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Jubal Early’s Army in the 1864 Shenandoah Campaign Presented by Eric Campbell

Mr. Eric Campbell has worked has worked for the National Park Service for 31 years, at a variety of sites, including Independence National Historical Park and 24 years at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has also authored over two dozen articles and essays for scholarly publications.

He has been the chief of interpretation at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park since 2009 where he has overseen the planning for future interpretation at the park, including the creation of ranger-lead programs, brochures, exhibits and displays for the park’s new Visitor Contact Station, and lead the planning for the park’s 150th anniversary commemoration activities and events in 2014.

Early's 1864 Summer Campaign

Lt. Gen. Jubal Early's campaign in the summer of 1864 was one of the mostly brilliantly conducted operations during the war.  Using rapid marching and deception, along with hard-hitting attacks, Early took his small independent command from Richmond, through the Shenandoah Valley and to the very gates of Washington, DC.  Early's campaign covered hundreds of miles and involved no less than five battles, along with numerous skirmishes.  Early's cartographer, Jedidiah Hotchkiss went so far has to claim, that Early's campaign was "by all odds the most successful expedition we have ever made into the enemy’s country."

This program will provide an overview of the entirety of Early's summer operations; from his detachment from the Army of Northern Virginia in mid-June, through his invasion of Maryland to the outskirts of Washington, DC and his final operations in the Lower Valley in July and August (including the Burning of Chambersburg).  Although mostly relegated to secondary importance in the history books, Early's summer campaign not only accomplished all of his objectives, but also greatly influenced events on a strategic level that fall.