Black and white photograph of Stonewall Jackson.

The Confederate loss at the First Battle of Kernstown was General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s only defeat as commander of a large force during the Civil War. [Wikimedia Commons]

First Battle of Kernstown Facts

March 23, 1862

Key facts about the First Battle of Kernstown.

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Date and Location

  • March 23, 1862
  • Near the village of Kernstown, Virginia, about three miles south of Winchester

Campaign

Principal Union Commanders

  • Major General Nathaniel Banks
  • Brigadier General James Shields
  • Colonel Nathan Kimball

Principal Confederate Commanders

Union Forces Engaged

  • 5th Army Corps (Army of the Potomac)

Confederate Forces Engaged

  • Valley District, Department of Northern Virginia

Number of Union Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 8,500

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 4,200

Estimated Union Casualties

  • 590 (118 killed, 450 wounded, and 22 missing or captured)

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • 718 (80 killed, 375 wounded, and 263 missing or captured)

Result

  • Union victory

Significance

  • The Confederate loss at the First Battle of Kernstown was Stonewall Jackson’s only defeat as commander of a large force during the Civil War.
  • After the First Battle of Kernstown General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson arrested Brigadier General Richard B. Garnett for ordering a retreat without Jackson’s authorization.
  • After the First Battle of Kernstown, Colonel Nathan Kimball was promoted to brigadier general.
  • Despite his defeat at the First Battle of Kernstown, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson achieved his goal of keeping Major General Nathaniel Banks’s army from supporting Major general George McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign against Richmond.

Timeline of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862

These are the main battles and events of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862 in order.

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title First Battle of Kernstown Facts
  • Coverage March 23, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords First Battle of Kernstown
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 30, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 13, 2021
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