Battle of McDowell
"God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell"
— 1862 Valley Campaign —
Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's unsuccessful attack on Union forces at Kernstown on March 23, 1862, alarmed Federal officials, who assigned additional troops to the Shenandoah Valley to guard against a Confederate assault on Washington, D.C. In May and June, Jackson's "foot cavalry" marked 350 miles; defeated three Union armies in engagements at McDowell (May 8), Front Royal (May 23), Winchester (May 25), Cross Keys (June 8), and Port Republic (June 9); inflicted twice the number of casualties it suffered; and tied down 60,000 Federal troops. The campaign made Jackson the Confederate's foremost hero.
In May 1862, two Union armies threatened Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's army in the Shenandoah Valley. To keep them from uniting, Jackson left a division to block Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's force at Winchester and turned his attention to Gen. John C. Frémont's army, which was approaching from the west. Jackson first marched his command out of the Valley to suggest that he was en route to Richmond and then turned back to Staunton. On May 7, he marched west on the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike.
The next day, Jackson telegraphed Richmond, "God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell yesterday," and then pursued the retreating Federals west on the turnpike and then north about thirty miles to Franklin. After some skirmishing, Jackson marched back to the Valley on May 12. Frémont's army soon retreated deeper into western Virginia, leaving Jackson free to operate against Banks.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & Vehicles • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is March 23, 1862.
Location. 38° 20.111′ N, 79° 29.397′
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Highway to War (here, next to this marker); Felix Hull House (a few steps from this marker); Battle Of McDowell (approx. 0.2 miles away); McDowell VA - May 8, 1862 (approx. ¼ mile away); Village of McDowell (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Battle of McDowell (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named The Battle of McDowell (approx. 0.9 miles away); Commemorating The Battle Of McDowell (approx. 0.9 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 22 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.