New Market Battlefield State Historical Park and Hall of Valor Museum: Captain DuPont & Sergeant Burns
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 39.998 W 078° 39.985
17S E 703026 N 4282367
Quick Description: Two Union soldiers were heroes during the Federal retreat at the Battle of New Market.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 5/20/2011 11:35:40 AM
Waymark Code: WMBGQH
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 4

Long Description:
The New Market Battlefield State Historical Park and Hall of Valor Museum on the Valley & Mountain/Route 11: Winchester to Port Republic section of the Virginia Civil War Discovery TrailClick for CWDT link to open in new window is a 280-acre park that features a Civil War museum, a walking tour through the battlefield, and a restored 19th-century farm.

One of the stops is on the battlefield or the Field of Lost Shoes as it was dubbed by a VMI cadet whose shoe was sucked off in the mud of the wheat field -- Heroism in Defeat Captain Henry A. DuPont and Sergeant James M. Burns. On May 15, 1864 , Union Gen. Sigel and his 10,000 troops clashed with a small Confederate force of 4000 and cadets from the nearby Virginia Military Institute led by Gen. Breckenridge at the New Market battlefield. While the Confederates mustered at the Bushong House, they were fired upon by Union soldiers in the orchard. The Confederates shot back and the VMI cadets filled the gaps left by fallen men. They forced the Union soldiers back into the wheat fields. The Confederates relentlessly pursued them. Union cavalry rode right into cannon that Breckenridge had set up on a ridge and suffered devastating losses. The Union continued to retreat and soldiers tried to provide cover as men dragged their artillery back through the muddy field. Capt. Alfred von Keiser’s 30th NY Artillery had to abandon two of their cannons when they lost their infantry cover.

Capt. Henry DuPont's 5th U.S. Artillery deployed six 3-inch ordnance guns and fired at the advancing Confederate line as the Union withdrew by leapfrogging their cannon which allowed the rest of Gen. Sigel's army to escape. In June, DuPont carried out orders to shell and burn VMI, but as a Delaware senator 50 years later, he sponsored legislation to compensate VMI for damages.

Sgt. James M. Burns of the 1st WV Infantry received the Medal of Honor for his actions at New Market. He helped his comrades to safety during the Union retreat and went back under enemy fire to rescue a wounded soldier. Burns received the medal over 30 years later.

Type of site: Battlefield

8895 George Collins Parkway
New Market, VA USA

Phone Number: 540-740-3101

Admission Charged: More than $5

Website: [Web Link]

Driving Directions:
From I-81 take exit 264 at New Market; turn onto Route 211 west and immediately turn right onto Route 305 (George Collins Parkway). Follow "State Historical Park" signs to the main entrance at the end of the Parkway.

Visit Instructions:
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79scouts visited New Market Battlefield State Historical Park and Hall of Valor Museum: Captain DuPont & Sergeant Burns 7/17/2011 79scouts visited it