"Shenandoah Valley, Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park, 2016." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Cedar Creek & Belle Grove

National Historical Park - Virginia

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park protects several historically significant locations in the Shenandoah Valley of Northern Virginia, notably the site of the American Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek and the Belle Grove Plantation. Much of the battlefield is not accessible to the public, but the park offers ranger-led and self-guided driving tours of the battlefield via public roads. Nearly all of the remaining land (approximately 1,500 acres) and buildings are preserved and administered by partner sites which predate the park. Since summer 2010, the park has offered interpretive ranger programs at key partner sites, including Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation headquarters, Belle Grove Plantation, and Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park.

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Official Visitor Map of Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park (NHP) in Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Cedar Creek & Belle Grove - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park (NHP) in Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official Visitor Map of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (NHP) in Washington D.C., Maryland and West Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Chesapeake & Ohio Canal - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (NHP) in Washington D.C., Maryland and West Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Bicycle Map of Virginia. Published by the Virginia Department of Transportation.Virginia State - Virginia State Bicycle Map

Bicycle Map of Virginia. Published by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

https://www.nps.gov/cebe/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedar_Creek_and_Belle_Grove_National_Historical_Park Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park protects several historically significant locations in the Shenandoah Valley of Northern Virginia, notably the site of the American Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek and the Belle Grove Plantation. Much of the battlefield is not accessible to the public, but the park offers ranger-led and self-guided driving tours of the battlefield via public roads. Nearly all of the remaining land (approximately 1,500 acres) and buildings are preserved and administered by partner sites which predate the park. Since summer 2010, the park has offered interpretive ranger programs at key partner sites, including Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation headquarters, Belle Grove Plantation, and Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park. Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley has a long and rich heritage that still inspires today. Native Americans first shaped the land, followed by colonists and settlers. The fertile valley became an important wheat-growing region in the 1800s. It also witnessed dramatic Civil War campaigns, including the Battle of Cedar Creek, a decisive Federal victory that helped bring the war to an end. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park is along U.S. Route 11 in Middletown, Virginia. Take exit 302 off Interstate 81 to Middletown. The Visitor Center is at 7712 Main Street in Middletown Courts Plaza. Belle Grove Welcome Center Visitors to Belle Grove Plantation enter at the Beverly B. Shoemaker Welcome Center. Welcome Center hours include the museum shop and grounds of Belle Grove Plantation. Tickets to tour the Manor House are for sale in the museum shop. Belle Grove Plantation is one mile south of Middletown, Virginia, just off US Route 11 (US-11). From Interstate 66, take Interstate 81 north to exit 302 (Route 627). Go west on Route 627 to US-11 in Middletown. Turn left to travel south on US-11. After passing through Middletown, follow US-11 one mile south to Belle Grove Road and turn right. CCBF Museum & Visitor Center Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (CCBF) Museum and Visitor Center overlooks picturesque views of Belle Grove Plantation, Cedar Creek Battlefield, and Allegheny Mountain sunsets. Plan your battlefield visit at the welcome desk. A shop offers book selections, souvenirs, locally made artisan crafts, and reproduction 19th century items. Exhibits feature artifacts from the Civil War and mid 1800s Shenandoah Valley. The building also hosts CCBF's digital media center, research library, and conference area. CCBF Museum & Visitor Center is one mile south of Middletown on US Route 11 (US-11). From Interstate 81 (I-81) take exit 302, travel west on Route 627 to US-11 in Middletown, then travel south. From Interstate 66 take exit 1A to I-81 South, then take exit 298 for US-11 toward