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American Battlefields
Kernstown, First   

Other Names: None

Location: Frederick County and Winchester

Campaign: Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign (1862)

Date(s): March 23, 1862

Principal Commanders: Col. Nathan Kimball [US]; Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson [CS]

Forces Engaged: 12,300 total (US 8,500; CS 3,800)

Estimated Casualties: 1,308 total (US 590; CS 718)

Description: Relying on faulty intelligence that reported the Union garrison at Winchester numbered only about 3,000, “Stonewall”  Jackson marched aggressively north with his 3,400-man division.  The 8,500 Federals, commanded by Col. Nathan Kimball, stopped Jackson at Kernstown and then counterattacked turning Jackson’s left flank and forcing him to retreat. Despite this Union victory, President Lincoln was disturbed by Jackson’s threat to Washington and redirected substantial reinforcements to the Valley, depriving McClellan’s army of these troops. McClellan claimed that the additional troops would have enabled him to take Richmond during his Peninsula campaign.

Result(s): Union victory

CWSAC Reference #: VA101

Preservation Priority: I.3 (Class B)

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