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Encyclopedia > Winchester in the Civil War
Entry of General Banks' Division, May, 1862
Entry of General Banks' Division, May, 1862

The city of Winchester, Virginia, and the surrounding area were the site of numerous fights during the American Civil War as both contending armies strove to control that portion of the Shenandoah Valley. Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Independent City Founded 1802 Mayor Elizabeth Minor Area    - City 24. ... This article is becoming very long. ... Canoeing on the Shenandoah River near Winchester, VA. The Shenandoah Valley region of western Virginia, from Winchester to Staunton, is bounded by the Blue Ridge mountains to the East and the Allegheny mountains to the West. ...

Contents

Winchester's strategic location

Located at the north end of the upper Shenandoah Valley, Winchester was a base of operations for several Confederate incursions into the Northern United States, at times threatening the capital city of Washington, D.C.. Winchester served as a central point for troops conducting 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, Col. Thomas J. Jackson removed 56 locomotives and over 300 railroad cars, along with miles of track, from the B&O Railroad and ultimately 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. Some Confederate soldiers The Confederate States Army (CSA) was formed in February 1861 to defend the Confederate States of America, which had itself been formed that same year when seven Southern states seceded from the United States (four more states soon followed). ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... Nickname: DC, The District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - City Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D... 1876 map The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) is one of the oldest railroads in the United States, with an original line from the port of Baltimore, Maryland, west to the Ohio River at Wheeling and Parkersburg, West Virginia. ... Canal at Swains Lock The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, also known as the C&O Canal, operated from 1850 until 1924 parallel to the Potomac River in Maryland from Cumberland, Maryland to Washington, DC. The total length of the canal is about 184. ... The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States (USA). ... Colonel (IPA: or ) is a military rank of a commissioned officer, with the corresponding ranks existing in nearly every country in the world. ... Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson For other uses of Stonewall Jackson, see Stonewall Jackson (disambiguation). ...


Winchester in the Eastern Theater

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 Jackson's defense of the Shenandoah Valley in 1861, Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862, the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863, and the Valley Campaigns of 1864. Some Confederate soldiers The Confederate States Army (CSA) was formed in February 1861 to defend the Confederate States of America, which had itself been formed that same year when seven Southern states seceded from the United States (four more states soon followed). ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Born Joseph E. James Karakasians (born February 6, 1977 in Long Island, New York), better knowed by the name of Joseph Erin James Karakasians is a professional wrestler, training in Richmond, Virginia. ... Stonewall Jackson The Valley Campaign was Confederate General Thomas J. Stonewall Jacksons brilliant spring 1862 campaign through the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, during the American Civil War. ... Meade and Lee of Gettysburg Gettysburg Campaign (through July 3); cavalry movements shown with dashed lines. ... Eastern Theater operations in 1864 The Valley Campaigns of 1864 were American Civil War operations and battles that took place in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia from May to October, 1864. ...


Battles fought around or involving Winchester

Stonewall Jackson The Valley Campaign was Confederate General Thomas J. Stonewall Jacksons brilliant spring 1862 campaign through the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, during the American Civil War. ... Major General Stonewall Jackson leads The Romney Expedition, painting by John Paul Strain. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... January 24 is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... First Battle of Kernstown Conflict American Civil War Date March 23, 1862 Place Frederick County and Winchester, Virgina Result Union victory The First Battle of Kernstown took place on March 23, 1862 in Frederick County and Winchester, Virgina as part of Confederate Army General Thomas J. Jacksons Campaign through... March 23 is the 82nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (83rd in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... First Battle of Winchester Conflict American Civil War Date May 25, 1862 Place Frederick County and Winchester Result Confederate victory The First Battle of Winchester was a battle of the American Civil War that took place on May 25, 1862 in and around Frederick County, Virginia and Winchester, Virginia. ... May 25 is the 145th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (146th in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Confederate dead at Antietam The Maryland Campaign, or the Antietam Campaign, of September 1862 is widely considered one of the major turning points of the American Civil War. ... Battle of Harpers Ferry Conflict American Civil War Date September 12-15, 1862 Place Jefferson County Result Confederate victory The Battle of Harpers Ferry was fought during the American Civil War on September 12–15, 1862. ... September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... Events Valerius Gratus is appointed Prefect of Iudaea. ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Meade and Lee of Gettysburg Gettysburg Campaign (through July 3); cavalry movements shown with dashed lines. ... Battle of Winchester II Conflict American Civil War Date June 13-15, 1863 Place Frederick County and Winchester, Virginia Result Confederate victory The Second Battle of Winchester took place from June 13– 15, 1863, in Frederick County and Winchester, Virginia, as part of the Gettysburg Campaign of the American... June 13 is the 164th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (165th in leap years), with 201 days remaining. ... June 15 is the 166th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (167th in leap years), with 199 days remaining. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Eastern Theater operations in 1864 The Valley Campaigns of 1864 were American Civil War operations and battles that took place in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia from May to October, 1864. ... The Battle of Cool Spring, also known as Island Ford, Parkers Ford and Snickers Ferry, was a battle in the American Civil War fought in Clarke County, Virginia between July 17 and July 18, 1864. ... hellotyle=float:right; |- | |- | |} July 17 is the 198th day (199th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 167 days remaining. ... July 18 is the 199th day (200th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 166 days remaining. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The Second Battle of Kernstown was fought on July 24, 1864, outside Winchester, Virginia, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 in the American Civil War. ... July 24 is the 205th day (206th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 160 days remaining. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Colonel Joseph Thoburn Major General Joseph B. Kershaw Strength Corps Division Casualties 312 195 The Battle of Berryville was fought 3-4 September 1864 in Clarke County, Virginia. ... September 3 is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... September 4 is the 247th day of the year (248th in leap years). ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The Battle of Opequon, also known as the Third Battle of Winchester, was a decisive victory for the Union army during the Valley Campaigns of 1864 in the American Civil War. ... September 19 is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years). ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Horatio G. Wright Philip H. Sheridan Jubal A. Early Strength 31,945 21,000 Casualties 5,665 2,910 The Battle of Cedar Creek, or The Battle of Belle Grove, October 19, 1864, was one of the final, and most... October 19 is the 292nd day of the year (293rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...

