The Kernstown Battlefield Association owns and operates the Kernstown Battlefield. The 1854 Pritchard-Grim Farm is just three miles south of downtown Winchester, Virginia. This 350-acre battlefield park has a small museum and visitor’s center inside the Pritchard farmhouse as well as interpretive trails. Follow the Kernstown Battlefield walking trails for insights into these events.
Kernstown Battlefield and the Civil War
In March 1862, the First Battle of Kernstown was the first battle in the Shenandoah Valley. As part of General Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign of 1862, it was also his only tactical loss. The Second Battle of Kernstown took place in July of 1864. Led by Lt. General Jubal Early, it was a victory for the Confederate forces. However, it also marked the beginning Union General Philip Sheridan’s Valley campaign. This campaign effectively destroyed agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley, the “breadbasket of the Confederacy”.
The Pritchard House
One of the main attractions is the Pritchard House. This is where Samuel and Helen Pritchard, along with their family, huddled in the cellar waiting for quiet to return to their farm. The house was built in 1854 by Samuel Pritchard. He was the fourth generation to live on this land and he was a successful farmer as well. However, not long after building his home, Southern states began talk of secession. Pritchard wanted no part of the conflict. But twice his land was the scene of two Civil War battles.
After you’ve finished your tour of Kernstown Battlefield, head south to Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park. Stop by the Visitor Contact Station and learn more about the Junior Ranger Program.