Near Winchester in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The First Battle of Kernstown
The Beginning of “Stonewall” Jackson’s Valley Campaign
On July 24, 1864, Union and Confederate forces clashed again on the rolling terrain near Kernstown in a larger battle than the 1862 contest. Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early overpowered the Union defense of Pritchard’s Hill commanded by Brigadier General George Crook. Within Early’s Confederate force was Colonel George S. Patton, the grandfather and namesake of the famous World War II general. Patton helped defeat an overmatched Union force containing two future U.S. Presidents: Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes and Lieutenant William McKinley. Early’s victory was the last one enjoyed by the Confederates in the Shenandoah Valley.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #19 Rutherford B. Hayes, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #25 William McKinley series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is March 23, 1862.
Location. 39° 8.609′ N, 78° 11.828′ W. Marker is near Winchester, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from Battle Park Drive, on the right when traveling west. Located at the east edge of the parking area next to the Visitors Center, in Kernstown Battlefields and Pritchard-Grim Farm Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 610 Battle Park Drive, Winchester VA 22601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Pritchard House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Second Battle of Kernstown (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Second Battle of Kernstown (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pettus Cousins in the Battle of First KernstownThe First Battle of Kernstown (approx. 0.2 miles away); Second Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The First Battle of Kernstown (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Second Battle of Kernstown (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
More about this marker. The marker displays a portrait of General Jackson with the caption, “Major General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson dazzled and frustrated portions of three Union armies in the Shenandoah Valley throughout the spring of 1862. Nearly one quarter of his total Valley casualties were inflicted at Kernstown, the first battle of the campaign.”
A photograph of Pritchard’s Hill carries the caption, “Pritchard’s Hill looms in the left distance of this 1885 photograph. Union cannon occupied this height in three Civil War battles.”
A map on the lower left side displays the roads and vegetation as extant at the time of the battle.
Regarding The First Battle of Kernstown. This is one of six battlefield interpretive markers in the park. See the related markers link below for a listing of the walking tour, or the Kernstown Battles Virtual Tour by Markers in the links section for a driving tour.
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.
Also see . . .
1. Kernstown Battlefield Association. (Submitted on August 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. First Kernstown. From the National Parks Service study of the battles in the valley. (Submitted on August 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,325 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 2, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 2. submitted on August 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 3. submitted on November 2, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 4. submitted on August 25, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.