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Front Royal in Warren County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Front Royal

Battle of Front Royal

 

—1862 Valley Campaign —

 
Front Royal Battle of Front Royal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, August 19, 2007
1. Front Royal Battle of Front Royal Marker
Inscription. On May 23, 1862, Front Royal was occupied by 1000 Federal troops (1st Maryland Infantry, 29th Pennsylvania and a battery of Knap’s Artillery) under the command of Col. J. R. Kenley

In the early afternoon Confederate Gen. T. J. “Stonewall” Jackson, after advancing his army north during the morning hours on the Luray Road, ordered Col. Bradley Johnson’s and Col. Roberdeau Wheat’s Louisiana Battalion forward. Kenly’s Federal infantry pickets were driven back from their positions 1½ miles from the village of Front Royal.

As the Confederate advance appeared on the wooded heights south of town, Jackson placed his artillery in a commanding position on Prospect Hill.

A charge by the confederates sent the Union soldiers through the town to join their main body on a height just north of the Winchester Pike (modern route 340/522). Kenley made a spirited resistance for a time but soon realized Jackson’s army was surrounding him. Kenley retreated quickly across the two rivers and attempted to burn the bridges. He failed. Jackson’s cavalry overtook the Federals at Cederville and the Confederate victory was complete.

The Union forces lost 904—killed, wounded and captured. The Confederates lost 36—killed and wounded. The battle is referred to as a “brother vs. brother”
Markers at the Front Royal Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
2. Markers at the Front Royal Visitor Center
fight. The 1st Maryland Infantry, C.S.A., fought and captured the 1st Maryland Infantry, USA.

This action forced the main Federal army at Strasburg to withdraw along the Valley Pike. Jackson struck the moving force in the flank May 24, then pursued it to Winchester, fighting there May 25.

(Caption for portrait at the bottom of the marker) Col. John R. Kenley, 1st Maryland (U. S.) Infantry. Kenley was severly wounded during the Battle of Front Royal and his regiment overwhelmed. The Confederates climaxed their victory by seizing Kenly's flag.

(Caption for portrait at upper right of marker) Col. Bradley T. Johnson, 1st Maryland (C. S.) Infantry. Johnson had to deal with insubordination in his regiment on May 23, 1862. Scores of men refused to obey orders on the grounds that their terms of service had expired. With a speech that one of the men stated was “the most effective eloquence to which it has been my pleasure to listen,” Johnson reinvigorated his ranks for the Front Royal Fight.

(Sidebar on lower left of marker) Riverside, the home of Maj. James R. Richards, stands in the forks of the Shenandoahs and was in the path of the Battle of Front Royal. Stonewall Jackson slept here on the night of the Battle. “May 24. Last night the soldiers were coming in town til 12
Riverside image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2014
3. Riverside
Riverside, the home of Maj. James R. Richards, stands in the forks of the Shenandoahs and was in the path of the Battle of Front Royal. Stonewall Jackson slept here on the night of the Battle. “May 24. Last night the soldiers were coming in town til 12 o’clock and such shouting and cheering I have never heard before. I did not close my eyes with sleep the whole night. Our men have been bringing in prisoners all day...” —Buck Blakemore, Warren Heritage Society Archives.
Close-up of sidebar on marker
o’clock and such shouting and cheering I have never heard before. I did not close my eyes with sleep the whole night. Our men have been bringing in prisoners all day...” —Buck Blakemore, Warren Heritage Society Archives
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 55.04′ N, 78° 11.331′ W. Marker is in Front Royal, Virginia, in Warren County. Marker is on East Main Street near Blue Ridge Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Front Royal VA 22630, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Front Royal (here, next to this marker); Bel Air (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Capture of Front Royal (approx. 0.2 miles away); Warren County World War I & II Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Warren County Korea & Vietnam Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Warren County Courthouse (approx. ¼ mile away); Warren County 9/11 Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Front Royal.
 
Regarding Front Royal. This marker is one of several from a driving tour of the
Colonel John R. Kenley,<br>1st Maryland (U. S.) Infantry image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2014
4. Colonel John R. Kenley,
1st Maryland (U. S.) Infantry
Kenley was severely wounded during the Battle of Front Royal and his regiment overwhelmed. The Confederates climaxed their victory by seizing Kenly's flag.
Close-up of image on marker
Front Royal Battlefield. The markers are listed in sequence on the Battle of Front Royal Virtual Tour by Markers link below.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Front Royal Virtual Tour by Markers. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Front Royal Tour. This marker is at the start of the Front Royal Battlefield Driving Tour. (Submitted on November 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Colonel Bradley T. Johnson,<br>1st Maryland (C. S.) Infantry. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2014
5. Colonel Bradley T. Johnson,
1st Maryland (C. S.) Infantry.
Johnson had to deal with insubordination in his regiment on May 23, 1862. Scores of men refused to obey orders on the grounds that their terms of service had expired. With a speech that one of the men stated was “the most effective eloquence to which it has been my pleasure to listen,” Johnson reinvigorated his ranks for the Front Royal Fight.
The Battle of Front Royal image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2014
6. The Battle of Front Royal
Close-up of map on marker
Front Royal Visitors Center image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2014
7. Front Royal Visitors Center
141 East Main Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,824 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 11, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   2. submitted on June 8, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 22, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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