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Fall Engagement

Shenandoah Valley --
The 1864 Campaign






Field Trip Information

The Shenandoah Valley witnessed its most significant and bloody fighting in 1864. The Confederate high com-mand used the Valley as an avenue of invasion, sending Lt. Gen. Jubal Early across the Potomac into Maryland and to the outskirts of Washington, DC. Early’s invasion forced Gen. Grant to divert forces to the Federal capi-tal. Although Early was forced to withdraw into the Valley, he remained aggressive, maintaining operations in the northern Valley and launching raids north of the Potomac.

Seeking to end the “Valley of Humiliation,” Grant assigned Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan to command of the Shen-andoah Valley, giving him three directives for the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign: defeat Early; destroy the Valley’s resources; avoid defeat. Sheridan took his Army of the Shenandoah (approximately 40,000) to battle against Early’s Army of the Valley (approximately 15,000) at Third Winchester on September 19. Early was out-flanked and forced to retreat to Fisher’s Hill. On September 22, Sheridan struck again, routing Early’s army. These defeats laid the Valley open as Early retreated. Sheridan then carried out the second of Grant’s directives and from September 25 to October 8 systematically destroyed the Valley’s rich agricultural resources. Known as “The Burning,” this devastation turned large sections of the Valley into a vast wasteland.

While Sheridan was conferring in Washington, Early was reinforced and ordered a surprise attack at Cedar Creek on October 19. His morning victory was short lived when Sheridan, riding hard from Winchester, rallied his shattered army and launched a counterattack in the afternoon, snatching “victory from the jaws of defeat.”

Sights we will see: National Park Service Visitor Contact Station at Middletown, including an electric map over-view program on Cedar Creek; Winchester battlefield, Fisher’s Hill battlefield and Cedar Creek battlefield. If time allows, the Winchester National Cemetery and Mt. Hebron Cemetery.


 Our Guide: Eric A. Campbell is a 22 year veteran of the National Park Service, and he is a friend of the Harris-burg CWRT. He worked at Gettysburg National Military Park as a ranger-historian, where he led a great1996 field trip for us. Previously he worked at Independence NHP in Philadelphia. He is author of A Grand Terrible Drama: FromGettysburg to Petersburg, the Civil War Letters of Charles Wellington Reed, a Medal of Honor win-ning bugler of the 9th Massachusetts Battery, which was the subject of his talk to our Round Table in 2001.


Price: $95.00 per person. Includes round-trip motor coach transportation from either Hummelstown Lower Dauphin High School (6:00 am departure) or Camp Hill Radisson Hotel (6:30 am departure), driver gratuity, lunch, admission fees and guide. On the return trip, we will stop for dinner, which is not included in the price.


Registration Information

To register, complete the form below and mail it to Ricky Hollis, Hershey CWRT, P.O. Box 369, Palmyra, PA 17078. Your $25 deposit will hold your seat with the balance due by October 4, 2017. Cancellations received before October 4, 2017 will receive a full refund. Cancellations after October 4 will receive a refund ONLY if the open seat(s) have been filled by another person. Make check payable to: Harrisburg CWRT Questions: Ricky Hollis at 717.805.7502 or email: or Steve Smith at email:


Fall Registration Form and Trip Information




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