Near Longwood in Clarke County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Battle of Cool Spring
Sharp Action at the Shenandoah River
— Early's 1864 Attack on Washington —
To draw Union troops from Petersburg to Washington, Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early attacked the capital’s defenses on July 11, 1864. He then withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley, where he had left Gen. John C. Breckinridge’s division to hold the Shenandoah River fords. Union Gen. George Crook, pursuing Early, decided to make a reconnaissance in force across the river near here on July 18 after his cavalry was repulsed the previous day, a Sunday.
Guided by a Confederate deserter well acquainted with the area, three brigades forded the river about a mile north of Castleman’s Ferry concealed by woodlands and virtually undetected by Early’s pickets. Federal skirmishers moved forward while the brigades formed a line of battle in the woods behind a stone fence on Cool Spring Farm (present-day Holy Cross Monastery).
Breckinridge, who was attending services at Grace Episcopal Church in Berryville when he was informed of the Federal cavalry probes, dispatched Gens. John B. Gordon’s and Gabriel C. Wharton’s divisions to positions in front of the Union line. While Confederate skirmishers engaged the Federals, Gen. Robert E. Rodes
Erected 2014 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 July 1662.
Location. 39° 8.169′ N, 77° 52.193′ W. Marker is near Longwood, Virginia, in Clarke County. Marker is on Parker Lane, on the right when traveling north. Located on the Shenandoah University, Shenandoah River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield. The marker is at the start of the walking trail of the battlefield. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1400 Parker Lane, Bluemont VA 20135, 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. Judge Parker's “Retreat” & the Battle of Cool Spring (a few steps from this marker); Col. George D. Wells Leads the Way (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Counterattack and Union RetreatThoburn’s Rescue (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Retreat (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cool Spring (approx. 1½ miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cool Spring (approx. 1½ miles away); Castleman’s Ferry Fight (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Longwood.
More about this marker. This marker is a duplicate of an older marker posted on the west side of the Shenandoah River, along Virginia Highway 7.
Also see . . .
1. The Battle of Cool Spring. American Battlefield trust website entry (Submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. The Battle of Cool Spring. Shenandoah at War website entry (Submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,016 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.