Battle of Berryville at 150

If you are in the area, this afternoon at 4 P.M., Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park along with Shenandoah Valley Battlefields is hosting one of the many “150 years ago… on this day” events relating to the 1864 valley campaigns:

Location: Clarke County Recreation Area, West Main Street, Berryville, VA 22611.

Time: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Fee Information: Free

Park Ranger Eric Campbell will examine this critical, but often overlooked, engagement that set up the Battle of 3rd Winchester. Meet for this two-hour car caravan tour at the Clarke County Recreation Area, West Main Street, Berryville, VA 22611.

A late afternoon mini-sesquicentennial get away, if you prefer. For those who cannot make it, here’s the park video:

I’ll be in attendance and tweeting – if the weather holds.  I’ll attend rain or shine, but in the field tweeting is a fair weather experience. At a minimum, I’ll have some photos to add here.

The Battle of Berryville caught my attention back when I moved to the area in 2006.  The simple stone marker (along with several state markers) are the most visible reminders of the action.
berryville July 15 098

Of course some would ask, “Action?  What action?”

The fighting portion of Berryville was almost a minor affair compared to other actions that summer of 1864.  Just a few hundred casualties on each side. Most of which fell in the area around the marker above.  To the north, Federal artillery sat in a position too good for any direct attack without deliberate efforts.  And Major-General Jubal-Early opted to withdraw.

Berryville 030

Berryville was somewhat a battle that never became a battle.  Like one of those summer afternoon storm clouds that develop – threatening a downpour, but only offering a light sprinkle.  The thundershower would instead come two weeks later on the other side of Opequon Creek.



One thought on “Battle of Berryville at 150

  1. Craig, as you well know, there was another “battle of sorts” in Berryville (Colonial name: “Battletown”), with this taking place in June 1863. Operating on the right flank of Ewell’s Corps, General Robert Rodes’ Division of 8,000 infantry pounded north towards Berryville on June 13, 1863. Alerted that a Federal brigade of 1800 men was positioned in the town protecting the road intersection leading west from Berryville to Winchester, and eastward toward Snicker’s Gap, Rodes purposed to gobble up the Berryville Yankees. Rodes’ intentions aside, an alert cavalry patrol spotted Rodes’ approaching columns and soon thereafter the Federals skedaddled out of Berryville–with one Federal reporting “we dumped the bean soup into the fire.” Rodes report of this engagement is in O.R., 27, pt. 2, p. 545. You can also review my own summary in Blue and Gray, “Lee Steals a March…”” Spring 2004.

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