This week marks the anniversaries of two significant battles that took place during the War Between the States. Tuesday was the anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek (1864), and today was the anniversary of the Battle of Ball's Bluff (1861). Both of these battles took place in Virginia.
The Battle of Ball's Bluff was the second largest battle to take place in 1861. The battle resulted in a victory for the Confederates, and led to the establishment of the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War after controversy arose as to whether Union officials were participating in a conspiracy against the U.S. government.
At the Battle of Cedar Creek three years later, the Confederacy suffered a crushing blow when General Jubal Early attempted to attack Washington but failed. The defeat led to Abraham Lincoln's reelection, and prevented the Confederates from ever being able to invade Washington again or protect the economic base in the Shenandoah Valley. General Sheridan rode to fame when his cavalry came to the rescue of the Union Army, and his ride is immortalized in Thomas Buchanan Read's famous poem entitled "Sheridan's Ride."
With next year marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, it is without a doubt that much celebration will take place in Virginia, especially on October 21, which will be the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Battle of Ball's Bluff.