Winchester in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Fury On The Fence Line
Beal’s Brigade Holds the Line
— The Third Battle of Winchester (September 19, 1864) —
Time: Early Afternoon
You're standing at the fence line where Union troops stood and fought to hold off the advancing Confederates.
After the initial success of the Union attack at 11:40 am, the tables had turned when a Confederate counterattack struck a gap in the Union line and sent Federal forces retreating in disarray. Ordered to stem the tide, Union brigade commander Gen. George Beal first deployed the 114th New York 150 yards to your front, then formed the balance of his brigade along the edge of the First Woods and advanced to this fence line.
The Federals tore down the fence, converted it into a rail breastwork, and opened fire on Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon's troops, checking their advance. Getty Gordon's men took shelter in gullies and behind trees, firing back.
The Federals also found themselves under fire from Confederate artillery that was sending shot and shell plowing into their flank and rear from the other side of Red Bud Run to your right. At one point, the pressure became too great, and Beal's men fell back to the edge of the woods, but then quickly regrouped and
The Death of Knowlton
Major William Knowlton commanded the 29th Maine Infantry, part of Beal's brigade. On the morning of September 19, 1864, a noticeably downcast Knowlton told Captains Alfred Turner and William Whitmarsh that he felt this would be his last battle, and he wanted them to keep their eyes on the regiment and not be too absorbed with their particular companies. Near this spot Knowlton's premonition came true; he was mortally wounded. Adjutant John Mead Gould of the 29th Maine said Knowlton "had reached that stage of popularity when nothing but praise could be accorded to him and his death therefore was a tremendous blow to us."
This eyewitness sketch shows Union troops on this fence line exchanging fire with Confederates along the trees. The Hackwood House can be seen on the right.
Maj. William Knowlton • Capt. Alfred Turner • Capt. William Whitmarsh • Adiutant John M. Gould
Photos courtesy Nicholas Picerno Collection
This sign made possible through funds donated by the Millbrook High School Cross Country Team
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. 39° 12.152′ N, 78° 7.643′ 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. Sheridan Renews The Attack (within shouting distance of this marker); The Third Battle of Winchester (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Third Battle of Winchester (about 700 feet away); Alabama (approx. ¼ mile away); Ten Thousand Devils (approx. ¼ mile away); A Murderous Fire (approx. 0.3 miles away); Life on the Huntsberry Farm (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
Also see . . .
1. The Third Battle of Winchester. Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District (Submitted on November 6, 2020.)
2. James R. Wilkins Winchester Battlefields Visitor Center. Shenandoah Valley Battlefields (Submitted on November 6, 2020.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 6, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 50 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 6, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.