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

The Middle Field

“This is a slaughterhouse“

 

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

 
The Middle Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, October 17, 2020
1. The Middle Field Marker
Inscription.  
Time: Late Morning

You're standing where the First Woods ended and the Middle Field began during the Third Battle of Winchester. The Middle Field then was much larger than it appears today. At the time of the battle, it stretched for 1,300 yards from the wooded fringe along Red Bud Run to your right well off to the left toward the Berryville Pike. At its longest point, the field extended 800 yards from this point to the Second Woods.

Considerable and costly action occurred across the field in front of you. During Union Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan's first attack at 11:40 am, Federal skirmishers advanced across this meadow to cover the northern flank of the Union battle line and came under heavy fire from Confederate cavalry and artillery north of Red Bud Run. The attack was initially successful, but then foundered before a determined Confederate counterattack. The Federals retreated back across the field toward the safety of the First Woods.

Near this spot, 19th Corps commander Gen. William Emory dashed up to Gen. William Dwight, who was leading his division through the woods toward the Middle field.
The Middle Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, October 17, 2020
2. The Middle Field Marker
Close up of the map on the marker.
With fugitives fleeing around them, Emory bellowed, "Have this thing stopped at once!" Dwight promptly deployed his men in the fields in front of you as they reached the wood line. After more than an hour of bloody combat, they restored the shattered Union right and held Gen. John B. Gordon's Confederates at bay.

At 3:00 pm, Col. Joseph Thoburn's division of Gen. George Crook's Army of West Virginia relieved Dwight's command. The division charged across the field, drove Gordon's men from their position, and set the stage for Sheridan's eventual victory.

"This is a slaughterhouse. But it must be held. It is the key to the whole position." - Gen. William Emory


Col. Frank H. Peck of the 12th Connecticut was mortally wounded by a shell fragment from the Confederate cannons north of Red Bud Run. Nicholas P. Picerno Collection.

Over 3,000 men became casualties in the Middle field.

This sign made possible through funds donated by the Millbrook High School Cross Country Team
 
Erected 2020 by Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
 
Location. 39° 11.869′ N, 78° 7.332′ 
The Middle Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, October 17, 2020
3. The Middle Field Marker
The Middle Field is seen in front of the marker.
W. Marker is in Winchester, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from Redbud Road (Virginia Route 661) 0.9 miles east of Martinsburg Pike (U.S. 11), on the right when traveling east. Located along the Third Battle of Winchester Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 541 Redbud Road, 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. Ten Thousand Devils (approx. 0.2 miles away); “Shrapnel Rained On Us” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Alabama (approx. ¼ mile away); The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sheridan Renews The Attack (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fury On The Fence Line (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Third Battle of Winchester. The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District (Submitted on November 5, 2020.) 

2. James R. Wilkins Winchester Battlefields Visitor Center. The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District (Submitted on November 5, 2020.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 5, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on November 6, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 5, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 5, 2021