Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War

Strasburg - Hupp's Hill Civil War Walking Tour


The marker for Hupp's Hill is one of several along the walking trail at the Hupp's Hill Civil War Park north of Strasburg, Virginia.


Location and Directions

Hupp's Hill Civil War Park is just north of Strasburg, Virginia on the west side of the Valley Pike (U.S. 11) about 0.9 mile north of Strasburg and 1 miles south of Interstate 81. (39.0005° N, 78.3494° W see map)


Text from the marker


How Strata Shaped Strategy:

The Hupp's Hill Civil War/Karst
Interpretive Walking Trail


CWK 9 - Strasburg



The town of Strasburg is directly ahead, at the bottom of the southern (reverse) slope of Hupp's Hill. The image to the right is a wartime view from 1862. Today's prominent water tower sits atop Fort Hill, the site of Banks' Fort.


The streets that today radiate out from Banks' Fort were built along the trench lines that Union General N. P. Banks erected during April 1862 to guard against Confederate advances from the south. But after destroying a small Union force at Front Royal (18 May 1862), Stonewall Jackson barreled in on Banks' eastern flank. Banks and his 6,000 troops fled down the Valley Pike (north), with Jackson's men nipping at their heels. Banks made a stand at the Battle of 1st Winchester (25 May 1862), and was soundly thrashed by Jackson.


All told, Jackson's cat-and-mouse maneuvers during the 1862 Valley Campagn won five battles against three Federal armies between May 8 and June 9.


Note: For more on Banks' Fort, visit the Civil War Trails marker at the corner of Washington and Holiday Streets in Strasburg.


The Shenandoah Valley

Massanutten Mountain is a ridge that runs 50 miles from Strasburg in the northeast to Harrisonburg at the southwest end, effectively splitting the Shenandoah Valley in two. Luray Valley lies between Massanutten and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east. Little North Mountain defines the western edge of the Shenandoah Valley and the start of the Allegheny Range farther to the west.

Strasburg marker on the Hupp's Hill Walking Tour north of Strasburg, Virginia.
(above) Strasburg marker on the Hupp's Hill Walking Tour north of Strasburg, Virginia.


The ridge that dominates the landscape south of Strasburg is Fisher's Hill, also known as "The Gibralter of the Valley." At 750 feet above sea level, it is comparable in altitude to Hupp's Hill and thus constituted a formidable natural position that was also fortified against any military thrust from the north.



Confederate General Jubal Early conducted a masterful military campaign during the summer of 1864, first repulsing a Union drive on Lynchburg, then rapidly moving down the Valley (Northward), crossing the Potomac, and approaching the outskirts of Washington before being stopped by Union reinforcements. Early returned to the Valley, where he routed a small Union army at the Battle of 2nd Kernstown (24 July 1864). It would be the last Confederate victory in the Valley.


Union General Philip Sheridan, commander of the new Army of the Shenandoah, defeated Early's weakened Confederate force at 3rd Winchester (19 September), compelling Early's retreat to prepared positions on Fisher's Hill. On the night of 21 September, Union General George Crook, whom Early had beaten at 2nd Kernstown, marched his Federal VIII Corps to the foot of Little North Mountain, using Hupp's Hill to screen his advance. Crook's sudden appearance the next day on Early's thin left flank dealt the Confederates a decisive blow at the Battle of Fisher's Hill (22 September 1864).


Note: For more on the Battle of Fisher's Hill, visit the Civil War Trails markers south of Strasburg on U.S. 11



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