The occupations of Winchester

Including minor cavalry raids and patrols, and occasional reconnaissances by various forces, it is claimed that Winchester changed hands as many as 72 times, and 3 times in one day. Battles raged all 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. During the war, Winchester suffered greatly under five major periods of Union occupation: Soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat are commonly known as cavalry (from French cavalerie). ... Philip Henry Sheridan (March 6, 1831 – August 5, 1888) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. ...

During the Federal occupation of Winchester, many residents were exiled from town, personal property was stolen, citizens rendering medical assistance to wounded soldiers were shot and murdered, homes were illegally stolen, occupied and destroyed, a medical school was burned down, and the citizens of the Commonwealth were not allowed to vote on re-admittance to the Union under the reign of Major General Schofield. Nathaniel Prentiss Banks (January 30, 1816–September 1, 1894), American politician and soldier, was born at Waltham, Massachusetts. ... March 12 is the 71st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (72nd in leap years). ... May 25 is the 145th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (146th in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (156th in leap years), with 210 days remaining. ... September 2 is the 245th day of the year (246th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... December 24 is the 358th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (359th in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... June 15 is the 166th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (167th in leap years), with 199 days remaining. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Philip Henry Sheridan (March 6, 1831 – August 5, 1888) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. ... September 19 is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years). ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... February 27 is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... Portrait of Winfield S. Hancock during the Civil War Winfield Scott Hancock (February 14, 1824 – February 9, 1886) was a career U.S. Army officer who served with distinction as a general in the American Civil War and ran unsuccessfully for President of the United States in 1880. ... February 27 is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... June 27 is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 187 days remaining. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... This page may meet Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... Portrait of John Schofield during the Civil War John McAllister Schofield (September 29, 1831 – March 4, 1906) was an American soldier who held major commands during the Civil War. ... January 26 is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1870 (MDCCCLXX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


The Occupation of Major General Robert Milroy

During the occupation by the 2nd Division, VIII Corps, MajGen. Milroy is most famous for his edict that: VIII Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. ...

In this city (Winchester) of about 6,000 inhabitants ... my will is absolute law - none dare contradict or dispute my slightest word or wish. The secesh here have heard many terrible stories about me before I came and supposed me to be a perfect Nero for cruelty and blood, and many of them both male and female tremble when they come into my presence to ask for small privileges, but the favors I grant them are slight and few for I confess I feel a strong disposition to play the tyrant among these traitors.

Robert H. Milroy[1]

Milroy was noted for his harsh treatment of women. When Milroy felt that a lady had "insulted Gen Closeret ... her fine mansion was immediately taken for a hospital"[2]. In one particularly disturbing incident, on 4 April, MajGen. Milroy arrested Mrs. Logan on charges of possessing contraband, and had her and her daughters escorted to the outskirts of town, without time to even gather medicene for one ill daughter, and "exiled" from Winchester. He then moved his wife, Mrs. Milroy, into what was one of the finest and most exquisite homes in Winchester. Ladies of Winchester eventually took to walking in the middle of the streets rather than risk accidently brushing up against Federal soldiers[3]. Milroy summarized his sentiments toward the ladies in town by noting that:

"Hell is not full enough, there must be more of these Secession women of Winchester to fill it up."

Robert H. Milroy[4]

Most notably, Milroy was feared for his rash desire to execute Virginians, and his reputation for this from previous Alleghany campaigning precede him, striking great trepidation in the town, as Milroy set up his tribunals, without constitutional authority, and sentenced townsfolk to execution by firing squad[5].


