Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Campaign ~ April 10-13, 2019  The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation’s Civil War Conference


National Conference: Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Campaign

  April 10-13, 2019

Front Royal, Virginia

 The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation’s 4th Annual National Civil War Conference will focus on Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Campaign, the largest and costliest campaign ever fought in the Valley. The conference will include talks, programs, special events, and tours of Third Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, and Cedar Creek – all featuring the finest historians in the nation.

Guides and speakers (pictured below) will include Gary Ecelbarger, Caroline E. Janney, Robert K. Krick, William J. Miller, Jonathan A. Noyalas, Scott C. Patchan, Ralph Peters, Nicholas P. Picerno, Keven M. Walker and Jeffry D. Wert.  (For biographies of the guides and speakers, click here.)

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Tuesday (April 9, 2019)          

  • Early check-in (evening)

Wednesday (April 10, 2019)   

  • 6:30am-7:45am: Buffet Breakfast

  • 8am–6pm: Bus Tour – “A Perfect Sheet of Lead”: The Third Battle of Winchester – Tour of sites related to the largest and costliest battle ever fought in the Valley – the epic, day-long struggle of September 19, 1864, that changed the course of the war. Tour will range from the first shots on Opequon Creek to the chaotic scenes of the battle “whirling through Winchester.” Lunch included. Guides: Gary Ecelbarger and Scott Patchan.

  • 7pm-9pm – Evening Reception and Special Exhibit – Featuring rare Third Winchester artifacts from the Nicholas Picerno Collection

Thursday (April 11, 2019)

  • 6:30am-7:45am: Buffet Breakfast

  • 8am-6pm: Bus Tour – “Like a Western Cyclone”: The Battle of Fisher’s Hill – Tour of sites related to the Union victory of September 21-22, 1864, where a flank attack by the Army of West Virginia crashed into the Confederates and helped unhinge the southern line. Tour will include both well-known and rarely-visited sites throughout the picturesque battlefield. Lunch included. Guides: Gary Ecelbarger and Scott Patchan.

  • Open Evening. Tour Front Royal on your own.

Friday (April 12, 2019)

  • 7:30am-9:00am: Buffet Breakfast

  • 9am-5pm: Speaker’s Programs: “Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Campaign”

    • Introduction: “The Valley of Humiliation and a Presidency at Risk” – Keven M. Walker

    • “No Mimic About It: Battles from August 17-September 18, 1864” – Scott C. Patchan

    • “The Confederate Pattons” – Robert K. Krick

    • “’Faded…From the Memory’: The Meaning and Legacy of Fisher’s Hill” – Jonathan A. Noyalas.  Exploring how veterans of the Army of the Shenandoah viewed the Union victory, how the victory buoyed spirits of Union soldiers in the war’s other theaters, the impact of the defeat on Confederate morale, and the ways Fisher’s Hill became a stage for postwar healing among former foes

    • “Cold Blood: Cavalrymen, Civilians and the Burning” – William J. Miller

    • “When ‘Old Jube’ Lost Cedar Creek” – Jeffry D. Wert.  Focusing on the critical moments in the Cedar Creek engagement, and arguing when the battle turned in favor of the Federals

    • “After Appomattox: How Mosby’s 1864 Raids Shaped the War’s End” – Caroline E. Janney.  Covering the activities of Confederate Col. John Mosby and his Rangers in the fall of 1864 – including Front Royal – and how those events informed Union efforts to capture Mosby after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

    • Concluding Remarks – “The Impacts and Legacy of Sheridan’s Campaign” – Keven M. Walker

  • Alternate Friday Daytime Program: Companions Tours (9am-5pm):  A special alternate option for Friday.  Start the day with coffee in downtown Front Royal before heading a few blocks over to visit the Belle Boyd Cottage, home of Confederate spy Belle Boyd, the Warren Rifles Confederate Museum, and other Civil War sites. Lunch will be in Middletown at the popular Wayside Inn, after which we will take in the scenery of Belle Grove Plantation before finishing the afternoon with a garden tour and tasting at the Backroom Brewery on Sunflower Cottage Herb Farm!  To register, or for more information, call Kirsten Kauling at 540-740-4545.

  • 7pm-9pm: Dinner and program with Ralph Peters  – Dinner featuring special program with historian and author Ralph Peters, “Civil War in Revolutionary Times: Change and the Challenge of Leadership”

Saturday (April 13, 2019)

  • 6:30am-7:45am: Buffet Breakfast

  • 8am-6pm: Bus Tour – “The Most Remarkable Battle”: The Battle of Cedar Creek – Tour of sites related to the climactic battle of the campaign, where the stunning Confederate success of the morning was dramatically reversed into a decisive Union victory in the afternoon. Tour will follow the ebb and flow of the battle while visiting both celebrated locations and little-known gems. Lunch included. Guides: Gary Ecelbarger and Scott Patchan.

  • 7pm: Closing Dinner – A festive closing event that will include dinner, a look back at the conference, and a major announcement about SVBF Plans for 2020. Hosted by SVBF CEO Keven Walker.

Please Note:  Times and other details subject to change.

Pricing and Registration:

Full Conference (April 10-13, 2019)
SVBF Members: $425
Non-Members: $475*
* If you would like to become a member to receive a discount on the conference, and many other perks, CLICK HERE to view our membership program.


Per Day Options:
Wednesday (April 10, 2019) – $125.00
Thursday (April 11, 2019) – $110.00
Friday (April 12, 2019) – $125.00
Saturday (April 13, 2019) – $125.00


 Prefer to mail in your registration?  Click here to download a registration form that you can print, complete, and mail to SVBF, P.O. Box 897, New Market, VA 22844.


 Host Site and Lodging:

The conference will be headquartered at the Holiday Inn Blue Ridge Shadows Front Royal, located at 111 Hospitality Drive, Front Royal, Virginia.

A block of rooms has been set aside for conference guests for the evenings of April 9-13.  The cost for rooms in this block is $109 per night for a standard executive room with 1 king bed or 2 queen beds, and $139 per night for a king or queen suite.

The phone number for the hotel is (540) 631-3050.  To reach the hotel website, click here.

 Questions or Need More Information?

Call the SVBF at 540-740-4545 or email