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On Tuesday, July 2, 1861, Federal troops under Brigadier General Robert Patterson crossed the Potomac and moved into the Shenandoah Valley.
This was a vital part of Irvin McDowell's plan to attack P. G. T. Beauregard's army at Manassas. Patterson's job was to keep Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate army in the valley busy to keep them from reinforcing Beauregard's army.
Patterson, a 69-year-old veteran of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, took his army across the Potomac at Williamsburg, Maryland, then advanced toward Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia).
Colonel Thomas Jackson, commanding a brigade in Johnston's army, sent the 5th Virginia Regiment north to confront the Federal army. The two forces met on the Valley Turnpike between Hainesville and Falling Waters. The Battle of Hoke's Run (also known as the Battle of Falling Waters and the Battle of Hainesville) was a delaying action that lasted about 45 minutes until the Union army was able to bring up four cannons and drive the 5th Virginia back. Casualties were light on both sides, but J. E. B. Stuart's cavalry surprised and captured 49 Union soldiers.