This Week in the Civil War - #846
With General David Hunter’s Union cavalry advancing on Staunton, an important railroad and logistics center for the Confederacy within Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, W.E. “ Grumble” Jones’ outnumbered Confederates confronted the Federals at Piedmont on Sunday, June 5, 1864. Desperate charges and countercharges occurred until midafternoon when Union troops successfully exploited an unguarded section of the Confederate defenses. General Jones was killed as he attempted to close the breach in his defenses. At Piedmont the Confederates suffered 1600 casualties, including approximately 1000 captured. After this Union victory the defeated and disheartened Confederates could do little to impede Hunter’s advance. The following day General Hunter’s troops occupied Staunton, destroying the railroad station, warehouses, homes, factories and mills. This part of Ulysses Grant’s Anaconda Plan seemed at long last to be working.