Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near McDowell in Highland County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of McDowell

When Plans Collide

 
 
Battle of McDowell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 8, 2021
1. Battle of McDowell Marker
Inscription.  
Elements of three Union armies moved through the Shenandoah Valley in the spring of 1862, while a fourth army marched up the Virginia Peninsula toward Richmond. Together, these two wings comprised a pincer movement against the Confederate capital.

To block the western hook of the pincers, Confederate authorities ordered Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson to the Valley. At his headquarters at Conrad's Store (present-day Elkton) east of Harrisonburg, Jackson planned a northward counteroffensive, trusting speed and aggression to put his more numerous foes to flight.

Elements of John C. Frémont's Union Army of the Mountain Department, which had camped at McDowell and Franklin (in present-day West Virginia), posed a grave threat to Jackson's plan. If the Confederates moved north, the Federals could march into Staunton behind them unopposed and block the vital supply line to Richmond. Jackson sought to drive this force out of the Valley and secure his base before beginning his campaign in earnest.

At 10 A.M. on May 8, Union scouts spotted Jackson's army advancing up the road behind you. The Federals withdrew to

Battle of McDowell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 8, 2021
2. Battle of McDowell Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
McDowell and set up defensive positions on the low ground across Bullpasture River about 1.5 miles over Sitlington's Hill in front of you. The Confederates reached this point around noon and began to climb the hill.

"The plan would be to … assault the enemy and deliver a blow … and then retire from his front before he had recovered from the surprise." — Gen. Robert C. Schenck, USA

"Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy. … A small army may thus destroy a large one in detail, and repeated victory will make it invincible." — Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, CSA


[Captions:]
Confederate Gen. Edward Johnson led Jackson's column.

Schoolteacher and amateur cartographer Jedediah Hotchkiss, whom Jackson had famously ordered to "make me a map of the Valley," guided Stonewall's men to the battlefield. As they approached bends in the road, Hotchkiss moved ahead and waved a handkerchief if the path was clear of Union soldiers.

The Union offensives in the spring of 1862 threatened the Confederate capital at Richmond.
 
Erected by Civil War Trust; Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition,

Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 8, 1862.
 
Location. 38° 19.483′ N, 79° 27.957′ W. Marker is near McDowell, Virginia, in Highland County. Marker is on Highland Turnpike (U.S. 250) 1½ miles east of Bullpasture River Road (Virginia Route 678), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10561 Highland Turnpike, Head Waters VA 24442, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Battle of McDowell (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Battle of McDowell (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Battle of McDowell (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Battle of McDowell (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named The Battle of McDowell (approx. half a mile away); Battle Of McDowell (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named The Battle of McDowell (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Battle of McDowell (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McDowell.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 26 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

Share This Page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=172827

Paid Advertisement
Jun. 12, 2021