In May, 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel to move up the Shenandoah Valley to destroy the railroad infrastructure at Staunton. At New Market on May 15, Sigel was attacked by a makeshift Confederate force of about one half his number, commanded by Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge. At a crucial point, Breckinridge ordered his entire line forward, including the Cadets from the Virginia Military Institute. Sigel’s stubborn defense collapsed. Threatened with a flanking movement, Sigel ordered a retreat and burned the North Fork bridge behind him, temporarily ending the campaign. Sigel was soon replaced by Maj. Gen. David Hunter.