Cross Keys, Va., Sept. 28, 1864
The Battle of Cross Keys, which took place on September 28, 1864, was one of the many clashes that occurred during the American Civil War. The battle occurred in Virginia and was part of a larger campaign led by Union General Philip Sheridan to disrupt Confederate General Jubal Early’s supply lines in the Shenandoah Valley.
According to Devin, the First New York Dragoons, less than four hundred men, were sent to Mcgaughey Town on September 28, where they drove out the Confederate cavalry. The following day, the brigade moved to Mt. Crawford, burning barns and mills and driving off livestock. On September 30, they arrived at Cross Keys, where they encamped for the night.
While the battle of Cross Keys itself is not described in detail, it is clear that the Union forces were engaged in constant skirmishing and scouting as they moved down the valley, burning barns and mills and driving off livestock to deprive the Confederates of supplies.
Despite being outnumbered and sometimes far from support, Devin notes that his men showed great gallantry and continued to press the enemy’s lines. On October 8, the Union forces were attacked from the rear near Tom’s Brook, resulting in a fierce skirmish that ended with the enemy being chased back several miles.
The larger campaign in which the Battle of Cross Keys took place was ultimately successful for the Union forces. By disrupting Early’s supply lines and destroying valuable resources, Sheridan weakened the Confederate army and helped pave the way for Union victory in the war.
In conclusion, while the Battle of Cross Keys itself may not have been the most significant clash of the Civil War, it was an important part of a larger campaign that had a significant impact on the outcome of the war. The bravery and tenacity of the Union forces, as described by Devin, played a key role in their ultimate success.