On June 9, 1862, as Union troops marched from the previous days' battle at Cross Keys toward Port Republic, the Confederates formed a defensive line from the South Fork of the Shenandoah River at Port Republic to the Lewiston Coaling several miles east. The Coaling produced charcoal for Confederate iron foundries manufacturing artillery and ammunition, and as such became a Union target. A Confederate battery was positioned on a hill at The Coaling, and the Confederate line extended along Lewiston Lane to the South Fork of the Shenandoah at Port Republic.

The Confederates built a pontoon bridge of wagons over the South Fork of the Shenandoah and burned the covered bridge at the North Fork to prevent Union crossing. A fierce fight of artillery and then hand-to-hand combat erupted at The Coaling. Eventually the Union retreated leaving the Confederates in charge of The Coaling as well as the Shenandoah Valley in this final battle of Jackson's Valley Campaign.

Visiting the Port Republic Battlefield

Your best bet to tour The Battle of Port Republic is to begin at the Port Republic Museum. The Museum publishes a self-guided walking tour that takes you by Madison Hall, Stonewall Jackson's headquarters during the battle, as well as Palmer Lot, the site of the Confederate pontoon bridge, and the site of the North River Bridge that Stonewall Jackson burned.

Visit Civil War Trust and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation for battle details and information about the preservation of this battlefield.

Pictured at the top: The Port Republic Museum chronicles Port Republic's history as a colonial river port town and setting for two Civil War battles. The Museum publishes a self-guided walking tour of Port Republic, a well-preserved 19th century village, that includes sites involved in the Battle of Port Republic.

port republic museum

Palmer Lot, the site of the Confederate pontoon bridge built during the Battle of Port Republic, is now Bradburn Memorial Park, a waterfront recreational park.

port republic museum

Currently under restoration by the Port Republic Society of Preservationists, the Riverside Graveyard dates back to the late 1700s and is the final resting place of many of the town folk - among them millers, farmers, blacksmiths, preachers, indentured servants, and Confederate soldiers. All were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and belonged to other organizations such as the Oddfellows Lodge, Sons of Temperance, and the Cold Water Army of the Total Abstinence.