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From These Honored DeadHistorical Archaeology of the American Civil War$
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Clarence R. Geier, Douglas D. Scott, and Lawrence E. Babits

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049441

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049441.001.0001

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With Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley

With Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley

Wesley Merritt at Cedar Creek, October 1864

(p.123) 8 With Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley
From These Honored Dead

Clarence R. Geier

Alyson L. Wood

University Press of Florida

On October 19, 1864, the Union victory at the Battle of Cedar Creek successfully handed control of the agriculturally rich Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to the North. The battle started with a dramatic and successful Confederate attack on the vast, 6-mile-long Union encampment of Gen. Philip Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah. Recent archaeology conducted by researchers from James Madison University has successfully identified the camp of the Union 1st Cavalry Division that lay on the right flank of what was a massive, transient, tent city. This paper discusses the nature of the field work carried out as it relates to defining the camp boundaries and the cultural and natural landscapes within which it was established. The paper further considers the unique nature of Sheridan's cavalry forces and in particular the role played by the 1st Division in the events at Cedar Creek.

Keywords:   Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, cavalry, Gen. Philip Sheridan, Battle of Cedar Creek, Union 1st Cavalry Division, Army of the Shenandoah

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