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‘The Breadbasket of the Confederacy’ The Shenandoah Valley

‘If this valley is lost, Virginia is lost’ – General Stonewall Jackson

 14th – 22nd August 2014

The 1862 Valley Campaign unofficially began on 11 March 1862. Between then and 8 June, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and his men, ‘the foot cavalry’, in 48 days of marching covered 679 miles. They fought five battles, numerous skirmishes and defeated three separate Union armies. Jackson had done his job; his Valley campaign had drawn 60,000 Federals from McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign against Richmond.

Two years later the Valley was still very much the lifeblood of Confederates. On appointment, US Grant immediately ordered a new form of suppression in the valley, a ‘slash and burn policy’. However until General Sheridan was appointed in the summer of 1864, the Union army still continued to be defeated. Finally at Cedar Creek in October Sheridan destroyed the Confederate army in the Valley, no longer was it the ‘breadbasket’


Daily Itinerary

Day 1: (14 August) Fly to Washington Dulles to be met by your guide. Overnight Winchester.

Day 2: (15 August) The city of Winchester is reported to have changed hands 70 times during the war. Five major battles occurred close by, one of which was Jackson’s only defeat at 1st Kernstown in March 1862. Today we will not only study these battles but also visit Jackson’s headquarters, which he occupied during the winter of 1862/63. 2nd night in Winchester.

Day 3: (16 August) As we leave Winchester our first stop today is at Front Royal, where Marylanders from the South & North were engaged in one of the first urban battles of the war. Moving onto Cedar Creek which was (including the fall of Atlanta) the most decisive battle of 1864, its outcome helped reelect President Lincoln that year. Driving southwest on Route 11 our hotel tonight is in New Market.

Day 4: (17 August) This small town nestling under the Massanutten Mountain will always be remembered for the charge by the cadets of the Virginia Military Institute on 15 May 1864. You will have the opportunity to walk ‘the field of lost shoes’ and visit the VMI museum before we continue our southwest route to the town of Harrisonburg, where we will spend the next 3 nights.

Day 5: (18 August) Today we will head west towards the Allegheny Mountains and follow the route taken by General Jackson’s army as it forces Union Generals Milroy & Schenck out of the valley. At McDowell in early May, Jackson defeated the Union army and they withdrew into West Virginia; this action allowed Jackson to turn east and then north to strike once more at Winchester. 2nd night in Harrisonburg.

Day 6: (19 August) After defeating Union General Banks’s Army at Winchester on the 25 May 1862, Jackson fell back up the Valley towards Harrisonburg, pulling Union General Shields after him. At Cross Keys & Port Republic on the 8 & 9 June he defeated Shields who withdrew, allowing Jackson with the bulk of his army to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains to join the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia, to repel the Union attack against Richmond. 3rd night in Harrisonburg.

Day 7: (20 August) Leaving Harrisonburg we will stop at Staunton, the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson and where in June 1864 Union General Hunter destroyed the railroad yards. Arriving at The Holiday Inn, Lexington where we will spend the next 2 nights.

Day 8: (21 August) After destroying the railroad station at Staunton, Hunter continued southwest, at Lexington he burnt the Institute to the ground. We visit the museum at the VMI, where Jackson’s horse ‘Little Sorrel’ is on display. Lee Chapel, on the Washington & Lee campus where Robert E. Lee and his family are buried; his horse ‘Traveller’ is buried outside. Later we go to the house where Professor Jackson lived for 2 years before the war. Finally to the Confederate cemetery where Lee’s ‘right arm’, is buried General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. 2nd night in Lexington

Day 9: (22 August) Before we leave Lexington a final opportunity for a revisit or shopping, before we return to Northern Virginia for your return early evening flight. To an onward destination or home.

 Cost per person LAND ONLY for this tour from Washington to Lexington NV – (Washington) is USD 2,325.00 per person

For your reservation call Dennis Weatherall SYD (02) 9520 6023 Email:

Battlefields of the World – Dennis is a qualified member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides Badge # 34

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