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

Battle of Cross Keys

Immigrant Soldiers

 

— 1862 Valley Campaign —

 
Battle of Cross Keys Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
1. Battle of Cross Keys Marker
Inscription.  Many immigrants fought for the North and the South during the Civil War. Their numbers were especially high in Gen. Louis Blenker’s division of Gen. John C. Fremont’s Union army at Cross Keys on June 8, 1862.

Two Germans (Gen. Henry Bohlen and Col. John Koltes) and one Hungarian (Gen. Julius Stahel) commanded Blenker’s three brigades on this part of the field. Blenker and his lieutenants had been officers in European revolutions during the 1840s.

German, Swiss, Irish, English, Italians, Russians, Algerians, Sepoys, Turks, Frenchmen, Poles, Croats, Hungarians, and Chinese fought with Blenker’s “melting pot” division. One of Fremont’s staff officers, a Romanian, Capt. R. Nicolai Dunka, was killed delivering a message to the front here.

Most immigrants fought for their adopted country and lived here after the war. Others sought military experience so they could return to their native countries to fight in or command revolutionary armies.
 
Erected 2003 by Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation & Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker
Battle of Cross Keys Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
2. Battle of Cross Keys Marker
is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 38° 21.197′ N, 78° 49.019′ W. Marker is in Cross Keys, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker can be reached from Goods Mill Road (Route 708), on the right when traveling south. This is one of three markers found at this site (Goods Mill Interpretive Area/Owen D. Graves Memorial Cross Keys Battlefield Wayside). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Republic VA 24471, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. half a mile away); Cross Keys Battlefield (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mill Creek Church (approx. 1.1 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cross Keys.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a portrait of Gen. Julius Stahel, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism on another Shenandoah Valley battlefield two years after the Battle of Cross Keys. In the center right is a photograph of members of the 39th New York. The 39th New York Infantry (Garibaldi Guards) had members from all over the world. They fought near here during the Battle of Cross Keys.
 
Grave of Capt. Nicolae Dunka, Staunton National Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 26, 2009
3. Grave of Capt. Nicolae Dunka, Staunton National Cemetery
Capt. Dunka's body was removed after the war from a nearby grave to the National Cemetery at Staunton, Virginia.
Marker showing map of trail to the different markers at the interpretive site image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
4. Marker showing map of trail to the different markers at the interpretive site
Owen D. Graves Monument Boulder image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
5. Owen D. Graves Monument Boulder
This is found at the site of the first marker on this trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 17, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,421 times since then and 81 times this year. Last updated on August 12, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 17, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Sep. 26, 2020