About

My name is Scott C. Patchan and this blog is to share interesting information on the American Civil War, primarily the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, but you will also see other battles discussed hear, especially the Atlanta and Second Manassas campaigns. I am always looking to interact and correspond with those who share my interests and am constantly sleuthing for new material, even for topics that I have already written on because history is an evolutionary process that builds upon what we already know.

46 responses to “About

  1. Mike Weeks

    Hi, Scott. My name is Mike Weeks, and I recently came out with my first book, The Complete Civil War Road Trip Guide.
    I visited almost 450 sites researching the book, and devoted an entire chapter to the Valley. I just wanted to tell you that the Kernstown site and the staff made a permanent positive impression on me. Anytime anyone asks me about visiting the Valley, I mention the Winchester/Opequon sites, but I always tell them that Kernstown is the must-see. Keep up the great work out there!

    • Thanks Mike.

      Donna and Gary Crawford deserve the lion’s share of the credit for the wonderful interpretative programs and displays that KBA has to offer. The entire KBA project is a labor of love and it is especially evident with Donna and the work she has done on the visitor’s center.

  2. Glad I came across your new blog. I look forward to following. You have a very impressive bio. I may be in touch in the future as I write a chapter regarding the Shendandoah Valley in my book, OSGOOD A True Civil War Story of Love & Courage, based upon my great-great grandfather’s Civil War letters. All the best to you!

  3. Thomas Stager

    Hi Scott, We met a number of years ago at a battlefield tour you did for 2nd Kernstown. Remember the thunderstorm as we headed up Pritchards Hill? Love your blog and will check it out each month. By the way, Shenendoah Summer is great book! Thanks!

  4. Terry Yount

    Hi Scott, Just found out about your site through CWPT. Looking forward to more upcoming posts. Terry

  5. Dear Scott,

    I believe that Gen. David Hunter’s troops may have burned the library at Washington (and Lee)College. I believe he burned houses if guerrillas were related in some manner to the house. Can you confirm if they did burn the library and tell me why? Certainly, such an act would violate the Lieber Code dealing with educational institutions. VMI is a little more complicated since it was a military as well as educational facility. The participation of VMI cadets at New Market seems to have clearly placed it in the military facility category. General Gordon of the Ga infantry, in his memoirs, argued that a lot of educational places (Harvard to Yale) supplied soldiers so should they be burned? I ran across a letter in 1862 in which David Hunter, located on the SC coast, instructs a Col. to comply with the Lieber Code. He seemed to want to go by the laws of war at that time, but I know the war became more and more bitter.

    Besides my question about the Washington College library, I wonder what you think of an observation I ran across in one of my readings that, in the Valley, Jubal Early accomplished a lot more with less resources that Jackson had in his earlier campaign.

    Sincerely,

    Conway Henderson

    PS: I’m going to put your fine blog in my favorites list.

    • Sorry I have not replied sooner. Been a very busy summer and fall and I am just getting back to the blog now that the cooler weather is setting in. Hunter’s men looted the library at Washington College. I do not believe it was burned. VMI is a military facility. Its troops had fought against Hunter’s army a few weeks earlier and McCausland had artillery posted there when he was resisting Hunter’s advance.

      Early accomplished a lot. His campaign was much longer and more extended. However, it did not have to end the way it did with his force virtually destroyed. Stonewall Jackson never would have tried to go toe to toe with Sheridan in the Lower Valley as Early did at Third Winchester. There is a comparative moment. After 1st Winchester, Jackson was nearing Harper’s Ferry when he learned that the large forces of Fremont and McDowell were entering the Valley. He turned around and raced back up the Valley. Instead of fighting the large force in the open ranges of the Lower Valley near Winchester, he pulled them down farther south and won the battles of Port Republic and Cross Keys. Early in the face of long odds took half his army to Martinsburg and only by luck and poor planning by Sheridan did his force survive the Third Battle of Winchester. Early was a belligerent general while Jackson was more of a strategist. Unfortunately, the damage Early’s actions caused his army outweigh the gains he might have made. Imagine if instead of losing 5,000 men in the course of three days at Winchester and Fisher’s Hill, he fell back up the valley and then struck back at him when conditions were more opportune. At the very least, he could have held the gaps and frustrated and embarrassed Sheridan and Grant.

  6. Nancy

    Dear Mr. Patchan,

    I am thoroughly enjoying your vast knowledge and look forward to your next book and more blogs.

  7. Mr. Patchan:

    I have a Confederate ancestor who was wounded at the Battle of Piedmont and then taken prisoner. He ended up at Camp Morton. I’d like to have a copy of your book on the battle. Do you know where I might be able to acquire one?

