The New Market Campaign Timeline – Expanded

These resources are a companion to my upcoming presentation at the Symposium this morning. Instead of confining the New Market Campaign to just the Shenandoah Valley, we need to understand it with all it’s “lesser known” actions and how this entire campaign fits with the Overland Campaign happening farther east.

This expanded timeline is not comprehensive, but I hope it will serve as an illustrative resource that campaigns and lesser known actions are often connected!

Note: Grant/Meade operate against Lee in the eastern and central part of Virginia for the Overland Campaign. Union General Franz Sigel and Confederate General John C. Breckinridge maneuver in the Shenandoah Valley. Union Generals Crook and Averell fight Confederates under Jenkins, McCausland, and other in southwest Virginia, not too far from the Virginia and Tennessee border. (This does not include Butler’s Bermuda Hundred Campaign which started at roughly the same time.)

1864

April 29 – Union General Franz Sigel and his army begin marching from Martinsburg, West Virginia, heading toward Bunker Hill and Winchester, Virginia.

May 1 – Sigel arrives in Winchester; Confederate General Robert E. Lee communicates defense directives to General John C. Breckinridge.

May 2 – Union General George Crook leaves Kanawha River; Union General Averell also begins moving.

May 4 – Union Armies cross the Rapidan River, starting the Overland Campaign in eastern Virginia; Crook reaches Callaghan Station in southwest Virginia.

May 5 – Battle of the Wilderness in the Overland Campaign; Averell leaves Logan Court House, heading for Saltville; Sigel hosts “war games” for training his men; Confederates under McNeil strike at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

May 6 – Battle of the Wilderness in the Overland Campaign; Crook skirmishes at Princeton

May 8 – Battle of Spotsylvania begins in the Overland Campaign; Crook skirmishes at Jeffersonville; Breckinridge arrives in Staunton, Virginia, and waits for his troops to arrive.

May 9 – Battle of Spotsylvania continues; Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain pits Crook against Confederate forces under General Jenkins, resulting in a Union victory; Sigel finally gets his army moving toward Strasburg.

May 10 – Battle of Spotsylvania continues; Skirmishes at Cove Mountain and at New River Bridge in the southwest; Crook decides that Grant must be retreating and begins planning his own retreat back to West Virginia; Breckinridge sends orders for the cadets from Virginia Military Institute to join his army at Staunton.

May 11 – Battle of Spotsylvania continues; Battle of Yellow Tavern near Richmond; Skirmish at Blacksburg in the southwest part of Virginia; Sigel arrives in Woodstock, Virginia; Sigel sends Colonel Boyd and a cavalry detachment into the Luray Valley.

May 12 – Battle of Spotsylvania continues; Crook and Averell fight the Confederates in a series of skirmishes that last two days, but they continue retreating; Breckinridge issues orders of march for his gathered army to leave Staunton, Virginia and head north.

May 13 – Battle of Spotsylvania continues; Cavalry clash at the base of Massanutten Mountain, near New Market.

May 14 – Battle of Spotsylvania continues; Union troops move toward New Market, delayed by cavalry.

May 15 – Lee and Grant remain near Spotsylvania; Crook and Averell’s units meet at Union; Battle of New Market results in a Confederate victory in the Shenandoah Valley.

May 16 – Lee and Grant remain near Spotsylvania; Breckinridge regroups his army in the Shenandoah Valley

May 17 – Lee and Grant remain near Spotsylvania; Breckinridge begins moving his army east.

May 18 – Lee and Grant remain near Spotsylvania;

May 19 – Lee and Grant remain near Spotsylvania; Crook and Averell reach safety near Meadow Bluff.

May 20 – Grant’s army begins its next movement south in the Overland Campaign.

May 21 – Union General David Hunter replaces Franz Sigel to command troops in the Shenandoah Valley.

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, editor, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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2 Responses to The New Market Campaign Timeline – Expanded

  1. John & Char Stanley says:

    Great addition to your excellent talk! Thanks!

  2. Thank you for writing about New Market. My 3rd Great Grandfather was Captain of Co E of the 54th PVI. He was wounded at New Market and taken prisoner of war. His story and his son’s are very interesting.

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