WINCHESTER — A free tour led by Civil War author Scott Patchan is planned to commemorate next month’s 157th anniversary of the Second Battle of Kernstown.

The battle, fought on July 24, 1864, was one of the Confederate Army’s last victories in the Shenandoah Valley. Approximately 1,200 Union soldiers became casualties that day while Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early’s Confederate forces lost only 200 men. Afterwards, Early launched the South’s final foray into Northern territory, attacking railroad stations in West Virginia and Maryland and burning buildings in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In response, the Union Army placed Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan in charge of its Valley forces and, within three months, the Confederates were forced out of the Shenandoah Valley for the final time. The South surrendered to the North on April 9, 1865, in Appomattox County.

According to a media release from the nonprofit Kernstown Battlefield Association, Patchan — known for his books “Shenandoah Summer” and “Last Battle of Winchester” — will start the tour at 9 a.m. July 24 at 610 Battle Park Drive. His presentation will provide an overview of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign and highlight key moments from the clash in Kernstown between Early and commanding Union Brig. Gen. George Crook.

After the overview, the tour will visit significant battle sites in the Kernstown and Stephens City areas. Weather permitting, anticipated stops include Opequon Church, Middle Road, Pritchard’s Hill and the location of Confederate Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge’s flank attack on the east side of Interstate 81.

Breckinridge was a senator from Kentucky and vice president of the United States who left the Union to fight for the Confederacy. Other notable participants in the Second Battle of Kernstown included future presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley.

Tour participants are asked to wear comfortable walking shoes and proper clothing for late-July weather, and to bring along water to stay hydrated. While the tour is being offered free of charge, donations would be appreciated.

For more information about the Kernstown Battlefield Association or to register for the 157th anniversary tour, visit or leave a message at 540-450-7835.

— Contact Brian Brehm at

(13) comments


Here they go again. Romanticizing the battles of White men fighting over the futures of kidnapped Africans captured and enslaved, brought here to be bought and sold amongst Christian entrepreneurs. Will the presentation by Mr. Patchan include the context for this war? Will he describe the lives of the enslaved? The wealth earned from their labors by the white Christian owners? Will he honestly describe the lives of the enslaved men, women and their children over hundreds of years? Will he explain why the South seceded: To ensure that slavery could not be limited or constrained in their states by the growing power of the Union or Northern states. Probably not or inadequately so. Instead, there will be talk of the sacrifices of the soldiers, of the movements of troops, camps, guns, battles, etc. as if THOSE are the valuable remains and lessons of that terrible war and period. Where are the tours of the ethical and moral battles fought? What were the arguments used in the debates about the economic value of slaves and the wealth they provided and the Christian pro-slave morality preached every Sunday in churches that in the South? How many slave owners were there in Frederick County? How many enslaved? Who were those slave owners? How did they benefit? Are their descendants still amongst us? Battlefields are a distraction from the lessons that we should take from that war. They occupy us with tales of campfires, costumes, and gunfire, battle maps, and so-called heroes. THey are a tool of the still active Lost Cause advocates - still trying to deny the rightful defeat of the Confederacy. THey are a waste of acreage given over to honoring what should be profoundly embarrassing and shameful in the former Confederacy and their descendants. We should be teaching the errors of our ancestors and be contrite about their immoral capitalist Christian supported racist economic system rather than memorializing and celebrating combat battlefields.


"....contrite about their immoral capitalist Christian supported racist economic system...". And there you have it folks. Slowe is an avowed commie/socialist sympathizer.


Chump: do not read what I did not say. Do not hear what I did not say. Do you really deny that slavery was 1. Capitalist? 2 Supported by Christians - their book and their preachers? 3. racist? It was all three! Stating these facts does not make me a commie/socialist sympathizer.!


Just ignore the goatsucker. He gets off on this.


No, you said IMMORAL CAPITALIST. Big difference, rainbow warrior. HUGE difference.


@Basementboy - goatsucker? You obviously have me confused with someone else. I only have 1 ID on this forum. I don't have a proclivity towards farm animals either, because that's not only disgusting, it's also against the law. But, since you have a hard time following the rule of law, I'll give you a pass on your ignorance.


Yes, Chugar, it was an immoral system . do you dispute that? really?


Dear Chupacabra,

Don't use words you cannot define, but here's a freebie. According to Britannica Online, "Chupacabra, in Latin American popular legend, a monstrous creature that attacks animals and consumes their blood. The name is derived from the Spanish words chupar (“to suck”) and cabra (“goat”) and can be translated as 'goat-sucker.' "

Your chosen screen name literally means exactly what I call you. Get better.


Still ranting with the pretense of intelligence used to hide your deep-rooted insecurity?


Bryan, who is ranting? With pretense?


Chupacabra is making the rants, not you


Insecurity? If you are so secure Mr nuri than face the music.


@libs, I already faced the music. So I challenge you publicly to attend the next Board meeting.

I know I know, you're a coward. What a feckless response.

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