"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 Center is at 7712 Main Street in Middletown Courts Plaza. Visitor Center Start your visit at the National Park Service's Visitor Center in Middletown, Virginia. 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 302 off Interstate 81 to Middletown. Turn to US Route 11 and head south. The Visitor Center is at 7712 Main Street in Middletown Courts Plaza, a strip mall on US Route 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. 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 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. Skirmish at Hupp's Hill After The Burning, many Federal soldiers felt confident the Confederates posed no further threat in the Valley. Meanwhile, Early had received reinforcements and pondered how he could successfully attack a much larger Federal force. Battle of Manassas Gap (Wapping Heights) After Gettysburg, Lee’s battered but resilient army retreated back into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley with Meade's army in pursuit. Near Front Royal, Meade saw a chance to cut off Lee’s retreat. 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). An engraving depicts cadets defending a cannon during a Civil War battle. 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. Breadbasket of the South 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. Vital 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: A Victory Turned From Disaster 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. Age of Grain The period 1730 to 1900 was Virginia’s “Age of Grain.” Economics, transportation, and industry made the Shenandoah Valley the most productive wheat producing area in the South. Belle Grove sat the height of an agricultural economy based on grain and slavery. Historic plantation buildings line road behind a field of maize crops. Mosby's Rangers in the Shenandoah Valley Known as the “Gray Ghost,” Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby, along with his partisan rangers, terrorized Federal units in northern Virginia from late 1862 until the end of the Civil War in 1865. By the summer of 1864, Mosby and his men were disrupting the advance of the United States Army of the Shenandoah into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Twelve cavalrymen sit for a studio portrait photo. Beginning of the End 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. Shenandoah River The entire Shenandoah River drainage system covers hundreds of square miles and includes many feeder streams, like Cedar Creek, that send water to the Shenandoah. A river's still water reflects blue sky and autumn trees. Geology of the Shenandoah Valley Underground and surface forces, acting over many millions of years, created the Shenandoah Valley and its surrounding hills and ridges. These long, slow processes continue today as the Valley region gradually weathers, erodes, levels, and deposits soil. The remains of a low stone wall are partly hidden by weeds. Third Battle of Winchester The U.S. Army of the Shenandoah’s wagon trains, along with horses, cannons, and over 35,000 soldiers lumbered toward Winchester, Virginia to destroy the 15,000-man Confederate Army of the Valley and rid the Valley of all secessionist resistance. A red-tinted color 1880s print depicts a heroic cavalry charge. Jackson's 1862 Campaign in the Shenandoah Valley In spring of 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson unleashed a vigorous offensive that diverted thousands of Federal troops from their massive advance against the Confederate capital at Richmond. A pencil sketch records mounted troops crossing a river on a pontoon bridge. War Comes to the Valley The Shenandoah Valley became a major theater of the Civil War from 1861 to 1865, witnessing hundreds of skirmishes and engagements, including twenty battles. A greyscale 1864 painted sketch depicts cavalrymen on a farm with burning buildings. Series: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, 1862 In spring of 1862, Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson unleashed a vigorous offensive that diverted thousands of Federal troops from their massive advance against the Confederate capital at Richmond. A pencil sketch records mounted troops crossing a river on a pontoon bridge. Gettysburg Campaign The Shenandoah Valley was a natural "avenue of advance" for Gen. Robert E. Lee's 1863 invasion of the Northern states, and the Battle of Gettysburg. An 1863 photo in stark black and white depicts a dead US soldier in a trench fortified by rocks. First Battle of Kernstown The First Battle of Kernstown was a tactical loss, but a strategic victory, for the Confederates. A yellowed 1800s map show terrain details with battle movements in red. Early's Raid and Operations Against B&O Railroad After Hunter's loss and retreat from Lynchburg, Early’s instructions from Lee were to invade Maryland, destroy the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, and threaten or even take Washington, D.C. A column of soldiers march through through the gate of an earthwork fort with cannons. Lynchburg Campaign In 1863, Ulysses S. Grant, the new general-in-chief of the US Army, ordered his commanders to destroy the Confederacy's armies, transportation networks, and its economic and agricultural base in the Shenandoah Valley and West Virginia. A yellowed hand drawn map from 1864 shows a battlefield in great detail. Sheridan's Valley Campaign Sheridan's Valley Campaign A general and five of his commanders pose outside a tent in an 1864 photo. Series: Philip Sheridan's Valley Campaign, 1864 After Jubal Early's raid into Maryland in 1864, President Lincoln appointed young Philip Sheridan to command the US Army in the Shenandoah Valley. Sheridan understood that Lincoln's reelection in November depended on winning battles. An 1864 pencil and watercolor drawing depicts an army wagon train among misty mountains. Series: Civil War Comes to the Shenandoah Valley The U.S. Army's dramatic burning of the countryside in the autumn of 1864, brought Valley residents the harshest realities of war. A greyscale 1864 painted sketch depicts cavalrymen on a farm with burning buildings. Peopling the Shenandoah Valley The Shenandoah Valley supported human settlement for thousands of years that continues today. Virginia's colonial land policies meant both opportunity for colonists but danger for those human buffers against colonial conflicts. Not all settlement was voluntary; enslaved inhabitants shaped the Valley's history too. A mid 1800s lithograph print shows a painting of a valley town. Shenandoah Valley Corridor Fertile soil and a transportation corridor brought wealth and prosperity to the Shenandoah Valley. They also made the Valley an avenue of invasion and counter-invasion, and a target for destruction. The Civil War wrought permanent change in the Valley's social and economic order. A colorful mountain view shows a valley of farms, towns, and industry. African Americans in the Shenandoah Valley African Americans lived, worked, built, and died in the Valley. Stories centered in what is today Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park spread across the Valley encompassing the lives of many. A weathered 1800s photo shows a portrait of a man in a jacket and bow-tie. Second Battle of Winchester Following their decisive victory at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee’s Confederate soldiers planned to invade the North and threaten both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. To protect their crossing of the Potomac, they also had to wipe out the 8,000 or so Federals occupying the crossroads town of Winchester, Virginia. The contours of a hillside planted with trees shows the remains of an earthwork fort. Burning of Chambersburg Riding through the night, nearly 3,000 Confederate horsemen under Gen. John McCausland reached the outskirts of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and threatened the residents with the fiery destruction of their hometown. An 1864 stereograph shows men on horseback looking at burned out buildings. Civil War Forts of Winchester The Confederacy built ten forts and smaller fortified positions to block any United States Army attempts to seize the town of Winchester, Virginia, and the region’s transportation network. Trees grow from a partly mowed grass earthwork. Occupied Winchester, 1862-1863 US General Robert Milroy, devout Presbyterian, staunch Republican, and an ardent abolitionist, quickly became a polarizing figure in occupied Winchester, Virginia. A bearded white haired general poses in uniform for an 1863 portrait photo Battle of Fisher's Hill Often referred to as the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy,” Fisher’s Hill offered at least some security and even limited comfort to Confederate soldiers after defeat at Third Winchester. Belts of trees divide a mowed grass hillside under a summer sky. Battle of Cool Spring The Confederates’ tactical victory at Cool Spring meant little as US troops easily crossed the Shenandoah River in pursuit. But frustration with the war in the Valley soon caused Gen. Grant to rebuild the Army of the Shenandoah and put a new, aggressive officer in command, Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan. A muddy green river flows gently past its forested banks.

nearby parks

also available

National Parks
USFS NW
Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Minnesota
Montana
Nevada
New Mexico
North Carolina
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Washington
Wyoming
Yellowstone