3rd Battle of Winchester Civil War History

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Third Battle of Winchester / Opequon Creek Virginia

Battle of Opequon (3rd Battle of Winchester)

Other Names: Third Battle of Winchester

Location: Frederick County

Campaign: Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign (August-October 1864); 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns 

Date(s): September 19, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan [US]; Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early [CS]

Forces Engaged: 54,440 total (US 39,240; CS 15,200)

Estimated Casualties: 8,630 total (US 5,020; CS 3,610)

Result(s): Union victory

3rd Battle of Winchester Civil War Map
3rd Battle of Winchester Civil War Map.jpg
(Click to Enlarge)

Description: After Kershaw's Division left Winchester to rejoin Lee’s army at Petersburg, Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early renewed his raids on the B&O Railroad at Martinsburg, badly dispersing his four remaining infantry divisions. On September 19, Sheridan advanced toward Winchester along the Berryville Pike with the VI and XIX Corps, crossing Opequon Creek. The Union advance was delayed long enough for Early to concentrate his forces to meet the main assault, which continued for several hours. Casualties were very heavy. The Confederate line was gradually driven back toward the town. Mid-afternoon, Crook’s (VIII) Corps and the cavalry turned the Confederate left flank. Early, however, ordered a general retreat.  Confederate generals Rodes and Goodwin were killed, Fitzhugh Lee, Terry, Johnson, and Wharton wounded. Union general Russell was killed, McIntosh, Upton, and Chapman wounded. Because of its size, intensity, and result, many historians consider this the most important conflict of the Shenandoah Valley. (See Third Battle of Winchester: Detailed History and Maps.)

LIST OF REBEL OFFICERS CAPTURED AT THE BATTLE OF OPEQUON CREEK (3rd BATTLE OF WINCHESTER), SEPTEMBER 19, 1864

 
CAPTURED CONFEDERATE OFFICERS AS POSTED IN THE NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, NEWSPAPER "THE NEW REGIME" 1864

The newspaper was microfilmed white on black background and was difficult to read. Some initials may be wrong because of that, but I have tried my best to copy it. Submitted by Gene Williams.

COL. R. T. BENNETT, 14TH NORTH CAROLINA.
1st  LIEUT. N.B. FERRY, 51st  VA.
1st  LIEUT J.J. PORTER, 13TH VA
1st  LIEUT  J.A. JOHNst ON, 45TH VA
CAPT Z.T. ROSS, 13TH VIRGINIA.
CAPT. H.W. WINGFIELD, 58TH VA.
LIEUT COL H. W. CECKLEY, 44TH VA.
1st  LIEUT J.E. WILLS, 51st  VA.
2d LIEUT R.I. WALDRON, 58TH VA.
CAPT. F.M. WRIGHT, 58TH VA.
W.R. GILLETT, 52d VA
2nd LIEUT J.A.T. GROSSELOSE, 51st  VA.
1st  LIEUT WM. R. FISHER, 45TH VA.
CAPT. H.C. GROSSELOSE, 36TH VA.
CAPT C. BAUMGARDNER, 45TH VA.
2d LIEUT P.P. PECK, 26TH VA.
2d LIEUT N.C. REPASS, 51st  VA.
1st   LIEUT W.P. HOWARD, 51st  VA.
3d  LT. A. D. GROSSELOSE 51st  VA.
2nd LIEUT JK.L. VASS, 36TH VA.
2nd LIEUT G.A. McGEE, 36TH VA.
2nd LIEUT E. BLACK, 36TH VA.
2nd LIEUT M. M. HINES, 36TH VA.
COL. I.T. HOOPER 21st  GA.
LIEUT COL. G.M. EDGAR, 25TH VA.
2d LIEUT L.B. DUNN, 26TH VA
2d LIEUT J.J. GATLING, 5TH N.C.
1st  LIEUT J.B. SAMUELS, 10TH VA
2d LIEUT A.B. KELLER, 23d VA
2d LIEUT. J.R. COX, 45TH VA.
2d LIEUT W. A. BIDDICK, 5TH N.C.
1st  LIEUT J.D. IRWIN, 20TH N.C.
CAPT D. BENNER, 26TH VA
2d LIEUT W. A.  BIDDICK, 5TH N.C.
1st  LIEUT J.D. IRWIN, 20TH N.C.
CAPT D. BENNER, 26TH VA
2d LIEUT J.N. HANNA, 52d VA.
1st  LIEUT C.T. GILLESPY, 45TH VA
2st  LIEUT J.O. MAXWELL, 45TH VA.
3d LIEUT B.S. HICKS, 45TH VA.
1st  LIEUT M.G. WEBB, 45TH N.C.
2d LIEUT J.C. SPANLER, 46TH VA.
3d LIEUT A.A. COX, 26TH VA.
3d LIEUT S.C. McNEIL 46TH VA.
3rd LIEUT J.S. PERRY, 45TH VA.
3d LIEUT J. HUDSON, 45TH VA.
CAPT. F.M. PERRY, 23d VA.
2d LIEUT. J. O. BUCHANAN, 23d VA.
3d LIEUT L.S. CAMPBELL, 23d VA
3d LIEUT D.F. BARNS 23d VA
2d LIEUT B.L. WATSON, 5TH N.C.
2d LIEUT H.H. SMITH, 5TH N.C.
2d LIEUT S.J. SKELTON, 28d VA
2d LIEUT J.J. HIGGINS, 60TH gA
1st  LIEUT O.C. LIPSCOMB, , 52nd VA
2d LT. C.M. CAMPTON, 31st  GA.
2d LT J.B. PECK, 26TH VA
2d LT A  SUERTAUGH, 6OTH VA
LT COL G.A. GOODMAN, 16TH VA
1st  LIEUT B.F. CURTRIGHT, 13TH GA
2d LT J.K. KINMAN, 12TH GA
CAPT J.N. SHANLAIN, 60TH VA
1st LIEUT A.B. SYDENst RICKER, 60TH VA
CAPT L.A. VAWLER, 30TH VA.
1st  LIEUT J. A. DOUGLAS 30TH vA
CAPT E.H. LYON, 23d N.C.
CAPT. J. GOLLABAN, 23d VA
1st  LIEUT J.R. BLACKWOOD, 45TH VA,
2d LIEUT J.T. JAMES, 23Nd VA
3d LIEUT B.F. COLE, 23d VA
1st  LIEUT J.M. SCOTT, 23d VA
1st  LIEUT J.F. HARRISON, 23d VA.
LIEUT COL. J.A. McKAMY, THOMAS' LEGION [Camp Morton: alive in January 1865]
CAPT J.M. SINGLETON, THOMAS' LEGION [Took "Oath of Allegiance" on June 17, 1865]
2d LIEUT L.R. YOUNG THOMAS' LEGION

