"Shenandoah Valley, Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park, 2016." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Cedar Creek & Belle Grove

National Historical Park - Virginia

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park protects several historically significant locations in the Shenandoah Valley of Northern Virginia, notably the site of the American Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek and the Belle Grove Plantation. Much of the battlefield is not accessible to the public, but the park offers ranger-led and self-guided driving tours of the battlefield via public roads. Nearly all of the remaining land (approximately 1,500 acres) and buildings are preserved and administered by partner sites which predate the park. Since summer 2010, the park has offered interpretive ranger programs at key partner sites, including Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation headquarters, Belle Grove Plantation, and Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park.

location

maps

Official Visitor Map of Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park (NHP) in Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Cedar Creek & Belle Grove - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park (NHP) in Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official Visitor Map of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (NHP) in Washington D.C., Maryland and West Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Chesapeake & Ohio Canal - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (NHP) in Washington D.C., Maryland and West Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/cebe/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedar_Creek_and_Belle_Grove_National_Historical_Park Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park protects several historically significant locations in the Shenandoah Valley of Northern Virginia, notably the site of the American Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek and the Belle Grove Plantation. Much of the battlefield is not accessible to the public, but the park offers ranger-led and self-guided driving tours of the battlefield via public roads. Nearly all of the remaining land (approximately 1,500 acres) and buildings are preserved and administered by partner sites which predate the park. Since summer 2010, the park has offered interpretive ranger programs at key partner sites, including Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation headquarters, Belle Grove Plantation, and Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park. The Shenandoah Valley invites you to learn about its rich heritage, from Native Americans who first shaped the land, to pioneers of this frontier; this fertile area became one of the most important wheat producing regions of the entire South. The Valley also witnessed some of the most dramatic events of the Civil War,including the Battle of Cedar Creek, a decisive October 19, 1864 Union victory. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park is along U.S. Route 11 in Middletown, Virginia. Take exit 298 off Interstate 81 to Middletown. The Visitor Contact Station is at 7712 Main Street in Middletown Courts Plaza. Visitor Contact Station Start your visit at the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Park Visitor Contact Station. Pick up maps and a Junior Ranger activity book. Plan your visit with a park ranger or volunteer. See exhibits to learn about the settlement and agricultural history of the Shenandoah Valley as well as its role as an important theater of war during the Civil War. Take exit 298 off Interstate 81 to Middletown. The Visitor Contact Station is at 7712 Main Street in Middletown Courts Plaza, a strip mall on U.S. Highway 11. Sunrise over Belle Grove Sunrise over Belle Grove Sunrise over Belle Grove The Heater House Image of the Heater House The Heater House Kids Program Ranger giving kids Program Ranger Jeff presenting a kids program. Cedar Creek and Belle Grove in a Box Visitors watching a ranger program at Belle Grove Ranger Shannon presents Cedar Creek and Belle Grove in a Box. Signal Knob Program Ranger presenting program on top of the Massanutten Moutain. Ranger presenting program at Signal Knob. The Civilian Experience in the Civil War After being mere spectators at the war's early battles, civilians both near and far from the battlefields became unwilling participants and victims of the war as its toll of blood and treasure grew year after year. In response to the hardships imposed upon their fellow citizens by the war, civilians on both sides mobilized to provide comfort, encouragement, and material, and began to expect that their government should do the same. Painting of civilians under fire during the Siege of Vicksburg Battle of Cedar Creek The Federal victory at Cedar Creek ended Confederate resistance in the Shenandoah Valley. Coming just three weeks before the presidential election, news of the victory boosted morale in the Northern states and helped carry Abraham Lincoln to a landslide reelection. A painting richly colored with red and yellow depicts soldiers rallying to the U.S. flag. The Burning: Shenandoah Valley in Flames The Shenandoah Valley became a prime target in 1864 as the American Civil War took a turn from a limited war to a total war. "The Burning," as it came to be called, was part of a Federal strategy to hasten the end