Appalachian Information Technology Extension Service

Spring Campaign


photo of Petersburg National Battlefield and photo of City Point

Extend your Civil War Weekend experience with an optional two-night field trip to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Leaving directly from the Inn at Virginia Tech at the conclusion of Civil War Weekend, we'll travel together by charter bus first to the historic mountain town of Lexington, where we'll tour Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's prewar home and the Lee Chapel and Museum. We will then continue on to Harrisonburg, our base for the next two days as we explore Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's storied 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

Among the most celebrated and studied elements of Civil War military history, the Valley campaign occurred against the backdrop of military defeat on various Confederate fronts and catapulted Jackson to legendary status. Jackson's victories in the Shenandoah Valley propped up a beleaguered war effort and, as John Esten Cooke observed, "infused fresh life into the languid pulses and desponding hearts" of the Confederacy.

This two-day tour will provide an opportunity to study many of the 1862 Valley Campaign's most significant actions. The tour will begin on Monday, March 19 with an examination of Jackson's evacuation from Winchester on March 11, 1862, and the First Battle of Kernstown fought twelve days later. The First Kernstown tour will visit such iconic places as the Pritchard Farm, Rose Hill, and the famed stone wall on Sandy Ridge. During the afternoon of March 19 the tour will focus on the First Battle of Winchester (May 25, 1862). Attendees will not only visit the sites associated with the first of Winchester's three battles, but come to understand how the fight impacted the community's demographically diverse civilian population.

On Tuesday, March 20, we'll examine the final days of Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign beginning with the death of Confederate brigadier general Turner Ashby at Chestnut Ridge in Harrisonburg. Participants will then tour sites associated with the Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic including Union Church, the beautifully-preserved Widow Pence Farm, and the Coaling.

The cost of the Spring Campaign includes accommodation, all meals, tours, and round trip transport between Blacksburg and Harrisonburg. Space is limited so please register right away!

Our guide: Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas (a graduate of Virginia Tech, MA' 03) is director of Shenandoah University's McCormick Civil War Institute (MCWI) and also serves as editor of MCWI's Journal of the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War Era. He is the author or editor of eleven books on Civil War era history including Stonewall Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign: War Comes to the Home Front. He has authored more than 100 articles, essays, book chapters, and reviews for a variety of publications including Civil War History, Civil War Times, America's Civil War, Hallowed Ground, Blue & Gray, Civil War Monitor, and Civil War News. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his teaching, scholarship, and service including the highest honor Virginia awards its professors; the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia's Outstanding Faculty Award.

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