"Stonewall" Jackson's Valley Campaign saw a Confederate Army outmaneuver and defeat three times their number of Union troops in a lightning-swift campaign in the following battles: First Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, First Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic.
On the morning of June 9 1862, victorious Confederate troops under the command of Major General "Stonewall" Jackson began a general advance in pursuit of the withdrawing Union forces following the battle of Port Republic. This was the sixth major battle fought between Union and Confederate troops during a three-month period in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the spring of 1862. It was also, effectively, the final battle of what became known as Jackson's Valley Campaign. The campaign, which had begun with a Confederate defeat at the First Battle of Kernstown on March 23, became a showcase for the maneuverability and mobility of Jackson's forces as, heavily outnumbered, they kept the larger Union forces pinned and down and off balance.
"Stonewall" Jackson had performed his task of keeping General McDowell's Union forces away from the Peninsula Campaign better than anyone could have expected, and following his final victory at Port Republic he was able to force march his men to join up with Lee at Richmond in time to take part in the Seven Days Battles that saved Richmond for the Confederacy.
Jackson became a legend for his actions in the Valley Campaign. His army marched over 600 miles in 48 days to win five major battles. His forces, at no time numbering more than 17,000 men, overwhelmed a combined Union force of 50,000, demonstrating in every case his ability to maneuver his troops into a tactical advantage of at least four to three.
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Clayton Donnell has had a life-long fascination with the Brialmont forts built at Liège and Namur. He spent his early years living in Belgium, and often visited the sites of the forts. Over the years he has amassed a large collection of material relating to this period, and has translated much of it from French to English. He has previously co-written Modern European Military Fortifications, 1870-1950: A Selected Annotated Bibliography (Praeger, 2004), and has created websites on the forts of Liège and Namur, and the Maginot Line.
James Donnell has been fascinated with the Civil War ever since he made a visit to the Gettysburg battlefield in elementary school. He has studied Civil War history and tactics for 25 years. In that time, he has amassed a considerable library of military history, in general, and Civil War history in particular. In 2000, he retired from the US Air Force, and is currently living in southeast Virginia, where he spends his spare time touring the innumerable Civil War sites in the area.
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