigade
                4th New Jersey
                10th New Jersey
                15th New Jersey
            2d Brigade
                2d Connecticut Heavy Artillery
                65th New York
                121st New York
                95th Pennsylvania
                96th Pennsylvania
 
        2d Division
            1st Brigade
                62d New York
                93d Pennsylvania
                102d Pennsylvania
                139th Pennsylvania
            2d Brigade
                2d Vermont
                3d Vermont
                4th Vermont
                6th Vermont
                11th Vermont  Heavy Artillery
            3d Brigade
                1st Maine
                43d New York
                49th New York
                77th New York
                122d New York
                61st Pennsylvania
 
        3d Division
            1st Brigade
                14th New Jersey
                106th New York
                151st New York
                184th New York
                87th Pennsylvania
                10th Vermont
           2d Brigade
                6th Maryland
                9th New York Heavy Artillery
                110th Ohio
                122d Ohio
                126th Ohio
                67th Pennsylvania
                138th Pennsylvania
          Artillery Brigade, Sixth Corps
                5th Maine Artillery
                1st NewYork Artillery Battery
                Batteries C & G, 1st Rhode Island Artillery
                Battery M, 5th US Artillery
   
Army of West Virginia
    VIII Army Corps
 
        1st Division
            1st Brigade
                34th Massachusetts
                5th New York Heavy Artillery
                116th Ohio
                123d Ohio
            3d Brigade
                23d Illinois
                54th Pennsylvania
                10th West Virginia
                11th West Virginia
                15th West Virginia
 
        2d Division
            1st Brigade
                23d Ohio
                36th Ohio
                5th West Virginia
                13th West Virginia
            2d Brigade
                34th Ohio
                91st Ohio
                9th West Virginia
                114th West Virginia
       Artillery Brigade, Eighth Corps
                Battery L, 1st Ohio Light Artillery
                Battery D, 1st Pennsylvania Reserve Light Artillery
                Battery B, 5th US Artillery
     
       Provisional Division (Col. Kitching)
                6th New York Heavy Artillery 
       Miscellaneous Elements 
  
    XIX Corps

        1st Division
            1st Brigade
                29th Maine
                30th Massachusetts
                90th New York
                114th New York
                116th New York
                153d New York
            2d Brigade
                12th Connecticut
                160th New York
                47th Pennsylvania
                8th Vermont
            Division Artillery
                5th New York Artillery

       2d Division
            1st Brigade
                9th Connecticut Battalion
                12th Maine
                14th Maine
                26th Massachusetts
                114th New Hampshire
                75th New York
            2d Brigade
                13th Connecticut
                3d Massachusetts Cavalry (dismounted)
                11th Indiana Veteran
                22d Iowa
                131st New York
                159th New York
            3d Brigade
                38th Massachusetts
                128th New York
                156th New York
                175th New York
                176th New York
            4th Brigade
                8th Indiana
                18th Indiana
                24th Iowa
                28th Iowa
            Division Artillery
                1st Battery, ME Light Artillery
                Battery D, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery
                17th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery
 
    Cavalry Corps
        1st Cavalry Division
            1st Brigade
                1st Michigan Cavalry
                5th Michigan Cavalry
                6th Michigan Cavalry
                7th Michigan Cavalry
                6th New York Battery
            2d Brigade
                4th New York Cavalry  (HQs guard)
                6th New York Cavalry
                9th New York Cavalry
                19th New York Cavalry
                Batteries K & L, 5th US Artillery
            Reserve Brigade
                2d Massachusetts Cavalry
                6th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Army HQS)
                1st US Cavalry
                2d US Cavalry
                5th US Cavalry
            Division Artillery
                6th Battery, NewYork Light Artillery
                Batteries C & E, 4th US Artillery
 
        2d Cavalry Division (Army of West Virginia)
            1st Brigade
                22d Pennsylvania Cavalry
            2d Brigade
                1st New York Cavalry
                1st West Virginia Cavalry
                2d West Virginia Cavalry
                3d West Virginia Cavalry
            Division Artillery
                Battery L, 5th US Artillery
 
