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

The Battle of Cross Keys

“It was not in men to stand such fire as that.”

 

— 1862 Valley Campaign —

 
The Battle of Cross Keys Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
1. The Battle of Cross Keys Marker
Inscription.  Following Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s victory at Winchester, Union troops pursued the Confederates south, “up” the Shenandoah Valley. While Gen. John C. Fremont advanced on the Valley Turnpike, another Union force, led by Gen. James Shields, pursued Jackson through the Page (Luray) Valley farther east.

Jackson took position at Port Republic, four miles east of you, to engage Shields, leaving Gen. Richard Ewell here at Cross Keys to hold back Fremont. Ewell posted his 5,000 men on a ridge overlooking Mill Creek, one mile to your right. The 15th Alabama Infantry regiment remained here at Union Church to give timely warning of Fremont’s approach.

Early on June 8, 1862, Fremont brushed aside the Alabamians. He posted 40 cannon in the fields to your front and began furiously shelling the Confederate position. Two hours later Fremont attacked, blindly throwing Gen. Julius Stahel’s brigade forward toward Ewell’s right. The 8th New York was slaughtered by Gen. Isaac R, Trimble’s Confederate brigade, which was sheltered behind a rail fence. Attacks against Ewell’s center and left achieved no better
Graves of Marylanders killed in the Battle of Harrisonburg image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
2. Graves of Marylanders killed in the Battle of Harrisonburg
These graves are located in the cemetery across the road from the marker. They were killed in the action at Harrisonburg, which occured two days prior to the battle of Cross Keys.
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Fremont withdrew here to the Keezeletown Road. Ewell slipped away, joining Jackson on the banks of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River at Port Republic. The last battle of the 1862 Valley Campaign was fought there June 9, 1862.
 
Erected 2002 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1864.
 
Location. 38° 21.444′ N, 78° 50.528′ W. Marker is in Cross Keys, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker is on Battlefield Road (Route 679), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisonburg VA 22801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
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 Cross Keys (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cross Keys Battlefield (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. one mile away); Kyles Mill House (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys
The Battle of Cross Keys Marker seen with the modern Union Church in the background image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
3. The Battle of Cross Keys Marker seen with the modern Union Church in the background
The modern building sits on the original site of the Union Church that stood here at the time of the battle.
(approx. 1.4 miles away); Mill Creek Church (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cross Keys.
 
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.
 
Map of the Battle of Cross Keys next to the marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, January 30, 2009
4. Map of the Battle of Cross Keys next to the marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 17, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,915 times since then and 21 times this year. Last updated on August 13, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. 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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May. 5, 2021