The Battle of Front Royal: Guard Hill
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 56.995 W 078° 11.910
17S E 742778 N 4314951
Quick Description: After being chased across the Shenandoah River by the Confederate army during the Battle of Front Royal, the Federals attempted to cover their retreat and slow down the pursuit from a position overlooking the river at Guard Hill.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 5/2/2012 5:43:31 PM
Waymark Code: WMEBHM
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 5

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 ninth stop on the tour is Guard Hill, which overlooks the Shenandoah River. The Confederate army had chased Union Col. John Kenly and his men through town across the river. The Federals set up artillery on Guard Hill to cover their retreat and Kenly ordered the bridges burned behind them to prevent the pursuing Confederate army from crossing. It didn't work. Their pursuers put out the fires and the 6th Virginia Cavalry swam across. The Union infantry and artillery abandoned the position and continued north to Winchester.

The old North Fork bridge embankment on the southern shore can still be seen in the Shenandoah River.


Type of site: Transportation Route or Facility

Riverton Boat Landing
Riverton Rd.
Front Royal, VA USA

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

Visit Instructions:
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