Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War


Winchester - Rose Hill (First Battle of Kernstown)

Northern Victory, Southern Defeat

The marker is the last of seven stops on the self-guided hiking tour of the First Kernstown battlefield at Rose Hill.

 

How to get there

Take Virginia Route 37 (the Winchester bypass) to Cedar Creek Grade (County Route 622). Take Cedar Creek Grade 0.4 mile west. Turn south on Jones Road. After 0.5 mile the road curves east, then south again. The entry to the Rose Hill property is off the second curve.

 

Rose Hill is administered by the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. The walking tour of the Rose Farm is open for a fee at limited times. Check with the Museum's website for availability.

 

Location: 39.151574° N, 78.217085° W; see map.

 

Text from the marker

 

Northern Victory, Southern Defeat

 

As Southern units retreated and resistance fell apart, Northern victory was assured.

 

Jackson found himself surrounded by a disorderly retreat of his soldiers. In the growing dark, a few fresh Southern units made gallant attempts to cover the Southern retreat from Northern pursuit. One group formed a defensive square until they were completely surrounded and had to surrender. In the fields where you now stand, Northern horsemen gathered up approximately 250 wounded and retreating Southern troops, among them Jackson's brother-in-law and Sgt. Major Randolph Barton of the 33rd Virginia.

 

That night Jackson camped the disorganized remnants of his army just south of Newtown (now Stephens City) along the Valley turnpike. His men had, within two days, marched forty miles and fought a battle against superior numbers. Jackson's own performance had been less than exemplary. He had risked his army by pitching it headlong into a larger Northern force without an adequate picture of enemy strength. He failed to rely on his subordinates and communicate his battle plan to them. Finally, Jackson chose to fight this battle from the rear, feeding his units into the fight rather than being at the front and controlling the action. He would not make the same mistake again.

 

Kate Sperry, a young woman from Winchester, visited several days after the battle. In her diary she described what she saw.

 

"...we walked over a portion of it - where the fight was the thickest... the trees were scarred all over and branches shot off by the balls - the ground discolored by the blood of our men and Yanks also. I got a bullet that one of the Yanks fired at our men when our men were behind the stone wall - or fence rather ... Mr. M. assisted to bury our men - 79 in a tiny trench - side by side and a rail fence around them ... it was truly sad to see them - a haversack belonging to some of our men was lying on the ground by the fence, a piece of grey blanket and an old coat, part of a red flannel shirt ... . I brought away a piece of that stone fence - am going to preserve it."

-Kate Sperry diary excerpt



The Northern Victory, Southern Defeat wayside marker is the last of seven stops on the self-guided hiking tour of the First Kernstown battlefield at Rose Hill.
(above and below) The Northern Victory, Southern Defeat wayside marker is the last of seven stops on the self-guided hiking tour of the First Kernstown battlefield at Rose Hill.

The Northern Victory, Southern Defeat wayside marker is the last of seven stops on the self-guided hiking tour of the First Kernstown battlefield at Rose Hill.

 






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