Decisions of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign

The Sixteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Operation

  • Author(s): Tanner, Robert G.
  • Series: Command Decisions in America's Civil War
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2022-12-17
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $29.95 | Buy Now
  • Available in PDF: Price $29.95 | Buy Now


The Shenandoah Valley Campaign, often referred to as Jackson’s Valley Campaign, saw Gen. Stonewall Jackson lead fewer than seventeen thousand Confederate soldiers on a 464-mile march that defeated three larger Union armies. Jackson’s men fought and skirmished for months to achieve their ultimate objective of preventing Union forces in the Valley from reinforcing the Federal assault on the Confederacy’s capital at Richmond. Jackson’s success in the Shenandoah Valley contributed greatly to his legend among Confederate soldiers and brass and to his permanent place in military history, yet Jackson was not the only leader of note during this pivotal episode of the Civil War.

Decisions of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign explores the critical decisions made by Confederate and Union commanders during the battle and how these decisions shaped its outcome. Rather than offering a history of the battle, Robert G. Tanner hones in on a sequence of critical decisions made by commanders on both sides of the contest to provide a blueprint of Jackson’s Valley Campaign at its tactical core. Identifying and exploring the critical decisions in this way allows students of the battle to progress from a knowledge of what happened to a mature grasp of why events happened.

Complete with maps and a driving tour, Decisions of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign is an indispensable primer, and readers looking for a concise introduction to the battle can tour this sacred ground—or read about it at their leisure—with key insights into the campaign and a deeper understanding of the Civil War itself.

Decisions of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign is the fifteenth in a series of books that will explore the critical decisions of major campaigns and battles of the Civil War.


ROBERT G. TANNER, now retired, was a trial lawyer with Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn, and Dial in Atlanta. He is the author of Stonewall in the Valley: Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign, Spring 1862 and Retreat to Victory? Confederate Strategy Reconsidered.