The Battles of Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic were fought during the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
In your opinion, which was most significant to the campaign and why?
I feel the most significant battle of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign has to be the battle of McDowell. Fremont/Milroy’s defeat by Jackson and Edward Johnson not only eliminated the immediate Union threat to Staunton and the upper valley, it also lead to Fremont’s subsequent failure to follow Lincoln’s instructions to cross the Allegheny Mountains on the Franklin to Harrisonburg road and instead to move north to Moorefield and then SLOWLY across to Strasburg, allowing Jackson’s escape from Winchester later in the campaign. If Fremont/Milroy had not been stopped at McDowell, the threat to the Upper Shenandoah Valley would have been so severe that the rest of the Valley Campaign could not have happened.
I’m going to go with Kernstown, because it showed that Lincoln and Stanton could be spooked.
I’ll go with the due of Cross Keys and Port Republic. As usual, the tactically-challenged Stonewall should have fared worse but benefited from the ineptitude of Pathfinder Fremont, et al. and the result freed up the Valley Army to join Lee in front of Richmond.
Definitely Kernstown. Without it drawing the attention of the Lincoln administration, the rest would not have occurred.
McDowell as it brought needed confidence and morale to Jackson’s army, as well as secured Staunton.
To hell with all of y’all. It’s Winchester! That battle skedaddled Banks’ entire force out of the Valley campaign altogether and got Lincoln to thinking how he could catch Jackson with McDowell’s and Fremon’s men. Bless his heart.
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