“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Winchester in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Second Battle of Winchester

"A scene ... I shall never forget"

— Gettysburg Campaign —

Second Battle of Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Pete Skillman, January 21, 2017
1. Second Battle of Winchester Marker
Inscription.  While Union artillery from Star Fort dueled with Confederate gunners in West Fort on June 14, 1863, Winchester's civilians fretted for their safety. Some wondered if Union Gen. Robert H. Milroy would destroy Winchester by either burning or bombarding it. The threat seemed credible. The Federal gunners who manned the fortifications, including this one, used the town for target practice, firing wooden rounds with no regard for civilian safety. Staunch Confederate supported Mary Greenhow Lee, whose house shook "from the concussion" of the Union artillery firing from Star Fort, wondered if Milroy would make good on this threat "to burn us up."

Although concerned for her safety and that of the town, Lee and other civilians could not resist climbing onto rooftops to view the exchange of fire between Star Fort and West Fort. Lee wrote, "It was a magnificent sight ... [and] presented a scene and aroused feelings I shall never forget." Another civilian resident, Cornelia McDonald, noted, "All the while the batteries thundered, the booming of the cannon, the screaming of the shells (who that has ever heard that scream can ever forget it?)."
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Fortunately for the civilians, the town survived the battle. Winchester's pro-Confederate population reveled in Gen. Richard S. Ewell's success and the scene of corralled Union prisoners of war, including some held here at Star Fort, after the Second Battle of Winchester. The euphoria, however, was short lived. Several weeks later the Army of Northern Virginia suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg.

(left photo) Mary Greenhow Lee

(middle photo) Cornelia McDonald

(right photo) Star Fort with captured Union cannons All images courtesy Handley Regional Library
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 14, 1863.
Location. 39° 12.36′ N, 78° 9.798′ W. Marker is near Winchester, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from Fortress Drive, 0.1 miles north of North Frederick Pike (U.S. 522), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 206 Sentinel Drive, Winchester VA 22603, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil War Earthworks (within shouting distance of this marker);
Second Battle of Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
May 17, 2014
2. Second Battle of Winchester Marker
a different marker also named Second Battle of Winchester (within shouting distance of this marker); Third Battle of Winchester (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Constructing Star Fort (about 300 feet away); Lord Fairfax (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Collier (approx. half a mile away); George Washington in Winchester (approx. half a mile away); 2nd Battle of Winchester / 3rd Battle of Winchester (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 21, 2017, by Pete Skillman of Townsend, Delaware. This page has been viewed 529 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 21, 2017, by Pete Skillman of Townsend, Delaware.   2. submitted on January 23, 2017. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 30, 2023