Battle of McDowell

American Major Civil War Battle (1862)

The Battle of McDowell, also known as Sitlington's Hill, was fought May 89, 1862, in Highland County, Virginia, as part of Confederate Army General Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign during the American Civil War. It followed Jackson's tactical defeat, but strategic victory, at the First Battle of Kernstown.

Some historians consider the battle of McDowell the beginning of Jackson's 1862 Valley Campaign, while others prefer to include First Kernstown, Stonewall's only defeat. The battle of McDowell is studied today by military historians for several reasons. At the tactical level, it can be argued that the Union forces achieved a draw.

At the strategic level, the battle of McDowell and the resultant withdrawal of the Union army was an important victory for the South. The battle demonstrated Jackson's strategy of concentrating his forces against a numerically superior foe, while denying his enemies the chance to concentrate against him. Jackson rode the momentum of his strategic win at McDowell to victory at Front Royal (May 23) and First Winchester (May 25).