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Cross Keys in Rockingham County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of Cross Keys

Slaughter of the 8th New York Infantry

 

ó1862 Valley Campaign ó

 
Battle of Cross Keys Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
1. Battle of Cross Keys Marker
Inscription. On June 8, 1862, during the Battle of Cross keys, Gen. Isaac R. Trimbleís Confederate brigade of a little more than 1,500 men occupied this line, a masked position behind a split-rail fence in what was then a wood line to your right and left. Shortly after noon, the 548-man-strong 8th New York Infantry of Gen. Julius Stahelís brigade marched toward Trimble, but the regimentís officers failed to put a skirmish line out front to locate the Southern position. Skirmishers from the 21st North Carolina Infantry scampered back to Trimbleís line to give him the news. The New Yorkers advanced blindly through a clover field in a two-line formation and over the rise just in front of you. An Alabama soldier later recalled, “Poor fellows, they did not know what was in store for them.”

As the Federals came within about 50 yards of here, the Confederates rose up and unleashed volley after volley into their ranks. The 8th New York suffered more than 250 casualties in the short span of 15 minutes. One Confederate soldier wrote home that as he looked over the ground in front of him he saw dead and wounded Federals “lying in the field as thick as black birds.”
 
Erected 2003 by Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation & Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the
Battle of Cross Keys Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
2. Battle of Cross Keys Marker
Note the Massanutten in the background.
Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 20.995′ N, 78° 49.533′ W. Marker is in Cross Keys, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker can be reached from Port Republic Road (Route 659), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker cannot be seen from the road. From the Carrington Williams Interpretive Site (where there are three Virginia Civil War Trails markers), one has to walk across Port Republic Road, cross a fenceline, and walk approximatley 100 yards to reach the marker, which is located on the right hand side of the wire fence, behind a small section of split rail fencing. Marker is in this post office area: Port Republic VA 24471, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cross Keys Battlefield (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (about 400 feet away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (about 400 feet away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (about 400 feet away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. half a mile away); Mill Creek Church (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cross Keys.
Battle of Cross Keys Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
3. Battle of Cross Keys Marker

 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a portrait of General Trimble. In the upper center is a photo of the 8th New York Infantry in camp early in the war. On the right is a map showing the tactical situation around noon of the day of the battle.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 

 
Credits. This page originally submitted on February 17, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,217 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. 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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