the of the war. A pencil sketch shows cavalrymen on the move with a burning town in the background. History in Bits and Pieces: The Battle of Cedar Creek Archeologists documented evidence of the Union encampment, interpreted parts of the battle flow, and reconstructed the cultural setting of the Cedar Creek Battlefield. Battle of Hupp's Hill Following “the Burning,” U.S. General Philip Sheridan pulled his army back north to the area along Cedar Creek, making Belle Grove Plantation his headquarters. Most Union soldiers were confident that the Confederates had been so soundly defeated in the Valley that they posed no further threat. They were greatly mistaken. Battle of Wapping Heights (or Manassas Gap) Towards late July 1863, U.S. Gen. Meade saw a chance to cut off Robert E. Lee’s retreat from Gettysburg near Front Royal. This attempt would result in the Battle of Wapping Heights, also called the Battle of Manassas Gap. Battle of New Market Confederates scored a late victory at New Market in 1864— one of their last in the Shenandoah Valley. Among the Confederate troops was a battalion of 257 cadets and two artillery guns from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Medal of Honor at Cedar Creek Twenty-one soldiers received the Medal of Honor for their actions at the battle of Cedar Creek. The United States created this medal in July 1862 for those who “distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities,” and has since served as one of the nation’s top military honors. A photo from a museum collection shows an army medal displayed in its cardboard case. Worth Fighting For From the arrival of the first American Indians and European settlers, through the coming of the Civil War, the rich natural resources of the Shenandoah Valley shaped both its history and its fate. A painting depicts an 1800s plantation with workers reaping and stacking wheat with hand tools. Born from Stress & Strain Natural forces have shaped the Shenandoah Valley landscape creating a distinct mix of geological strata, soil types, drainage patterns, and terrain. A plastic geology model shows parallel layers of rock atop buckled, angular layers. A Bountiful Land A combination of fertile soil, abundant water sources and a perfect climate made farming especially profitable to early settlers of the Valley. A painting depicts lush greenery of a river valley set among rugged mountains. Series: From Backcountry to Breadbasket to Battlefield and Beyond "From Backcountry to Breadbasket to Battlefield and Beyond" introduces the varied historical themes that make up Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, and offers a look at the exhibit of the same name on display at the park's visitor center. Sunbeams break through clouds to shine on a lush green mountain valley. Enslavement in the Shenandoah Valley The Shenandoah Valley had small family farms that owned none, one or a few enslaved people. The Valley also had larger plantations with many enslaved people. White residents of the Valley were all economically connected to slavery. Therefore, their culture, like that of the rest of the United States, was part of a system of race-based slavery and they used racism, violence, and fear to maintain it. A color illustration depicts an 1800s woman in simple work clothes tying a sheaf of wheat. The Age of Grain The Valley was once the most valuable wheat producing area of the entire South, due to rich soils, a farming culture, and a good road system. A drawing illustrates an 1800s farmhouse and barn among wheatfields and haystacks. The Coming of War The Shenandoah Valley’s geological formation created a natural corridor, which during the Civil War attracted armies on both sides as an avenue of invasion and counter-invasion. A hand-drawn Civil War military map depicts northern Virginia. A Vital Valley Route Agricultural products had no value unless the farmers could get their produce to market—Alexandria, Baltimore, Philadelphia, or beyond. The Valley Pike promoted prosperity and became the lifeblood of the Valley. An 1800s photograph shows a roughly paved road lined with stone walls passing through farmland. The Aftermath In the postwar years, many former Confederates began to accept the war’s results and look forward, with the rest of the nation, to a period of national reconciliation. The nation remembered those who had fallen by building monuments and participating in Civil War. An 1883 photo captures men standing at the columned front of an antebellum style mansion. Devastation of the Valley The Union’s new “total war” policy in 1864 led to “The Burning” of the Valley, which left the land scorched and brought tremendous suffering for its residents. An 1800s art work depicts horse-mounted soldiers at a burning farmstead. Voices from a War Torn Valley "Voices from a War Torn Valley" is a flip book of illustrations, quotations, and stories from the exhibit "From Backcountry to Breadbasket, to Battlefield, and Beyond." A crosshatched 1864 ink sketch depicts cavalrymen on a farm with burning buildings. Visiting the Park The National Park Service along with Belle Grove, Inc., Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Shenandoah County, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation manage this park for you and generations to come. A wood rail fence marks the boundary of a lush green pasture under grey skies. Jedediah Hotchkiss Maps of the Shenandoah Valley Jedediah Hotchkiss's