    Thanks.

    • Richard, I have significantly rewritten it and hope to have it out next spring. I will post updates on the Shenandoah1864. Keep checking back, I’ll be posting more now that the “inside” weather is upon us. What regiment was your ancestor with? I could guess 45th VA based on the odds…

      Thanks for reading.

      Scott

  8. Great – can’t wait to read it! Our local library has a copy of the first edition, so maybe I’ll check that out for now.

    Actually, he was in the 60th Virginia – John Meredith Crutchfield. Wounded, taken to Camp Morton in Indiana, then transferred to Chimborazo Hospital in a prisoner exchange early in ’65. He died there w/out his widow ever knowing what had happened to him. For years, the family heard rumors – he deserted, ran off w/another woman, changed his allegiance and fought for the Union, etc, etc. I don’t really know why they never found out until very recently. A few years ago, I wrote a piece for the Washington Times’ old Civil War column telling this story and a fellow SCV member (who was working on cataloging names of Confederates buried in Oakwood Cemetery) read the piece and emailed me that my great-great grandfather was buried at Oakwood in a common grave with 2 (?) other soldiers.

    We’re still waiting on VA approval for a new headstone.

    Thanks again.

  9. Scott – a couple of follow up questions about the Battle of Piedmont, if you have time. Do you know what type of artillery guns each side was using during this battle and what types of shells they were firing? I recently found a shell fragment near the battle site and was just curious. Someone told me it could be a Parrot or a Hotchkiss.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Richard,

      The Union had 20 three inch rifles and four Napoleons. The Confederates had a wide variety that included three inch rifles, 10 pounder and 20 pounder parrots, several howitzers. I can’t recall what else they had off hand. Where did you find the shell fragment at?

  10. Bob Carragher

    Hi Scott –

    Thanks for starting the blog and glad to hear that you’ll be re-releasing The Forgotten Fury. The only copy I’ve been able to locate is in the rare books room of the Alexandria, VA library on Queen Street – and they don’t let it out of their sight.

    About 5 years ago, we purchased a house on Rockfish Road in Mt. Meridian (which I have nicknamed ‘Imboden’s Retreat’) and have been searching the Internet for information about the Battle of Piedmont. The house is located across the road from the old Mt. Meridian school house and about a half-a-mile from the Jackson Prayer Tree and what we believe to have been the Givens Farm. There must have been quite a bit of excitement there the morning of June 5 during the cavalry give and take along the road.

    Since then we’ve gotten to know some of the residents whose houses figured prominently during the battle.

    We’ve been contemplating trying to organize a progressive dinner along the route of the engagement to commemorate the battle. Have you heard of anything that’s in the works for 2014 and do you think you might be interested in participating and sharing your insights about the events of June 5, 1864?

    Thanks and we really appreciate all the work you’ve done to provide this battle the recognition it justly deserves.

    Bob

  11. Lamar

    Hi Scott. I am about to visit Manassas for the first time in about 3 weeks. I am really looking forward to your book and disappoineted that it won’t be out before my visit. If possible, could you send me an email? I would love to ask you a few questions regarding your book and the involvement of some particular units at 2nd Manassas. Thank you!

  12. Christy Saldana

    We are so glad you have started this blog and that we found it. We have four brothers, numerous cousins and future inlaws in the 60th Va. We are looking for as much info on the Battle of Piedmont, as we have a 3rd gr uncle who was supposedly wounded and then taken to Staunton Gen Hosp and then died of his wounds. His compiled service records have his name spelled wrong several times (each time it is different) then on another card with a wrong name, of course, has his birth county as Greene Co and he was born in Monroe Va (now WV). So I need as much guidance as possible. We want to be on or near the battlefield June 5, 2011. If anyone has any info….. Thanks

  13. If you are looking for detailed information about the Battle of Piedmont, you won’t do any better than Scott’s book. I’m about 2/3 of the way through it and it is well-written and does a great job of explaining troop movements, etc. Highly recommended.

  14. Hi Scott !
    My Great Grandfather was in the 14th Pa Cavalry, Company D. He was detached to Mt. Jackson. On October 3rd 1864 he was captured.
    An account appears on a website “Civil War Reference.com”: ‘The detachment, numbering 150 men and comanded by Capt. Jackson, was on picket duty at the bridge over the Shenandoah river near Mt. Jackson. About 4:00 a.m. the post was surprised by the 7th Va cavalry, 6 men were wounded, Jackson and 43 were captured, Lt Hague, with 37 men, reported that night to Col. Edwards at Winchester, some of the rest came in later, and some were never heard of.’

