Sometime after occupying Hupp’s Hill on October 20, 1864, Federal troops belong to the second division, VI Corps of General Phillip Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah began work on a series of fortifications to protect themselves from Confederate forces. Their efforts cumulated in the construction of almost a mile of trenches and lunettes which are semi-circular shaped earthworks designed to protect artillery pieces and their crews.
This unit, and others on both sides, had just been through the Battle of Cedar Creek. There the Armies of Jubal Early, CAS, and Sheridan had battled on property stretching from Strasburg to Middletown in the north. This Confederate defeat marked the end of any major organized resistance to Union forces and was one of the largest and most influential battles in the Valley.
The Hupp’s Hill site had been an important site since the beginning of the war. Its heights dominated the town of Strasburg and the Valley Pike. Any troops placed there could easily repulse any attack from the south. The decision of the Federal commanders to place entrenchments there was a strategically sound, though unneeded decision since the Confederate Army would never again sortie in this area.
In the 150 years since the Civil War ended, much has changed in the Valley. However the trenches these soldiers created still exist. Today you can explore them, and a series of interpretive panels, at the Hupps Hill Civil War Park and Visitor Center.