“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Verbena in Page County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Shield's Advance & Retreat

Jackson Divides and Conquers


—1862 Valley Campaign —

Shield's Advance & Retreat Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
1. Shield's Advance & Retreat Marker
Inscription. Having successfully driven Gen. Nathaniel Bank's Union army from the Shenadoah Valley in late May 1862, Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's "foot cavalry" had little time to reset. While one Union army under Gen. John C. Frémont was bearing down from the north, another under Gen. James Shields was passing toward the Page Valley. If Shields could move quickly enough to overtake Jackson's force in the main valley, he and Frémont could unite and attack with a superior force. Accordingly, Jackson made a rapid retreat along the Valley Pike toward Harrisonburg. In order to delay Shield's advance, Jackson ordered the destruction of the White House and Columbia Bridge in the Page Valley. As a result, Shields was delayed for three days and was forced to abandon the plan to cross the Massanutten and unite with Frémont. By June 7, elements of Shield's army began moving toward Port Republic, crossing Naked Creek along the road to your right.

In the days that followed, Jackson defeated the two armies in piece meal fashion, first Frémont at Cross Keys on June 8, then Shields at Port Republic on June 9. Both Federal armies were forced to retreat along the routes by which they had arrived. On reaching this area near Price's Mill (a later mil stands on its site), Shields' defeated army finally came to a halt and bivouacked before continuing the
Shield's Advance & Retreat Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II
2. Shield's Advance & Retreat Marker
march to Luray on June 10, and on the Front Royal a week later.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 27.929′ N, 78° 37.04′ W. Marker is near Verbena, Virginia, in Page County. Marker is at the intersection of Moose Bottom Road and U.S. 340, on the left when traveling east on Moose Bottom Road. Click for map. Located just north of the Page and Rockingham County Lines, in a small park next to the Shenandoah Moose Lodge. Marker is in this post office area: Shenandoah VA 22849, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. History of Verbena (here, next to this marker); Shenandoah Iron Works (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Stevens Cottage 1890 (approx. 1.4 miles away); First Settler (approx. 3.1 miles away); Miller-Argabright-Cover-Kite House (approx. 3.9 miles away); Jennings House (approx. 4 miles away); Somerville Heights (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Burning of Red Bridge (approx. 4.4 miles away).
More about this marker. To the right of the text is a map of the campaign, showing the Union advance along with important locations with
Campaign Map Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
3. Campaign Map
related Civil War Trails markers. Inset with the map is a portrait of General James Shields and a photo of "Captain" Joseph Price's mill (circa 1900).
Regarding Shield's Advance & Retreat. This marker is one of several detailing Civil War activities in Page County, Virginia. Please see the Page County Civil War Markers link below.
Also see . . .
1. General James Shields. Prior to the war, Shields had served with distinction in the Mexican War. He is also remembered for having challenged Abraham Lincoln to a duel. The two later became friendly. Shields answered Lincoln's call for support at the beginning of the war, volunteering his services to the Union army. (Submitted on October 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Reports of Maj. Gen. James Shields. Concering his advance, Shields wrote:
my advance guard reached the Shenandoah at Honeyville, but found the White House Bridge and Columbia Bridge both burned, thus cutting off all hope of attacking his flank at New Market. I then pushed forward the advance as rapidly as possible, in hopes of finding the bridge at Conrad's Store still standing, but that bridge was also found burned. During the whole of this time, which occupied nearly three days, the rain poured down in torrents, so that the
Shield's Advance & Retreat Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
4. Shield's Advance & Retreat Marker
The marker's location is within a park operated by the Moose lodge, but is only a few yards from Highway 340.
Shenandoah overflowed its banks, and the mountain streams became rivers. It became impossible to move forward; the wagons sank in the mud to the axles, and all communication was cut off for a time between the main body and the advance guard. In this condition the first question was to live, to obtain supplies, as none could reach us over such roads.
(Submitted on October 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Page County Civil War Markers. (Submitted on February 25, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
4. Avenue of Armies: Civil War Sites and Stories of Luray and Page County, Virginia. (Submitted on March 20, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.)
Categories. War, US Civil
The "New" Price's Mill Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
5. The "New" Price's Mill
Behind the lodge buildings is this mill structure.
Naked Creek Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
6. Naked Creek
Like many tributaries to the Shenandoah River, the creek presented an obstacle to military movements. The rocky bottom could be crossed by foot traffic, but wagons and cannon could not easily traverse. Columns, such as Shield's, required bridges or proper ford location in order to advance up the Valley.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,487 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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