MAJ. W.S. ROWAN, 60TH VA.
CAPT J.W. JOHNSON, 60TH VA
1st . LIEUT C.H. ACTON, 60TH VA
2nd LIEUT WILLIAM ADAIR, 30TH VA
5d LIEUT J.INGRAM 20TH N.C.
2st  LIEUT H.M.WARREN, 4TH N.C.
2d LT. T. M. C. DAVIDSON, 4TH N.C.
CAPT N.H. CHADWICK, 2d N.C.
1st  LT. T.W. LUFTWICK, 36TH VA
2d LT M.D. STONE, 36TH VA
2d J.A. BURNETT, 51 st . VA
2d LT. J.A. HALL, 53d N.C.
2d LT. J.N. SCOTT, do.
3d LT. C.P. NICKELL, 26TH VA
2d LT N.H. BAILY, 22Nd VA
3d LT  C.P. NICKELL, 26TH VA
2d LT N.H. BAILY, 22Nd vA
3D. LT. J.D. MILLER, 22Nd VA
2d LT J.F. CAMPELL, do.
3d LT S.F. COUUIS, do,
LIEUT COL. NELLIGAN, 1st  LOUSIANA INFANTRY,
LIEUT COL. C. DERMIT, 23d VA INFANTRY
LT. COL. EDGAR, EDGAR'S BATTALION

Transcribed by Gene Williams

Sources: National Park Service; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

Recommended Reading: So Far from Dixie: Confederates in Yankee Prisons (Hardcover: 312 pages). Description: This book is the gripping history of five men who were sent to Elmira, New York's infamous POW camp, and survived to document their stories. You will hear and even envision the most stirring and gripping true stories of each soldier that lived and survived the most horrible nightmares of the conflict while tortured and even starved as "THE PRISONER OF WAR."

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Recommended 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…

In addition 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 (Military Campaigns of the Civil War) (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...

The eleven 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.

 

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.

 

Recommended Reading: Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864 (Civil War America) (Hardcover). Description: The eastern campaigns of the Civil War involved the widespread use of field fortifications, from Big Bethel and the Peninsula to Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Charleston, and Mine Run. While many of these fortifications were meant to last only as long as the battle, Earl J. Hess argues that their history is deeply significant. The Civil War saw more use of fieldworks than did any previous conflict in Western history. Hess studies the use of fortifications by tracing the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia from April 1861 to April 1864. He considers the role of field fortifications in the defense of cities, river crossings, and railroads and in numerous battles. Continued below... 

Blending technical aspects of construction with operational history, Hess demonstrates the crucial role these earthworks played in the success or failure of field armies. He also argues that the development of trench warfare in 1864 resulted from the shock of battle and the continued presence of the enemy within striking distance, not simply from the use of the rifle-musket, as historians have previously asserted. Based on fieldwork at 300 battle sites and extensive research in official reports, letters, diaries, and archaeological studies, this book should become an indispensable reference for Civil War historians.
 

Recommended Reading: Reveille in Washington, 1860 - 1865. Description: Winner of the 1942 Pulitzer Prize in History, it is an authentic, scholarly description of life in Washington during the Civil War, written in a highly readable style. The "star" of the book is, indeed, the city of Washington D.C. Many players walk across the D.C. stage, and Leech's research paints vivid portraits not seen before about the Lincolns, Walt Whitman, Andrew Carnegie, Winfield Scott, John Wilkes Booth, and many others. Continued below...

 It's the "Capitol" that you have never really seen or heard that much about… It's a scrappy, dusty, muddy, unfinished city, begging for respect. Washington City, as it was called then, was both a respite for Union soldiers, as well as the Union Army’s “prostitution headquarters.” From the so-called 'highlife to the lowlife', the politician to the pauper, all receive their respectful, or rightful, place in this delightful but candid prose.

Try the Search Engine for Related Studies: Third Battle of Winchester Prisoners of War List, Battle of 3rd Winchester Virginia Battlefield Picture, Photo, Photograph, List of Confederate Rebel Officers captured at Battle of Opequon Creek, Army of the Valley District, General Early, Early in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and Campaigns, Captured Confederates Names

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