3rd Battle of Winchester Civil War History
Battlefield Maps of Union and Confederate Army Positions
|Third Battle of Winchester Map
|(Click to Enlarge)
Because of its size, intensity, and result, many historians consider
the 3rd Battle of Winchester the most important conflict of the Shenandoah Valley.
|Battle of Winchester Union & Confederate Army Map
|Battle of Winchester
|Third Battle of Winchester Map
|(Click to Enlarge)
|3rd Battle of Winchester Map
|3rd Battle of Winchester Map
|Confederate Line Collapses Map
|Confederate Lines Collapses at Opequon Creek
|The Civil War Shenandoah Valley Campaigns Map
|(Click to Enlarge)
Frederick County, Virginia
September 19, 1864
|Battle of Winchester History
|Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia
Recommended Reading: LAST BATTLE OF WINCHESTER,
THE: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, August 7 - September 19, 1864. Description: The Last Battle of Winchester: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Shenandoah
Valley Campaign, August 7 - September 19, 1864 is the first serious study to chronicle the Third Battle of Winchester. The
September 1864 combat was the largest, longest, and bloodiest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley. Continued below...
What began about daylight did not end until dusk, when the victorious Union
army routed the Confederates. It was the first time Stonewall Jackson's former corps had ever been driven from a battlefield,
and their defeat set the stage for the final climax of the 1864 Valley Campaign. The
Northern victory was a long time coming. After a spring and summer of Union defeat in the Valley, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
cobbled together a formidable force under Phil Sheridan, an equally redoubtable commander. Sheridan's task was a tall one:
sweep Jubal Early's Confederate army out of the bountiful Shenandoah, and reduce the verdant region of its supplies. The aggressive
Early had led the veterans of Jackson's Army of the Valley District to one victory after another at Lynchburg, Monocacy, Snickers
Gap, and Kernstown. Five weeks of complex maneuvering and sporadic combat
followed before the opposing armies ended up at Winchester, an important town in the northern end of the Valley that had changed
hands dozens of times over the previous three years. Tactical brilliance and ineptitude were on display throughout the day-long
affair as Sheridan threw infantry and cavalry against the thinning Confederate ranks and Early and his generals shifted to
meet each assault. A final blow against Early's left flank finally collapsed the Southern army, killed one of the Confederacy's
finest combat generals, and planted the seeds of the victory at Cedar Creek the following month. Scott
Patchan's vivid prose, which is based upon more than two decades of meticulous research and an unparalleled understanding
of the battlefield, is complimented with numerous original maps and explanatory footnotes that enhance our understanding of
this watershed battle. Rich in analysis and character development, The Last Battle of Winchester is certain to become a classic
Civil War battle study. About the Author: A life-long student of military
history, Scott C. Patchan is a graduate of James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley. He is the author of many articles
and books, including The Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont (1996), Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign (2007),
and Second Manassas: Longstreet's Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge (2011). Patchan serves as a Director on the board
of the Kernstown Battlefield Association in Winchester, Virginia, and is a member of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation's
Resource Protection Committee.
Reading: From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign
of 1864. Amazon.com Review: Virginia's Shenandoah Valley was a crucial avenue for Confederate armies
intending to invade Northern states during the Civil War. Running southwest to northeast, it "pointed, like a giant's lance,
at the Union's heart, Washington, D.C.,"
writes Jeffry Wert. It was also "the granary of the Confederacy," supplying the food for much of Virginia. Both sides long understood its strategic importance, but not until the fall of
1864 did Union troops led by Napoleon-sized cavalry General Phil Sheridan (5'3", 120 lbs.) finally seize it for good. He defeated
Confederate General Jubal Early at four key battles that autumn. Continued below…
to a narrative of the campaign (featuring dozens of characters, including General George Custer and future president Rutherford
B. Hayes), this book is a study of command. Both Sheridan and Early were capable military leaders, though
each had flaws. Sheridan tended to make mistakes before battles,
Early during them. Wert considers Early the better general, but admits that few could match the real-time decision-making
and leadership skills of Sheridan once the bullets started
flying: "When Little Phil rode onto the battlefield, he entered his element." Early was a bold fighter, but lacked the skills
necessary to make up for his disadvantage in manpower. At Cedar Creek, the climactic battle of the 1864 Shenandoah campaign,
Early "executed a masterful offensive against a numerically superior opponent, only to watch it result in ruin." With more
Confederate troops on the scene, history might have been different. Wert relates the facts of what actually happened with
his customary clarity and insightful analysis.
