Near Stephenson in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
"The Thermopylae of my campaign.”
In the spring of 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia began a march that culminated at the Battle of Gettysburg. Lee chose the Shenandoah Valley for his invasion route. Ninety-six hundred Federals under Gen. Robert H. Milroy stood in his way at Winchester.
Lee sent Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s 2nd Corps to clear the way. On June 14, 1863, the Confederates attacked the Federals at Winchester. Realizing it was in danger of being surrounded, Milroy’s command evacuated the city during the night. Anticipating the move, Ewell directed Gen. Edward Johnson’s division to block the Union escape route to Harper’s Ferry.
In the pre-dawn darkness, Johnson, with only Gen. George H. Steuart’s brigade and two cannon from the 1st Maryland Battery, moving west on the road to your right, struck the Federals. The Confederate infantry took positions along the railroad tracks and Lt. Col. Snowden Andrews placed the two guns in the road at the bridge (right front).
The Federals repeatedly tried to take the bridge and clear the way. The Confederate line was in danger of collapsing when reinforcements arrived.
The 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry also suffered heavy casualties. While they changed position to charge the Confederate artillery on the hill, the Southern gunners found their range and sent exploding shells into the horsemen. Of the 655 men in the unit, 334 became casualties.
Milroy escaped capture, but nearly half his troops were not so lucky. Lee marched across the Potomac River, taking the 23 newly captured cannon and supplies.
The Culp family of Gettysburg was one of the many divided by the Civil War. Wesley Culp, who moved to Virginia prior to the war, cast his lot with the South while his brother William enlisted in the Union army. Both were participants in the clash at Stephenson Depot. William survived the war. Wesley was killed at Gettysburg near a hill named for his ancestors.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic 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 1863.
Location. 39° 13.784′ N, 78° 6.6′ W. Marker is near Stephenson, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Milburn Road (County Route 662) and Old Charlestown Road (County Route 761), on the right when traveling south on Milburn Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stephenson VA 22656, 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. Roots Of Methodism In Frederick County Milburn Chapel (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Roots Of Methodism In Frederick County Milburn Chapel (approx. 0.4 miles away); Action at Stephenson’s Depot (approx. 0.6 miles away); 1st Maryland Battery (CSA) Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); John Rutherford's Farm (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rutherford's Farm (approx. 1.3 miles away); Battle of Rutherford's Farm (approx. 1.3 miles away); Hackwood Park (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stephenson.
More about this marker. A map depicts the tactical actions described on the marker. A small inset on the left depicts, “A view of the battle from the pike as the Federals advance on the Confederate line.” The map contains a portrait of Lieutenant Colonel Snowden Andrews. The sidebar contains portraits of Wesley and William Culp.
Also see . . . Second Battle of Winchester. National Park Service survey of the battle and battlefield. The action at Stephenson Depot is discussed in phase nine of the battle. (Submitted on September 7, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Additional keywords. Gettysburg Campaign
Credits. This page was last revised on September 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 7, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,567 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on April 12, 2011, by Jonathan Carruthers of Bealeton, Virginia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 7, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.