September 19, 1864
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Opequon, Virginia, United States
Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley
Campaign [August-December 1864]
Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan
Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early
Army of the Shenandoah (39,240)
After Kershaw’s division left Winchester to rejoin
Lee’s army at Petersburg, Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early
renewed his raids on the B&O Railroad at Martinsburg, badly dispersing his four
remaining infantry divisions.
On September 19, Sheridan advanced toward Winchester along the
Berryville Pike with the VI and XIX Corps, crossing Opequon Creek.
The Union advance was delayed long enough for
Early to concentrate his
forces to meet the main assault, which continued for several hours.
Casualties were very heavy.
The Confederate line was gradually driven back toward the town.
Mid-afternoon, Crook’s (VIII) Corps and the cavalry turned the Confederate
left flank. Early ordered a general retreat.
Rodes and Goodwin were killed,
Wharton wounded. Union general
Russell was killed,
McIntosh, Upton, and
Chapman wounded. Because of its size, intensity, and
result, many historians consider this the most important conflict of the
1 National Park
- having a decisive influence on a
campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war
having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign
having observable influence on the
outcome of a campaign
having a limited influence on the
outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important
3 Casualties are
someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.