Near Stephenson in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Third Battle of Winchester
"One Moving Mass of Glittering Sabers"
—1864 Valley Campaigns —
Crossing the Opequon Creek fords early in the morning, Union Gen. Wesley Merritt’s and Gen. William W. Averell’s cavalry divisions probed Confederate Gen. John C. Breckinridge’s defenses at several points. After several Federal assaults, Early readjusted his forces in the afternoon north of Winchester, folding back his line on an east-west axis. Merritt and Averell patiently waited for the right opportunity, and it finally arrived. Their cavalrymen, formed in a mile-long line three ranks deep, advanced first at a trot then charged in a furious onslaught of horses and sabers that smashed through the Confederate lines. The charge engulfed two redoubts, Star Fort and Fort Collier, as the tidal wave of
Erected by Virginia Civil War Commission.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 39° 13.802′ N, 78° 6.589′ W. Marker was near Stephenson, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker was at the intersection of Milburn Road (County Route 662) and Old Charlestown Road (County Route 761), on the right when traveling south on Milburn Road. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Stephenson VA 22656, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Stephenson Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); Action at Stephenson’s Depot (approx. 0.6 miles away); John Rutherford's Farm (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rutherford's Farm (approx. 1.3 miles away); Battle of Rutherford's Farm (approx. 1.3 miles Hackwood Park (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Great Indian (and Wagon) Road (approx. 1½ miles away); a different marker also named Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stephenson.
More about this marker. A painting of “U.S. Cavalry over-running an artillery redoubt near Fort Collier (Stine Field)” is on the upper center section of the marker. A map showing the location of the charge is on the right side, with a portrait of Captain M. Birge.
Also see . . .
1. Opequon or Third Winchester. National Park Service narrative of the battle. The action discussed on the marker is summarized as phase nine of this rather complex battle. (Submitted on September 7, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. General Wesley Merritt. While somewhat overshadowed by the other big names, such as Sheridan and Custer, Merritt had a distinguished career in his own right, including service in the Civil War, Indian Wars, and eventually the Spanish-American War. (Submitted on September 7, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,920 times since then and 31 times this year. Last updated on January 21, 2017, by Pete Skillman of Port Deposit, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 7, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5. submitted on January 18, 2015. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.