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The History Behind “Field of Lost Shoes”

Great article and a cool website for anyone who is into the American Civil War!

Belle on the Battlefield

Besides Winchester, one of the most well known Civil War battles to take place in the Shenandoah Valley – thanks to some Hollywood magic – is the battle at New Market on May 15, 1864. And the most famous aspect of the battle is the charge of the Virginia Military Institute cadets across the muddy field. The movie “Field of Lost Shoes” has sparked the imagination of moviegoers and budding historians. While the movie definitely stretches the truth in some respects, few can be unimpressed by the cinematic grandeur of that fateful charge, and the stories of the young men who tug at the heartstrings of the viewers.

However, as most historians know, it’s rarely a good idea to get their history from a movie, whose producers and writers may be more concerned with box office proceeds and ratings.

In the spring of 1864, the new commander of all Union…

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