Third Winchester
September 19, 1864
Also known at the Battle of Opequon

CWPT is working with local preservation groups to preserve an additional 209 acres of the historic battlefield at Third Winchester. Adding to the central hallowed ground saved there previously by the Civil War Preservation Trust and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, this preserved site will now encompass 575 pristine acres, which witnessed 9,000 casualties, and on which future U.S. Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley saw battle.

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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 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.
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