The Burning and Occupation of Major General Philip Sheridan

Major General Sheridan rampaged up the Valley from Winchester and 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," according to the Official Records. Not mentioned in the official records are the many private homes that were destroyed, and innocent women and children injured and killed. Philip Henry Sheridan (March 6, 1831 – August 5, 1888) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. ... The Official Records of the American Civil War or often more simply the Official Records or ORs, constitute a unique, authentic, and comprehensive collection of first-hand accounts, orders, reports, and correspondence drawn from War and Navy Department records of both Confederate and Union governments during the American Civil War. ...


Unsurprisingly, several Winchester Unionists were noted for changing their sympathies after these occupations.


Interesting facts

In spite of Winchester's wartime hardships, a few residents made great contributions to the Confederate cause, such as Dr. Hunter McGuire, Chief Surgeon of the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, who laid 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, and set the stage for advancements in the practice of medicine, internationally and during combat operations. Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire (1835-1900) of Virginia, noted physician and educator Hunter Holmes McGuire, M.D. (October 11, 1835-September 19, 1900) was a physician, teacher, and orator. ... The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War in the eastern theater. ... The Geneva Conventions consist of treaties formulated in Geneva, Switzerland that set the standards for international law for humanitarian concerns. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders George B. McClellan Robert E. Lee Strength 87,000 45,000 Casualties 12,401 (2,108 killed, 9,540 wounded, 753 captured/missing) 10,316 (1,546 killed, 7,752 wounded, 1,018 captured/missing) The Battle of Antietam (also... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America Commanders George Gordon Meade Robert Edward Lee Strength 93,921 71,699 Casualties 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured/missing) 23,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured/missing) The Battle of...


Among those who took part in battles at Winchester were future U.S. presidents McKinley and Hayes, who both were officers in the Union IX Corps. William McKinley, Jr. ... Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was an American politician, lawyer, military leader and the 19th President of the United States (1877-1881). ... IX Corps (Ninth Corps) was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War that distinguished itself in combat in multiple theaters: the Carolinas, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. ...


Fortifications in Winchester

Many remains of Civil War era forts are scattered around town, such as the remains of:

  • Fort Jackson - (aka Fort Garibaldi, Main Fort, Fort Milroy, Battery No.2)
  • Fort Alabama - (aka Star Fort, Battery No.3)
  • Fort Collier - (aka Battery No.10)
  • Louisiana Heights - (aka the combination of West Fort or Battery No.5 and Battery No. 6)
  • Bower's Hill - (aka Battery No.1)

Civil War tourism

Today, Winchester provides a wealth of exploration and tourism for Civil War enthusiasts. Jubal Early Drive snakes around south of downtown Winchester, along the central location for many of the battles.


Civil War Tourism Sites:

  • Belle Grove Plantation (1797)
  • Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
  • Old Court House Civil War Museum (1840)
  • Stonewall Cemetery (1866)
  • Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters Museum (1861)
  • Winchester National Cemetery (1866)

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, also known as the Glen Burnie Historic House and Gardens is a non-profit museum with historic house and gardens, located at 901 Amherst Street, Winchester, Virginia. ...

References

Winchester Civil War Books and Diaries

  • Brown, Kent Masterson. Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign. The University of North Carolina Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0807829219
  • Delauter, Roger V., Jr. Winchester in the Civil War. Lynchburg, Virginia. H. E. Howard, Inc., 1992. ISBN 978-1561900336
  • Mahon, Michael G., Ed. Winchester Divided: The Civil War Diaries of Julia Chase & Laura Lee. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002. ISBN 0-8117-1394-6
  • Noyalas, Jonathan A. Plagued by War: Winchester, Virginia During the Civil War. Leesburg, VA: Gauley Mount Press, 2003. ISBN 0-9628218-9-6

Handley Regional Library, Winchester, Virginia

Books on The Second Battle of Winchester

  • Beach, William H. The First New York (Lincoln) Cavalry: From April 19, 1861 to July 7, 1865. New York: The Lincoln Cavalry Association, 1902.
  • Grunder, Charles S. and Beck, Brandon H. The Second Battle of Winchester (2nd Edition). Lynchburg, VA: H.E. Howard, Inc., 1989. ISBN 0-930919-90-4
  • Grunder, Charles S. and Beck, Brandon H. The Three Battles of Winchester: A History and Guided Tour (2nd Edition). Berryville, VA: The Civil War Foundation, Inc., 1997. ISBN 0-939685-07-8
  • Maier, Larry B. Gateway to Gettysburg: The Second Battle of Winchester. Burd Street Press: Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, 2002. ISBN 1-57249-287-2

General References

  • Early, Lt.Gen. Jubal A. Autobiographical Sketch and Narrative of the War Between the States. With Notes by R.H. Early. Philadelphia: J.P. Lippincott Company, 1912.
  • Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
  • Kennedy, Frances H., Ed., The Civil War Battlefield Guide, 2nd ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998, ISBN 0-395-74012-6.

Notes

  1. ^ Maier, p.59; Milroy letter dated January 18, 1863
  2. ^ Maier, p. 64. Milroy letter dated January 5, 1863
  3. ^ Delauter, p. 48.
  4. ^ quoted in Delauter, p.49.
  5. ^ Maier, p. 68.

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