Winchester, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Third Battle of Winchester
“Whirling through Winchester:” The Confederate Retreat
— 1864 Valley Campaign —
Confederate officers attempted to hold back the Federals—and their own fleeing troops. Gen. Stephen Ramseur established defensive positions in Mount Hebron Cemetery. Resident Mary Greenhow Lee recalled that Confederate Gen. John Gordon "seized a flag & called to the running soldiers to rally & follow him. We shouted & cheered & implored the men to follow their leader, but to little purpose." Even Gordon's wife, Fanny tried to stem the tide. “[She} rallied a party of near two hundred and sent them back to the field [but] the Yankee cavalry made a charge on this mob [and] went right
“I never ran so fast in all my life [and] I had good company,” admitted Sgt. Sam Collier of the 2nd North Carolina. Pvt. Richard Waldrop of the 21st Virginia wrote that, “The road was filled with fugitives.” As the day ended combatant George Peyton said that he “could see Yanks by the thousands marching towards town, while cheer upon cheer rent the air.” That night, Sheridan's chief of staff Col. James Forsyth reported that “we just sent them a whirling through Winchester.” Control of the city had passed permanently into Union hands.
Union officers Gen. Philip Sheridan, Col. James William Forsyth, Chief of Staff Gen. Wesley Merritt, Gen. Thomas C. Devin, and Gen. George Armstrong Custer Courtesy Library of Congress
James Taylor sketch of Confederate retreat through Winchester Courtesy The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is September 19, 1864.
Location. 39° 11.16′ N, 78° 9.631′ Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Winchester VA 22601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dr. Taylor F. Finley (within shouting distance of this marker); The Early Education Of Black Students In Winchester (within shouting distance of this marker); The Virginia Woolen Company and Lewis Jones Knitting Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Major General Daniel Morgan (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Stone Presbyterian Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jacob Baker Lot And Virginia City Addition (about 300 feet away); Piccadilly's Public House (about 500 feet away); Original Land Grant (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
Also see . . . Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. (Submitted on July 25, 2016.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 25, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 398 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 25, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. 3, 4. submitted on June 17, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.