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Kernstown, Virginia

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Title
Kernstown, Virginia
Source
Publisher
Scenario#
3
Scenario Description
Jackson’s Valley Campaign of 1862 was arguably his finest. His small army, which never numbered more than 17,000 troops, won five of six battles against three enemy forces totaling 33,000 troops. The largest group included 23,000 soldiers commanded by Nathaniel P. Banks. Confederate forces in the valley sometimes marched thirty-five miles a day and became known as Jackson’s “foot cavalry.” They repeatedly outmaneuvered Union forces and succeeded in tying down more than 60,000 Union troops. The first battle of the campaign took place at Kernstown.
Hearing that the larger part of Bank’s force was moving east, Jackson advanced against what he believed to be the Union rear guard. The 4,500 Confederates under his command had actually attacked elements of Shield’s division, which had almost 9,000 troops in the vicinity.
As the Confederates reached their positions on the left at about 4:30 p.m., it became apparent that the enemy was present in greater numbers than expected. Garnett fought against mounting pressure until about 6 p.m., when, with ammunition running low, he ordered the Stonewall Brigade to retreat. Although a minor defeat for Jackson, the battle achieved its strategic objective of pinning Bank’s force.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
Scenario Date
March 23, 1862
Location
Kernstown, Virginia
Battle Name
First Battle of Kernstown
Battle Narrative
The First Battle of Kernstown was fought on March 23, 1862, in Frederick County and Winchester, Virginia, the opening battle of Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's campaign through the Shenandoah Valley during the American Civil War.
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