Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War

Front Royal

Richardson's Hill Wayside Marker

 A Civil War Trails wayside marker for Richardson's Hill is on the north side of Front Royal. It is next to another wayside marker about the Execution of Mosby's Rangers.


This is stop 7 on the Civil War Trails tour of the Battle of Front Royal. (next stop - The Bridges)


Location and directions

The markers are on the north side of Front Royal on the west side of N. Royal Avenue just north of W. 15th Street. (38.936471° N, 78.194645° W; see map)


Text from the marker


Richardson’s Hill

Kenly Makes His Stand

— Battle of Front Royal, May 23, 1862 —

Directly in front of you is the “commanding height” where Union Col. John H. Kenly made his last attempt to hold Front Royal. Atop Richardson’s Hill—this “cherty” ridge, as Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson called it—Kenly posted the two-gun section of Knap's Battery E, Pennsylvania Light Artillery. The two ten-pounder Parrott rifled cannons, commanded by Lt. Charles Atwell, pinned down the Confederates on the plain below while Kenly’s infantry gathered here to support the guns.


Kenly realized that the Union occupation of Front Royal was essential to protect the left flank of Gen. Nathaniel Banks’s main army at Strasburg. “I prepared to hold the position as long as possible,” Kenly later wrote, “for I was certain that if I did not check Jackson’s advance ... Banks was lost.” In a momentary stroke of good luck, two companies of the 5th New York Cavalry arrived from Strasburg to augment Kenly’s infantry.


Col. Bradley T. Johnson, comanding the Confederate attackers, soon countered Kenly’s deployment. While the 1st Maryland infantry (CSA) and Maj. Chatham Roberdeau Wheat’s battalion returned fire from behind the stone wall below Richardson’s Hill, the 6th Louisiana Infantry flanked the Union position to the west. In addition, Lt. Col. Thomas S. Flournoy's 6th Virginia Cavalry threatened the Federal rear. Kenly, about to be surrounded, ordered a retreat north across the forks of the Shenandoah River.

Richardson's Hill Wayside Marker in Front Royal, Virginia(above) Richardson's Hill Wayside Marker (see enlargement)
(below) The marker is next to another about the Execution of Mosby's Rangers
(see enlargement)
The marker is next to another about the Execution of Mosby's Rangers

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