Sunday, September 21

This week in the Civil War: Sept. 21, 1864

More fighting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

Confederates freshly defeated at the Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia, erected defensive works at Fisher’s Hill in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. A smaller battle was fought Sept. 21-22, 1864, with the Union taking the offensive against Southern cavalry before crashing through Southern infantry lines. Confederate Jubal A. Early was forced to retreat with his troops southward down the Shenandoah Valley. Meanwhile, news of the Union victory at Winchester reached Northern troops, eliciting cheers. The Associated Press reported on Sept. 20, 1864, that there was a raucous celebration among Union troops of the Army of the Potomac when they got word of developments in Winchester. AP reported: “The news of the victory in the Valley was read to the troops along the lines this afternoon, and was received with unbounded enthusiasm and repeated cheering. A salute of one hundred shotted guns will be fired tomorrow at daylight, in honor of the victory.” AP added that Confederate desertion appeared on the rise. It added that some Confederate deserters told had they had recently obtained fresh beef from livestock seized in the countryside. The report also said some rebel pickets close to Union forces were offering to trade their fresh beef for Union coffee and other supplies.

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