Third Battle of Winchester (Opequon)

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Battle of Winchester
Battle of Opequon, Virginia

Third Battle of Winchester

Other Names: Last Battle of Winchester; Battle of Opequon; Battle of Opequon Creek; 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
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Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia, Map

Description:  The 3rd Battle of Winchester (aka Battle of Opequon), part of Sheridan's Valley Campaign, was Grant's response to Early's relentless pressure throughout the Shenandoah Valley.

Sheridan's Valley Campaign [August-October 1864] witnessed the following battles: Guard Hill – Summit PointSmithfield CrossingBerryville3rd Winchester – Fisher's Hill – Tom's Brook – Cedar Creek.

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.)

3rd Battle of Winchester Map
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Civil War Winchester Battlefield Map

3rd Battle of Winchester, Virginia Map
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3rd Battle of Winchester, Civil War Map

Setting the Stage: Grant finally lost patience with Early, particularly his burning of Chambersburg, and knew that Washington remained vulnerable if Early was still on the loose. He found a new commander aggressive enough to defeat Early: Philip Sheridan, the cavalry commander of the Army of the Potomac, who was given command of all forces in the area, calling them the Army of the Shenandoah. Sheridan initially started slowly, primarily because the impending presidential election of 1864 demanded a cautious approach, avoiding any disaster that might lead to the defeat of Abraham Lincoln.
 
Sheridan was given command of the Army of the Shenandoah and sent to the Shenandoah Valley to deal with Early's Confederate threat. For much of the early fall of 1864, Sheridan and Early had cautiously engaged in minor skirmishes while each side tested the other's strength. Early mistook this limited action to mean that Sheridan was afraid to fight and he left his army spread out from Martinsburg to Winchester. Sheridan learned of Early's dispersed forces and immediately struck out after Winchester, the location of two previous major engagements during the war, both Confederate victories.
 
The 3rd Battle of Winchester was one of several battles fought during Sheridan's Valley Campaign (August – October 1864). Sheridan's Valley Campaign, part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864, was the last of three principal campaigns fought throughout the valley region.

Third Battle of Winchester Civil War Map
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Civil War Winchester Virginia Battlefield Map

Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia
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Winchester, Virginia, Civil War Map

Battle: Early quickly gathered his army back together at Winchester just in time to meet Sheridan's attack on September 19. The Union forces coming in from the east had to march on the narrow road through Berryville Canyon, which soon got clogged up with supply wagons and troops delaying the attack. This delay allowed Early to further strengthen his lines. Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon's division arrived from the north and took up position on the Confederate left.
 
By noon Sheridan's troops had reached the field and he ordered a frontal attack along Early's lines. Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright's Union VI Corps on the left flank halted when faced with well entrenched Confederates on a hilltop supported by artillery. The XIX Corps, under Maj. Gen. William H. Emory, to the north of the VI Corps, drove Gordon's division through some woods, but when the Federals continued pursuing the Confederates through they were cut down by artillery as they entered the clearing on the far side.
 
The VI Corps resumed its advance and began driving back the Confederate right flank, but the VI and XIX Corps were slowly moving apart from each other and a gap appeared between them. Brig. Gen. David A. Russell's division was rushed forward to plug the gap. Russell was hit in the chest, but continued moving his division forward. The brigade of Brig. Gen. Emory Upton reached the gap, but was too late—the Confederates had already launched a counterattack through the gap. Upton placed his men in line of battle and charged. Leading the charge was a young colonel named Ranald S. Mackenzie, commanding the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery regiment, serving as infantry. Russell received a second bullet and fell mortally wounded. Upton assumed command of the division and a lull came over the battlefield.

Third Battle of Winchester History
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3rd Battle of Winchester, VA

Third Battle of Winchester
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Historical Marker

At this point Sheridan called the battle a "splendid victory", but had no intentions of stopping the fight just yet. Sheridan sent the VIII Corps under Brig. Gen. George Crook to find the Confederate left flank. Meanwhile, cavalry units under Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson were swinging around the Confederate right flank. With the three corps in line, Sheridan ordered them all forward. This new advance did not start well. Crook's troops had to march through a swamp and the XIX Corps was not advancing at all. General Upton was struggling to persuade the XIX Corps units on his flank to move forward with his own division when an artillery shot tore off a chunk of his thigh. The surgeon was able to stop the bleeding and Upton ordered a stretcher brought forward from which he directed his troops for the rest of the battle. Finally the Confederate lines began to give way. Sheridan, so excited by the imminent victory, rode along the lines waving his hat and shouting.
 
