On August 9, 1862, as the Union's initiatives shifted away from the Peninsula and toward Northern Virginia, Pope's Union Army of the Potomac marched through Culpeper toward Gordonsville to capture the railway junction there. On a sweltering summer day, they were met and turned back by Confederates Stonewall Jackson, A.P. Hill and Jubal A. Early at Cedar Mountain. At one point during the battle, the Union broke the Confederate line and Stonewall Jackson's troops began to flee. To rally his men Jackson attempted to draw his sword, but found it rusted to its scabbard. He removed the sword, scabbard and all, brandished it over his head and rode into the heat of battle crying, "Jackson is with you!" Inspired by his valor, Jackson's men returned to the frontline and launched a counter-attack that secured Confederate victory and set the stage for another victory at Manassas II a few weeks later.

Visiting the Cedar Mountain Battlefield

Your best bet to tour Cedar Mountain Battlefield is to start out at the Civil War Trust trail and interpretive signs at Cedar Mountain located about 7 miles south of downtown Culpeper near the junction of Routes 15 and 657 (General Winder Road). The trail is a scenic 1-1/4 mile round trip on a mowed grass track with seven stops, interpretive panels and views of Cedar Mountain. The trail is a little hilly, but benches are provided for sitting, relaxing and taking in the views. You can stand at the site of Stonewall Jackson's valiant charge into battle to rally his men, and there are markers commemorating the Union and Confederate regiments. The markers were placed by Judge Daniel A. Grimsley, a major in the 6th Virginia Cavalry, in 1901 to mark the positions of Union and Confederate regiments at the start of the battle.

Visit Civil War Trust and Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield for battle details and information about the preservation of this battlefield.

Pictured at the top: The battlefield trail passes by the area where Stonewall Jackson drew his sword and rallied his men. Jackson considered Cedar Mountain his most successful 'exploit.'

cedar mountain battlefield worm fence

A worm fence along the battlefield trail traces the old Orange-Culpeper road.

cedar mountain battlefield trees bench

Benches are provided along the trail for relaxing and enjoying the views of Cedar Mountain and the surrounding countryside.

cedar mountain artillery

The battlefield trail features an artillery display.

cedar mountain battlefield talliferro early markers

Monuments to Confederate Generals Taliaferro and Early are among the many markers placed at Cedar Mountain Battlefield.

Historical Photo

cedar mountain union graves

Cedar Mountain, Va. Union graves on the battlefield Timothy O'Sullivan, 1862 (Library of Congress)