The Battle of Cedar Creek (or Battle of Belle Grove) was fought in Frederick County, Shenandoah County and Warren County, Virginia on October 19, 1864 between Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley and Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah in the American Civil War. The battle resulted in approximately 8,500 total casualties.
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park was created in 2002 and encompasses over 3,700 acres, 1,500 of which are preserved and administered by partner sites, including the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, Belle Grove Plantation, and Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park.
Belle Grove Manor House was built between 1794 and 1797 for Isaac Hite, Jr. and his bride Nelly Conway Madison. Hite owned a general store, grist-mill, saw-mill and a distillery. 276 slaves lived at Belle Grove between 1783 and 1851.
At the Battle of Cedar Creek, Early’s Army of the Valley completely surprised Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah in dense fog. As the Union army retreated, however, Sheridan arrived with reinforcements and drove the Confederates off the field. In 2012, the park acquired land between Highway 11 and I-81 and erected a monument to the 8th Vermont Infantry.
Efforts have begun to restore the property, including erecting wooden fences. They now offer three walking loop trails less than a mile each, where Gordon and Ramseur’s Confederate divisions smashed the divisions of Thomas and Hayes.
Most of the battlefield is still privately owned, but there is a self-guided driving tour and preservation efforts are ongoing. The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters is located at 8437 Valley Pike, and Hupp’s Hill Civil War Museum is located at 33229 Old Valley Pike, in Middletown, Virginia. Operating hours vary.