    An historical marker at the Route 11 bridge over the North Fork titled: McNeill’s Last charge states in part: ‘In the predawn darkness of October 3, 1864, Capt. John Hanson McNeill led thirty of his Partisan Rangers, including local resident Joseph I. Triplett, against a hundred-man detachment of the 8th Ohio Cavalry Regiment that was garding the Meems Bottom bridge on the Valley Turnpike. The attack ended in fifteen minutes with most of the guard captured and McNeill…mortally wounded.

    Were ther two bridges and two attacks on October 3, 1864 ? Is the historical marker in error? Were McNeill and the 7th Virginia acting together ? Your “Shenandoah Summer” ends with the “Battle of Moorefield” on August 7, 1864 where the 14th Pa saw action. Look forward to the release of your next book in July !! Thank You !!

  15. Hi Scott ! We are trying to solve a mystery at Mt. Jackson on October 3, 1864. Robert Monahan was in Co. G. of the 14th Pa Cavalry. A detachment of the 14th was at Mt. Jackson on Oct. 3. Pension records indicate that Monahan was captured there and paroled on 12/31/64 at Annapolis, Md. The Website “CivilWarReference.com states: “The detachment, numbering 150 men and commanded by Capt. Jackson, was on picket duty at the bridge over the Shenandoah river near Mt. Jackson. About 4.m. the post was surprised by the 7th Va cavalry, 6 men were wounded, Jackson and 43 men, reported that night to Col. Edwrds in Winchester, some of the rest came in later, and some were never heard of.” The McNeill’s Last Charge Marker on U.S. 11 states: “In the predawn darkness of 3 Oct. 1864, Capt. John Hanson McNeill led thirty of his Partisan Rangers…against a hundred man detachment of the 8th Ohio Cavalry Regiment that was guarding the Meems Bottom Bridge on the Valley Turnpike. The attack ended in fifteen minuites with most of the guard captured and Mc Neill…mortally wounded.” Are there two bridges? Was there a coordinated attack? Did the 7th Va Cavalry and McNeill’s Rangers attack the 14th Pa and the 8th Ohio detachments at one bridge? Lastly, are there prison records of Monahan’s detention? Was there a release point at Annapolis? Please point me in the right direction to haep solve this mystery of the bridge, capture and detention. Thank you for your work! I just bought “Shenandoah Summer” and can’t wait to read it.

    Brian M. Monahan
    Easton, PA

  16. Hi Scott ! We are trying to solve a mystery at Mt. Jackson on October 3, 1864. Robert Monahan was in Co. G. of the 14th Pa Cavalry. A detachment of the 14th was at Mt. Jackson on Oct. 3. Pension records indicate that Monahan was captured there and paroled on 12/31/64 at Annapolis, Md. The Website “CivilWarReference.com states: “The detachment, numbering 150 men and commanded by Capt. Jackson, was on picket duty at the bridge over the Shenandoah river near Mt. Jackson. About 4.m. the post was surprised by the 7th Va cavalry, 6 men were wounded, Jackson and 43 men, reported that night to Col. Edwards in Winchester, some of the rest came in later, and some were never heard of.” The McNeill’s Last Charge Marker on U.S. 11 states: “In the predawn darkness of 3 Oct. 1864, Capt. John Hanson McNeill led thirty of his Partisan Rangers…against a hundred man detachment of the 8th Ohio Cavalry Regiment that was guarding the Meems Bottom Bridge on the Valley Turnpike. The attack ended in fifteen minuites with most of the guard captured and Mc Neill…mortally wounded.” Are there two bridges? Was there a coordinated attack? Did the 7th Va Cavalry and McNeill’s Rangers attack the 14th Pa and the 8th Ohio detachments at one bridge? Lastly, are there prison records of Monahan’s detention? Was there a release point at Annapolis? Please point me in the right direction to help solve this mystery of the bridge, capture and detention. Thank you for your work! I just bought “Shenandoah Summer” and can’t wait to read it.

    Brian M. Monahan
    Easton, PA

    • Thomas J. Reed

      Scott:

      I’m reading hyour CWRT article on the Second Battle of Kernstown. Some years ago, the Civil War Round Table of Wilmington took a field trip to Winchester. Our guide knew absolutely nothing about Second Kernstown–since I had covered the battle in my Tibbets’ Boys 1997 regimental history of the 21sr New York Cavalry, I was his assistant for the talk on second Kernstown near the monument west oif U.S. 11.
      Most of the battlefield has been lost to post World War II development.

