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

Second Battle of Winchester

Louisiana Tigers Capture West Fort

 

—Gettysburg Campaign —

 
Second Battle of Winchester Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2007
1. Second Battle of Winchester Marker
Inscription. In June 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee marched his infantry from Culpeper County to the Shenandoah Valley to launch his second invasion of the North. First, however, he had to capture Winchester, the largest town on his line of communication, which Union Gen. Robert H. Milroy and a 9,000 man garrison occupied. Milroy soon faced Gen. Robert S. Ewell and 17,000 men of the Army of Northern Virginia’s Second Corps. After heavy skirmishing on June 12-13, Milroy ordered his command into three fortifications: Fort Milroy, Star Fort, and West Fort.

West Fort, smallest of the three, is on the high ground to your distant front. On the morning of June 14, the 110th Ohio Infantry, one company of the 116th Ohio, and six guns of the 5th U.S. Artillery occupied West Fort. Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early, seeing that West Fort was vulnerable to attack from the west, marched three infantry brigades and Lt. Col. Hilary P. Jones’ 20-gun artillery battalion to the ridge on your right. He later reported that "the enemy were not keeping a lookout in my direction."

Jones divided his battalion to take West Fort in crossfire. Early chose Harry Hays’ Louisiana Brigade “Louisiana Tigers” for the infantry assault. When all was ready, Jones opened fire. Four Union guns were knocked out, and Hays' men charged. The Ohioans fought stubbornly,
Close Up View of the Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2007
2. Close Up View of the Map
Note the north seeking arrow pointed to the bottom of the map.
but soon abandoned their guns and fled toward Fort Milroy and Star Fort. Milroy ordered a retreat that evening, which was blocked at Stephenson Depot. The Confederates’ route to Pennsylvania was now open.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 12.898′ N, 78° 11.482′ W. Marker is in Winchester, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Indian Hollow Road (Virginia Route 679) and North Frederick Pike (U.S. 522), on the right when traveling west on Indian Hollow Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Winchester VA 22601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lord Fairfax (approx. 1.4 miles away); Star Fort (approx. 1.5 miles away but has been reported missing); Constructing Star Fort (approx. 1.6 miles away); Third Battle of Winchester (approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named Second Battle of Winchester (approx. 1.6 miles away); Civil War Earthworks (approx. 1.6 miles
Louisiana Brigade's Left Flank image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 26, 2007
3. Louisiana Brigade's Left Flank
The Louisiana Brigade formed with their left flank along what is today the North Frederick Pike (US Highway 522, on the left), on the high ground on the other side of Indian Hollow Road (foreground). Their line of march was to the west, away from the marker's position, toward West Fort.
away); a different marker also named Second Battle of Winchester (approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named Second Battle of Winchester (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays portraits of Gens. Milroy and Ewell, as well as a map showing the unit maneuvers described in the text.
 
Also see . . .
1. Second Battle of Winchester. National Parks Service summary of the battle. (Submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. General Milroy's Papers. After the disaster here, General Milroy was eventually forced to resign from the army. After moving to the west coast, Milroy eventually accepted a position as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the State of Washington. Many of his papers are preserved by the Jasper County Public Library, Indiana. (Submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. The Tiger Brigade. Formed early in the war and assigned to help defend Virginia, the brigade played a roll in all three battles of Winchester. The brigade played pivotal roles on other battles such as Antietam and Gettysburg. The name of Louisiana
Early's Flank March image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 15, 2007
4. Early's Flank March
Early's Brigade and Jones' artillery passed through this valley and up Indian Hollow Road (on the left side of view) on their flanking march. Notice how the hills in the background block any view of (or from) Winchester. Thus Early was able to move undetected into a flanking position.
Tigers was carried forward to the modern day 256th Infantry Brigade of the Louisiana National Guard, which has seen service recently in Iraq and during Hurricane Katrina relief operations. (Submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
West Fort image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 15, 2007
5. West Fort
The location of West Fort is not accessible, and very little of the site remains for investigation. A series of earthwork forts stood in the trees along present day Virginia Highway 37 bypass. This picture was taken from Apple Pie Ridge, near the James Wood High School, looking at the intersection of U.S. Highway 522 and Highway 37 Bypass.

West Fort was also named "Battery Number 5" and located between modern Fox Drive and Highway 37. "Battery Number 6" stood in the vicinity of the intersection (center of this photo). "Battery Number 7" was located what is now the high school grounds.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,697 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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