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The Battle of Front Royal: Asbury Chapel
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 52.847 W 078° 14.799
17S E 738836 N 4307150
Quick Description: The Battle of Front Royal started at this chapel where Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson stopped to assess his plan of attack and ordered the 1st MD to the front.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 4/28/2012 5:11:44 PM
Waymark Code: WMEAQ3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member LSUMonica
Views: 0

Long Description:
In 1862, Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson was sent to take command of the forces in Shenandoah Valley since it was an important source of supplies and a possible route for invading the north, including Washington, D.C. In February 1862, Gen. George McClellan took control of the Union army and planned an assault on Richmond, Virginia from the coast (Peninsula Campaign). Jackson was ordered the hold down the Federal troops in the Valley to prevent them from reinforcing McClellan. Even with a small army of poorly-trained troops and defeat at Kernstown in March, Jackson succeeded with brilliant strategies and maneuvers to maintain control of the Valley and prevent McClellan from receiving any help. Indeed, it would be Jackson who would reinforce Gen. Robert E. Lee in successfully defending Richmond against McClellan.

On May 23, Jackson defeated the 1st Maryland Regiment USA under Union Col. John Kenly sent to Front Royal to guard the bridge and railroad over the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River and protect Gen. Nathaniel Banks' position in nearby Strasburg. With Jackson was the 1st Maryland CSA which dubbed the Battle of Front Royal as the Battle of Brother Against Brother.

The Battle of Front Royal Driving Tour is a site on the Civil War Discovery Trail that starts at the Front Royal Visitors Center and follows the battle through modern-day Front Royal.

The first stop on the tour is Asbury Chapel, where early on the morning of May 23, Jackson stopped to scout out a route that would keep his position a secret and hide his 16,000 troops from prying Union eyes. A soldier in his army was a native from the area and recommended a road south of the chapel which still exists today called Rocky Lane. Jackson ordered the 1st MD to lead the march and the army was delayed for hours at Asbury Chapel as the 1st MD came up from the rear. The driving tour follows the route of Jackson and his army down Rocky Lane.

Asbury Chapel, which still exists, is now called the Asbury United Methodist Church. It was built in 1848 and saw sporadic services during the Civil War when it was used as a hospital. It was dismantled in 1916 and rebuilt using the original design and as many of the original materials as possible.

References:

Type of site: Church

Address:
7973 Stonewall Jackson Highway
Front Royal, VA USA
22630


Phone Number: 540-635-5788 (Front Royal Visitors Center)

Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Driving Directions:
Front Royal Visitors Center (Start of the driving tour): 414 East Main St. Front Royal VA 22630 From I-66 exit 13, follow Route 55 west to the visitors center. From I-66 exit 6, take Route 340 south and follow the signs to the visitors center


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