The Third Battle of Winchester

The Third Battle of Winchester (HM1HT)

Location: Winchester, VA 22603
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 12.015', W 78° 7.841'

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The Second Woods

You are standing at the site of what is known as the Second Woods. The fighting in and around the Second Woods was so rapid and chaotic that many participants disagreed on the details and order of the events. But this is much clear: at 11:40 a.m., Gen. Cuvier Grover's Union Division attacked with fixed bayonets across the Middle Field before you. The rapid and impetuous charge caught the Confederates unprepared - apparently only Gen. Clement Evans' Brigade of Georgians was positioned in and behind the Second Woods. A desperate fight ensued. A Union solider described what followed: "The roar of battle as the two lines fairly met, sounding in a thunderous burst of volleys, pealed up from that woods; and smoke and flame streamed out a long line, as thought the whole forest had been suddenly ignited. The conflict was as fierce as the fiercest battle fought by Grant, from the Rapidan to Petersburg."

Evans' men broke and fell back - the first time they had ever done so without orders. Union jubilation did not last long, however, as Confederate Gens. John B. Gordon and Robert E. Rodes organized a swift and powerful counterattack. Rodes was killed within minutes, but Gen. Cullen A. Battle's Alabama Brigade plunged into a weak point in the Union line. Gordon's men (Virginians, Louisianians, and the reorganized Georgians) and the rest of Rodes' Division joined the Alabamians and pushed the Union troops out of the Second and West Woods and across the Middle Field. The Confederates pushed on, determined to split Sheridan's army in two. The Third Battle of Winchester might have been Jubal Early's greatest victory, but for the arrival of key Union reinforcements under Gen. David A. Russell. Although Russell died within minutes, his advance slowed, then halted the onrushing Confederates, who fell back to the edge of the Woods from whence they had come.
HM NumberHM1HT
Placed ByCivil War Preservation Trust
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 10:21am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 747778 N 4342922
Decimal Degrees39.20025000, -78.13068333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 12.015', W 78° 7.841'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 12' 0.90" N, 78° 7' 50.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 534 I-81, Winchester VA 22603, US
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