        3d Cavalry Division
            1st Brigade
                1st Connecticut Cavalry
                3d New Jersey Cavalry
                2d NewYork Cavalry
                5th NewYork Cavalry
                2d Ohio Cavalry
                18th Pennsylvania Cavalry
            2d Brigade
                3d Indiana Cavalry
                1st New Hampshire Cavalry
                8th NewYork Cavalry
                22d NewYork Cavalry
                1st Vermont Cavalry
            Horse Artillery
                Batteries B & L, 2d US Artillery
                Batteries C, F & K, 2d US Artillery

Confederate Army Order of Battle

Army of Northern Virginia

Early's Army of the Valley consisted of 21,000 men (effectives) and more than 40 artillery pieces.

2nd Corps

        Rodes Division 
            Battle's Brigade
                3d Alabama
                5th Alabama
                6th Alabama
                12th Alabama
                61st Alabama
           Grimes' Brigade
 
                32d North Carolina
                53d North Carolina
                2d North Carolina Battalion
                43d North Carolina
 
                45th North Carolina
 
            Cook's Brigade
                4th Georgia
                12th Georgia
                21st Georgia
                44th Georgia
            Cox's Brigade
                1st North Carolina
                2d North Carolina
                3d North Carolina
                4th North Carolina
                14th North Carolina
                30th North Carolina

        Kershaw's Division
            Conner's Brigade
 
                2d South Carolina
                3d South Carolina
                7th South Carolina
                8th South Carolina
                15th South Carolina
                20th South Carolina
                30th South Carolina Battalion
            Humphrey's Brigade
                13th Mississippi
                17th Mississippi
                18th Mississippi
                21st Mississippi
            Wofford's Brigade
                16th Georgia
                18th Georgia
                24th Georgia
                3d Georgia Battalion
                Cobb's (Georgia) Legion
                Philip's (Georgia) Legion
            Simms' Brigade
                10th Georgia
                50th Georgia
                51st Georgia
                53d Georgia

        Pegram's Division
            Pegram's Brigade
                13th Virginia
                31st Virginia
                49th Virginia
                52d Virginia
                58th Virginia
            Johnston's Brigade
                5th North Carolina
                12th North Carolina
                20th North Carolina
                23d North Carolina
                1st North Carolina Sharpshooters
            Goodwin's Brigade
                6th North Carolina
                21st North Carolina
                54th North Carolina
                57th North Carolina

        Gordon's Division
            Evan's Brigade
                13th Georgia
                26th Georgia
                31st Georgia
                38th Georgia
                60th Georgia
                61st Georgia
                12th Georgia Battalion
            Hay's Brigade
                5th Louisiana
                6th Louisiana
                7th Louisiana
                8th Louisiana
                9th Louisiana
            Stafford's Brigade
                1st Louisiana
                2d Louisiana
                10th Louisiana
                14th Louisiana
                15th Louisiana
            Terry's Brigade
                Remnants- 2d, 4th, 5th, 10th, 21st, 23d, 25th, 27th, 33d,
                37th, 42d, 44th, 48th, 50th Virginia Regiments
 
        Wharton's Division
            Wharton's Brigade
                45th Virginia
                50th Virginia
                51st Virginia
                30th Virginia Battalion Sharpshooters
            Echol's Brigade
                22d Virginia
                23d Virginia
                26th Virginia Battalion
            Smith's Brigade
                36th Virginia
                60th Virginia
                45th Virginia Battalion
                Thomas's legion

     Cavalry 
         Lomax's Cavalry Division 
             Imboden's Brigade
                18th Virginia Cavalry
                23d Virginia Cavalry
                62d Virginia Mounted Infantry
            Johnson's Brigade
                8th Virginia Cavalry
                21st Virginia Cavalry
                22d Virginia Cavalry
                34th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
                36th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
            McCausland's Brigade
                14th Virginia Cavalry
                16th Virginia Cavalry
                17th Virginia Cavalry
                25th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
                37th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
            Jackson's Brigade
                2d Maryland Cavalry
                19th Virginia Cavalry
                20th Virginia Cavalry
                46th Virginia Cavalry Battalion
                47th Virginia Cavalry Battalion

