Shenandoah Valley Civil War Timeline and Chronology

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Shenandoah Valley Civil War Timeline and Chronology

1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign Timeline: aka Jackson's Valley Campaign Timeline

1861

November 4, 1861 - General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson takes command of the Valley District.

December 8-12, 1861 - Actions at Dam no. 5, C&O Canal

1862

January 1, 1862 - Jackson begins winter campaign in Winchester, Virginia.

January 3-5, 1862 - Skirmishes at Bath and Hancock

January 10, 1862 - Confederates reach Romney (present day West Virginia)

January 23-30, 1862 - Jackson's Army return to Winchester

February 7, 1862 - Union forces reoccupy Romney

February 24-26, 1862 - Major General Nathaniel P. Banks Army cross the Potomac River into Virginia.

March 11,1862 - Thomas J. Jackson evacuates Winchester.

March 12, 1862 - Nathaniel P. Banks occupies Winchester.

March 18, 1862 - Skirmish at Middletown.

March 23, 1862 - First Battle of Kernstown
Forces Engaged: 12,300 total (US 8,500; CS 3,800)
Estimated Casualties: 1,308 total (US 590; CS 718)
Result: Union Victory

March 24, 1862 - Jackson's army retreats

April 1-2, 1862 - Federals follow south to Edinburg

April 12, 1862 - Banks assumes command of the Department of the Shenandoah.

April 17, 1862 - Federals reach Mount Jackson and New Market

April 19, 1862 - Jackson falls back east to Swift Run Gap

April 22, 1862 - Union troops occupy Harrisonburg

April 30, 1862 - Jackson sets out towards Staunton; Richard S. Ewell's division crosses the Blue Ridge at Swift Run Gap into the Shenandoah Valley.

May 3, 1862 - Jackson's army departs the Valley via Brown's Gap.

May 4, 1862 - Jackson returns his army to the Valley by rail, from Mechum's River Station via Rockfish Gap to Staunton.

May 8, 1862 - Battle of McDowell
Forces Engaged: 12,500 total (US 6,500; CS 3,000)
Result: Confederate Victory

May 12, 1862 - General James Shields Federals are recalled from the Valley - Banks withdraws to Strasburg.

May 20, 1862 - Jackson's and Ewell's men unite at New Market.

May 23, 1862 - Battle of Front Royal
Forces Engaged: 4,063 total (US 1,063; CS 3,000)
Estimated Casualties: 960 total (US 904; CS 56)
Result: Confederate Victory

May 24, 1862 - Running fight through Middletown as Banks retreats to Winchester.

May 25, 1862 - First Battle of Winchester
Forces Engaged: 22,500 total (US 6,500; CS 16,000)
Estimated Casualties: 2,419 total (US 2,019; CS 400)
Result: Confederate Victory

May 29-30, 1862 - Jackson demonstrates against Harper's Ferry.

May 31, 1862 - Jackson's army marches through Winchester.

May 30-June 5, 1862 - Jackson falls back to Harrisonburg

June 6, 1862 - Engagement of Harrisonburg; death of Colonel Turner Ashby

June 8, 1862 - Battle of Cross Keys
Forces Engaged: 17,300 total (US 11,500; CS 5,800)
Estimated Casualties: 951 total (US 664; CS 287)
Result: Confederate Victory

June 9, 1862 - Battle of Port Republic 
Forces Engaged: 9,500 total (US 3,500; CS 6,000)
Estimated Casualties: 1,818 total (US 1,002; CS 816)
Result: Confederate Victory

June 17, 1862 - Jackson leaves the Valley for Richmond, Virginia

1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign Chronology of Principal Battles

  • Kernstown (March 23)
  • McDowell (May 8)
  • Front Royal (May 23)
  • Winchester (May 25)
  • Cross Keys (June 8)
  • Port Republic (June 9)

Shenandoah Valley Civil War Timeline: Includes 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns

1862

March 11 - Thomas J. Jackson evacuates Winchester.

March 12 - Nathaniel P. Banks occupies Winchester.

March 18 - Skirmish at Middletown.

March 23 - First Battle of Kernstown

  • Forces Engaged: 12,300 total (US 8,500; CS 3,800)
  • Estimated Casualties: 1,308 total (US 590; CS 718)
  • Result: Union Victory

April 30 - Richard S. Ewell's division crosses the Blue Ridge at Swift Run Gap into the Shenandoah Valley.

May 3 - Jackson's army departs the Valley via Brown's Gap.

May 4 - Jackson returns his army to the Valley by rail, from Mechum's River Station via Rockfish Gap to Staunton.

