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

A Murderous Fire

Confederate Horse Artillery on Huntsberry Farm

 

— The Third Battle of Winchester (September 19, 1864) —

 
A Murderous Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jay Richardson, August 22, 2020
1. A Murderous Fire Marker
Red Bud Run Trail
Inscription.  
Time: Late Morning
(sidebar)
Six Confederate cannon were positioned here during the battle, erupting with flame and smoke as they sent a rain of deadly shells across Red Bud Run. The noise would have been deafening. This was one of the key positions during the fighting, critical to the Confederates' ability to hold off the larger Federal army throughout much of the day.

When Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan launched his main attack at 11:40 a.m., Confederate Gen. Fitzhugh Lee had two brigades of cavalry (under Col. Thomas Munford and Col. William Payne) and his six-gun horse artillery battalion under the command of Maj. James Breathed here at the Huntsberry Farm. Although the Federal attack drove Gen. John B. Gordon's division back from its position on the south side of Red Bud Run, Breathed's gunners punished the Union attackers as they moved across the Middle Field. While the woods on the edge of the field obscured their view of the Federal troops, one Union officer said that "they sighted their guns by the sound."

The "death-dealing" messengers took a terrible toll. "A more murderous fire I
Breathed's Battery image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jay Richardson, August 22, 2020
2. Breathed's Battery
Click or scan to see
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never witnessed," Col. Munford remembered. "The field was strewn with their dead and wounded."

Breathed and Payne continued to assist the Confederate infantry to the south as they counterattacked and drove back the Federals. In the early afternoon, Lee detached Munford's cavalry brigade and two pieces of artillery to the southern end of the battle line to confront the Union cavalry threatening to sever the Confederate line of retreat. Breathed and Payne remained at Huntsberry Farm, harassing the Union forces on the south bank of Red Bud Run, until Union Gen. George Crook moved across the ground later in the afternoon.

(captions)
Union horse-drawn artillery

Maj. James Breathed

You Are Here. Arrow indicated viewing direction

Gen. Fitzhugh Lee

This sign made possible through funds donated by the Millbrook High School Cross Country Team
 
Erected 2020 by The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is September 19, 1864.
 
Location. 39° 12.292′ N, 78° 7.375′ W. Marker is near Winchester, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from Redbud Road, 0.9 miles east of Martinsburg Pike (U.S. 11), on the right when traveling
A Murderous Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, October 17, 2020
3. A Murderous Fire Marker
Close up of the map on the marker.
east. Located along the Third Battle of Winchester Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 541 Redbud Rd, 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. Third Battle of Winchester (a few steps from this marker); Life on the Huntsberry Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Third Battle of Winchester (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 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. Ό mile away); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. Ό mile away); Sheridan Renews The Attack (approx. Ό mile away); Fury On The Fence Line (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
 
A Murderous Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, October 17, 2020
4. A Murderous Fire Marker
Breathed's Battery shown from the position of the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2020. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on November 2, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 30, 2020, by Jay Richardson of Martinsburg, West Virginia.   3. submitted on October 26, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia.   4. submitted on November 1, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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May. 18, 2022