Army of the Valley
General Robert E. Lee, entrenched at
Petersburg, wanted to siphon off some of the overwhelming number of Federal
troops that he faced. He was also concerned with recent Union victories in the
Shenandoah Valley (a vital source of supplies and food for his army). He devised
a daring plan to accomplish both ends. On June 12, 1864, Lee ordered Jubal Early
to take independent command of the Army of Northern Virginia's Second Corps,
renaming it as the Army of the Valley (the name given to many of these same
troops by Stonewall Jackson during his 1862 Valley Campaign). Early was to march
north through the Shenandoah Valley, cross the Potomac River into Maryland, and
possibly threaten either Baltimore or Washington. Early immediately made
preparations for independent action. Departing Petersburg via train, the army
arrived in the valley at the rail center of Lynchburg to reinforce John C.
Breckinridge and to contest the Federals in the region. However, David Hunter
withdrew his Union troops in the face of Early's larger force.
Readily brushing aside the remaining small Federal garrisons in a series of minor engagements, Early (with Breckinridge's men now a part of the Army of the Valley) proceeded northward and then east from the valley across the South Mountain range. Near Frederick, Maryland, the force was delayed by a full day at the Battle of Monocacy by Lew Wallace. On July 11, Early threatened Washington before withdrawing two days later. On July 24, after returning to the Shenandoah, the Army of the Valley won its last major battle, Second Kernstown, defeating George Crook's VIII Corps. Early dispatched much of his cavalry under John McCausland to raid and subsequently burn much of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (in apparent retaliation for Hunter's burning of the Virginia Military Institute).
By the end of July, fed up with Early's free rein of the valley, President Abraham Lincoln met with Ulysses S. Grant to discuss options. Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan was assigned to command, replacing the defeated Hunter, who promptly resigned. In a series of sharp engagements in August through October, Sheridan repeatedly defeated the Army of the Valley and drove Early's men southward. The Army of the Valley was no longer a significant threat.
Early's battered force stayed together throughout the winter of 1864–65, but was a shadow of its former size and potency. Many men deserted and returned home. The remainder were low on supplies, ammunition, clothing, and food, yet maintained a military presence. However, on February 27, 1865, Sheridan departed Winchester with two cavalry divisions and moved into position to attack Early near Waynesboro with the division commanded by Major General George Armstrong Custer. After a brief stand-off, a determined Federal attack rolled up Early's exposed right flank and scattered his small force. General Early and a few other officers and troops were able to avoid capture, but over 1,500 men were captured and sent to Fort Delaware to await the end of the war. The Army of the Valley ceased to exist and Lee dismissed Early from the service, fearing that he could not instill enough confidence in the new recruits required to keep the fighting going.
Campaigns and battles
Valley Campaigns of 1864
Early's Raid and Operations Against the B&O Railroad (June – August 1864)
Battle of Monocacy (July 9, 1864)
Battle of Fort Stevens (July 11–12 1864)
Heaton's Crossroads (July 16, 1864)
Battle of Cool Spring (July 17–18 1864)
Battle of Rutherford's Farm (July 20, 1864)
Second Battle of Kernstown (July 24, 1864)
Battle of Folck's Mill (August 1, 1864)
Battle of Moorefield (August 7, 1864)
Sheridan's Valley Campaign (August – October 1864)
Battle of Summit Point (August 21, 1864)
Battle of Smithfield Crossing (August 25–29 1864).
Battle of Berryville (September 3–4 1864)
Battle of Opequon (September 19, 1864)
Battle of Fisher's Hill (September 21–22 1864)
Battle of Tom's Brook (October 9, 1864)
Battle of Hupp's Hill (October 12, 1864)
Battle of Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864)
1865 Sheridan's Expedition to Petersburg
Battle of Waynesboro, Virginia (March 2, 1865)
General J. E. Johnston was wounded at Seven Pines, May 81, 1862, and
Major-General G. W. Smith took command of the Army of Northern Virginia. On June
1st, General Robert E. Lee assumed command. In April, the forces on the
Peninsula had been included in this army, and now the troops in eastern Virginia
and North Carolina were made part of it. By the end of July, 1862, the division
organization had been further concentrated into three commands, or corps, headed
by Major-Generals T. J. Jackson, James Longstreet, and D. H. Hill, with cavalry
under Brigadier-General J. E. B. Stuart, and artillery under Brigadier-General
W. N. Pendleton. There was an aggregate present of about ninety-five thousand.
Subsequently, the army took a more permanent form in two corps commanded by
Jackson and Longstreet, with cavalry corps and artillery separate.
Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill was given the Second Corps after Jackson's death,
and on May 30, 1863, this was divided, with additions from the First Corps, into
the Second and Third corps, commanded by Lieutenant-Generals R. S. Ewell and A.
P. Hill respectively. The army numbered about seventy thousand in the Gettysburg
campaign. This organization of the main body of the army continued throughout
the war, although other generals, for various reasons, commanded the corps from
time to time. A new corps of North Carolina and Virginia troops under
Lieutenant-General R. H. Anderson was added at the end of 1864. Longstreet's
corps, with the exception of Pickett's division, was with the Army of Tennessee,
and in eastern Tennessee, for a short period in 1863 and 1864, at and after the
battle of Chickamauga. The last report of the army, February, 1865, showed an
aggregate present of over seventy-three thousand. The Army of Northern Virginia
laid down its arms at Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865.
First Corps- Army of Northern Virginia
The organization of the volunteer Confederate forces under
Brigadier-General Beauregard into the First Corps, Army of the Potomac, was
announced on June 20, 1861. There were then six brigades, which number was
increased later to eight. The strength of the corps was about thirty thousand. A
division organization was afterward adopted, and one of these divisions,
commanded by Major-General Longstreet, was denominated the Center of Position,
Army of Northern Virginia, at the opening of the Peninsula campaign. It
contained about fourteen thousand men. As the Second Division (or Corps) of the
army, the troops fought from Fair Oaks, where they were known as the Right Wing,
through the Seven Days' battles. Toward the end of July, the army was further
concentrated into commands of which one, consisting of six divisions, was headed
by Longstreet, and this, during the campaign against Pope, was called the Right
Wing or Longstreet's Corps. After the battle of Antietam, the corps was
designated the First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. In September, 1863, Lee
sent the corps, with the exception of Pickett's division, to assist Bragg, and,
as Longstreet's Corps, fought in the Army of Tennessee at Chickamauga and
remained in East Tennessee until April, 1864, when it rejoined the Army of
Virginia. Major-General R. H. Anderson succeeded to the command of the corps
after Longstreet was wounded at the battle of the Wilderness, May 6th. The
latter returned to his corps, October 19th, and continued at the head until the
surrender at Appomattox.
Lieutenant-General James Longstreet (U. S. M. A. 1842) was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina, January 8, 1821, and served in the Mexican War, where he was severely wounded. In June, 1861, he resigned as major in the army and was appointed brigadier-general in the Confederate service. As major-general, he had a division, and, later, as lieutenant-general, the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. In September, 1863, he was sent with part of his corps to Tennessee and took command of the left. wing at the battle of Chickamauga. He was then placed at the head of the Department of East Tennessee and returned to Virginia in April, 1864. He was severely wounded at the battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, but resumed command of the corps in October. After the war, he engaged in business in New Orleans and held several political offices. In 1880-81 he was American minister to Turkey, and in 1898 he was appointed United States railway commissioner. He died at Gainesville, Georgia, January 2,1904.
Second Corps- Army of Northern Virginia
On September 25, 1861, Major-General G. W. Smith was assigned to the
command of the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, which was organized to consist
of all the troops not hitherto assigned to the First Corps. After October 2nd,
the force was known as the Second Division and contained five brigades. It
numbered almost twenty thousand men, and passed into the Reserve, Second
Division, and D. H. Hill's Division of the Army of Northern Virginia. Most of
these troops finally came under the command of Lieutenant-General T. J. Jackson
and became known as the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, after the
battle of Antietam. After Jackson's death, Lieutenant-General R. S. Ewell
succeeded to the corps, after it had been temporarily headed by Stuart and A. P.
Hill. On May 30, 1863, two divisions were detached to enter the Third Army
Corps. The corps was commanded by Lieutenant-General J. A. Early in the
Shenandoah campaign of 1864, and in the closing months of the war around
Petersburg, by Lieutenant-General John B. Gordon.
