Luray Downtown Initiative Civil War History

Civil War History

Page County, Virginia, or known as the Luray Valley and later Page Valley during the Civil War, is located between the majestic Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountains on the east and west and with the ever-flowing Shenandoah River running south to north.The significance of the Page Valley as an avenue of armies through the Shenandoah Valley, to and from Gettysburg and as a prominent thoroughfare for General “Stonewall” Jackson, with its stories, is a valuable resource that must be preserved and shared. Within the boundaries of this fertile valley Confederate and Union soldiers marched and died, commanders contemplated strategies that would affect the entire Shenandoah Valley, supporters and sympathizers went about daily life at home, slaves were bought and sold, barns, mills and bridges were burned and General “Stonewall” Jackson with 38,000 troops marched through his “beloved” valley.

Civil War Markers Established in Page County

  • White House Bridge, located west of Luray on Route 211 – Stonewall Jackson’s cavalry chief, Turner Ashby, burned this bridge on June 2, 1862, to delay Federal pursuit. The battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic were fought a week later. Civil War Trails interpretation.
  • New Market / Luray Gap, Civil War Trails sign located at the gap in the Forest Service parking lot – Near here on Nov. 23, 1862, Stonewall Jackson announced to his staff that his Army of the Valley had become the official Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia and soon would join Robert E. Lee’s troops on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Willow Grove Mill, Civil War Trails sign located two miles south of Luray on Business 340 and Route 642 – The mill here and several other buildings in the area were burned in early October 1864 by Union troopers under Col. William Powell. The action was part of “The Burning” of the Valley ordered by Union General Philip Sheridan.
  • Graves’ Chapel, “Jackson’s Last Glimpse of the Valley,” Civil War Trails sign located six miles south of Luray, take Business 340 to Route 689, then east one mile on Route 689 – In late November 1862, Stonewall Jackson led 32,000 troops across the South Fork of the Shenandoah River en route to Fishers Gap. After crossing the mountains, Jackson rejoined the main body of the Army of Northern Virginia. It was the last time the famous general saw the Valley. He died following an accidental shooting at Chancellorsville in May the next year.
  • Burning of Red Bridge, Civil War Trails sign located one mile east of US 340, at Route 650 — To avoid Federal annoyance while making plans at Conrad’s Store (modern Elkton) in late April 1862, Stonewall Jackson ordered bridges over the South Fork of the Shenandoah River burned. In a semi-botched operation, Red Bridge was the only one burned. The events led to a rift between Jackson and his popular cavalryman Turner Ashby.
  • Shield’s Advance and Retreat, Civil War Trails sign located south of Luray on US 340 — Union Gen. James Shields crossed Naked Creek here June 7, 1862, in pursuit of Stonewall Jackson’s army, then camped at Port Republic. After losing to Jackson two days later, Shield’s troops halted here during their retreat.

Click Here for a Study of Civil War Sites in the Shenandoah Valley. View Map Markers Here