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First Battle of Winchester

General Nathaniel Banks' army was concentrated in the vicinity of Strasburg in the Shenandoah Valley, but Stonewall Jackson threatened his rear, so Banks was forced to hurriedly retreat up the valley to Winchester. Harassed by Confederate cavalry and artillery, Banks's army lost so many men, wagons and stores that the Southerners came to call him "Commissary Banks." Banks arrived in Winchester on May 29th, with the Confederate army right behind, Jackson allowing his men only a few hours of sleep.

On May 25th, Jackson launched his attack in the first Battle of Winchester. In hard fighting, Jackson's strategically planned attack forced Banks to withdraw from Winchester, across the Potomac into Maryland. This was a battle with lopsided casualties, with over 2,000 for the Union and only 400 for the Confederates. This was a major victory for Jackson, both preventing the Union from approaching Richmond from the north-west and forcing the federals to pull troops to defend the perceived threat to Washington, thus weakening McClellan's peninsular campaign.


Battle of Winchester
A.R. Waud. "The Battle of Winchester--Decisive Charge Upon the Rebels at the Stone Wall." From Harper's Weekly. New York, April 12, 1862. Wood engraving. 14 x 20. Very good condition.

A classic, double-page Harper's battle scene, drawn by A.R. Waud who was accompanying Banks' forces. $125



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