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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Berryville 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 —

 
Battle of Cool Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2014
1. Battle of Cool Spring Marker
Inscription. 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 hear 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 led his division behind the Southern lines to strike the Union right flank and rear. An attack by all three divisions threw the Federals into confusion, and they retreated across the river to the safety
Campaign map on the right side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2014
2. Campaign map on the right side of the marker
of their artillery on the east bank. Losing 422 killed, wounded, and missing (some drowned). Confederate casualties totaled about 295. Early continued his withdrawal to Winchester, where his army regrouped for the next phase of the Valley Campaign.
 
Erected 2014 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 8.169′ N, 77° 52.193′ W. Marker is in Berryville, Virginia, in Clarke County. Marker is on Parker Lane, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. 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. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1400 Parker Lane, Bluemont VA 20135, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Battle of Cool Spring (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Retreat (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cool Spring (approx. 1.5 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Cool Spring (approx.
Generals Early, Breckinridge, and Crook image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2014
3. Generals Early, Breckinridge, and Crook
1.5 miles away); Appalachian Trail and Bears Den (approx. 1.7 miles away); Crook and Early (was approx. 1.8 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Forerunner of Wireless Telegraphy (was approx. 1.8 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Mt. Airy Fight (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berryville.
 
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. The Civil War Trust page for the battle of Cool Spring. The Trust lead efforts to secure preservation and reclamation of the battlefield, part of which had been a golf course. (Submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. The Battle of Cool Spring. Page from Shenandoah at War. (Submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Cool Spring Battlefield by Markers. (Submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Battle of Cool Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2014
4. Battle of Cool Spring Marker
The Battlefield of Cool Spring image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2014
5. The Battlefield of Cool Spring
Looking over the monastery grounds on the west side of the Shenandoah River. This photo was taken 150 years to the day after the battle.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 615 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 28, 2014, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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