Cedar Creek | Oct 19, 1864 | 5:30 - 6:30 am
Shrouded by an early morning fog, the Confederates of Maj. Gen. Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley crossed the Shenandoah River’s North Fork and launched an overwhelming surprise attack on the unsuspecting Federals camped near Cedar Creek. The Union VIII and XIX Corps were ill-prepared for defense and were easily routed by the smaller Confederate force. A few acts of valor did little to slow Early’s assaulting column and had dreadful consequences for the Federal defenders; the 8th Vermont Infantry in Col. Stephen Thomas’s brigade suffered 70 percent casualties during its stand (a monument just east of the Valley Pike marks that spot). The XIX Corps breastworks near the creek are still visible.