Strasburg, then turn right to follow US-11 north. NPS Visitor Center Start your visit at the National Park Service's Visitor Center in Middletown, Virginia. Pick up maps and a Junior Ranger activity book. Plan your visit with a park ranger or volunteer. See exhibits to learn about the settlement and agricultural history of the Shenandoah Valley as well as its role as an important theater of war during the Civil War. Take exit 302 off Interstate 81 to Middletown. Turn to US Route 11 and head south. The Visitor Center is at 7712 Main Street in Middletown Courts Plaza, a strip mall on US Route 11. Strasburg Visitor & Information Center The Strasburg Visitor and Information Center's amenities include public restrooms, walking trails, picnic table,s a gift shop, and the Strasburg Museum at Hupp's Hill. The Town of Strasburg partners with the Strasburg Museum to curate the center's museum exhibits. Sunrise over Belle Grove Sunrise over Belle Grove Sunrise over Belle Grove The Heater House Image of the Heater House The Heater House Kids Program Ranger giving kids Program Ranger Jeff presenting a kids program. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove in a Box Visitors watching a ranger program at Belle Grove Ranger Shannon presents Cedar Creek and Belle Grove in a Box. Signal Knob Program Ranger presenting program on top of the Massanutten Moutain. Ranger presenting program at Signal Knob. Battle of Cedar Creek The Federal victory at Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864 ended Confederate resistance in the Shenandoah Valley. Coming just three weeks before the presidential election, news of the victory boosted morale in the Northern states and helped carry Abraham Lincoln to a landslide reelection. A painting richly colored with red and yellow depicts soldiers rallying to the U.S. flag. The Burning The Shenandoah Valley became a prime target in 1864 as the American Civil War took a turn from a limited war to a total war. "The Burning," as it came to be called, was part of a Federal strategy to hasten the end the of the war. A pencil sketch shows cavalrymen on the move with a burning town in the background. History in Bits and Pieces: The Battle of Cedar Creek Archeologists documented evidence of the Union encampment, interpreted parts of the battle flow, and reconstructed the cultural setting of the Cedar Creek Battlefield. Skirmish at Hupp's Hill After The Burning, many Federal soldiers felt confident the Confederates posed no further threat in the Valley. Meanwhile, Early had received reinforcements and pondered how he could successfully attack a much larger Federal force. Battle of Manassas Gap (Wapping Heights) After Gettysburg, Lee’s battered but resilient army retreated back into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley with Meade's army in pursuit. Near Front Royal, Meade saw a chance to cut off Lee’s retreat. Battle of New Market Confederates scored a late victory at New Market on May 15, 1864, one of their last in the Shenandoah Valley. Among the Confederate troops was a battalion of 257 cadets and two artillery guns from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). An engraving depicts cadets defending a cannon during a Civil War battle. Medal of Honor at Cedar Creek Twenty-one soldiers received the Medal of Honor for their actions at the battle of Cedar Creek. The United States created this medal in July 1862 for those who “distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities,” and has since served as one of the nation’s top military honors. A photo from a museum collection shows an army medal displayed in its cardboard case. Worth Fighting For From the arrival of the first American Indians and European settlers, through the coming of the Civil War, the rich natural resources of the Shenandoah Valley shaped both its history and its fate. A painting depicts an 1800s plantation with workers reaping and stacking wheat with hand tools. Born from Stress & Strain Natural forces have shaped the Shenandoah Valley landscape creating a distinct mix of geological strata, soil types, drainage patterns, and terrain. A plastic geology model shows parallel layers of rock atop buckled, angular layers. A Bountiful Land A combination of fertile soil, abundant water sources and a perfect climate made farming especially profitable to early settlers of the Valley. A painting depicts lush greenery of a river valley set among rugged mountains. Series: From Backcountry to Breadbasket to Battlefield and Beyond "From Backcountry to Breadbasket to Battlefield and Beyond" introduces the varied historical themes that make up Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, and offers a look at the exhibit of the same name on display at the park's visitor center. Sunbeams break through clouds to shine on a lush green mountain valley. Enslavement in the Shenandoah Valley The Shenandoah Valley had small family farms that owned none, one or a