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Near Front Royal in Warren County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Asbury Chapel

“1st Maryland to the Front!”

 

—Battle of Front Royal - May 23, 1862 —

 
Asbury Chapel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
1. Asbury Chapel Marker
Inscription. Early on the morning of Friday, May 23, 1862, Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson paused here at Asbury Chapel well in advance of his 16,000-man army. Although he was familiar with the main roads to Front Royal, Jackson knew that the terrain through which they passed would restrict his troop-deployment options. He also wanted to find a route concealed from his Union adversary at Strasburg, Gen. Nathaniel Banks, who still thought Jackson was in the main part of the Shenandoah Valley to the west of the Massanutten Mountain. In fact, the Confederate army stretched for twelve miles south of here on the Lurray and Front Royal Turnpike (present-day U.S. 340), which passed the western side of the church in 1862.

Jackson noticed Col. Isaac King, a church leader, sitting on a fence here. King informed Jackson that Lt. Samuel J. Simpson, a Warren County native, was in his army and knew the area like a book. Simpson soon arrived and told Jackson that a road just south of the church (today’s Rocky Lane) led northeast to Gooney Manor Road (now Browntown Road) and Front Royal, with good ground for deployment.

Jackson ordered the 1st Maryland to the front to lead his army as it veered off the turnpike onto Rocky Lane. He also sent Col. Turner Ashby ahead to cross the Shenandoah River at McCoy’s Ford and ride west to
Campaign Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
2. Campaign Map
Buckton Station on the Manassas Gap Railroad. His orders were to cut communications between Front Royal and Strasburg. The attack on Front Royal had begun.

After winning a battle at McDowell May 8, 1862, Jackson crossed the Massanutten Mountain and marched north towards Front Royal hoping to outflank a Union army in Strasburg.

(Sidebar): Asbury Chapel (now Asbury United Methodist Church) was built in 1848 and named for Bishop Francis Asbury; who evangelized throughout the Shenandoah Valley from 1783 to 1805. During the Civil War, the congregation met irregularly, and the church was used as a hospital, probably after the Battle of Front Royal.

In 1916, the building was dismantled, revealing bloodstained floorboards. Using original materials when possible and following a similar design, the congregation completed the present structure the next year. The reconstructed church was dedicated on the fourth Sunday in October 1917.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 52.839′ N, 78° 14.798′ W. Marker is near Front Royal, Virginia, in Warren County. Marker is at the intersection of Royal Avenue (
Asbury Chapel - Battle of Front Royal image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 26, 2007
3. Asbury Chapel - Battle of Front Royal
U.S. 340) and Rocky Lane (County Route 607), on the right when traveling south on Royal Avenue. Click for map. This is the first marker of the Battle of Front Royal driving tour. Marker is in this post office area: Front Royal VA 22630, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Belle Boyd and Jackson (approx. 2.1 miles away); The Massanutten (approx. 2.5 miles away); Belle Boyd (approx. 2.8 miles away); William E. Carson (approx. 3.1 miles away); Indian Old Fields (approx. 3.4 miles away); Prospect Hill Cemetery (approx. 3.5 miles away); Warren County High School and Massive Resistance (approx. 3.6 miles away); Mosby's Men (approx. 3.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Front Royal.
 
More about this marker. On the right side, the marker displays a map of the Battle of Front Royal with emphasis on the Civil War Trails tour stops with portraits of Samuel Simpson and Issac King to the side. A campaign map in the lower center shows the major battles of the 1862 Valley Campaign. The sidebar contains a photograph of Asbury Chapel.
 
Regarding Asbury Chapel. This marker is one of several from a driving tour of the Front Royal Battlefield. The markers are listed in sequence on the Battle of Front Royal Virtual Tour by Markers link below.
Asbury Chapel Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 4, 2008
4. Asbury Chapel Today

 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Front Royal Virtual Tour by Markers. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Front Royal Tour - Stop One. Asbury Chapel is stop one on the Front Royal Driving Tour. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,679 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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