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

Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail

 
 
Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 27, 2009
1. Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail Marker
Inscription. You are standing in the middle of what was once Fort Edward Johnson. Confederate soldiers built this fort in 1862 under the command of Brigadier general Edward Johnson, a career officer from Virginia.

Look to your right, and then left across the highway for what remains of the mile of trench and breastworks. They were built by Confederate soldiers to defend the Shenandoah Valley from an invasion by Union Troops marching from the west.

In the early spring of 1862, this fort was garrisoned by 3,000 troops, primarily from the 12th Georgia Regiment. Most of these troops were stationed four miles to the east at Camp Shenandoah, where there was good drinking water and pasture for their horses.

By May of 1862, General John C. Fremont’s Union Army, under General Robert Milroy, was moving toward the fort from the west. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederate Army retreated out of the Shenandoah Valley leaving a chance that the fort would be cut off from the rear by Union forces. General Johnson’s troops evacuated the fort. They moved toward Staunton only to find Jackson’s army had returned to Staunton in a lightening move that surprised both the Union generals, and Jackson’s own staff. General Johnson’s men joined Jackson’s Army and marched back through the fort, which had been occupied by advance Union troops. The
Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 2, 2010
2. Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail Marker
combined Confederate Army continued its march through these mountains on the Parkersburg Turnpike until it reached the small village of McDowell, Virginia, where the main Union Army was encamped. On May 8th “Stonewall” Jackson’s Army, after suffering heavy losses, sent the Union forces into full retreat and relieved the threat to Staunton.
 
Erected by U.S. Forest Service.
 
Location. 38° 18.693′ N, 79° 23.058′ W. Marker is near West Augusta, Virginia, in Highland County. Marker can be reached from Route 250, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Part of the “Confederate Breastworks Trail” at Fort Edward Johnson. Marker is in this post office area: West Augusta VA 24485, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 13 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. “The Shenandoah Mountain Pass is grand indeed…” (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Fort Edward Johnson (a few steps from this marker); Highland County / Augusta County (a few steps from this marker); Fort Edward Johnson (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Edward Johnson (within shouting distance of this marker);
Detail From the Marker image. Click for full size.
May 2, 2010
3. Detail From the Marker
“It was cold business” (within shouting distance of this marker); “Wee are faring badly…” (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Healing the Wounds (about 600 feet away); “... tolerable well fortified” (about 600 feet away); “We had a hardscrabble up…” (approx. 0.2 miles away); “Wee are now looking out for a fight…” (approx. 0.2 miles away); “… to go wee did not know where” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mountain House (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in West Augusta.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a portrait of Brigadier general Edward Johnson. In the upper center is a map depicting the works and nearby locations as it existed in 1862. It is captioned, What was it like to be a lonely soldier stationed on this mountain fort in the spring of 1862? Walk the 0.5 mile trail along the remains of the breastworks and relive those days through the letters and diaries of the soldiers
Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail Head image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 2, 2010
4. Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail Head
who were here.

 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Confederate Breastworks Parking Lot sign image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, February 27, 2009
5. Confederate Breastworks Parking Lot sign
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,225 times since then and 187 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.   2, 3, 4. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   5. submitted on , by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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