“Breaking the Shenandoah Valley’s Gibraltar”
Battle & Reunion at Fisher’s Hill
Saturday, November 4, 2023
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Four years after the Civil War’s end, Aldace Walker, a veteran of the famed Vermont Brigade believed that while General Philip H. Sheridan’s victories at Winchester on September 19, 1864, and triumph at Cedar Creek one month later would remain “the best known of Sheridan’s Valley battles” in the minds of most Americans, he believed that some, if not all, of the Army of the Shenandoah’s veterans might disagree. Walker contended that Sheridan’s veterans favored the Union victory at Fisher’s Hill on September 22, 1864, as the seminal moment in Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Campaign. “Among his soldiers the idea was current, and still prevails, that the battle of Fisher’s Hill, with its unusual amount of careful reconnoitering and skillful maneuvering, resulting in almost incredible success, displayed even more military genius than either of the first named fields.” This fall Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute will explore the Battle of Fisher’s Hill on an intimate level–from the perspective of those caught in the maelstrom. Additionally, the tour will explore gatherings of Union and Confederate veterans at Fisher’s Hill in the decades after the conflict.
“We had it is true, the prestige of victory, and the Confederates had the discouragement of defeat… but their army… was made up of veterans, and now occupied one of the best defensive positions in Virginia; and that it would be held with all the stubbornness of veterans we could not doubt.” (Captain James F. Fitts, 114th New York)
- 10-10:30 a.m. Check-in at Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia
- 10:30-11:30 a.m. Welcome and lecture by Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas “No Longer the Valley of Humiliation”: Shifting Attitudes Toward the Conflict in the Shenandoah Valley
- 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Lunch at Shenandoah University’s Allen Dining Hall (lunch included with registration)
- 12:30-4:30 p.m.: Caravan tour of sites associated with the Battle of Fisher’s Hill. The caravan will follow portions of the Army of the Shenandoah’s route from Winchester to Fisher’s Hill. Please note that portions of this tour involve hiking over uneven terrain.
Registration fee of $25 covers the cost of morning lecture, handouts, lunch, and afternoon guided caravan tour. Carpooling is required for the afternoon tour as mass transportation will not permit access to certain sites.
Questions about registration can be directed to Prof. Noyalas at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 540-665-4501.
Interested in learning more about Battle of Fisher’s Hill prior to the fall seminar and tour, check out The Battle of Fisher’s Hill: Breaking the Shenandoah Valley’s Gibraltar written by MCWI’s director Jonathan A. Noyalas. The Battle of Fisher’s Hill