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The event dates of 26-28 July are for reenactors. The event will be open to the public for viewing on Saturday and Sunday, 27-28 July. We look forward to seeing you there!

In the summer of 1864, while Lee and Grant were stalemated in Petersburg, Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley was raging once more as North and South vied to take control of the region. By late July, Union General George Crook believed that Confederate General Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley had left the region to reinforce Lee in Petersburg, leaving the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy” firmly in his hands. Little did Crook and his Army of West Virginia know they would soon be confronted with “a most destructive fire” at a small town just south of Winchester named Kernstown.

Generals Early (CS) and Crook (US)

The Second Battle of Kernstown was fought on July 24, 1864, at Kernstown, Virginia, outside Winchester, Virginia, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 in the American Civil War. The Confederate Army of the Valley under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early soundly defeated the Union Army of West Virginia under Brig. Gen. George Crook and drove it from the Shenandoah Valley back over the Potomac River into Maryland. As a result, Early was able to launch the Confederacy’s last major raid into northern Union territory, attacking the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Maryland and West Virginia and burning Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in retaliation for the burning of civilian houses and farms earlier in the campaign.

Battle Overview

On 26th-28th July 2024, join Civil War Historical Impressions as we support the Kernstown Battlefield Association in hosting “A Most Destructive Fire”: the 160th Second Battle of Kernstown!

This will be an authentic force-on-force event featuring multiple infantry demonstrations, skirmishes, and field hospital presentations. More importantly, this event will directly impact historic preservation of the Kernstown Battlefield in support of the Kernstown Battlefield Association.

Col. Rutherford B. Hayes
2Lt. William McKinley

US forces will portray the 23rd Ohio Infantry under the command of future president Rutherford B. Hayes. Among the ranks of this regiment was another future president: William McKinley. Originally a 3-year regiment raised in 1861, the 23rd saw service in western Virginia, the Maryland and Gettysburg Campaigns with the IX Corps, and had acquitted itself well throughout the war.

The US Commander at this event is Scot Buffington.

CS forces will portray the 22nd Virginia under the command of George S. Patton, grandfather of the renowned World War II general of the same name. Organized in 1861 as the “1st Kanawha Regiment” before becoming the 22nd Virginia, the unit saw service throughout western Virginia, notably at Carnifex Ferry, Droop Mountain, and New Market.

The CS Commander at this event is Brian Gesuero.

Col. George S. Patton
Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

After submitting your participant information, please pay your registration fee via the buttons below. Registration is not considered complete until payment is received. Please use the same email submitted in the form above to make your payment below.

Registration for this event is $30.00