Shields Advance and Retreat, Jackson Divides and Conquers, 1862 Valley Campaign

Inscription reads: "Having successfully driven Gen. Nathaniel Bank's Union army from the Shenandoah Valley in late May 1862, Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's "foot cavalry" had little time to reset. While one Union army under Gen. John C. Fremont was bearing down from the north, another under Gen. James Shields was passing toward the Page Valley. If Shields could move quickly enough to overtake Jackson's force in the main valley, he and Fremont could unite and attack with a superior force. Accordingly, Jackson made a rapid retreat along the Valley Pike toward Harrisonburg. In order to delay Shield's advance, Jackson ordered the destruction of the White House and Columbia Bridge in the Page Valley. As a result, Shields was delayed for three days and was forced to abandon the plan to cross the Massanutten and unite with Fremont. By June 7, elements of Shield's army began moving toward Port Republic, crossing Naked Creek along the road to your right."     In the days that followed, Jackson defeated the two armies in piece meal fashion, first Fremont at Cross Keys on June 8, then Shields at Port Republic on June 9. Both Federal armies were forced to retreat along the routes by which they had arrived. On reaching this area near Price's Mill (a later mil stands on its site), Shields' defeated army finally came to a halt and bivouacked before continuing the march to Luray on June 10, and on the Front Royal a week later.