Friday, March 23, 2012

Stonewall Jackson's Begins His Famous Valley Campaign

150 years ago the Battle of Kernstown,Va. occurred beginning the greatest military campaign in U.S. history.Though Kernstown was a defeat for Stonewall Jackson and his Army of the Valley -it would be their only defeat in the whole campaign- it became a strategic victory,playing on Lincoln's fears for the security of Washington.To assuage those fears,Lincoln diverted Union Reinforcements from besieged Richmond to deal with the threat in the Valley.From Kernstown Old Jack would go on to defeat Fremont at McDowell,rout Commissionaire Banks at Winchester.Later on Lincoln would try to converge 2 armies,one under the Pathfinder Fremont and the other under Gen. James Shields, in Stonewall Jackson's rear,but Jackson would upset old Abe's plan.Through hard marching and the detailed maps of Jedediah Hotchkiss of the Shenandoah Valley,Stonewall and his Foot Cavalry would beat Fremont and Shields to the spot.Defeating Fremont at Cross Keys,then Shields at Port Republic,securing the Valley until 1864.

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