      Tom Reed
      New Castle, DE

  17. Bill Gauthier

    Scott,

    Enjoyed reading your books “The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter’s Raid on Staunton” and “Shenandoah Summer”. Await revision of Forgotten Fury.

    My great-great uncle was Pvt. John Delaney, Company A, 18th Connecticut Volunteers (Infantry) killed by small arms fire as he retreated across the Shenandoah River, July 18, 1864. I have no photo of him, but have stories of his death that came down from my grandmother, which are consistent with the action you described. Pvt. Delaney is buried in the Catholic cemetery in Lisbon, Connecticut.

    Bill Gauthier
    Trumbull, Connecticut

  18. Bill Gauthier

    My misunderstanding. “The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter’s Raid on Staunton” is the revision of “Forgotten Fury”.

    Bill Gauthier

  19. Hi Scott,
    I am preparing a film entitled YANKEE RAIDERS: SECURING THE NEW STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA. The project looks at steps the Confederates took to disrupt, and the Union to control the territory that would become WV.. While your focus is seems generally eastward, I wonder if you would be willing to be interviewed for the production. Please write!

  20. Hello!
    I just read an excerpt from your article in the Blue & Gray Magazine (Volume XXVII Issue #2) wherein the caption under a photo of Spout Spring Ford says, in part, “[the 1st CT Cav] … sent the pickets of the 37th Virginia Battalion splashing across the Opequon and back to their base at the Daniel Wood house.”

    I have an ancestor who was a Virginia cavalryman captured during the action at Abrams Creek, Sept. 13, 1864 [OR, Vol XLIII, part1, pg 529-30] and have been trying to pinpoint the location of the dismounted VA cavalrymen who were overrun by Union cavalry under McIntosh. Can you say where I might find information about the cavalry’s use of the Wood house?

    Thanx.
    Dave Deatherage
    College Station, Texas

    • Hi Dave,

      The cavalrymen were posted along Opequon Creek and driven back quickly which led to the capture of a SC infantry regiment further west. I suspect he was captured near the point where Abram’s Creek crosses the Berryville Pike. I will have more details on that action in my forthcoming book, the Last Battle of Winchester.

      Thanks for reading.

      Scott

      • Dave Deatherage

        Scott,

        Thanks for your reply.

        As you can see in McIntosh’s report in the O.R., he enumerated the counts and regiments captured. My ancestor was the single enlisted man of the 8th Va Cavalry indicated.

        All the enlisted prisoners were forwarded to Camp Chase prison, Ohio via Harpers Ferry; Twelve of the 35 Virginians died in captivity and are buried in the Camp Chase cemetery.

        I will be looking forward to the publishing of your book.

        Dave

  21. Jon Averill

    Hi Scott, Our film title is now AVERELL’s RAIDERS and THE 35TH STAR. Work is progressing, albeit slowly, with input from Eric Wittenburg, Dr. Dave Bard, Mike Smith, and others. We filmed at the #rd Battle of Winchester site, as we are using Camp Averell in the final chapter of the film as we discuss Averell’s dismissal. Love to see if we could interview you sometime by the end of the year regarding the Battle of Moorfield and Averell’s removal from command. Cheers, Jon Averill

  22. Greg Vavroch

    Scott
    I need your help in determining General Grumble Jones status in August through October 1862, as my research has provided conflicting information. I have learned General Jones participated in a cavalry engagement in early August 1862 at Orange County Courthouse, and then participated in the conflict at Cedar Mountain. I have also learned that he was hospitalized on August 30 in Lynchburg, VA, but I have been unable to learn the reason, or the dates of his stay in the hospital and subsequent care in a private home, or the date he returned to duty with the Laurel Brigade. I am assuming General Jones’ hospitalization was as the result of an injury he sustained to his hand in the Orange Courthouse August 02, 1862 engagement. I am also unable to learn if General Jones participated in Second Manassas as part of Robertson’s cavalry brigade. I have learned that he did participate in Stuart’s raid into Pennsylvania in October 1862.

    Any information you could provide relative to the above would be greatly appreciated. If you could suggest readings where I could learn more about General Jones, I would be most appreciative. I understand you are writing a book about Grumble Jones. When will that be available

    • Hi Greg,

      Jones was sick in the hospital in August and September of 1862. I am not sure if he was at Cedar Mountain or not. For certain, he did not take part in Second Manassas and Antietam Campaigns. He returned in time to participate in Stuart’s Pennsylvania Raid.

