Black and white photograph of Stonewall Jackson.

The Romney Expedition cleared the Upper Shenandoah Valley of Union troops, opening the door for Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. [Wikimedia Commons]

Romney Expedition Facts

January 1–24, 1862

Key facts about the Romney Expedition.

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Date:

  • January 1 – 24, 1862

Location:

  • Northwestern Virginia

Principal Union commander(s):

  • Brigadier General Frederick W. Lander, Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley

Principal Confederate commander(s):

  • Major General Thomas J. Jackson, Brigadier General William W. Loring

Union forces engaged:

  • Romney garrison

Confederate forces engaged:

  • “Stonewall Brigade” Colonel Ashby Tucker’s Cavalry, Army of the Northwest

Number of Union soldiers engaged:

  • Roughly 9,000

Number of Confederate soldiers engaged:

  • Roughly 11,000

Estimated Union casualties:

  • Undetermined

Estimated Confederate casualties:

  • Undetermined

Result:

  • Confederate victory

Significance:

  • On October 22, 1861, the Secretary of War, Judah P. Benjamin, issued General Orders, No. 15 placing Major General Thomas J. Jackson in command of the Valley District of the newly-created Department of Northern Virginia.
  • On October 26, Union forces commanded by Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley occupied Romney, Virginia (now West Virginia).
  • On November 20, 1861, Major General Thomas J. Jackson wrote to Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin “requesting that at once all the troops under General Loring be ordered to this point.”
  • On November 21, 1861, General Joseph E. Johnston endorsed Major General Thomas J. Jackson request that the Army of the Northwest be transferred to Winchester, Virginia.
  • On December 27, 1861, the Army of the Northwest joined Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s forces at Winchester, Virginia.
  • The Romney Expedition began on January 1, 1862.
  • Unseasonably cold weather played a major role in the Romney Expedition.
  • On January 4, 1862, Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s troops occupied the town of Bath, Virginia (now Berkeley Springs, West Virginia).
  • On January 5, 1862, Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s forces approached Hancock on the far side of the Potomac River and discovered that the Union garrison was reinforced by Lander’s troops who had evacuated Bath.
  • From January 5 -7, 1862, Confederate forces shelled the town of Bath, Virginia, for two days as they searched for a way to cross the Potomac River.
  • When Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s exhausted troops approached the outskirts of Romney, Virginia on January 13, 1862, they learned that Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley’s 7,000 Union soldiers had abandoned the town on January 10.
  • On January 14, 1862, Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s troops occupied Romney without a fight.
  • On January 24, 1862, Major General Thomas J. Jackson ordered Brigadier General William W. Loring and the Army of the Northwest to remain in Romney while he returned to Winchester with the bulk of his forces.
  • On January 30, 1862, Confederate Secretary of War Judah Benjamin instructed Major General Thomas J. Jackson to order Brigadier General William W. Loring and the Army of the Northwest “back to Winchester immediately.”;
  • In the aftermath of the Romney Expedition, Major General Thomas J. Jackson submitted his resignation on January 31, 1862.
  • In the aftermath of the Romney Expedition, Major General Thomas J. Jackson filed charges against Brigadier General William W. Loring for “neglect of duty”and for “conduct subversive of good order and military discipline.”
  • In the aftermath of the Romney Expedition, the Confederate Army of the Northwest was disbanded.
  • The Romney Expedition removed any imminent threat to Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s headquarters at Winchester.
  • The Romney Expedition cleared the Upper Shenandoah Valley of Union troops, opening the door for Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Romney Expedition Facts
  • Coverage January 1–24, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords romney expedition
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 4, 2021
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