Third Winchester battlefield locations

 

Third Winchester battlefield on
Redbud Road

 

Fort Collier

 

Star Fort

 

Berryville Pike

 

Winchester
National Cemetery

The Third Battle of Winchester, or Battle of Opequon

On September 19, 1864 Union General Philip Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah struck toward Winchester and the flank of Confederate General Jubal Early's scattered Army of the Valley. But Sheridan's plan to defeat the Confederates in detail failed when his army bogged down in its approach up the Berryville Road. Early concentrated this forces, and what resulted was the largest and costliest battle ever fought in the Shenandoah Valley. In the end Sheridan's superior numbers told. The Confederate lines broke, and Early's men fled to the south, leaving Winchester to the Federals for the last time.

 

The battlefield today

Large parts of the battlefield have been built over by commercial and residential development or bulldozed by Interstate 81. But one large and several smaller areas preserve the memories of what happened in 1864.

 

Third Winchester - Red Bud Run

The greatest area of the Third Winchester battlefield that has been preserved is on land saved by the Civil War Trust along Red Bud Run northeast of Winchester. A series of wayside markers along five miles of trails tell the story of the battle.

 

Fort Collier and Star Fort

The Confederate left flank was anchored on earthworks, of which Fort Collier and Star Fort were the largest. Both were overrun in a series of charges by Union Cavalry at the end of the battle.

 

Winchester National Cemetery and

Stonewall Confederate Cemetery

Many of the casualties from the battle, as well as other conflicts in the Shenandoah Valley, were laid to rest in two side-by-side cemeteries on the east side of Winchester. Both contain monuments to the men and units that fought here.

 

Hackwood Park

A small green area set aside next to the parking lots of a large mall commemorates both the Third Battle of Winchester and the Battle of Rutherford Farm that preceded it.

 

Berryville Pike

The scene of some of the hardest fighting in the Shenandoah Valley is now a freeway exit and a shopping center. Virginia State Historical Markers J3 and J13 remind drivers that this was once a battlefield.


 

The Red Bud Run battlefield is the largest part of the Third Winchester battlefield to be preserved. But the battle covered a much larger area. You can see monuments and markers for the battle and and even visit other small areas of preserved land to the north and east of Winchester.






About the Author • ©2007-2014 Steve Hawks