Death Valley: Rearguard Action at Winchester, Virginia, May 25th, 1862

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The 1st Battle of Winchester

Spring, 1862, brought the southern Confederacy a succession of defeats in the west and retreats in the east.  Richmond’s only glimmer of hope came from the Shenandoah Valley, where at great cost Stonewall Jackson drove back elements of John C. Fremont’s Army of West Virginia at the Battle of McDowell in early May.  As dubious as that “victory” was, however, it sowed the seeds of a dramatic reversal of fortunes.