May 8 - Battle of McDowell

  • Forces Engaged: 12,500 total (US 6,500; CS 3,000)
  • Result: Confederate Victory

May 23 - Battle of Front Royal

  • Forces Engaged: 4,063 total (US 1,063; CS 3,000)
  • Estimated Casualties: 960 total (US 904; CS 56)
  • Result: Confederate Victory

May 25 - First Battle of Winchester

  • Forces Engaged: 22,500 total (US 6,500; CS 16,000)
  • Estimated Casualties: 2,419 total (US 2,019; CS 400)
  • Result: Confederate Victory

May 29-30 - Jackson demonstrates against Harper's Ferry.

May 31 - Jackson's army marches through Winchester.

June 6 - Skirmish near Harrisonburg, Brig. Gen. Turner Ashby killed in action.

June 8 - Battle of Cross Keys

  • Forces Engaged: 17,300 total (US 11,500; CS 5,800)
  • Estimated Casualties: 951 total (US 664; CS 287)
  • Result: Confederate Victory

June 9 - Battle of Port Republic

  • Forces Engaged: 9,500 total (US 3,500; CS 6,000)
  • Estimated Casualties: 1,818 total (US 1,002; CS 816)
  • Result: Confederate Victory

June 17 - Jackson leaves the Valley for Richmond, Virginia.

September 11 - Jackson with three divisions crosses the Potomac back into Virginia from Williamsport, Maryland. Brig. Gen. Julius White's Union garrison at Martinsburg retreats to Harper's Ferry.

September 12-15 - Siege of Harper's Ferry

  • Forces Engaged: 36,900 total (US 14,000; CS 22,900)
  • Estimated Casualties: 12,922 total (US 12,636; CS 286)
  • Result: Confederate Victory, Union surrender

September 19-20 - Battle of Sheperdstown

  • Forces Engaged: (US 2,000)
  • Estimated Casualties: 654 total (US 363; CS 291)
  • Result: Confederate Victory

1863

January 1 - President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. General Robert Milroy occupies Winchester.

June 13-15 - Second Battle of Winchester

  • Forces Engaged: 19,500 total (US 7,000; CS 12,500)
  • Estimated Casualties: 4,709 total (US 4,443; CS 266)
  • Result: Confederate Victory

June 15 - Ewell's Second Corps crosses the Potomac River northward at Williamsport, MD and Shepherdstown, WV.

June 24 - Hill's Third Corps crosses the Potomac River at Boteler's Ford (Shepherdstown, WV).

June 25 -Longstreet's First Corps crosses the Potomac River at Williamsport, MD.

July 14 - Army of Northern Virginia enters Martinsburg, WV.

1864

April 30 - Union army under Franz Sigel advances south from Martinsburg, WV.

May 1 - Sigel occupies Winchester.

May 11 - Sigel's army encamps at Cedar Creek just south of Middletown.

May 15 - Battle of New Market

  • Forces Engaged: 10,365 total (US 6,275; CS 4,090)
  • Estimated Casualties: 1,380 total (US 840; CS 540)
  • Result: Confederate Victory

May 16 - Sigel returns to Cedar Creek

May 19 - Sigel is relieved of command and posted to Harper's Ferry.

May 21 - David Hunter takes command of Union army at Cedar Creek.

May 26 - Hunter advances southward.

June 2 - Hunter's army reaches Harrisonburg, VA.

June 5-6 - Battle of Piedmont

  • Forces Engaged: 14,000 total (US 8,500; CS 5,500)
  • Estimated Casualties: 2,375 total (US 875; CS 1500)
  • Union Victory

June 6 - Hunter enters Staunton, VA.

June 11 - Hunter sacks Lexington, VA, including burning Virginia Military Institute.

June 13 - Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early's Second Corps is ordered to the Shenandoah Valley.

June 17 - Early's Second Corps begins arriving in Lynchburg, VA.

June 17-18 - Battle of Lynchburg

  • Result: Confederate Victory

July 2 - Early's Army of the Valley reaches Winchester, VA.

July 9 - Battle of Monocacy

  • Result: Confederate Victory

July 22 - Union troops reoccupy Winchester.

July 24 - Second Battle of Kernstown

  • Forces Engaged: 23,000 total (US 10,000; CS 13,000)
  • Estimated Casualties: 1,800 total (US 1,200; CS 600)
  • Result: Confederate Victory (last in the Valley)

July 30 - Confederate cavalry under John McCausland burns Chambersburg, PA.

July 14 - Early crosses the Potomac back into the Valley at White's Ferry, VA.

August 7 - Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan arrives in Harper's Ferry, WV, assuming command of the Middle Military Division and the Army of the Shenandoah.

August 15 - Early's army is reenforced by Kershaw's infantry and Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry divisions.

