The Valley District was an organization of the Confederate States Army and subsection of the Department of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War, responsible for operations between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Allegheny Mountains of Virginia. It was created on October 22, 1861, and was surrendered by the authority of Gen Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
Background[edit | edit source]
The Valley District was created to administer various home guard and military units and armies which operated in the Shenandoah Valley. The first forces organized in this area prior to the creation of the Valley District were the Forces In and About Harper's Ferry, Virginia, which existed from April 18, 1861, to June 15, 1861. The Forces In and About Harper's Ferry were originally under the Virginia State Militia, and were placed under three commanders during that time. MajGen Kenton Harper (Virginia State Militia) commanded from April 18 to April 28, then command fell to Col Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (Virginia State Militia) from April 28 to May 24, and finally the forces were transferred to the Confederate States Army and BGen Joseph E. Johnston from May 24 to June 15, 1861.
From June 15 to October 22, military organization in the Shenandoah Valley came under local leadership until the Department of Northern Virginia. It was created on October 22, 1861, as Johnston prepared defenses in Northern Virginia. The Valley District was defined as the area between the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Alleghenies and extended south from the Potomac River to the vicinity of Staunton, Virginia and covered an area of roughly five thousand square miles.
Three districts were created under the Department of Northern Virginia were:
- The Aquia District
- First commander: MajGen Theophilus H. Holmes
- Period of existence: October 22, 1861 to April 18, 1862
- The Potomac District
- First commander: MajGen Pierre G. T. Beauregard
- Period of existence: October 22, 1861 to January 29, 1862
- The Valley District
- First commander: MajGen Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
- Period of existence: October 22, 1861 to April 9, 1865
While the Aquia and Potomac Districts ceased to exist by the spring of 1862, the need remained for military organization in the Valley throughout the remainder of the war.
1864[edit | edit source]
During 1864, while under the command of LtGen Jubal Early, the Valley District operated its own independent army, the Army of the Valley, which was essentially composed of the Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. The Second Corps was detached from Lee's main army to invade, threaten and assault Washington, D.C., on the hopes of drawing forces away from General Grant's forces, and thereby relieving pressure on his siege around Richmond, and Petersburg, Virginia.
Command history[edit | edit source]
|LtGen Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson||October 22, 1861||December 29, 1862|
|BrigGen William E. "Grumble" Jones||December 29, 1862||May 28, 1863|
|MajGen Isaac R. Trimble||May 28, 1863||July 21, 1863|
|BGen John D. Imboden||July 21, 1863||December 15, 1863|
|MajGen Jubal A. Early||December 15, 1863||March 9, 1864|
|BGen John D. Imboden||March 9, 1864||May 4, 1864|
|MajGen John C. Breckinridge||May 4, 1864||June 13, 1864|
|LtGen Jubal A. Early||June 13, 1864||March 29, 1865|
|MajGen Lunsford L. Lomax||March 29, 1865||April 9, 1865|
See also[edit | edit source]
- Army of Northern Virginia
- Winchester in the American Civil War
- Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters Museum
- Army of the Valley
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Weigley, p. 489.
- Tanner, p. 37
References[edit | edit source]
- Tanner, Robert G., Stonewall in the Valley: Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign, Spring 1862, Stackpole Books, 2002. ISBN 0-8117-2064-0
- Weigley, Russell F., A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865