        Rosser's Division
            Wickham's Brigade
                1st Virginia Cavalry
                2d Virginia Cavalry
                3d Virginia Cavalry
                4th Virginia Cavalry
            Payne's Brigade
                5th Virginia Cavalry
                6th Virginia Cavalry
                15th Virginia Cavalry
            Rosser's Brigade
                7th Virginia Cavalry
                11th Virginia Cavalry
                12th Virginia Cavalry
                35th Virginia Cavalry Battalion

        Artillery
            Braxton's Brigade
                Virginia Battery (Carpenter's)
                Virginia Battery (Hardwicke's)
                Virginia Battery (Cooper's)
            Cutshaw's Battalion
                Virginia Battery (Carrington's)
                Virginia Battery (Tanner's)
                Virginia Battery (Garber's)
            King's Battalion
                Virginia Battery (Bryan's)
                Virginia Battery (Chapman's)
                Virginia Battery (Lowry's)
            Carter's Battalion
                Alabama Battery (Reese's)
                Virginia Battery (W. P. Carter's)
                Virginia Battery (Pendleton's)
                Virginia Battery (Fry's)
             Nelson's Battalion
                Georgia Battery (Milledge's)
                Virginia Battery (Kirpatrick's)
                Virginia Battery (Massdie's)
             Horse Artillery
                Maryland Battery (Griffin's)
                Virginia Battery (Jackson's)
                Virginia Battery (Lurty's)
                Virginia Battery (McClanahan's)
                Virginia Battery (Johnston's)
                Virginia Battery (Shoemaker's)
                Virginia Battery (Thompson's)

(Sources listed below.)

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Sources: National Park Service; Library of Congress; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Civil War Trust; Joseph W. A. Whitehorne, THE BATTLE OF CEDAR CREEK, Center of Military History - United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1992; Bohannon, Keith S. "The 'Fatal Halt' Versus 'Bad Conduct': John B. Gordon, Jubal A. Early, and the Battle of Cedar Creek." In The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, edited by Gary W. Gallagher. Military Campaigns of the Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8078-3005-5; Coffey, David. Sheridan's Lieutenants: Phil Sheridan, His Generals, and the Final Year of the Civil War. Wilmington, DE: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005. ISBN 0-7425-4306-4; Cullen, Joseph P. "Cedar Creek." In Battle Chronicles of the Civil War: 1864, edited by James M. McPherson. Lakeville, CT: Grey Castle Press, 1989. ISBN 1-55905-024-1. First published in 1989 by McMillan; Eicher, David J. The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. ISBN 0-684-84944-5; Gallagher, Gary W. "The Shenandoah Valley in 1864." In Struggle for the Shenandoah: Essays on the 1864 Valley Campaign, edited by Gary W. Gallagher. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-87338-429-6; Grimsley, Mark. The Hard Hand of War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-521-59941-5; Kennedy, Frances H., ed. The Civil War Battlefield Guide. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998. ISBN 0-395-74012-6; Lewis, Thomas A. The Guns of Cedar Creek. New York: Harper and Row, 1988. ISBN 0-06-015941-3; Patchan, Scott C. "The Battle Of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864." Blue & Gray Magazine XXIV, no. 1 (2007); Salmon, John S. The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001. ISBN 0-8117-2868-4; U.S. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880–1901; Welcher, Frank J. The Union Army, 1861–1865 Organization and Operations. Vol. 1, The Eastern Theater. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989. ISBN 0-253-36453-1; Wert, Jeffry D. From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987. ISBN 0-671-67806-X; Whitehorne, Joseph W. A. The Battle of Cedar Creek: Self-Guided Tour. rev. ed., Middletown, VA: Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, 2006. First published as The Battle of Cedar Creek: Self-Guided Tour. Washington, DC: United States Army Center of Military History, 1992. ISBN 978-0-16-026854-0. 

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