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Cross Keys in Rockingham County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Battle of Cross Keys
“It was not in men to stand such fire as that.”

— 1862 Valley Campaign —
 
The Battle of Cross Keys Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
1. The Battle of Cross Keys Marker
 
Inscription. Following Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s victory at Winchester, Union troops pursued the Confederates south, “up” the Shenandoah Valley. While Gen. John C. Fremont advanced on the Valley Turnpike, another Union force, led by Gen. James Shields, pursued Jackson through the Page (Luray) Valley father east.

Jackson took position at Port Republic, four miles east of you, to engage Shields, leaving Gen. Richard Ewell here at Cross Keys to hold back Fremont. Ewell posted his 5,000 men on a ridge overlooking Mill Creek, one mile to your right. The 15th Alabama Infantry regiment remained here at union Church to give timely warning of Fremont’s approach.

Early on June 8, 1862, Fremont brushed aside the Alabamians. He posted 40 cannon in the fields to your front and began furiously shelling the Confederate position. Two hours later Fremont attacked, blindly throwing Gen, Julius Stahel’s brigade forward toward Ewell’s right. The 8th New York was slaughtered by Gen. Isaac R, Trimble’s Confederate brigade, which was sheltered behind a rail fence. Attacks against Ewell’s center and left achieved no better success.

Fremont withdrew here to the Keezeletown Road. Ewell slipped away, joining Jackson on the banks of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River at Port Republic. The last battle of the 1862 Valley Campaign was fought there June 9, 1862.
 
Graves of Marylanders killed in the Battle of Harrisonburg Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
2. Graves of Marylanders killed in the Battle of Harrisonburg
These graves are located in the cemetery across the road from the marker. They were killed in the action at Harrisonburg, which occured two days prior to the battle of Cross Keys.
 

 
Erected 2002 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 21.444′ N, 78° 50.528′ W. Marker is in Cross Keys, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker is on Battlefield Road (Route 679), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisonburg VA 22801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. one mile away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. one mile away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. one mile away but has been reported missing); Cross Keys Battlefield (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 1.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cross Keys.
 
Related markers. Click here for
 
The Battle of Cross Keys Marker seen with the modern Union Church in the background Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
3. The Battle of Cross Keys Marker seen with the modern Union Church in the background
The modern building sits on the original site of the Union Church that stood here at the time of the battle.
 
a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Map of the Battle of Cross Keys next to the marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
4. Map of the Battle of Cross Keys next to the marker
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on February 17, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,168 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 17, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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