“The Union and the Confederacy battled over the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for three years. Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Valley and Ridge Appalachians to the west, the valley served as granary for General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia , providing bread and beef to feed this shield of the Confederacy, and fodder and remounts for its cavalry.” **
In the summer of 1864 Ulysses S. Grant appoints Gen. Phil Sheridan the head of a new Army of the Shenandoah ordering him to pursue the Confederate Army of the Valley to the death.
Sheridan’s expedition would also include the wholesale destruction of anything of use to the Confederacy in the valley. Known as the Burning, Union forces in 1864 lay waste to this rich region of Virginia denying its use as a Confederate supply center for the rest of the Civil War.
The Shenandoah Valley Campaign would make Phil Sheridan famous and his opposing Confederate commander Jubal Early infamous in 1864. Sheridan’s victories at Winchester, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek effectively ended the war in the Shenandoah Valley and “forged a tide of Union success that could not be stayed by a beleaguered Confederacy.” *
Click the link below to see the story and images of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign