Shenandoah Summer


Shenandoah Summer

The 1864 Valley Campaign

Scott C. Patchan

408 pages
15 images, 8 maps


April 2009


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eBook (PDF)
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June 2007


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About the Book

Jubal A. Early’s disastrous battles in the Shenandoah Valley ultimately resulted in his ignominious dismissal. But Early’s lesser-known summer campaign of 1864, between his raid on Washington and Phil Sheridan’s renowned fall campaign, had a significant impact on the political and military landscape of the time. By focusing on military tactics and battle history, Scott C. Patchan uncovers the facts and actions of these little-understood battles and offers a new perspective on Early’s contributions to the Confederate war effort—and to Union battle plans and politicking.
Patchan details previously unexplored battles at Rutherford’s Farm and Kernstown (a pinnacle of Confederate operations in the Shenandoah Valley). He examines the campaign’s influence on President Lincoln’s reelection efforts and provides insights into the personalities, careers, and roles in Shenandoah of Confederate General John C. Breckinridge, Union General George Crook, and Union Colonel James A. Mulligan, with his “fighting Irish” brigade from Chicago. Finally, Patchan reconsiders the ever-colorful and controversial Early himself, whose importance in the Confederate military pantheon this book at last makes clear.

Author Bio

Scott C. Patchan, a Civil War battlefield guide and historian, is the author of Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont and a consultant and contributing writer for Shenandoah, 1862.


“The author’s descriptions of the battles are very detailed, full or regimental level actions, and individual incidents. He bases the accounts on commendable research in manuscript collections, newspapers, published memoirs and regimental histories, and secondary works. The words of the participants, quoted often by the author, give the narrative an immediacy. . . . A very creditable account of a neglected period.”—Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War News

“[Shenandoah Summer] contains excellent diagrams and maps of every battle and is recommended reading for those who have a passion for books on the Civil War.”—Waterline

“The narrative is interesting and readable, with chapters of a digestible length covering many of the battles of the campaign.”—Curled Up With a Good Book

"Shenandoah Summer provides readers with detailed combat action, colorful character portrayals, and sound strategic analysis. Patchan's book succeeds in reminding readers that there is still plenty to write about when it comes to the American Civil War."—John Deppen, Blue & Grey Magazine

“Scott C. Patchan has solidified his position as the leading authority of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign with his outstanding campaign study, Shenandoah Summer. Mr. Patchan not only unearths this vital portion of the campaign, he has brought it back to life with a crisp and suspenseful narrative. His impeccable scholarship, confident analyses, spellbinding battle scenes, and wonderful character portraits will captivate even the most demanding readers. Shenandoah Summer is a must read for the Civil War aficionado as well as for students and scholars of American military history.”—Gary Ecelbarger, author of “We Are in for It!”: The First Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862

“Scott Patchan has given us a definitive account of the 1864 Valley Campaign. In clear prose and vivid detail, he weaves a spellbinding narrative that bristles with detail but never loses sight of the big picture. This is a campaign narrative of the first order.”—Gordon C. Rhea, author of The Battle of the Wilderness: May 5–6, 1864

“[Scott Patchan] is a ‘boots-on-the-ground’ historian, who works not just in archives but also in the sun and the rain and tall grass. Patchan’s mastery of the topography and the battlefields of the Valley is what sets him apart and, together with his deep research, gives his analysis of the campaign an unimpeachable authority.”—William J. Miller, author of Mapping for Stonewall and Great Maps of the Civil War

"The reality of the "neighbor versus neighbor" conflict explored in the pages of this monograph make it a worthwhile read for historians of the Shenandoah Valley, the battles of 1864, or the overarching military scope of the Civil War."—Gregory R. Jones, Northwest Ohio History

“The author’s descriptions of the battles are very detailed, full of regimental level action and individual incidents. He bases the accounts on commendable research in manuscript collections, newspapers, published memoirs and regimental histories, and secondary works. The words of the participants, quoted often by the author, give the narrative an immediacy.”—Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War News

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
1. The Most Successful Expedition: Retreat from Washington, July 11-12, 1864
2. Who Has the Management: Union Pursuit, July 11-15, 1864
3. But Little Is Expected from Our Pursuit: Loudoun Valley to the Blue Ridge, July 16-17, 1864
4. Whipped Most Awfully: The Battle of Cool Spring, July 18, 1864
5. The Panic Was Over: The Battle of Cool Spring, July 18, 1864
6. Rock Them Like All Creation: Berry's Ferry and Kabletown, July 19, 1864
7. A Miracle of Execution: The Battle of Rutherford's Farm, July 20, 1864
8. The Object of the Expedition Accomplished: Wright Leaves the Valley, July 19-22, 1864
9. A Cavalry Scare: Prelude to Kernstown, July 23, 1864
10. Attack the Enemy at Once: The Second Battle of Kernstown, July 23-24, 1864
11. A Perfect Stampede: The Second Battle of Kernstown, July 24, 1864
12. Bull Run Was Nothing in Comparison: Retreat to the Potomac, July 24-27, 1864
13. Defeat Was a Matter of Course: The Second Battle of Kernstown Analysis
14. Burn the Entire Town: McCausland's Chambersburg Raid, July 28-August 4, 1864
15. Like a Fiery Meteor: The Battle of Moorefield, August 1864
16. L'Envoi: Conclusion
Appendix A: Mrs. Marian Mulligan
Appendix B: Shenandoah Valley Campaign: July 1864 Order of Battle


2008 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship, finalist.

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