Major-General Gustavus Woodson Smith (U. S. M. A. 1842) was born in Georgetown, Kentucky, January 1, 1822, and served in the Mexican War. He resigned from the army in 1854 to enter upon a Cuban expedition under Quitman, and afterward settled in New York City. At the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the Confederate forces at New Orleans, under Lovell. In September, 1861, he was appointed major-general and was given command of the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, which was continued in the Army of Northern Virginia, until March 23, 1862, when he was put at the head of the Reserves. After Johnston was wounded at Fair Oaks, May 31st, Major-General Smith, who was leading the left wing, took command of the whole army, but was stricken by illness the following day and was succeeded by General Lee. In August, he took charge of the defenses of Richmond and was acting Secretary of War in November. In February, 1863, he resigned from the service, and on June 1, 1864, took command of the Georgia Militia. He was captured by Major-General J. H. Wilson at Marion in April, 1865. He died in New York, June 24, 1896.
Lieutenant-General Richard Stoddert Ewell (U. S. M. A. 1840) was born in Georgetown, District of Columbia, February 8, 1817, and served with distinction in the Mexican War. He joined the Confederate army in 1861, and was made major-general the following year. He fought as brigade and division commander with the Army of Northern Virginia, and was given command of the Second Corps after the death of Lieutenant-General T. J. Jackson, being made lieutenant-general in May, 1863. He was prominent in all its battles, and at Groveton he lost a leg. After June, 1864, when his corps was sent to the Shenandoah valley under Lieutenant-General J. A. Early, he was in command of the defenses of Richmond until the evacuation of that city. He died at Spring Hill, Tennessee, January 25, 1872.
Lieutenant-General Jubal Anderson Early (U. S. M. A.. 1837) was born in Franklin County, Virginia, November 3, 1816, and served in the Seminole War of 1837, after which he resigned to take up the practice of law. In the Mexican War, he served as major of Virginia volunteers, and at the outbreak of the Civil War he entered the Confederate army as colonel, rising to the rank of lieutenant-general in May, 1864. He commanded a brigade at Bull Run, was wounded at Williams-burg, and had a division at Antietam and afterward. He had temporary command of both the Second and Third corps, Army of Northern Virginia, during the Wilderness campaign, and in June, 1864, was sent with the Second Army Corps to the Shenandoah valley, whence he made his way to Washington and attacked the city on July 12th. His forces were finally routed at Cedar Creek, October 19th, by Sheridan. He was relieved of the command of the Trans-Alleghany Department in March, 1865, after a defeat by Custer. After the war he practised law. He refused to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, and died in Lynchburg, Virginia, March 2, 1894. He is recognized as one of the ablest of the Confederate generals.
Lieutenant-General John Brown Gordon was born in Upson County, Georgia, February 6, 1832. He became a lawyer, but entered the Confederate service as lieutenant-colonel of an Alabama regiment, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-general before the close of the war. He was brigade and division commander in the Army of Northern Virginia, and was prominent in the Second Army Corps during Early's campaign in the Shenandoah valley. He was at the head of the Second Corps after January 31, 1865, and was in command of the left wing at the time of Lee's surrender. After the war, he became prominent in Georgia politics and was United States senator from that State, 1873-1880, and in 1891-1897. From 1887 to 1890, he was governor of Georgia. He was commander-in-chief of the United Confederate Veterans after 1900. He died at Miami, Florida, January 9,1904.
Third Corps- Army of Northern Virginia
Created from three divisions of the First and Second corps, Army of
Northern Virginia, on May 30, 1863, and put under the command of
Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill. Its first battle was Gettysburg. Hill was killed
in front of Petersburg, April 2, 1865, and the corps was united with the First
until the surrender at Appomattox.
Lieutenant-General Ambrose Powell Hill (U.S.M.A.1847) was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, November 9, 1885, and served in the Mexican and Seminole wars. In 1861, he resigned from the army to enter the Confederate volunteers. He was appointed brigadier-general February 26, 1862, major-general in the following May and was one of the most efficient officers in the Confederate army, and rose to the command of the Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, when it was created in May, 1863, being made lieutenant-general at the same time. He was killed April 2, 1865.
Anderson's Corps- Army of Northern Virginia
Organized late in 1864 to consist of the divisions of Major-Generals
R. F. Hoke and Bushrod R. Johnson, and a battalion of artillery under Colonel H.
P. Jones. It contained an aggregate strength of about fourteen thousand. Hoke's
division served with the First Army Corps and was sent to Wilmington, North
Carolina, on December, 20, 1864. Johnson's division remained with the Army of
Northern Virginia until the surrender at Appomattox.