few enslaved people. The Valley also had larger plantations with many enslaved people. White residents of the Valley were all economically connected to slavery. Therefore, their culture, like that of the rest of the United States, was part of a system of race-based slavery and they used racism, violence, and fear to maintain it. A color illustration depicts an 1800s woman in simple work clothes tying a sheaf of wheat. Breadbasket of the South The Valley was once the most valuable wheat producing area of the entire South, due to rich soils, a farming culture, and a good road system. A drawing illustrates an 1800s farmhouse and barn among wheatfields and haystacks. The Coming of War The Shenandoah Valley’s geological formation created a natural corridor, which during the Civil War attracted armies on both sides as an avenue of invasion and counter-invasion. A hand-drawn Civil War military map depicts northern Virginia. Vital Route Agricultural products had no value unless the farmers could get their produce to market—Alexandria, Baltimore, Philadelphia, or beyond. The Valley Pike promoted prosperity and became the lifeblood of the Valley. An 1800s photograph shows a roughly paved road lined with stone walls passing through farmland. The Aftermath In the postwar years, many former Confederates began to accept the war’s results and look forward, with the rest of the nation, to a period of national reconciliation. The nation remembered those who had fallen by building monuments and participating in Civil War. An 1883 photo captures men standing at the columned front of an antebellum style mansion. Devastation of the Valley The Union’s new “total war” policy in 1864 led to “The Burning” of the Valley, which left the land scorched and brought tremendous suffering for its residents. An 1800s art work depicts horse-mounted soldiers at a burning farmstead. Voices from a War Torn Valley "Voices from a War Torn Valley" is a flip book of illustrations, quotations, and stories from the exhibit "From Backcountry to Breadbasket, to Battlefield, and Beyond." A crosshatched 1864 ink sketch depicts cavalrymen on a farm with burning buildings. Visiting the Park The National Park Service along with Belle Grove, Inc., Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Shenandoah County, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation manage this park for you and generations to come. A wood rail fence marks the boundary of a lush green pasture under grey skies. Jedediah Hotchkiss' Maps of the Shenandoah Valley Jedediah Hotchkiss's accurate maps played a role in numerous Confederate victories in the Shenandoah Valley and elsewhere. Exhibits showing selected maps are on display at the Visitor Center. A yellowed, hand-drawn map from the 1800s shows finely-detailed geography and battle movements. A Rich Prize Belle Grove was Union headquarters, and thus was surrounded by hundreds of supply wagons, ambulances, and tents. As the Confederate advance neared the plantation manor house there was a scramble to evacuate them to safety. An 1864 sketch depicts columns of soliders retreating from a burning camp near a plantation house. Silent March After fording Cedar Creek, approximately 3,000 Confederates marched with a rising fog obscuring their movements. An 1885 photo shows a improved dirt road flanked by wood fences and farms. Long Meadow Crossing Two Confederate divisions crossed the North Fork of the Shenandoah and marched along the road, passing Long Meadow. Soldiers cross a river under cover of dark in a watercolored 1864 sketch. Eve of Battle On the night of October 18, 1864, tents sheltering part of General Philip Sheridan’s 32,000 strong Union Army of the Shenandoah blanketed the fields of Belle Grove. In an 1860s sketch, officers and civilians watch soliders parade in a mountain valley. Bearing the Brunt The 128th New York Regiment bore the brunt of the Confederate attack against their position. In the fog and smoke they could see little-- only the flash of rifles and sounds of battle told them where the enemy was. Well-dressed men and women pose in front of a stone war memorial in a 1907 photo. Surprise Attack After a silent all-night march along the base of the Massanutten, the Confederates forded the creek and river and, aided by a dense fog, stormed this hill, catching many of the Union soldiers unaware, some still sleeping in their tents. An 1860s sketch shows officers and a signalman spying enemies from a mountain top. Stand of the Eighth Vermont In a desperate attempt to stem the onward rush of Confederates, Col. Stephen Thomas was ordered to sacrifice his 1,000 soldiers from Vermont, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The fight that followed was a “vortex of hell,” one veteran later claimed. An ink line drawing depicts intense fighting around a US Army flag bearer in the Civil War. Defense in the Cemetery The Middletown Cemetery, on a knoll west of the village, was the only