Saturday, June 15, 2013

Second Battle of Winchester – Day 2

150 years ago yesterday Richard Ewell had attacked Union troops in Winchester, Virginia under Robert Milroy. Ewell guessed that Milroy would try to escape, and so he sent Johnston's division, the old Stonewall Division, to get in the enemy's rear. Ewell guessed correctly, and the Union commanders agreed to try to cut their way out that night. At about dawn on June 15th they encountered the Confederate forces as they were making their retreat. The Federals tried to cut their way through Johnston's line, but their attacks were uncoordinated and unsuccessful. More and more Confederate reinforcements reached Johnston until finally the Yankees who had not scattered raised the white flag, realizing that further attempts at defense would be useless.

In this battle the Confederates captured 4,000 prisoners, 23 cannon, many supplies as well as clearing the Shenandoah Valley for Lee's advance north. The Union flight didn't stop until they reached Pennsylvania, and their arrival sent fear through the North. Ewell had proven to the south that he could fill the shoes of Jackson, having gained a victory worthy of his old commander on the very same ground. Confederates had lost 269 – 47 killed, 219 wounded and 3 missing; the Union 4,443 – 95 killed, 348 wounded and 4000 captured.


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