Second Battle of Winchester June 13, 1863 - Winchester VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Don.Morfe
N 39° 08.765 W 078° 11.807
17S E 742255 N 4336730
Quick Description: When Confederate Gen. Richard Ewell's Second Corps spearheaded the Army of Northern Virginia's second invasion of the North in June 1863, his first task was to destroy Gen. Robert Milroy's command of approximately 8,000 troops.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 11/4/2020 9:23:40 PM
Waymark Code: WM13C2D
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Turtle3863
Views: 0

Long Description:
Second Battle of Winchester-June 13, 1863--When Confederate Gen. Richard Ewell's Second Corps spearheaded the Army of Northern Virginia's second invasion of the North in June 1863, his first task was to destroy Gen. Robert Milroy's command of approximately 8,000 troops who guarded over the lower Shenandoah Valley. Gen. Ewell's lead elements first encountered Gen. Milroy's troops on June 12 in Middletown, eight miles south of this position. The following day Milroy took precautions to protect the southern approaches to Winchester by sending Gen. Washington Elliot's brigade to guard the Valley Pike. Milroy also ordered Elliot to move a portion of his command from its position on the southern outskirts of Winchester further south to Kernstown, acting as a reconnaissance in force.

Col. Joseph Warren Keifer of the 110th Ohio led the reconnaissance, which consisted of his own regiment plus the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry and two guns from Battery D, 1st West Virginia Artillery. Col. Keifer advanced his detachment south and easily pushed aside a small Confederate force, a unit of the 2nd Maryland Infantry Battalion. As Keifer continued to advance along the Valley pike and the firing intensified, Gen. Elliot sent reinforcements who, as they got, closer to Kernstown, viewed Gen. Ewell's massive advancing columns. Instead of withdrawing, Elliot decided to block the Confederate advance by taking advantage of two key pieces of high ground, Pritchard's Hill and Sandy Ridge, just west of the Valley Pike near Kernstown.

The two guns from Battery D, 1st West Virginia, supported by two Ohio infantry regiments, took a position here on Pritchard's Hill. Gen. Elliot then sent the 12th West Virginia Infantry further to the west (your right) to a position atop Sandy Ridge to protect his western flank.

To crack this position, Gen. Ewell turned to Gen. Jubal Early's division. Early, in turn, sent Gen. Harry Hays' Louisiana Brigade to advance against the western flank of Pritchard's Hill to silence the guns. Gen. John Gordon's brigade advanced further to the west and drove the defenders from Sandy Ridge. Despite some well-aimed shots from the artillery on Pritchard's Hill, numerical strength outweighed the geographical superiority and the Union defenders withdrew from this hill and re-formed closer to Winchester.

For two more days Ewell's and Milroy's commands battled in the forts and fields north and northwest of Winchester. By the morning of June 15, 1863, Milroy's force had been crushed and the path into Pennsylvania for the Army of Northern Virginia had been cleared.

[Sidebars:]
Gen. Jubal Early's success here as a division commander on June 13, 1863, would be topped by his astonishing victory almost a year later at the Second Battle of Kernstown.

Gen. Robert Milroy, although remembered most for his defeat at the Second Battle of Winchester, was also the first Union general to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation in the Shenandoah Valley.

LOCATION: Marker is in Winchester, Virginia. Marker is on Battle Park Drive half a mile west of Saratoga Drive, on the right when traveling west. Marker is at or near this postal address: 610 Battle Park Dr, Winchester VA 22601, United States of America.
Related Website: [Web Link]

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Don.Morfe visited Second Battle of Winchester June 13, 1863 - Winchester VA 9/30/2021 Don.Morfe visited it