Late in the day, two divisions of Union cavalry arrived from the north and came thundering into the Confederate left flank. The division of Brig. Gen. Wesley Merritt crushed the Confederate works while the division of Brig. Gen. William W. Averell swung around the flank. The Confederate army was in full retreat. Caught in the retreat were the wives of several Confederate generals staying in Winchester. John B. Gordon was forced to leave his wife behind in attempts to keep his troops intact, believing she would become a prisoner of the Union army. She did, however, manage to escape in time.

3rd Battle of Winchester, Virginia, Map
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Third Battle of Winchester Battlefield Map

3rd Battle of Winchester History
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Third Winchester Battlefield History

Aftermath and Analysis: The Battle of Opequon, more commonly known as the Third Battle of Winchester, was fought in Winchester, Virginia, on September 19, 1864, during the Valley Campaigns of 1864 in the American Civil War. Third Winchester marked a turning point in the Shenandoah Valley in favor of the North. Early's army for the most part remained intact but suffered further defeats at Fisher's Hill and Tom's Brook. Exactly a month later, the Valley Campaigns came to a close after Early's defeat at the Battle of Cedar Creek. Victory in the Valley, along with other Union victories in the fall of 1864, helped win re-election for Abraham Lincoln.
 
As Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early raided the B&O Railroad at Martinsburg, WV, Union Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan advanced toward Winchester along the Berryville Pike with the VI Corps 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, the VIII Corps and the cavalry turned the Confederate left flank. Early ordered a general retreat. Because of its size, intensity, serious casualties among the general officers on both sides, and its result, many historians consider this the most important conflict of the Shenandoah Valley.
 
The battle was particularly damaging due to the number of casualties among key commanders. In the Union army, Brig. Gen. David A. Russell was killed and Brig. Gens. Emory Upton, George H. Chapman, and John B. McIntosh were seriously wounded. Confederate Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes was killed and Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, Brig. Gens. William Terry, Archibald Godwin, and Col. William Wharton were wounded. Also among the Confederate dead was Col. George S. Patton, Sr. His grandson and namesake would become the famous U.S. general of World War II, George S. Patton, Jr.

Third Battle of Winchester Interpretive Marker
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3rd Battle of Winchester Civil War Marker

Early, following the Third Battle of Winchester took a strong position. His right rested on the North Branch of the Shenandoah River. The left flank of his infantry was on Fisher's Hill. Confederate cavalry was expected to hold the ground from there to Little North Mountain. Maj. Gen. George Crook advised Sheridan to flank this position. His command was assigned to move along the wooded slopes of the mountain to attack the cavalry. Crook's attack began about 4 p.m. on September 22, 1864. The infantry attack pushed the Confederate troopers out of their way. Maj. Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur tried refusing the left flank of his division. Crook and Brig. Gen. James B. Ricketts of Horatio G. Wright's division, VI Corps struck Ramseur's line, pushing it in. Wright's remaining divisions and XIX Corps broke the Southern line. The Confederates fell back to Waynesboro, Virginia. Brig. Gen. Alfred Torbert was sent into the Luray Valley with 6,000 cavalrymen to force his way through the 1,200 Confederate cavalrymen under Brigadier General Williams Wickham. Torbert was then supposed to move through the New Market and Luray Gap in Massanutten Mountain and come up behind Early and cut-off his retreat at Fisher's Hill. Torbert fell back after making a token effort against Wickham's force at Milford and Early escaped.
 
Completing his missions of neutralizing Early and suppressing the Valley's military-related economy, Sheridan returned to assist Grant at the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign. Most of the men of Early's corps rejoined Lee at Petersburg in December, while Early remained to command a skeleton force. His final action was defeat at the Battle of Waynesboro on March 2, 1865, after which Lee removed him from his command because the Confederate government and people had lost confidence in him. (Shenandoah Valley and the American Civil War and American Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley.)