accurate maps played a role in numerous Confederate victories in the Shenandoah Valley and elsewhere. Exhibits showing selected maps are on display at the Visitor Center. A yellowed, hand-drawn map from the 1800s shows finely-detailed geography and battle movements. A Rich Prize Belle Grove was Union headquarters, and thus was surrounded by hundreds of supply wagons, ambulances, and tents. As the Confederate advance neared the plantation manor house there was a scramble to evacuate them to safety. An 1864 sketch depicts columns of soliders retreating from a burning camp near a plantation house. Silent March After fording Cedar Creek, approximately 3,000 Confederates marched with a rising fog obscuring their movements. An 1885 photo shows a improved dirt road flanked by wood fences and farms. Long Meadow Crossing Two Confederate divisions crossed the North Fork of the Shenandoah and marched along the road, passing Long Meadow. Soldiers cross a river under cover of dark in a watercolored 1864 sketch. Eve of Battle On the night of October 18, 1864, tents sheltering part of General Philip Sheridan’s 32,000 strong Union Army of the Shenandoah blanketed the fields of Belle Grove. In an 1860s sketch, officers and civilians watch soliders parade in a mountain valley. Bearing the Brunt The 128th New York Regiment bore the brunt of the Confederate attack against their position. In the fog and smoke they could see little-- only the flash of rifles and sounds of battle told them where the enemy was. Well-dressed men and women pose in front of a stone war memorial in a 1907 photo. Surprise Attack After a silent all-night march along the base of the Massanutten, the Confederates forded the creek and river and, aided by a dense fog, stormed this hill, catching many of the Union soldiers unaware, some still sleeping in their tents. An 1860s sketch shows officers and a signalman spying enemies from a mountain top. Stand of the Eighth Vermont In a desperate attempt to stem the onward rush of Confederates, Col. Stephen Thomas was ordered to sacrifice his 1,000 soldiers from Vermont, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. The fight that followed was a “vortex of hell,” one veteran later claimed. An ink line drawing depicts intense fighting around a US Army flag bearer in the Civil War. Defense in the Cemetery The Middletown Cemetery, on a knoll west of the village, was the only point where Union officers believed they could establish a strong position and attempt to slow the Confederate advance. A full color painting illustrates a Civil War battle with artillery, cavalrymen, and foot soldiers. Total War in the Valley Known as “The Burning,” the Union army seized livestock, grains, and cured meats. They burned barns and destroyed flour mills, including one owned by Daniel Stickley on the banks of Cedar Creek. A column of mounted soldiers file past a ruined building on a rural road in an 1864 sketch. The Fatal Halt General John Gordon and his commanding officer, General Jubal Early, met to assess the situation. Gordon urged continuing the pursuit. Early believed that the battle had been won. An 1864 sketch depicts two Civil War officers on horseback having an animated talk amid battle. Union Counterattack Sheridan’s reformed battle lines stretched for almost two miles from east to west. Their counterattack took them back over the fields that they had earlier fled. An 1864 sketch depicts an armed battle on farm fields at a distance. Series: Cedar Creek Battlefield On October 19th General Jubal Early’s Confederates launched a predawn attack here at Cedar Creek and drove Union troops out of their lines and through Middletown in disarray. Union General Philip Sheridan, however, rallied his troops and turned the Confederate victory into a total defeat. A painting depict Civil War combat as soldiers rally around a US flag. Sheridan Arrives General Philip Sheridan arrived on the battlefield following his famous and dramatic ride from his headquarters in Winchester. A Civil War general on horseback rallies soldiers to the US flag by waving his hat. Signal Knob During the Civil War On October 17, Jubal Early sent John Gordon, Jed Hotchkiss, and others to Signal Knob in order to survey the Union positions along Cedar Creek. A detailed hand drawn 1800s map depicts the terrain of a battlefield. Plantation Slavery Major Isaac Hite, Jr. and his family recorded 276 enslaved people that they owned between 1783 and 1851. A color illustration shows enslaved workers in a garden of an antebellum style plantation manor. The Toll of War Dozens of private homes and other structures, including St. Thomas Church were pressed into service as temporary hospitals. Conditions were deplorable. An 1864 sketch depicts men and women attending to wounded soldiers inside a church. A Loss Remembered Among those attending the 1920 monument dedication was Ramseur’s only child, a daughter who was only a few days old when her father died. A 1920 photo captures well dressed men and women gathered in front of a stone column war memorial. Divided Loyalties Solomon Heater was from Loudoun County, Virginia, and supported his native state. Caroline was born and raised in Pennsylvania and supported the Union. A color illustration shows a white farmhouse and a grey barn set among a rocky valley pasture. Order of Battle at Cedar Creek Order of Battle at the Battle of Cedar Creek

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