Recommended Reading: The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 (McFarland
& Company). Description: A
significant part of the Civil War was fought in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, especially in 1864. Books and articles
have been written about the fighting that took place there, but they generally cover only a small period of time and
focus on a particular battle or campaign. Continued below...
This work covers
the entire year of 1864 so that readers can clearly see how one event led to another in the Shenandoah Valley and turned once-peaceful
garden spots into gory battlefields. It tells the stories of the great leaders, ordinary men, innocent civilians, and armies
large and small taking part in battles at New Market, Chambersburg, Winchester, Fisher’s
Hill and Cedar Creek, but it primarily tells the stories of the soldiers, Union and Confederate,
who were willing to risk their lives for their beliefs. The author has made extensive use of memoirs, letters and reports
written by the soldiers of both sides who fought in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864.
Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 (Military Campaigns of the Civil War) (Hardcover: 416 pages) (The University
of North Carolina Press). Description: The 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign
is generally regarded as one of the most important Civil War campaigns; it lasted more than four arduous months and claimed
more than 25,000 casualties. The massive armies of Generals Philip H. Sheridan and Jubal A. Early had contended for immense
stakes... Beyond the agricultural bounty and the boost in morale to be gained with its numerous battles, events in the Valley
would affect Abraham Lincoln's chances for reelection in November 1864. Continued below...
essays in this volume reexamine common assumptions about the campaign, its major figures, and its significance. Taking advantage
of the most recent scholarship and a wide range of primary sources, contributors examine strategy and tactics, the performances
of key commanders on each side, the campaign's political repercussions, and the experiences of civilians caught in the path
of the armies. The authors do not always agree with one another, but, taken together, their essays highlight important connections
between the home front and the battlefield, as well as ways in which military affairs, civilian experiences, and politics
played off one another during the campaign.
Reading: The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. Review: This is one of the most useful guides I've ever read.
Virginia was host to nearly one-third of all Civil War engagements,
and this guide covers them all like a mini-history of the war. Unlike travel books that are organized geographically, this
guide organizes them chronologically. Each campaign is prefaced by a detailed overview, followed by concise (from 1 to 4 pages,
depending on the battle's importance) but engrossing descriptions of the individual engagements. Continued below…
make this a great book to browse through when you're not in the car. Most sites' summaries touch on their condition--whether
they're threatened by development (as too many are) and whether they're in private hands or protected by the park service.
But the maps are where this book really stands out. Each battle features a very clear map designating army positions and historical
roads, as well as historical markers (the author also wrote “A Guidebook to Virginia's Historical Markers”), parking, and visitors'
centers. Best of all, though, many battles are illustrated with paintings or photographs of the sites, and the point-of-view
of these pictures is marked on each map!
Reading: Desperate Engagement: How
a Little-Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C.,
and Changed American History. Description: The Battle of Monocacy, which took place on the blisteringly hot
day of July 9, 1864, is one of the Civil War’s most significant yet little-known battles. What played out that day in
the corn and wheat fields four miles south of Frederick, Maryland, was a full-field engagement between 12,000 battle-hardened
Confederate troops led by the controversial Jubal Anderson Early, and 5,800 Union troops, many of them untested in battle,
under the mercurial Lew Wallace, the future author of Ben-Hur. When the fighting ended, 1,300 Union troops were dead, wounded
or missing or had been taken prisoner, and Early---who suffered 800 casualties---had routed Wallace in the northernmost Confederate
victory of the war. Two days later, on another brutally hot afternoon, Monday, July 11, 1864, Early sat astride his horse
outside the gates of Fort Stevens in the
upper northwestern fringe of Washington, D.C.
He was about to make one of the war’s most fateful, portentous decisions: whether or not to order his men to invade
the nation’s capitol. Early had been on the march since June 13, when Robert
E. Lee ordered him to take an entire corps of men from their Richmond-area encampment and wreak havoc on Yankee troops in
the Shenandoah Valley, then to move north and invade Maryland.
If Early found the conditions right, Lee said, he was to take the war for the first time into President Lincoln’s front
yard. Also on Lee’s agenda: forcing the Yankees to release a good number of troops from the stranglehold that Gen. U.S.
Grant had built around Richmond. Continued below...
by tens of thousands of experienced troops, Washington’s ring of forts and fortifications that
day were in the hands of a ragtag collection of walking wounded Union soldiers, the Veteran Reserve Corps, along with what
were known as hundred days’ men---raw recruits who had joined the Union Army to serve as temporary, rear-echelon troops.
