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

Battle of Cross Keys

Duel Attacks

 

— 1862 Valley Campaign —

 
Battle of Cross Keys Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 25, 2007
1. Battle of Cross Keys Marker
Inscription.  Early on June 8, 1862, Union commander Gen. John C. Frémont viewed the field at Cross Keys and without proper reconnaissance assumed that Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s left flank was the strong side of the Confederate line. Frémont ordered his artillery to soften Ewell’s position. A duel ensued from 10 a.m. until noon, 20 Confederate guns against almost 50 Union cannons. Accurate Confederate fire caused a soldier from Ohio to remark that Stonewall Jackson himself must have paced off the range the day before.

As the duel ended, Frémont ordered Gens. Robert H. Milroy and Robert C. Schenck to demonstrate against the Confederate center (where you are standing) and left to draw support troops away from Ewell’s right. Meanwhile, three brigades of Gen. Louis Blenker’s division were to advance against the weakened Confederate right and crush it.

Blenker’s men attacked prematurely and, after severe fighting and conflicting orders, were forced to retreat before Gen. Isaac R. Trimble’s Confederates. Command problems in the brigades of Schenck and Milroy caused an early withdrawal on their flank. Frémont’s chance for victory
Close-Up of Map on Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 25, 2007
2. Close-Up of Map on Marker
Click or scan to see
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had passed.

Ewell and his men had done what Jackson had wanted, inflicting a severe blow that made Frémont even more timid than usual. The next morning, Ewell joined Jackson to defeat Gen. James Shields at the Battle of Port Republic.
 
Erected 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 1888.
 
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 21.012′ N, 78° 49.619′ W. Marker was in Cross Keys, Virginia, in Rockingham County. Marker was on Port Republic Road (County Route 659) south of Cross Keys Road (Virginia Route 276), on the right when traveling south. Marker is at the Carrington Williams Interpretive Site. Touch for map. Marker was 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 one mile of this location, measured as the crow flies. Cross Keys Battlefield (a few steps from 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); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker
Battle of Cross Keys Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 25, 2007
3. Battle of Cross Keys Marker
also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mill Creek Church (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named The Battle of Cross Keys (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cross Keys.
 
More about this marker. The right side of the marker is a map of the battle, adorned with the oval portraits of U.S. Gen. John C. Frémont, C.S. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, and C.S. Gen. Stonewall Jackson.
 
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 . . .  Battle of Cross Keys. National Park Service summary of the battle. The US advance mentioned on the marker is discussed as Phase Five of the battle. (Submitted on December 15, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
General John C. Frémont image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
4. General John C. Frémont
Photo by William Momberger between 1862 and 1864
General Richard S. Ewell image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
5. General Richard S. Ewell
Photo published 1886
General Thomas J. Jackson image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
6. General Thomas J. Jackson
Stereograph between 1861 and 1865.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 13, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,960 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on December 14, 2009. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 13, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   4, 5, 6. submitted on November 8, 2020, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Jan. 19, 2022