Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War

Mount Jackson

DuPont at Rude's Hill

A historical marker on Captain Henry DuPont at Rude's Hill is in between Mount Jackson and New Market, Virginia. It was erected by Civil War Trails.

 

The monument to Captain Summers and Sergeant Koontz and the Virginia historical marker to their Post-Appomattox Tragedy are close nearby.

 

Location and directions

The marker is on the west side of the Valley Pike (U.S. 11) about 3 milles south of Mount Jackson and 3 miles north of New Market, Virginia. (38.69273° N, 78.649945° W. see map)

 

Text from the marker

 

DuPont at Rude’s Hill
“I had to depend entirely upon myself ... ”


— 1864 Valley Campaign —

 

Here Capt. Henry DuPont, commanding B Battery, 5th U.S. Artillery, protected Union Gen. Franz Sigel’s defeated army as it retreated after the Battle of New Market on May 15, 1864. Confederate Gen. John C. Breckinridge had routed Sigel’s force that afternoon in an engagement made famous by the participation of 247 cadets from Virginia Military Institute. Arriving on the battlefield about two miles south of this location as the Federals began to withdraw, DuPont immediately deployed his six-gun battery to cover the infantry, placing his cannons across the Valley Turnpike (present-day U.S. Rte. 11). He positioned them in sections of two guns each, then “leap-frogged” each section north to cover the others as well as the army. DuPont shifted his battery several times, and his final combat position was north of the ridge above this site. He then moved the guns two miles farther north along the turnpike to Meems Bottom and burned the bridge across the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

 

Without DuPont’s artillery to cover the Federal retreat, Sigel would have suffered more casualties and endured a more disorganized withdrawal. Since Civil War commanders seldom planned for defeat, retreats often became disastrous routs. DuPont’s bold leadership typified the seasoned veteran that both sides developed during the war. As DuPont himself later wrote, “I had to depend entirely upon myself and did not receive a single order, either directly or indirectly, from any military superior.”

Wayside marker for DuPont at Rude's Hill south of Mount Jackson, Virginia
(above) Wayside marker for DuPont at Rude's Hill south of Mount Jackson






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