Skirmish at Hupp's Hill

After a string of victories and then two weeks of burning farms and taking supplies, US Gen. Philip Sheridan pulled his 32,000-man army back north to the area along Cedar Creek, making Belle Grove Plantation his headquarters. Most of Sheridan's soldiers were confident that the Confederates posed no further threat in the Valley. Sheridan even sent his 6th Corps to join fighting outside the Valley, at Petersburg.

But with new reinforcements making his army about 14,000 men strong, Early cautiously followed the Federal army north. On October 13, 1864, at Hupp's Hill near Strasburg, he found an opportunity.

Outnumbered Confederates Strike

Around 10 a.m., Early led his army to Hupp’s Hill, about one mile north of Strasburg, Virginia, to scout Sheridan’s army. Keeping his troops hidden Early and his staff saw the Federals across Cedar Creek from the crest of the hill. They noticed that the US 6th Corps was not there. “Without displaying any of my force except a small body of cavalry,” Early wrote later, “a battery of artillery was run out suddenly and opened on [Col. Joseph Thoburn’s] division, scattering it in great confusion.”

Part of a series of articles titled Drive the Enemy South.

Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park

Last updated: February 7, 2023