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Third Battle of Winchester
Harper's Weekly - October 9, 1864

The following is transcribed from Harper's Weekly Journal of Civilization, dated October 9, 1864:

The Cavalry Charge at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864.

The Battle of Winchester

          The (above) engraving on illustrates one of the most spirited actions, and certainly the most imposing spectacle of this war. It will be remembered that SHERIDAN, after having got the Sixth Corps across the Opequan, was compelled to wait full two hours for the arrival of the Nineteenth, and as a consequence of this to form an entirely new plan of battle in the face of an enemy already prepared and in line. At first the advantage appeared to rest with EARLY, whose fierce cannonade broke SHERIDAN''S first line, and threatened to disturb his second. But this state of affairs changed as soon as the Federal artillery got in position. The line of battle was reformed, and the conflict opened in terrible earnest. The two opposing armies were at some points not more than two hundred yards apart. The slaughter is described to have been truly awful; but the advantage rested now with SHERIDAN'S advancing columns. At a critical point in the fight the cavalry bugle was heard above the din of the strife and the shouts of the contending armies; then followed the charge, led by such soldiers as MERRITT and CUSTER and TORBERT, upon the enemy's right. This decided the fortunes of the day. The movement was in accordance with SHERIDAN'S deep laid plan, and besides being the most magnificent of spectacles was also a most wonderful success. " The stubborn columns of EARLY'S command," says the Tribune correspondent, "were forced to give way, and break before the fierce onslaught which our cavalry made upon them, who, with sabre in hand, rode them down, cutting them right and left, capturing 721 privates and non-commissioned officers, with nine battle-flags and two guns." Thus was fought and won the battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864.

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