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3rd Battle of Winchester Historical marker

Third Battle of Winchester History Marker
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3rd Winchester Battlefield History

Winchester, Virginia, Map
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Battle of Winchester, Virginia

Winchester (county seat for Frederick County, Virginia) and the surrounding area were the site of numerous battles during the American Civil War.

Winchester was a key strategic position for the Confederate States Army during the war. It was an important operational objective in Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's and Col. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's defense of the Shenandoah Valley in 1861, Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862, the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863, and the Valley Campaigns of 1864. Including minor cavalry raids and patrols, and occasional reconnaissances, historians claim that Winchester changed hands as many as 72 times, and 13 times in one day. Battles raged along Main Street at different points in the war. Both Union General Sheridan and Stonewall Jackson located their headquarters just one block apart at various times.

At the north end of the lower Shenandoah Valley, Winchester was a base of operations for major Confederate invasions into the Northern United States. At times the attacks threatened the capital of Washington, D.C. (named Washington City at the time). The town served as a central point for troops' conducting major raids against the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and turnpike and telegraph paths along those routes and the Potomac River Valley. For instance, in 1861, Stonewall Jackson removed 56 locomotives and more than 300 railroad cars, along with miles of track, from the B&O Railroad. His attack closed down the B&O's main line for ten months. Much of the effort to transport this equipment by horse and carriage centered in Winchester. Passing through or nearby Winchester are these major transportation and communications routes:

  • The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
  • The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
  • The Winchester and Potomac Railroad
  • The Manassas Gap Railroad and Manassas Gap
  • The Valley Pike and Martinsburg Pike
  • The Pughtown Pike
  • The Northwestern Grade and Petticoat Gap to Romney, West Virginia
  • The Berryville Pike, Castleman's Ferry and Snickers Gap
  • The Millwood Pike, Berry's Ferry and Ashby's Gap
  • The Front Royal Pike and Chester Gap

Ties between Winchester and the American Civil War are considered to begin with the involvement of the city in the suppression of John Brown's Raid in 1859. Colonel Lewis Tilghman Moore of the 31st Virginia Militia of Frederick County assembled 150 militia men from the Marion Guards, the Morgan Continentals, and the Mount Vernon Riflemen in October, 1859 and moved them by the Winchester and Potomac Railroad to Harper's Ferry. Ironically, the first death of Brown's raid was Heyward Shepard, a free black from Winchester, who was buried in Winchester with full military honors. Following the raid, Judge Richard Parker of Winchester presided over the trial of John Brown, sentencing the insurrectionist to hang. One of the sons of John Brown and two other raiders (John Anthony Copeland and Shields Green) were later examined at the Winchester Medical College in Winchester as cadavers for medical training, an action for which the Federals later burned the College to the ground.

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Civil War Railroad Map

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Civil War 3rd Battle of Winchester Map

Located at the north end of the lower Shenandoah Valley at a latitude north of the Federal capital city of Washington, D.C., Winchester's location was the hub of key roadways linking the Ohio Valley to the eastern United States coastal plains. Sitting just south of the Potomac River, Winchester lay on the only route between the east and western United States with direct connections to Washington, D.C.

List of battles and campaigns involving the greater Winchester area:

  • Colonel Jackson's Defense of the Lower Valley of 1861
    • The Great Train Raid of 1861, May 23 – June 23, 1861
    • The Skirmish of Falling Waters, July 2, 1861
  • General Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862
    • The Romney Expedition, January 1–24, 1862
    • The First Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862
    • The First Battle of Winchester, May 25, 1862
  • General Robert E. Lee's Maryland Campaign of 1862
    • The Battle of Harpers Ferry, September 12–15, 1862
  • General Robert E. Lee's Gettysburg Campaign of 1863
    • The Second Battle of Winchester, June 13–15, 1863
  • General Early's Valley Campaign and Washington, D.C. Raid of 1864
    • The Battle of Snicker's Ferry, July 17–18, 1864
    • The Battle of Rutherford's Farm, July 20, 1864
    • The Second Battle of Kernstown, July 24, 1864
    • The Battle of Berryville, September 3–4, 1864
    • The Third Battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864
    • The Battle of Belle Grove (or Cedar Creek), October 19, 1864

