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Near Winchester in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Third Battle of Winchester

The Confederates Reform

 
 
The Third Battle of Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2007
1. The Third Battle of Winchester Marker
Inscription. "Unless this force were driven back, the day was lost."
General Jubal A. Early, C.S.A.

Standing here about noon during the battle, you would have seen Union troops under Gen. Henry Birge pursuing Gen. Clement Evans' Georgians from right to left. The Confederates took shelter behind a rocky ledge and began to regroup. "The position was most critical," remembered Confederate commander Jubal Early, "for it was apparent that unless this force were driven back, the day was lost."

For now, all that stood in the way of a Union victory was a battery of guns under Confederate Lt. Col. Carter Braxton, partially hidden behind a haystack. A soldier of the 26th Massachusetts recalled that as his comrades "came in line with that innocent looking haystack, some pieces of artillery masked behind it opened at short range with canister upon our line which they completely enfiladed."

The Union troops slowed to a halt and Gen. Cullen A. Battle's Alabama Brigade arrived from your left and sent them flying in retreat. Three more brigades of Gen. Rodes' Division and all three brigades of Gen. Gordon's Division, under Gens. Alfred Terry, Zebulon York, and Clement Evans (whose brigade had just been reformed), joined the counterattack. Not only had the Confederates stopped the Union advance, they launched
Help Preserve 3rd Winchester image. Click for more information.
2. Help Preserve 3rd Winchester
Details of CWPT efforts to save this battlefield.
Click for more information.
an all-out attack of their own.
 
Erected by Civil War Preservation Trust.
 
Location. 39° 11.986′ N, 78° 7.964′ W. Marker is near Winchester, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from Redbud Road (County Route 661), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located at the Confederates Reform Wayside, along the Battle Trail, inside the CWPT Third Winchester Battlefield site. This wayside is about a hundred yards southeast of I-81, without direct access to the highway. The closest trailhead to this marker is along Redbud Road. Marker is in this post office area: Winchester VA 22603, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also
The Battle Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2007
3. The Battle Map
Note the location of the rocky ledge, which is now where I-81 passes.
named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Winchester.
 
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is a copy of a map captioned, In 1883 a group of Civil War veterans gathered at Winchester and camped on the hill in front of you. They doubtless visited the "rocky ledge" behind which Evans' men took cover (destroyed by the construction if I-81) and noted the set of stumps which marked the former Second Woods. On the right is a map displaying the tactical situation between 11:40 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on September 19, 1864.
 
Also see . . .
1. Summary of the Battle of Third Winchester. The action described on the marker falls under Phase 4 of this National Parks Service summary. (Submitted on October 27, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. CWPT Walking Tour of The Third Battle of Winchester. This marker is one along the walking trail around a portion of the Third Winchester Battlefield,
The Confederate's Reform Wayside image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2007
4. The Confederate's Reform Wayside
The I-81 bypass around Winchester is just beyond the tree line behind the utility poles. The battlefield is significantly altered from it's 1864 state in this location.
preserved by the Civil War Preservation Trust. (Submitted on October 27, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The Confederate Counterattack image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2007
5. The Confederate Counterattack
Looking past the Battle Line trail, at the I-81 bypass, this is the direction from which the Confederates under Gordon advanced. Just under a mile west of this spot is Fort Collier, one of the Confederate strongholds defending Winchester. The Confederates Reform wayside is just out of view to the right side of this photo.
Historic Preservation Trail Sign image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2007
6. Historic Preservation Trail Sign
Next to the trail is this sign:
The Third Battle of Winchester
Historic Preservation

Interstate 81 lies in front of you, power lines hang overhead, and to your right the landscape is scarred by industry. Tons of dirt were removed from the area between here and I-81 when the interstate was built, destroying portions of the Middle Field and Second Woods forever. Without preservation, more historic American land is destroyed every day.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,106 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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