A detailed account of the adventures of Confederate officer Lt. Gen Jubal Early, and the Union response to his attack on Washington, during the Civil War. After attacking and failing to take Washington, Early withdrew under forced march for four days. The Union caught up to them and a fierce battle was waged. The Confederates were able to fight off the Union in a particularly fierce engagement that left the Union soldiers demoralized.
- Exhausted from weeks of incessant campaigning, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s 8,000 Army of the Valley veterans hoped that Sunday, July 17, 1864, might afford them an opportunity for some much- needed rest
- Breckinridge’s Sabbath observances were interrupted when a courier entered the church and informed the general that a contingent of Federal troops had crossed Snicker’s Gap and engaged Confederate pickets near Castleman’s Ferry.
- Perhaps Assistant Secretary of War Charles A. Dana best summed up the battle’s futility—and the futility of the war as a whole. He wrote that what happened on the banks of the Shenandoah River “proved…an egregious blunder” and “accomplished nothing.”
“Once Thoburn’s entire command was across the river—approximately 4 p.m.—he deployed skirmishers on an upland ridge just east of the Cool Spring mansion and established his first line about 75 yards from the river’s western bank. Thoburn then posted a second line in reserve on “an old road on the riverbanks and behind a low stone fence,” a position which Thoburn wrote after the battle “afforded excellent protection for the men.””