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Kernstown

First Kernstown

Frederick County, VA  |  Mar 23, 1862

In the spring of 1862, Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson maneuvered his 3,800-man division in the lower Shenandoah Valley, tying up a larger Union force sent there to contain him. When some of the Union troops were sent east in early March, Jackson went on the offensive. Defending Winchester were 8,500 Federals under Brig. Gen. James Shields. They skirmished there with Confederate cavalry under Col. Turner Ashby on March 22 where Shields was wounded, and command fell upon Col. Nathan Kimball. The next day, Kimball established a defensive position at Kernstown on the outskirts of Winchester. Jackson sent Ashby forward on his right, and attacked Kimball from his left with two infantry brigades, including his namesake Stonewall Brigade. Kimball counterattacked, but Jackson's men fought hard. Late in the day, the Confederates, low on ammunition, pulled back without Jackson's orders. Jackson tried in vain to rally his outnumbered and outgunned troops. Despite the Union victory in the first battle of Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign, President Abraham Lincoln was disturbed by Jackson’s threat to Washington and returned Union reinforcements to the Valley.

All battles of the Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Civil War  |  Battle
Kernstown
Frederick County, VA  |  Mar 23, 1862
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 1,308
Union: 590
Confederate: 718
Civil War  |  Battle
McDowell
Highland County, VA  |  May 8, 1862
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 754
Union: 256
Confederate: 498
Civil War  |  Battle
Cross Keys
Rockingham County, VA  |  Jun 8, 1862
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 972
Union: 684
Confederate: 288
Civil War  |  Battle
Port Republic
Rockingham County, VA  |  Jun 9, 1862
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 1,818
Union: 1,002
Confederate: 816

Related Battles

Winchester, VA | March 23, 1862
Result: Union Victory
Estimated Casualties
1,308
Union
590
Confed.
718

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