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Tom's Brook

Woodstock Races

October 9, 1864

Shenandoah County, Virginia

Tom's Brook was a battle of strategy and maneuver that pitted cavalry against cavalry. The CS cavalry were eager for revenge against the US cavalry, which had been burning barns and mills in the Valley for the previous week. On 9 October 1864, however, Sheridan ordered his cavalry to "whip'' the enemy or get whipped themselves. In the resulting conflict, the US troopers routed the CS cavalry, impairing its morale and efficiency for the remainder of the campaign. The CS flight was referred to by Valley residents and victorious Union troopers as the "Woodstock Races.'' The fighting on the Back Road at Spiker's Hill pitted two former West Point roommates against one another--Tom Rosser and George Armstrong Custer. Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan watched the battle unfold, reputedly from the summit of Round Hill.
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George Custer

10 Facts about Tom's Brook

Learn more about the historical significance of the Battle of Tom's Brook - the most decisive Union cavalry victory in the Eastern Theater.

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Check out the Civil War Trust's collection of photos of the cavalry clash that pitted two West Point classmates against one another.

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Recommended Reading

Shenandoah 64 gallagher

"The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864"
by Gary W. Gallagher

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