Ethan Rafuse: 'Back to the Chivalric Days of Yore': The Valley Campaign of 1862. In 1862, Union armies took the offensive throughout Virginia in an effort to win battlefield victories that, it was hoped, in conjunction with a policy of conciliation toward the people of the South, would bring the rebellion to an end by the end of the year. In the Shenandoah Valley, Federal forces initially seized the upper hand, driving Confederate forces from Winchester to Harrisonburg. In May, however, Confederate forces commanded by Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson took the offensive, taking advantage of Federal errors to win battlefield victories that turned the tide in the valley. In the process, Jackson's efforts helped dash Federal hopes for a quick end to the rebellion, which led to a fundamental recasting of Union strategy. This talk will provide an account of Union and Confederate efforts in the Shenandoah Valley during the first half of 1862 and the strategic and operational context that shaped and was shaped by these operations. Ethan S. Rafuse is a professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. His publications include Stonewall Jackson: A Biography and McClellan's War. In 2018-19 he was the Charles Boal Ewing Distinguished Visiting Professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
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