point where Union officers believed they could establish a strong position and attempt to slow the Confederate advance. A full color painting illustrates a Civil War battle with artillery, cavalrymen, and foot soldiers. Total War in the Valley Known as “The Burning,” the Union army seized livestock, grains, and cured meats. They burned barns and destroyed flour mills, including one owned by Daniel Stickley on the banks of Cedar Creek. A column of mounted soldiers file past a ruined building on a rural road in an 1864 sketch. The Fatal Halt General John Gordon and his commanding officer, General Jubal Early, met to assess the situation. Gordon urged continuing the pursuit. Early believed that the battle had been won. An 1864 sketch depicts two Civil War officers on horseback having an animated talk amid battle. Union Counterattack Sheridan’s reformed battle lines stretched for almost two miles from east to west. Their counterattack took them back over the fields that they had earlier fled. An 1864 sketch depicts an armed battle on farm fields at a distance. Series: A Victory Turned From Disaster On October 19th General Jubal Early’s Confederates launched a predawn attack here at Cedar Creek and drove Union troops out of their lines and through Middletown in disarray. Union General Philip Sheridan, however, rallied his troops and turned the Confederate victory into a total defeat. A painting depict Civil War combat as soldiers rally around a US flag. Sheridan Arrives General Philip Sheridan arrived on the battlefield following his famous and dramatic ride from his headquarters in Winchester. A Civil War general on horseback rallies soldiers to the US flag by waving his hat. Signal Knob During the Civil War On October 17, Jubal Early sent John Gordon, Jed Hotchkiss, and others to Signal Knob in order to survey the Union positions along Cedar Creek. A detailed hand drawn 1800s map depicts the terrain of a battlefield. Plantation Slavery Major Isaac Hite, Jr. and his family recorded 276 enslaved people that they owned between 1783 and 1851. A color illustration shows enslaved workers in a garden of an antebellum style plantation manor. The Toll of War Dozens of private homes and other structures, including St. Thomas Church were pressed into service as temporary hospitals. Conditions were deplorable. An 1864 sketch depicts men and women attending to wounded soldiers inside a church. A Loss Remembered Among those attending the 1920 monument dedication was Ramseur’s only child, a daughter who was only a few days old when her father died. A 1920 photo captures well dressed men and women gathered in front of a stone column war memorial. Divided Loyalties Solomon Heater was from Loudoun County, Virginia, and supported his native state. Caroline was born and raised in Pennsylvania and supported the Union. A color illustration shows a white farmhouse and a grey barn set among a rocky valley pasture. Age of Grain The period 1730 to 1900 was Virginia’s “Age of Grain.” Economics, transportation, and industry made the Shenandoah Valley the most productive wheat producing area in the South. Belle Grove sat the height of an agricultural economy based on grain and slavery. Historic plantation buildings line road behind a field of maize crops. Mosby's Rangers in the Shenandoah Valley Known as the “Gray Ghost,” Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby, along with his partisan rangers, terrorized Federal units in northern Virginia from late 1862 until the end of the Civil War in 1865. By the summer of 1864, Mosby and his men were disrupting the advance of the United States Army of the Shenandoah into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Twelve cavalrymen sit for a studio portrait photo. Beginning of the End The Federal victory at Cedar Creek ended Confederate resistance in the Shenandoah Valley. Coming just three weeks before the presidential election, news of the victory boosted morale in the Northern states and helped carry Abraham Lincoln to a landslide reelection. A painting richly colored with red and yellow depicts soldiers rallying to the U.S. flag. Shenandoah River The entire Shenandoah River drainage system covers hundreds of square miles and includes many feeder streams, like Cedar Creek, that send water to the Shenandoah. A river's still water reflects blue sky and autumn trees. Geology of the Shenandoah Valley Underground and surface forces, acting over many millions of years, created the Shenandoah Valley and its surrounding hills and ridges. These long, slow processes continue today as the Valley region gradually weathers, erodes, levels, and deposits soil. The remains of a low stone wall are partly hidden by weeds. Third Battle of Winchester Confederates suffered a costly defeat at the Third Battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864. The largest battle in the Shenandoah Valley saw 54,400 total troops engaged and 8,630 casualties, including over a quarter of the Confederate Army of the Valley. The Confederates' retreat from Winchester to Fisher's Hill was the beginning of the end of their resistance in the Valley. A red-tinted color 1880s print depicts a heroic cavalry charge. Jackson's 1862 Campaign in the Shenandoah Valley In spring of 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson unleashed a vigorous offensive that diverted thousands of Federal troops from their massive advance against the Confederate capital at Richmond. A pencil sketch records mounted troops crossing a river on a pontoon bridge. War Comes to the Valley The Shenandoah Valley became a major theater of the Civil War from 1861 to 1865, witnessing hundreds of skirmishes and engagements, including twenty battles. A greyscale 1864 painted sketch depicts cavalrymen on a farm with burning buildings. Series: If This Valley is Lost, Virginia is Lost In spring of 1862, Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson unleashed a vigorous offensive that diverted thousands of Federal troops from their massive advance against the Confederate capital at Richmond. A pencil sketch records mounted troops crossing a river on a pontoon bridge. Gettysburg Campaign The Shenandoah Valley was a natural "avenue of advance" for Gen. Robert E. Lee's 1863 invasion of the Northern states, and the Battle of Gettysburg. An 1863 photo in stark black and white depicts a dead US soldier in a trench fortified by rocks. First Battle of Kernstown The US Army won the First Battle of Kernstown, just south of Winchester, on March 23, 1862, but Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s aggressiveness caused great alarm in Washington. Believing Jackson had a larger number of men, Lincoln sent thousands of Federal soldiers back to the Valley. Though this battle was a tactical loss for Jackson, he scored a strategic win by keeping the Federals from Richmond. A yellowed 1800s map show terrain details with battle movements in red. Early's Raid and Operations Against B&O Railroad After Hunter's loss and retreat from Lynchburg, Early’s instructions from Lee were to invade Maryland, destroy the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, and threaten or even take Washington, D.C. A column of soldiers march through through the gate of an earthwork fort with cannons. Lynchburg Campaign In 1863, Ulysses S. Grant, the new general-in-chief of the US Army, ordered his commanders to destroy the Confederacy's armies, transportation networks, and its economic and agricultural base in the Shenandoah Valley and West Virginia. A yellowed hand drawn map from 1864 shows a battlefield in great detail. Sheridan's Valley Campaign Gen. Philip Sheridan delivered a series of stinging defeats to the Confederates and wresting their control of the vital region. Sheridan’s army left much of the Shenandoah Valley in ashes, making it unable to sustain Confederate armies. A general and five of his commanders pose outside a tent in an 1864 photo. Series: Drive the Enemy South After Jubal Early's raid into Maryland in 1864, President Lincoln appointed young Philip Sheridan to command the US Army in the Shenandoah Valley. Sheridan understood that Lincoln's reelection in November depended on winning battles. An 1864 pencil and watercolor drawing depicts an army wagon train among misty mountains. Series: The War Consumed Everything The U.S. Army's dramatic burning of the countryside in the autumn of 1864, brought Valley residents the harshest realities of war. A greyscale 1864 painted sketch depicts cavalrymen on a farm with burning buildings. Peopling the Shenandoah Valley The Shenandoah Valley supported human settlement for thousands of years that continues today. Virginia's colonial land policies meant both opportunity for colonists but danger for those human buffers against colonial conflicts. Not all settlement was voluntary; enslaved inhabitants shaped the Valley's history too. A mid 1800s lithograph print shows a painting of a valley town. Shenandoah Valley Corridor Fertile soil and a transportation corridor brought wealth and prosperity to the Shenandoah Valley. They also made the Valley an avenue of invasion and counter-invasion, and a target for destruction. The Civil War wrought permanent change in the Valley's social and economic order. A colorful mountain view shows a valley of farms, towns, and industry. African Americans in the Shenandoah Valley African Americans lived, worked, built, and died in the Valley. Stories centered in what is today Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park spread across the Valley encompassing the lives of many. A weathered 1800s photo shows a portrait of a man in a jacket and bow-tie. Second Battle of Winchester Following their decisive victory at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee’s Confederate soldiers planned to invade the North and threaten both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. To protect their