Kernstown Battlefield Walking Tour

Join us for a tour of Kernstown Battlefield, during the Battlefield Half Marathon.

The walking tour of the battlefield and Pritchard House will start immediately after the race begins. Tour attendees will gather in the large mowed grass area along the north side of the entrance road of the battlefield.

The tour will last about an hour to allow attendees to gather at the finish line to cheer on their runners. If any attendee needs to leave the tour early to meet a runner, please don’t hesitate to do so.


Register in advance

Second Battle of Kernstown Tour

The Kernstown Battlefield will host a walking and driving tour of the Second Battle of Kernstown, stopping at key battle locations on and around the battlefield property.

The Second Battle of Kernstown was one of the most lopsided defeats suffered by the Union in its Valley of Humiliation throughout the war and avenged Stonewall Jackson’s only defeat at the scene of the action. Come and learn more about the battle that saw 1,200 Union soldiers become casualties while Jubal Early’s Confederates lost only 200 men in what Virginia Sergeant John Worsham called the “most easily won victory” of the war.

Accomplished Civil War author Scott Patchan, known for his books, “Shenandoah Summer” and “Last Battle of Winchester”, will lead the tour. While there is no cost for the tour, your generous donations will be greatly appreciated.

The tour will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the battlefield Visitors Center where Scott will provide an overview of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign and explain how Southern General Jubal A. Early ended up facing off against Union commander General George Crook at Kernstown on July 24, 1864.

After the overview, we will move to several areas of the historic battlefield throughout the Kernstown and Stephens City area. Weather permitting, anticipated tour stops include Newtown (Stephens City), Bartonville, Sandy Ridge, Opequon Church, Middle Road, Pritchard’s Hill and Lane, and the location of General John C. Breckinridge’s flank attack on the east side of I-81.

This boots on the ground tour will take us to Sandy Ridge to explore the seldom seen location where Crook’s misreading of the situation nearly caused the destruction of Col. Joseph Thoburn’s division at the hands of North Carolina General Stephen D. Ramseur. The pinnacle of the tour will occur in Pritchard’s Lane, where the popular Irish leader from Chicago, Col. James A. Mulligan, lost his life battling against Georgia General John B. Gordon and his men. We will conclude the day with a wrap up of the outcome of the battle and its impact on the progress of the war.

Depending on the length of the tour, we may break for lunch. Please bring comfortable walking shoes, proper clothing for the weather, and water.

Sign up for the tour here

History at Sunset

“…there burst upon our view the appalling spectacle of a panic-stricken army…”
The William Dinges Farm (Rienzi Knoll) at Cedar Creek

Known variously as the William H. Dinges Farm, Ripple Farm or Rienzi Knoll, this historic property witnessed one of the most dramatic episodes of the Battle of Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864); the arrival of Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan following his non-stop ride from Winchester. Finding his army broken and demoralized, Sheridan rallied his troops and launched a devastating counterattack that afternoon which “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat,” turning Cedar Creek into a stunning Union triumph.

Join Park Ranger Jeff Driscoll for a special program that will allow the general public access to this property and explore its Battle of Cedar Creek history, Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown, VA 22645). Visitors will then car-pool to the site.

Twilight Hike

While Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park was specifically established in 2002 to preserve and interpret the area’s cultural history, the Shenandoah Valley is rich in natural features, wildlife, and vegetation, including wildflowers.These twilight hikes, offered on May 25th (6:30 p.m.) and September 28th (5:00 p.m.) will not only explore the natural side of the park, but also discuss and practice the basics of hiking and backpacking, along with the equipment usage techniques of these hobbies.

Both programs will be led by Ranger Rick Ashbacker and begin at the Claven Lane parking area (2262 Claven Lane, Middletown, Virginia), the back entrance to the park’s “Morning Attack Trails” trails system, which includes the 8th Vermont monument. Each walk will last approximately 90 minutes, over moderate terrain. Proper walking shoes and water are recommended.

Battle of Third Winchester Commemoration

On September 21st the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation will be hosting a day of free programs commemorating the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Third Winchester.

Programs will range from a series of stationary programs at different battlefield sites, visitor center grand opening, monument dedication, living history, kids camps, and artillery demonstrations.

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
“Vortex of Battle”: The West Woods – Jeff Felton (SVBF)

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Living History at Star Fort

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Grand Opening of Winchester Battlefields Visitor Center

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
“The Earth Seemed to Tremble”: Huntsberry Farm and the Middle Field – Nick Picerno (SVBF)

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Star Fort Kids Camp

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Dedication of Alabama Monument – Remarks by Robert K. Krick

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
“The Very Air Was Made to Groan”: Battle’s Attack in the Middle Field – Scott Patchan

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cannon Demonstrations Star Fort

4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
“A Continuous, Deafening Wail of Musketry”: Crook’s Attack Across Red Bed Run – Scott Patchan

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM
“Like a Thousand Bricks”: Cavalry Attacks at Third Winchester – Peter Dalton

7:45 PM – 8:45 PM
Preserving a Battlefield – Third Winchester – Nick Picerno

More Information and Directions

Civil War sign dedication

At 12:00 noon on Saturday, August 31, 2019, the Kernstown Battlefield Association, together with the family of Mr. Rob Pettus of Richmond, Virginia, will dedicate a new Civil War sign.

This new sign commemorates the sacrifices the Pettus and Eubank cousins made during the Battle of First Kernstown. John Overton Pettus and his cousin Philip G. Eubank were killed in action as they assaulted Union positions on Pritchard’s Hill the afternoon of March 23, 1862. Another cousin, James Francis Eubank, was captured at the end of this battle as the Confederate forces retreated in the early evening.

The Kernstown Battlefield Association appreciates the support the Pettus family has so generously provided in helping to fund the design, crafting, and installation of this new sign.

The Kernstown Battlefield Association is dedicated to preserving the history of the lower Shenandoah Valley. New signs such as this one help us interpret history with a very personal perspective.

Second Battle of Kernstown Anniversary

On Wednesday, July 24th, the actual date of the Second Battle of Kernstown, the Battlefield will be open from 10 am to 4 pm.

KBA docents give tours of the Battlefield, the 1854 Pritchard House, the Museum and the Artillery Annex collections.

Free and open to the public.

Scottish Highland Games

The KBA and Clan Adrenalin will host a Highland Games competition on our south field. Scottish Highland warriors competed against each other between battles. They used ordinary objects in their competitions: weights, stones, hammers and tree trunks (“cabers”).

This year our July games will be expanding to include other fun activities for the whole family. Come and see these amazing athletes compete and see what other fun things we have in store for you! Bagpipers will be playing throughout the day.

Shaffer’s BBQ from Middletown will provide their food truck for refreshments throughout the day. Please bring your own chairs.

Kids Civil War History Camp

Join the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, along with Company H, 13th Virginia, McNeill’s Rangers and McClanahan’s Battery. Activities include mustering into Civil War service for the day, infantry drill, cavalry drill, and an artillery demonstration. A “Grand Battle” will commence at 3:00 pm.

Parents welcome! For ages 8-14.

8437 Valley Pike. For more information, or to register, call (540) 869-2064, or see:

Opening Weekend at Kernstown Battlefield

Join us for opening weekend at the Kernstown Battlefield. There will be tours of the Battlefield, the 1854 Pritchard House, the Museum and the Artillery Annex. The Gift Shop also will be open. Other activities to be announced.