It was with great shock, then, that the city received news of the impending rebel attack. With near panic filling the streets,
Union leaders scrambled to coordinate a force of volunteers. But Early did not pull the trigger. Because his men were exhausted
from the fight at Monocacy and the ensuing march, Early paused before attacking the feebly manned Fort Stevens, giving Grant
just enough time to bring thousands of veteran troops up from Richmond. The men arrived at the eleventh hour, just as Early
was contemplating whether or not to move into Washington.
No invasion was launched, but Early did engage Union forces outside Fort
Stevens. During the fighting, President Lincoln paid a visit to the fort,
becoming the only sitting president in American history to come under fire in a military engagement.
Leepson shows that had Early arrived in Washington one day
earlier, the ensuing havoc easily could have brought about a different conclusion to the war. Leepson uses a vast amount of
primary material, including memoirs, official records, newspaper accounts, diary entries and eyewitness reports in a reader-friendly
and engaging description of the events surrounding what became known as “the Battle That Saved Washington.”
Reading: Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign. Description: Jubal A. Early’s disastrous battles in the Shenandoah Valley
ultimately resulted in his ignominious dismissal. But Early’s lesser-known summer campaign of 1864, between his raid
on Washington and Phil Sheridan’s renowned fall campaign, had a significant impact on the political and military landscape
of the time. By focusing on military tactics and battle history in uncovering the facts and events of these little-understood
battles, Scott C. Patchan offers a new perspective on Early’s contributions to the Confederate war effort—and
to Union battle plans and politicking. Patchan details the previously unexplored battles at Rutherford’s Farm and Kernstown
(a pinnacle of Confederate operations in the Shenandoah Valley) and examines the campaign’s
influence on President Lincoln’s reelection efforts. Continued below…
He also provides
insights into the personalities, careers, and roles in Shenandoah of Confederate General John C. Breckinridge, Union general
George Crook, and Union colonel James A. Mulligan, with his “fighting Irish” brigade from Chicago.
Finally, Patchan reconsiders the ever-colorful and controversial Early himself, whose importance in the Confederate military
pantheon this book at last makes clear. About the Author: Scott C. Patchan, a Civil War battlefield guide and historian, is
the author of Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont, Virginia, and a consultant and contributing writer for Shenandoah, 1862.
descriptions of the battles are very detailed, full or regimental level actions, and individual incidents. He bases the accounts
on commendable research in manuscript collections, newspapers, published memoirs and regimental histories, and secondary works.
The words of the participants, quoted often by the author, give the narrative an immediacy. . . . A very creditable account
of a neglected period."-Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War News (Jeffry D. Wert Civil War News 20070914)
Summer] contains excellent diagrams and maps of every battle and is recommended reading for those who have a passion for books
on the Civil War."-Waterline (Waterline 20070831)
is interesting and readable, with chapters of a digestible length covering many of the battles of the campaign."-Curled Up
With a Good Book (Curled Up With a Good Book 20060815)
Summer provides readers with detailed combat action, colorful character portrayals, and sound strategic analysis. Patchan''s
book succeeds in reminding readers that there is still plenty to write about when it comes to the American Civil War."-John
Deppen, Blue & Grey Magazine (John Deppen Blue & Grey Magazine 20060508)
"Scott C. Patchan
has solidified his position as the leading authority of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign with his outstanding campaign
study, Shenandoah Summer. Mr. Patchan not only unearths this vital portion of the campaign, he has brought it back to life
with a crisp and suspenseful narrative. His impeccable scholarship, confident analyses, spellbinding battle scenes, and wonderful
character portraits will captivate even the most demanding readers. Shenandoah Summer is a must read for the Civil War aficionado
as well as for students and scholars of American military history."-Gary Ecelbarger, author of "We Are in for It!": The First
Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862 (Gary Ecelbarger 20060903)
has given us a definitive account of the 1864 Valley Campaign. In clear prose and vivid detail, he weaves a spellbinding narrative
that bristles with detail but never loses sight of the big picture. This is a campaign narrative of the first order."-Gordon
C. Rhea, author of The Battle of the Wilderness: May 5-6, 1864 (Gordon C. Rhea )
is a `boots-on-the-ground' historian, who works not just in archives but also in the sun and the rain and tall grass. Patchan's
mastery of the topography and the battlefields of the Valley is what sets him apart and, together with his deep research,
gives his analysis of the campaign an unimpeachable authority."-William J. Miller, author of Mapping for Stonewall and Great
Maps of the Civil War (William J. Miller)
Try the Search Engine for Related Studies: Battle of Winchester Virginia Civil War Maps Union
Confederate Army Order of Battle Troop Battlefield Positions Shenandoah Valley Map, 3rd Battle of Winchester Third History
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