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

Battle of Cross Keys

Southern Artillery

 

—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. Confederate Gen. Richard S. Ewell had five artillery batteries with him at Cross Keys. Four batteries and a 2-gun section (about 18 guns total) were massed on the ridgeline to your front. At the time of the battle on June 8, 1862, the ridge was mostly devoid of trees.

Capt. Alfred Courtney’s Henrico Battery occupied the right of the Confederate position. Nineteen-year-old Lt. Joseph W. Latimer, who commanded a section of the battery, was later mentioned for his gallantry in Ewell’s report on the battle. By 1863, Latimer was known as the “boy major of the Confederacy.” Capt. John Lusk commanded the Second Rockbridge Artillery, to Courtney’s left. To Lusk’s left was the Eighth Star Artillery under Lt. Robert Rice, and to his left Capt. Charles Raines’ Lynchburg (Lee) Battery. On the extreme Confederate left, Capt. John Brockenbrough’s Baltimore Light Artillery inflicted great damage on Federals advancing from the vicinity of Union Church.

Col. Albert Tracy of Frémont’s staff said of the Southern artillery that “the low and sullen roar of the enemy’s guns,” quickly became a “positive thunder.”

In the Battle of Cross Keys, the Southern artillery performed at its best.

(sidebar): By the end of the war, two of the five Confederate battery commanders at Cross Keys were dead,
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
as was a section commander. Two other battery commanders were badly wounded. Lusk was wounded first at Alleghany Mountain in 1861 and then a second time at Chancellorsville in 1863. Raines was killed in action in November 1864. Rice was mortally wounded in front of Washington on July 11, 1864. Brockenbrough was wounded at First Manassas and then suffered a terrible wound at Fredericksburg in December 1862 that incapacitated him from further active service. Latimer was mortally wounded at Gettysburg commanding an artillery battalion and died in Harrisonburg on August 1, 1863. He is buried in Woodbine Cemetery.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 21.007′ N, 78° 49.617′ 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. Touch for map. Marker is at the Carrington Williams Interpretive Site. Marker was in this post office area: Port Republic VA 24471, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys
Battle of Cross Keys Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 25, 2007
3. Battle of Cross Keys Marker
(was a few steps from this marker but has been reported missing. ); a different marker also named Battle of Cross Keys (was a few steps from this marker but has been reported missing. ); 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 also named Battle of Cross Keys (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mill Creek Church (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cross Keys.
 
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a portrait of Lt. Joseph W. Latimer. In the upper center is a photo of Union Church. A map of the battle detailing some of the artillery positions discussed on the marker is on the right side. A portrait of Capt. John Lusk appears in the map.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
A Portion of the Battlefield, Present Day image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 25, 2007
4. A Portion of the Battlefield, Present Day
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 8, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,111 times since then and 50 times this year. Last updated on December 14, 2009. Photos:   1. submitted on December 8, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   2. submitted on December 13, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   3. submitted on December 8, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   4. submitted on December 9, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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