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The Battle of Front Royal: The Bridges
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 56.536 W 078° 11.658
17S E 743168 N 4314113
Quick Description: The Union army retreated across the Shenandoah River and attempted to burn the bridges behind them to slow the Confederate pursuit during the Battle of Front Royal.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 5/1/2012 4:38:29 PM
Waymark Code: WMEBBJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member LSUMonica
Views: 2

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 eighth stop on the tour is The Bridges. Col. John Kenly and his Union force retreated to the Shenandoah River when the Confederates outflanked them at Richardson's Hill. The Federals crossed the bridges at the South Fork, the North Fork, and a railroad bridge. After getting his men across to the northern shore, Kenly ordered the bridges burned to stop the Confederate pursuit. The attempt failed when the 6th Louisiana Infantry rushed forward to put out the fires. The North Fork bridge had been too damaged to use, so the 6th Virginia Cavalry swam across the river and the Confederates continued to pursue the fleeing Federals.

The abutments of the old South Fork bridge are still visible in the water.

References:

Type of site: Transportation Route or Facility

Address:
End of N. Royal Ave.
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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