      I have fallen a couple of years behind on my project timeline, so the Jones book is on hold for now aside from gathering research. Currently, I am working on placement of photographs for my book on the Third Battle of Winchester currently and then have to finishing my book on the Lynchburg campaign by late summer 2013. My blog had been dormant for about a year and I just “fired it up” last month. I have a draft of a biography that will be posted in the near future.

      Thanks for reading.

      Scott

  23. Greg Vavroch

    Thanks Scott – Do you have more details on what Grumble Jones’ illness was, and which hospital he was in. I am assuming Lynchburg No. 2. I also understand he was cared for in a private residence after he left the hospital – do you have the names of the owners of the residence. Looking forward to reading your draft biography when it becomes available.

  24. Scott,
    I have started volunteering with the restoration of Star Fort in Winchester (I live down the street). I am trying to discern which CSA units defended Star Fort against the cavalry charge. I know Munford’s Cavalry was there but were there infantry or artillery units in the fort? Let me know if you can shed any light. Looking forward to your new book, I signed up with Amazon to be notified when it comes out.

    Randy Fletcher

    https://www.facebook.com/StarFortVa

    • Hi Randy,

      Been busy wrapping up the Last Battle of Winchester and haven’t been on here recently. Sorry for the delay. The CS cavalry around Star Fort was a few men of Imboden/Bean/McCausland who paused there briefly before being routed again. There was no artillery or infantry at Star Fort. The period battle maps show it as unoccupied.

      The heavier action actually occured in Fort Jackson which is on the ridge behind the apple processing plant. It was the original Confederate fort that was incorporated into Fort Milroy. That is where Munford came on the scene. Schoonmaker had pursued elements of Lomax’s division onto that high ground, and Munford counterattacked and drove Schoonmaker’s trooper out. Munford then deployed three regiments and two guns of Capt. Shoemaker’s Battery of Stuart Horse Artillery in and around Fort Jackson and resisted several charges by Col. William H. Powell’s brigade and Schoonmaker’s men.

      There are maps in the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, one by Gillespie and another by Jed Hotchkiss, which is a small sketch he drew specifically to show Munford’s action at the close of the battle. Tom Munford was truly a hero for the Valley Army. You might also want to see Munford, Thomas T., “Reminiscences of Cavalry Operations,” Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 13, 1885 and there is also a memoir at UVA by a Virginia cavalryman named Hubard that offers details on this as well.

      Thanks.

      • I should add that although there was no infantry proper, the Hubard source indicates that the 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry of Imboden’s cavalry brigade was positioned in advance of Fort Jackson which could potentially put them near Star Fort.

      • Thank you Scott for the detailed answer. Schoomaker’s MOH citation states there were two mounted assaults on Star Fort that were repulsed before the fort was taken by storm. It sounds like the resistance was an amalgamation of retreating troops that rallied at the fort.
        Looking forward to your book.

      • Exactly, Imboden’s, McCausland’s and Vaughn’s remnants were the likely Confederates around Star Fort. Also, there were a lot of works on that height in addition to the fort itself.

  25. Michael Shannon

    Scott,

    I’m in the process of organizing a Second Manassas tour for my church. Since you were the guide on the tour organized by David Woodbury a few years ago, I wanted to contact you first. Could you please reply to this and we can discuss?

  26. Chuck Stephens

    Hi Scott, I met you at the Author’s Concave at South Mountain and Antietam and enjoyed talking to you for a short time. At the time I had just gotten your book, but did not have time to read. Since then I have read the book and enjoyed the book a lot. I could tell you did a lot of research. I need to come down to visit the sites. Plan on doing so soon. Thank you for a great book. Since I am close to Gettysburg and Antietam, I don’t always have the time to visit other areas. I can’t wait to visit. Thanks. Chuck from the Gettysburg area. Also, from Scott Mingus, Sr. area.

  27. Larry Jones

    I have a photo of Col Geo. D. Wells in a photo album that we have. My wife’s mother and uncles came from around Douglas and Webster Ma. She does not know if she is related to him. Do you have any information o
    n the Col

  28. Robert Menuet

    Scott,
    I am researching a soldier from the 25th NY Cavalry. He was mortally wounded on Sept 19,1864 and died Sept 20th. I presume he was killed either in the morning creek crossing or in the cavalry charge near Fort Collier. I have determined he was originally buried at the Merryman Farm, then relocated to the National Cemetery in Winchester. I cannot find the Merryman property on any of my maps. Do you know where this farm was located?
    Congrats on your excellent book on this battle.
    rob

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s