Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19: Battle of Cedar Creek

On this date in History .... 1844:

The battle of Cedar Creek takes place in Virginia.  It was the final Confederate invasion of the North. The Confederacy was never again able to threaten Wash, D.C., through the Shenandoah Valley.  The Union victory aided the reelection of Lincoln and won Union Maj. General Sheridan lasting fame.

Sheridan was on his way back from a D.C. conference when he encountered retreating Union soldiers.  He turned them around for a counterattack, which became known as “Sheridan’s Ride”. 12 Union enlisted men and 9 Union officers received the Medal of Honor for their actions in this battle including future Senator, Henry A. du Pont. 2 future presidents also fought in this battle: Col. Rutherford B. Hayes and Capt. William McKinley.

There were over 8000 casualties at this battle.  The Union Army, who went in with over 31,000 men, suffered almost 5800 casualties (roughly 18%). The Confederate Army, who went in with just 14,000 men, suffered slightly over 3,000 casualties (roughly 21.5%).  

The regiment of The 8th Vermont was one of the four regiments used to hold the Confederacy back while General Emory strengthened his line to meet a Confederate attack.  For over 30 minutes, these four regiments fought and held the line.  The 8th Vermont lost 106 of 159 men and a monument was placed on the ridge to honor the men of the 8th who died in this action.

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