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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 Confederate cavalry were eager for revenge against their Federal counterparts, who had been burning barns and mills in the Valley for the previous week. After his victory of Jubal Early's Confederates at Fisher's Hill, Sheridan ordered his horsemen to "whip'' the enemy or get whipped themselves. In the resulting conflict, the troopers of George Custer and Wesley Merritt's divisions routed the Early's mounted arm, impairing its morale and efficiency for the remainder of the campaign. The precipitous flight of the Confederate cavalry was referred to by Valley residents and victorious Federals 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.

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.

Battle Facts

Campaign

Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Other Battles in This Campaign

Third Winchester
Fisher's Hill
Cedar Creek

Forces Engaged

Total: 9,800

Each Icon = soldiers

Union

6,300

Confederate

3,500

Total Estimated Casualties

407

Union

(Unknown) killed
(Unknown) wounded
(Unknown) missing & captured
57 total

Confederate

(Unknown) killed
(Unknown) wounded
(Unknown) missing & captured
350 total

Result

Union Victory

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