crossing of the Potomac, they also had to wipe out the 8,000 or so Federals occupying the crossroads town of Winchester, Virginia. The contours of a hillside planted with trees shows the remains of an earthwork fort. Burning of Chambersburg Confederate Gen. John McCausland's cavalry crossed the Potomac River and rode into Pennsylvania, demanding $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in cash from the citizens of Chambersburg. They refused, and on July 30, 1864, McCausland burned the entire town. The raid was payback for US Gen. David Hunter's burning of Lynchburg, Va. An 1864 stereograph shows men on horseback looking at burned out buildings. Civil War Forts of Winchester The Confederacy built ten forts and smaller fortified positions to block any United States Army attempts to seize the town of Winchester, Virginia, and the region’s transportation network. Trees grow from a partly mowed grass earthwork. Occupied Winchester, 1862-1863 US General Robert Milroy, devout Presbyterian, staunch Republican, and an ardent abolitionist, quickly became a polarizing figure in occupied Winchester, Virginia. A bearded white haired general poses in uniform for an 1863 portrait photo Battle of Fisher's Hill Often referred to as the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy,” Fisher’s Hill offered at least some security and even limited comfort to Confederate soldiers after defeat at Third Winchester. Belts of trees divide a mowed grass hillside under a summer sky. Battle of Cool Spring The Confederates’ tactical victory at Cool Spring on July 18, 1864 meant little as US troops easily crossed the Shenandoah River in pursuit. But frustration with the war in the Valley soon caused Gen. Grant to rebuild the Army of the Shenandoah and put a new, aggressive officer in command, Gen. Philip Sheridan. A muddy green river flows gently past its forested banks. Native Americans in the Shenandoah Valley Early Native Americans used the fertile Valley of the Shenandoah for hunting, agriculture, and warfare. Frequent travel, trade, and migration throughout the Valley developed the trail network known as The Great Warrior Path. Battle of Berryville Sheridan marched his Army of the Shenandoah south, reaching Berryville on September 3, 1864. Confederates found them pitching camp and attacked with limited results. During the night, Early brought up his entire army but by daylight found the Federal position too strongly entrenched to attack. Early withdrew after dark on September 4 to Winchester. A blue ridge of mountains looms on the horizon of a green farm field of low crops. Second Battle of Kernstown The Second Battle of Kernstown on July 24, 1864 was the last significant Confederate victory in the Shenandoah Valley. After this latest in a series of Federal setbacks in the summer of 1864, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant put the aggressive Gen. Philip Sheridan in command of the new Army of the Shenandoah. A broad mowed hillside lawn preserves a battlefield. Freedom Seekers at Belle Grove Belle Grove Plantation relied on the labor of over 100 enslaved people during its peak as one of the largest farms in Frederick County, Virginia. They worked in the main house, extensive grain fields, and as skilled craftsmen. On several occasions, African Americans enslaved at Belle Grove took steps to attain their own freedom. Whether through escape, purchase by loved ones, or manumission, their stories are important to understanding the history of the plantation. An outdoor exhibit panel near an antebellum manor interprets plantation slavery. Sheridan Takes Command of the Army of the Shenandoah A Confederate raid into Maryland in July 1864 exposed the US Army's weaknesses. Lincoln appointed Sheridan, 33 years old, to take command of the armies around Washington, DC and in the Shenandoah Valley. An 1864 portrait photo shows a mustached man seated, hand-in-waistcoat, in an army uniform. Battle of Tom's Brook Confederate horsemen were already reeling from their defeats at Third Winchester and Fisher’s Hill. The Battle of Tom's Brook on October 9, 1864 showed again how Federal cavalry had gained superiority. Called the “Woodstock Races” because Federal cavalry chased their opponents as far south as Woodstock, the loss at Tom's Brook did irreparable damage to the morale of Gen. Jubal Early's cavalry.  