Bridge at Spangler's Mill

Turn right onto US 11 and proceed 1.8 miles south through Strasburg. Just past the VA highway marker on your right, turn left into the parking area next to the abandoned Old Mill Restaurant.

You are parked by what was known as Spangler's Mill during the Civil War. The mill is one of the few to have survived Federal destruction in the Valley because it was used to grind requisitioned grains for the Union forces. Barely discernible just to the north is the bridge across a small stream where Early experienced the day's final disaster. It is indicated by Virginia highway marker A21 located across US 11 from the parking lot.

Map, Cedar Creek Battlefield, Bridge at Spangler's Mill
As D. Augustus Dickert recalled, In the small space of one or two hundred yards stood deserted ambulances, wagons, and packs of artillery mules and horses, tangled and still hitched, rearing and kicking like mad, using all their strength to unloosen themselves from the matted mass of vehicles, animals and men caught up in the panic. Had you been here early on the morning of 19 October, you would have seen Early accompanying Kershaw's Division on the way to Bowman's Mill Ford east of Strasburg. Wharton's Division followed immediately. It would have passed this point around 0200 and shortly after 0500 the Confederate artillery raced down the Pike from Fisher's Hill towards Hupp's Hill. During the battle Confederate medical collecting stations were established along the Pike south of the bridge.

At the end of the day, the blocking of the small bridge led to the complete loss of nearly all wheeled vehicles brought north of this point by the Confederates or captured by them during the battle. There are several versions of how the bridge got blocked. Some say half the bridge planks had been taken up in order to control access via a single lane, and that a wagon went over the open edge. Others say that a wagon fell through the bridge's floor boards. The majority, however, relay that two wagons got jammed while trying to squeeze across simultaneously. This led to a tie-up behind them which was impossible to unravel because of attacks by Federal cavalry. At least one Union cavalryman is alleged to have pulled one of the wagons on the bridge broadside to assure that the bridge could not be cleared.

To Stop 2: Turn right onto US 11 and proceed north .7 mile to the junction with VA 55 East at the traffic light in Strasburg. Continue straight onto VA 55 East, go .5 mile and turn left onto Charles Street (the last street before VA 55 East curves to the right). Go one block and turn right onto E. Washington Street, following the sign for CR 635. Go 1.2 miles until you reach Cedar Creek.

Go to Stop 2