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Stonewall Jackson

The Valley Campaign

Jackson was promoted to major general, and in November, Johnston assigned him to command in the Shenandoah valley. Jackson's attack on James Shields's division at Kernstown on Mar. 23, 1862, was repulsed but forced the retention of Union troops in the valley. In April, Robert E. Lee suggested that Jackson fall upon Nathaniel P. Banks's force in the lower valley, hoping that Irvin McDowell's army would thereby be diverted from joining George McClellan before Richmond (see Peninsular campaign). Jackson's renowned Valley campaign resulted. He first defeated part of John C. Frémont's force at McDowell (c.25 mi/40 km W of Staunton) on May 8, 1862, and then, returning to the Shenandoah, routed Banks at Front Royal and Winchester (May 23–25) and drove him across the Potomac. The federal administration, fearing that Jackson would now advance on Washington, sent Shields from McDowell's army to join Frémont, advancing from the west, in cutting off Jackson. Stonewall, however, retreated rapidly to the head of the valley and on June 8–9 defeated his pursuers at Cross Keys and Port Republic.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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