This analysis will focus on the killed and wounded of a number of Valley battles that occurred during the Civil War. Excepting Last Winchester and Cedar Creek which saw 9,000 and 8,000 casualties respectively and were fought by significantly larger armies, this analysis looks at all of the Valley battles and compares the men who were killed and wounded as a gauge of the intensity of the combat at Piedmont relative to the other battles. Some battles had large hauls of prisoners which were the result of brilliant maneuvers, but did not have the same level of combat intensity. The number shown is a total of soldiers killed and wounded.
Battle Killed and Wounded / # Engaged / % Loss
Opequon Crk US: 4,680 CS: 2,404 Total: 7,084/55,500/12.76%
Cedar Creek US: 4,104 CS: 1,860 Total: 5,964/47,000/12.68%
Piedmont US: 805 CS: 565 Total 1,370/11,700/11.70%
New Market US: 616 CS: 575 Total: 1,191/10,365/11.49%
Port Republic US: 428 CS: 623 Total: 1,051/9,500/11.06%
1st Kernstown US: 568 CS: 455 Total: 1,023/9,900/10.33%
2nd Kernstown US: 719 CS: 177 Total: 887/22,300/3.97%
Cross Keys US: 557 CS: 272 Total: 829/17,300/4.79%
2nd Winchester US: 443 CS: 252 Total: 695/19,500/3.56%
McDowell US: 254 CS: 436 Total: 690/9,500/7.26%
1st Winchester US: 205 CS: 397 Total: 602/22,500/2.68%
Front Royal US: 83 CS: 36 Total: 119/4,000/2.98%
A note on sources, I have used various sources to include reports where available, Official Records War of the Rebellion, the NPS Battlefield Study, and applicable modern battle studies. For New Market I used Charlie Knight’s total for CS and William C. Davis’s for the US since his was higher and I wanted to make sure that I had the largest estimate for comparative purposes. These casualties show clearly just how heavy the combat was not only at Piedmont but also at New Market. These battles shared many similarities at the outset of the ’64 campaign. So you see, more men were killed and wounded at the battle of Piedmont than any single battle of Stonewall Jackson’s famous 1862 Valley Campaign, but yet it is a largely forgotten battle.
Some further thoughts on these numbers and reveal that 1st Winchester, 2nd Winchester, and 2nd Kernstown were highly successful battles for Stonewall Jackson, Dick Ewell, and Jubal Early respectively. Each of these commanders utilized maneuver, flanking attacks and cutting off lines of retreat to secure victories that netted a large haul of prisoners in addition to the killed and wounded. Ewell and Early especially excelled at minimizing their casualties.
Let’s remember those who fought, died and sacrificed there this year on the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Piedmont so that they will never again be forgotten.