Somerville Heights

Somerville Heights (HM7SV)

Location: Shenandoah, VA 22849 Page County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 31.626', W 78° 35.692'

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Inscription

A "most terrific fire from the enemy"

— 1862 Valley Campaign —

Early in May 1862, Gen. Stonewall Jackson moved most of his army east over the Blue Ridge toward Charlottesville, leaving Gen. Richard S. Ewell's division at Conrad's Store (present day Elkton) to hold the Federals in the Shenandoah Valley. The Union commanders suspected that Jackson was en route to Richmond. They did not know, however, that he had turned back on May 3 and four days later was west of Staunton. On May 8, he defeated Federal forces at the Battle of McDowell.

During the period of uncertainty, Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan, guarding nearby Columbia Bridge, ordered Col. Robert S. Foster's 13th Indiana Infantry to reconnoiter here to "burned bridge" (Red Bridge) on the morning of May 7. After marching 2 1/2 miles past Honeyville, Foster encountered Gen. Richard Taylor's Louisiana brigade and supporting Virginia cavalry. Driving the Confederates back to Dogtown, Sullivan retired to Columbia Bridge again the next morning.

Meanwhile, a company of Vermont cavalry, instead of bringing up the Federal rear, stumbled into the "reserve of the enemy" farther upriver. Foster's regiment quickly countermarched and engaged Confederate forces near here "for a half-hour under a most terrific fire." Ultimately, the Vermonters were able to swim the Shenandoah River to safety.

The engagement left 29 Federals killed, wounded, captured, and missing. Confederate losses included at least two killed and an unspecified number captured.
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Details
HM NumberHM7SV
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Tags
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 9:16am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 709657 N 4267042
Decimal Degrees38.52710000, -78.59486667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 31.626', W 78° 35.692'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 31' 37.56" N, 78° 35' 41.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5701-5917 State Rte 650, Shenandoah VA 22849, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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