As both the Confederate and Union armies strove to control the greater Winchester area of the Shenandoah Valley, seven major battlefields were contested within the original Frederick County:

Within the city of Winchester:

  • The First Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862
  • The First Battle of Winchester, May 25, 1862
  • The Second Battle of Winchester, June 13–15, 1863
  • The Second Battle of Kernstown, July 24, 1864
  • The Third Battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864

Near the city of Winchester:

  • The Battle of Berryville, September 3–4, 1864
  • The Battle of Cedar Creek (aka Battle of Belle Grove), October 19, 1864

During the war, Winchester was occupied by the Union Army for four major periods:

  • Major General Nathaniel Banks – (March May 12 to 25, 1862, and June 4 to September 2, 1862)
  • Major General Robert Milroy – (December 24, 1862, to June 15, 1863)
  • Major General Philip Sheridan – (September 19, 1864, to February 27, 1865)
  • Major General Winfield Scott Hancock – February 27, 1865, to June 27, 1865
  • The Occupation of the First Military District of Major General John Schofield – (End of War to January 26, 1870)

Third Battle of Winchester Map
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3rd Battle of Winchester Map

Major General Sheridan raided up the Valley from Winchester, where his forces destroyed "2,000 barns filled with grain and implements, not to mention other outbuildings, 70 mills filled with wheat and flour" and "numerous head of livestock," to lessen the area's ability to supply the Confederates.

Numerous local men served with the Confederate Army, mostly as troops. Dr. Hunter McGuire was Chief Surgeon of the Second "Jackson's" Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. He laid the foundations for the future Geneva conventions regarding the treatment of medical doctors during warfare. Winchester served as a major center for Confederate medical operations, particularly after the Battle of Sharpsburg in 1862 and the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Among those who took part in battles at Winchester were future U.S. presidents McKinley and Hayes, both as officers in the Union IX Corps.

The first constitution of West Virginia provided for Frederick County to be added to the new state if approved by a local election. Unlike those of neighboring Berkeley and Jefferson counties, Frederick County residents voted to remain in Virginia despite being occupied by the Union Army at the time. Advance to Shenandoah Valley Campaigns: The Civil War Battles.

(Sources listed below.)

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.

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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.

 

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: 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: 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.

Review

"The author's 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)

"[Shenandoah 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)

"The narrative 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)

"Shenandoah 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)

"Scott Patchan 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 )

"[Scott Patchan] 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)

 

Recommended Reading: Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign (Civil War America) (Hardcover) (The University of North Carolina Press) (September 5, 2007). Description: In the study of field fortifications in the Civil War that began with Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War, Hess turns to the 1864 Overland campaign to cover battles from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor. Continued below...

Drawing on meticulous research in primary sources and careful examination of trench remnants at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Bermuda Hundred, Hess describes Union and Confederate earthworks and how Grant and Lee used them in this new era of field entrenchments.

Sources: National Park Service; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Civil War Preservation Trust; Library of Congress; Eicher, David J. The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. ISBN 0-684-84944-5; Kennedy, Frances H., ed. The Civil War Battlefield Guide. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998. ISBN 0-395-74012-6; Lewis, Thomas A., and the Editors of Time-Life Books. The Shenandoah in Flames: The Valley Campaign of 1864. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1987. ISBN 0-8094-4784-3; Salmon, John S. The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001. ISBN 0-8117-2868-4; Woodworth, Steven E., and Kenneth J. Winkle. Oxford Atlas of the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-19-522131-1; Early, Jubal A. A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America. Edited by Gary W. Gallagher. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001. ISBN 1-57003-450-8; Gallagher, Gary W., ed. The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864. Military Campaigns of the Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8078-3005-5; Gallagher, Gary W., ed. Struggle for the Shenandoah: Essays on the 1864 Valley Campaign. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-87338-429-6; Wert, Jeffry D. From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987. ISBN 0-671-67806-X; Wittenberg, Eric J. Little Phil: A Reassessment of the Civil War Leadership of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2002. ISBN 1-57488-548-0.

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