WITH RICH FARMLAND THAT EARNED IT THE NAME “THE BREADBASKET OF the Confederacy” Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley formed a natural travel corridor for the Union and Confederate armies in the Civil War. Winchester, Virginia and its environs at the mouth of the Valley were often frequented by these armies. In addition to changing hands dozens of times, Winchester experienced intense battles in 1862, 1863, and 1864.
The Third Battle of Winchester was the bloodiest battle ever fought in the Shenandoah Valley, producing more casualties than the entire 1862 Valley Campaign. Sheridan lost 12 percent of his army with 5,000 of 39,000 soldiers killed, wounded and missing. Early suffered fewer casualties but he lost 25 percent of his army. (more…)