A pencil sketch on green paper shows a cavalry officer bowing his horse in respect. Series: Great Alarm at the Capital In 1864, with US Gen. Ulysses Grant's army bogged down in front of Petersburg, Virginia, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee sought to take advantage. He ordered Gen. Jubal Early, in command of 14,000 soldiers, to launch a bold raid on the north. A column of soldiers marches forth from an earthwork fort with cannons. Battle of Rutherford's Farm Aware that a strong Federal force was advancing towards Winchester from the north and east, Confederate Gen. Jubal Early abandoned Winchester and retreated south. To give him time to evacuate hospitals and stores, Early ordered Gen. Stephen D. Ramseur’s division to occupy the northern defenses of the city. The Federal victory at Rutherford's Farm on July 20, 1864 proved temporary. Four days later, Early struck back with his entire army, at the Second Battle of Kernstown. A hand drawn sketch maps the landmarks and topography of a Civil War battle. Cavalry in the 1864 Fall Shenandoah Valley Campaign In the first three years of the Civil War, Confederate cavalrymen established their reputation as flamboyant cavaliers who whipped the Federals battle after battle. Once the war returned to the Shenandoah Valley in the spring and summer of 1864, however, the tide began to turn. By the fall, the odds were stacked against the Confederate horsemen. A pencil sketch depicts cavalrymen chasing their enemy through a burning town. Thanks of the Nation Lincoln recognized the importance of Sheridan's victories and penned his congratulations three days after Cedar Creek, "I tender to you and your brave army the thanks of the nation and my own personal admiration and gratitude for the month's operations in the Shenandoah Valley and especially for the splendid work of October 19, 1864." A brief, handwritten letter on lined paper expresses Lincoln's thanks to Sheridan. Du Pont at Cedar Creek "I was only a few months over twenty-six at the time—an age which from my present viewpoint seems very youthful, but which I was far from considering as such in 1864. It was a great satisfaction to know that all the measures I had taken met with General Crook's entire approbation..." A young 1860s army officer stands next to a pillar for a full portrait photograph. Battle of Piedmont After their defeat at New Market, Federal troops in the Shenandoah Valley got a new commander and renewed their offensive. Intense fighting at Piedmont on June 5, 1864, peaked with a flanking movement and ended with a Confederate retreat turned to a rout. Federals occupied the key Valley town of Staunton on June 6 and got ready to march on Lynchburg. Raids on Staunton, Lexington, & Virginia Military Institute After their victory at Piedmont on June 6, 1864, Federal troops occupied and raided Staunton, Virginia, before moving on to Lexington, where they burned the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). The raids were part of a campaign to destroy the Confederacy's economic base. An 1800s photo shows a burned out fortress-like school building atop a hill. Emancipation Celebrations in the Shenandoah Valley Emancipation celebrations in the Shenandoah Valley, the earliest recorded instance of which occurred in Winchester in early January 1868, offered an opportunity to not only commemorate slavery’s destruction, but directly challenge the Lost Cause. A watercolor painting depicts African Americans gathering at a monument. Parallel Lives and Deaths of Ramseur & Lowell There are monuments to two Civil War army officers in Middletown, Virginia: Stephen Dodson Ramseur and Charles Russell Lowell. Both men died at the Battle of Cedar Creek in 1864. Foes on the battlefield, the two men lived and died in close parallel. A stone marker on a shady town street commemorates a fallen soldier. Battle of McDowell Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson won his first victory of the 1862 Valley Campaign at McDowell. Jackson’s skillful maneuvers deceived the Federals into thinking he was leaving the Valley, before doubling back to take a strong position on Sitlington’s Hill. Faces of the Valley Some of the Shenandoah Valley's diverse individuals are captured in portrait photographs and other historic documents. Here are some of the faces of the Valley and their stories. "Faces of the Valley" is part of the exhibit "From Backcountry to Breadbasket, to Battlefield, and Beyond" at the Visitor Center. A colorized 1800 portrait photo depicts a young woman in a green dress. Battle of Front Royal Using his knowledge of Valley geography, Stonewall Jackson side-stepped Banks' Federals by marching the bulk of his army across Massanutten Mountain. The Confederates surprised and overwhelmed a small Federal outpost at the Battle of Front Royal, at the northern end of Massanutten, on May 23. Banks, finding Jackson in his rear, had no choice but to order a rapid retreat to Winchester, in hopes of making a stand there. A highway historical marker and wayside exhibit stand on a courthouse grounds. Battle of Cross Keys The twin battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic closed out Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign. At Cross Keys, Jackson occupied key bridges to keep US generals Fremont and Shields from joining their armies. Jackson then defeated each general in turn before withdrawing to make his stand at Port Republic. An 1800s pencil drawing shows an army gathering for battle. Engagement at Middletown on May 24, 1862 