September 16 - Gen. Ulysses S. Grant meets with Sheridan at his Charles Town, WV, headquarters. Kerhsaw's Division begins returning to Lee's army.

September 19 - Third Battle of Winchester/Battle of Opequon

  • Forces Engaged: 54,440 total (US 39,240; CS 15,200)
  • Estimated Casualties: 1,763 total (US 528; CS 1,235)
  • Result: Union Victory.

September 22 - Battle of Fishers Hill

  • Forces Engaged: 38,944 total (US 29,444; CS 9,500)
  • Estimated Casualties: 1,763 total (US 528; CS 1,235)
  • Result: Union Victory

September 23 - Skirmish at Front Royal, Union cavalry execute six of Mosby's Rangers.

September 24- Kershaw's Division rejoins Early's army.

September 27 - The systematic destruction of the Valley begins under Sheridan's command. Known simply as "The Burning". Lee urges Early to defeat Sheridan in the Valley.

October 3 - Lt. John R. Meigs is killed by Confederate scouts near Dayton. Sheridan orders the burning of Dayton, VA and surrounding homes in retaliation.

October 4 - Sheridan rescinds the order to burn Dayton.

October 9 - Battle of Tom's Brook/Woodstock Races

  • Forces Engaged: 9,800 total (US 6,300; CS 3,500)
  • Estimated Casualties: 407 total (US 57; CS 350)
  • Result: Union Victory
  • "The Burning" is completed after 13 days.

October 10 - Sheridan's army encamps along Cedar Creek.

October 13 -

  • The Sixth Corps marches to Ashby's Gap en route to Alexandria but is recalled by Sheridan.
  • Skirmish at Hupp's Hill
  • Forces Engaged: 8,400 total (US 1,900; CS 6,500)
  • Estimated Casualties: 370 total (US 220; CS 150)

October 14 - The Sixth Corps returns to right of Union line along Cedar Creek.

October 15 -

  • Sheridan leaves for Washington, D.C. to attend a war strategy meeting.
  • The Eighth and Nineteenth Corps begin entrenching.

October 16 -

  • Early has decoy message wigwagged from Signal Knob in view of the Union army.
  • Sheridan receives word of the decoded message in Front Royal and wires the new to Halleck.

October 17 -

  • Gen. John B. Gordon, Gen. Clement A. Evans, Maj. Robert W. Hunter, and Maj. Jedidiah Hotchkiss climb Massanutten Mountain and observes Sheridan's army from Signal Knob.
  • Rosser attacks Custer's pickets.
  • Sheridan arrives in Washington at 8 a.m., meets with Stanton and Halleck, and takes a noon train to Martinsburg, WV.

October 18 -

  • At a headquarters conference, Early accepts attack plan proposed by Gordon and Hotchkiss.
  • Gen. Gordon, Gen. Stephen D Ramseur, and Maj. Hotchkiss reconnoiter trail around Massanutten Mountain. Pioneers from Rodes' [Ramseur's] Division improve trail.
  • Sheridan rides from Martinsburg to Winchester.

October 19 - The Battle of Cedar Creek

  • Forces Engaged: 46,091 (US 32,000; CS 14,091)
  • Estimated Casualties: 8,575 total (US 5,665; CS 2,910)
  • Result: Union Victory

1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns: Chronology of Principal Battles

Lynchburg Campaign (May–June 1864)
  • New Market (May 15)
  • Piedmont (June 5–6)
  • Lynchburg (June 17–18)

Early's Washington Raid and Operations against the B&O Railroad (June–August 1864)

  • Monocacy (July 9)
  • Fort Stevens (July 11–12)
  • Heaton's Crossroads (July 16)
  • Cool Spring (July 17–18)
  • Rutherford's Farm (July 20)
  • Second Kernstown (July 24)
  • Folck's Mill (August 1)
  • Moorefield (August 7)
Sheridan's Valley Campaign (August–October 1864)
  • Guard Hill (August 16)
  • Summit Point (August 21)
  • Smithfield Crossing (August 25–29)
  • Berryville (September 3–4)
  • Third Winchester (September 19)
  • Fisher's Hill (September 21–22)
  • Tom's Brook (October 9)
  • Cedar Creek (October 19)

Notes:
 
A skirmish is considered a brisk or minor encounter between small bodies of troops, especially advanced or outlying detachments of opposing armies. Example: There were several skirmishes prior to the Battle of Gettysburg.
A battle or engagement is a prolonged and general conflict pursued to a definite decision between large, organized armed forces. Example: Battle of Gettysburg. 
An action can be a battle or a skirmish. Example: There were several actions during the Gettysburg Campaign.
The term military campaign applies to large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plan incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war.

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Sources: National Park Service; National Archives; Library of Congress; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

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