Stone Sentinels, battlefield monuments of the American Civil War

The First Battle of Winchester

The First Battle of Winchester on May 25, 1862 was part of "Stonewall" Jackson's Valley Campaign. Two days earlier Jackson had suddenly appeared on the far side of Masanutton Mountain and overrun the Union outpost at Front Royal. Union General Nathaniel Banks' army just outside Strasburg was outflanked and outnumbered more than 2 to 1. It was forced to hastily retreat north to Winchester, harassed by attacks from Jackson's men.


Banks formed a defensive line just south of Winchester. Jackson attacked at dawn on the 25th, and in a three-hour battle sent Banks' men flying for the safety of the far bank of the Potomac River. A quarter of Banks' army became casualties.


But Jackson's vistory was incomplete. His cavalry was not on the field and his exhausted infantry was unable to pursue, and Banks' survivors were able to reach safety.


Cick an area of interest on the map or from the list below:


The fields were the battle took place have been almostly completely built over, and the markers along the main streets give only the sketchiest hints at what happened in the brief battle.

Map of historical markers and places of interest for the Second Battle of Winchester, Virginia in June of 1863

About the Author • ©2007-2014 Steve Hawks