Although Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was pleased with his May 23, 1862, victory at Front Royal, he was faced with a difficult decision the next day. “In the event of Banks leaving Strasburg he might escape toward the Potomac,” he wrote later, “or if we moved directly to Winchester, he might move via Front Royal toward Washington City.” To determine US Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks’s intentions, Jackson sent troops toward both Winchester and Strasburg. An ink illustration depicts mounted soldiers and cannons in battle. Civil War Weapons in the Shenandoah Valley An estimated 325 combat actions occurred in the Valley between 1861-1865, everything from relatively large, pivotal battles like Third Winchester and Cedar Creek, to small cavalry firefights involving only a few soldiers. In each of those battles, different models and variations of weapons were used, particularly by Confederates who, because of inconsistent resupply systems, were often forced to capture Federal guns and ammunition. A lock of an antique rifle seen close-up. First Battle of Winchester Exhausted by their harried evacuation of Strasburg, US Gen. Banks’s soldiers took up positions on the hills south of Winchester. Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s morning assault pushed the Federals into a retreat through the hostile population in Winchester. Jackson’s victories at Front Royal and Winchester once again forced the US Army to divert troops from their advance on Richmond to the Shenandoah Valley. A mowed grass hilltop beyond a wire fence is lined with trees. 2022 Freeman Tilden Award Recipients View regional recipients of the National Park Service Freeman Tilden Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice of interpretation and education by a NPS employee. Two women work with a tree while a young man records audio. Voting at Cedar Creek Many soldiers at Cedar Creek voted absentee for the first time during the fall of 1864. This election helped decide the outcome of the war. Regimental histories and personal memoirs describe the experience and conditions during these elections. Today, we can identify where these troops voted in their camps or in the towns near Cedar Creek. A herd of cattle grazes in a mountain valley pasture. Portraits as Politics In 1799, Isaac Hite, Jr. commissioned seven portraits of members of his family. These portraits preserved the family's likenesses before photography was common. They also showed the family's values and concerns. The portraits made strong political statements. A portrait painting depicts a seated young man in fancy 1700s clothes. Battle of Port Republic The Battle of Port Republic was the last in Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. After his victory there the Federal army withdrew farther north. On June 18th, Jackson’s troops marched out of the Valley and across the Blue Ridge Mountains. They joined Gen. Robert E. Lee to defend Richmond against US Gen. George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac. A historic pencil drawing shows roads, forest, towns, houses, and waterways. Research & Archeology at the Enslaved Quarter Site Archaeologists surveyed and excavated the Enslaved Quarter Site at Belle Grove from 2015 through 2019. Based on this research, an illustration partly reconstructs the site as it may have appeared in the early 1800s. A digital illustration reconstructs the site of enslaved dwellings on an early 1800s plantation. Valley Turnpike The Valley Turnpike helped develop the Shenandoah Valley. It grew from a crude wagon road into a paved artery to distant states and cities. The road was part of a sweeping change in transportation between the American Revolution and the Civil War. It is now part of US Route 11. A paved three lane highway passes through a rural valley landscape. French & Indian War Along Cedar Creek and in the Shenandoah Valley The expansion by the French into the Ohio River Valley led to conflicts with claims by the Virginia frontier settlers. The Indian natives also viewed the increased number of European settlers, especially those in the Shenandoah Valley, with alarm, seeing them as unwelcome encroachers on land they considered theirs. A sketch plan of a 1700s fort shows the scale and notes. Condition of Selected Natural Resources at Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park: 2023 Assessment NRCA Overview: Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park is located in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and has a rich history, including as the location of a Civil War battle that helped bring an end to the war. A recent Natural Resource Condition Assessment evaluated five resources at the park: visual resources (or scenic views), night sky, soundscape, woodlands, and meadows. Photo of the early night sky viewed above a lone tree ,many stars are visible.

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