Near West Augusta in Augusta County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
—1862 Valley Campaign —
A Northern cavalryman wrote, “Our company was the only company in the fight. They were the furthest company out – five miles beyond Shenandoah Mountain. They were cut off by Johnson’s force, and the only way they had to get back was to fight their way, which they did nobly. We lost but one man [but] had six horses killed in the road, and ten more shot that will never get well.”
This land was part of a farm abandoned by Henry Ryan, a prosperous settler who had moved from the area because he was a pacifist. On May 8, 1862, a Staunton diarist wrote, “General Johnson surprised the Federal scouts, some 200 cavalry, on yesterday at Ryan’s in the Pastures… Cannonading was heard today from early morning till four o’clock p.m. in the direction of Shenandoah Mountain.”
Georgia troops had camped in Ryan’s fields while stationed atop Shenandoah Mountain. After they abandoned Camp Shenandoah on April 19, Federals advanced to this point, with cavalry stationed to the east as pickets.
“The enemy… had retreated up the Shenandoah
Erected by Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 18.377′ N, 79° 21.741′ W. Marker is near West Augusta, Virginia, in Augusta County. Marker is at the intersection of Shenandoah Mountain Drive (U.S. 250) and Ramsey's Draft North, on the right when traveling west on Shenandoah Mountain Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in a picnic park. Vehicle parking is inside the park. Marker is in this post office area: West Augusta VA 24485, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. “… to go wee did not know where” (approx. 1.1 miles away); “We had a hardscrabble up…” (approx. 1.2 miles away); “Wee are now looking out for a fight…” “Wee are faring badly…” (approx. 1.2 miles away); Fort Edward Johnson (approx. 1.2 miles away); Healing the Wounds (approx. 1.2 miles away); “It was cold business” (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Edward Johnson (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Augusta.
More about this marker. In the lower left is a photo of this section of road. A toll house and inn was probably located in this vicinity by the time the Staunton-to-Parkersburg Pike was built in the 1830s. The Mountain House hosted travelers in the late nineteenth century. The picture above taken around 1900.
On the right is a set of maps indicating the location of the marker and other Civil War related sites. After leaving camp at West View, Confederates advancing from the east overran the most advanced Federal camp here on May 7, the day before the main battle at McDowell.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 4, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,423 times since then and 47 times this year. Last updated on January 30, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photos: 1. submitted on March 4, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. 2. submitted on May 5, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. 3. submitted on March 4, 2009, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. 4. submitted on May 5, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.