Lieutenant-General Richard Herron Anderson (U.S.M.A. 1842) was born in South Carolina, October 27, 1821, and served with distinction in the Mexican War. He resigned from the army in March, 1861, to enter the Confederate service. As colonel, he commanded the First South Carolina Infantry in the attack on Fort Sumter, and became brigadier-general in July, 1861. He destroyed a Union camp near Pensacola, in October, and in February, 1862, was assigned to a brigade in Longstreet's Division in the Department of Northern Virginia. This he led with great distinction through the Peninsula campaign, being made major-general in July, 1862. He had a First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, at Second Bull Run and after. At Antietam, he was severely wounded, but he fought at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and at Gettysburg he was in the Third Army Corps. After the wounding of Longstreet, in the battle of the Wilderness, Anderson was given command of the First Army Corps, receiving the appointment of lieutenant-general on June 1, 1864. In August, he was sent with an infantry division, one of cavalry, and a battalion of artillery to the assistance of Lieutenant-General Early in the Shenandoah, remaining there about a month. After the return of Longstreet to his corps, Anderson's Corps, consisting of two divisions, was organized, with Lieutenant-General Anderson at its head. He died at Beaufort, South Carolina, June 26,1879.
Cavalry Corps- Army of Northern Virginia
The various troops of cavalry in this army were finally gathered
into a division of several brigades under the command of Brigadier-General J. E.
B. Stuart. By the date of the battle of Gettysburg, July, 1863, the cavalry was
organized in Divisions and the organization was known as the Cavalry Corps.
After the death of Major-General J. E. B. Stuart, May, 1864, Major-General
(later Lieutenant-General) Wade Hampton took command. Major-General Fitzhugh Lee
also commanded several divisions at one time and was in command of the corps at
Major-General James Ewell Brown Stuart (U.S.M.A.1854) was born in Patrick County, Virginia, February 6, 1833, and entered the Cavalry Corps of the United States army, serving in Kansas and against the Cheyenne Indians. He resigned his commission as captain in the army in May, 1861, to enter the Confederate service, as colonel of the First Virginia Cavalry, with which he fought under Johnston at Bull Run. He was made brigadier-general in September and major-general the following July. He had a brigade, and a division, and was placed at the head of the Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, when it was organized, in the summer of 1863. Stuart proved himself to be a great cavalry leader, and his exploits won him much renown. Among his famous deeds were the ride around McClellan's army in June, 1862; the dash on Pope's headquarters at Catlett's Station, Virginia, and the raid on Manassas Junction in August ; the expedition into Pennsylvania after Antietam, and the cooperation with Jackson at Chancellorsville. After the wounding of Jackson in that battle, he had temporary command of the Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. In the Wilderness campaign of 1864, he was very active, but was mortally wounded in an encounter with Sheridan's cavalry at Yellow Tavern. He died May 12, 1864.
Lieutenant-General Wade Hampton was born in Charleston, South Carolina, March 28, 1818. He was one of the largest slave-owners in the South. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he raised and equipped, in part, Hampton's South Carolina Legion, of which he was colonel. He was wounded at Fair Oaks, as brigadier-general at the head of a brigade, and thrice at Gettysburg, where he commanded a cavalry brigade. In August, 1863, he was made major-general with a Division in the cavalry, and after the death of Stuart, he became head of the Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. He made a famous raid on General Grant's commissariat, capturing some twenty-five hundred head of cattle. In February, 1865, he was made lieutenant-general, and commanded the cavalry in the Army of Tennessee, as well as a division of that of the Army of Northern Virginia. After the war, he strongly advocated the policy of conciliation. In 1876, he was governor of South Carolina; from 1878 to 1891, United States senator, and from 1893 to 1897, United States commissioner of railroads. He died in Columbia, South Carolina, April 11, 1903.
Major-General Fitzhugh Lee (U.S.M.A.1856) was born in Clermont, Virginia, November 19, 1835. He served against the Indians, and was cavalry instructor at. West Point until he resigned his commission in May, 1861, to enter the Confederate service, becoming adjutant-general in Ewell's brigade. He was made major-general September 3, 1863. He had a brigade and division in the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia through all its campaigns, including that of Early in the Shenandoah in 1864, where he was wounded at the Opequon. He was in command of the Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, from March, 1865, until the surrender, replacing Wade Hampton, who went to the Army of Tennessee. From 1886 to 1890 he was governor of Virginia, and, under appointment of President Cleveland, consul-general at Havana from 1896 to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. President McKinley appointed him major-general of volunteers in 1898 and placed him at the head of the Seventh Army Corps. He was made military governor of Havana in 1899. Later, he commanded the Department of the Missouri. He received the rank of brigadier-general in February, 1901, and was retired the following month. He died in Washington, April 28, 1905.