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Near Middletown in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of Cedar Creek

Union Left Flank

 

—1864 Valley Campaign —

 
Battle of Cedar Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 19, 2014
1. Battle of Cedar Creek Marker
Inscription. (Preface): The fertile Shenandoah Valley was the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy" as well as an avenue of invasion. Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early's march north and his raid on Washington, D.C., in June-July 1864 alerted Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to the threat that Early posed while he held the Valley. In August, Grant sent Gen. Philip H. Sheridan and his Army of the Shenandoah to defeat Early. In serveral battles between September 19 and October 19 - Third Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Tom's Brook, and Cedar Creek - Sheridan accomplished his mission and then laid waste to much of the Valley in "The Burning."

After Confederate defeats at Third Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Tom's Brook, and after the Burning of the Valley, Gen. Philip H. Sheridan believed that Gen. Jubal A. Early's army no longer posed a significant threat. Following a daring night march, however, the Confederates attacked the Federal camps north of Cedar Creek in the predawn fog and darkness on October 19. Achieving complete surprise, Early's men drove Sheridan's north past Middletown. The Federals formed a defensive line, Sheridan rode south from Winchester to rally his force, and late in the afternoon counterattacked to drive the Confederates from the field.

(Main Text): On and around this farm on the morning of October 19, 1864, Union Gen.
"Map of the situation [at] 2 PM," James E. Taylor Sketchbook image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 19, 2014
2. "Map of the situation [at] 2 PM," James E. Taylor Sketchbook
Wesley Merritt's First Cavalry Division occupied the Federal left flank. The army had fled in disarray after the Confederate surprise attack at dawn to high ground just north of Middletown. Union officers organized a defensive line at about 10 a.m., with cavalry divisions anchoring each end of the line.

You are standing directly behind the position that Col. Charles Russell Lowell Jr.'s Reserve Cavalry Brigade occupied at the center of the Union far left. Col. James H. Kidd's brigade was on the distant ridge visible through the clearing to the left of the barn, and Col. Thomas C. Devin's brigade was to Lowell's right. About 4 p.m., the Federals counter-attacked. Merritt's cavalry charged the infantry divisions of Gen. John Pegram and Gabriel C. Wharton and the brigade of Gen. William T. Wofford on the Confederate right flank. After repeated attempts, the Confederates gave way. Lowell, seriously wounded that morning, remained in the field and was mortally wounded. He died the next morning. By nightfall, the Union victory was complete, and Early's army was shattered.

(Sidebar): The Larrick-Nixon House, called Thorndale, is an L-shaped frame dwelling. John Larrick [II] probably constructed the older, 1 1/2-story rear section about 1790. His grandson, Archibald B. Larrick, likely added the Greek Revival-style, 2-story front section about 1855. The bank barn (ca.
View of Thorndale Farm from Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, December 26, 2015
3. View of Thorndale Farm from Marker
The Thorndale Farm is private property, and is not accessible to the public.
1870) incorporates hand-hewn fire-damaged beams from an earlier structure on the stone foundation of an earlier barn.
 
Erected 2014 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 2.093′ N, 78° 15.427′ W. Marker is near Middletown, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of North Buckton Road (Virginia Route 842) and Larrick Lane, on the right when traveling west on North Buckton Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Middletown VA 22645, 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 Cedar Creek (approx. 0.7 miles away); Middletown (approx. 0.8 miles away); End Of Sheridan’s Ride (approx. 0.8 miles away); Engagement Of Middletown (approx. 1.1 miles away); Colonel Charles Russell Lowell (approx. 1.1 miles away); Old Stone Fort (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Cauldron (approx. 2 miles away); Heater Fields (approx. 2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Middletown.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Battle of Cedar Creek Marker Platform image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, December 26, 2015
4. Battle of Cedar Creek Marker Platform
Thorndale Farm today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 19, 2014
5. Thorndale Farm today
The Larrick-Nixon House is to the left of this view, looking south.
Barn on Thorndale Farm image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 19, 2014
6. Barn on Thorndale Farm
Gathering at the Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 19, 2014
7. Gathering at the Marker Dedication
The marker was dedicated 150 years from the day of fighting on the Thorndale Farm.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 564 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on , by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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