Opequon, VA

Date(s): September 19, 1864

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Opequon, Virginia, United States

Campaign(s): Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign [August-December 1864]

Battles in Campaign:

Situation:

Commanders:

  • Union: Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan

  • Confederate: Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Army of the Shenandoah (39,240)

  • Confederate: 15,200

Description:

  • After Kershaw’s division left Winchester to rejoin Lee’s army at Petersburg, Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early renewed his raids on the B&O Railroad at Martinsburg, badly dispersing his four remaining infantry divisions.

  • On September 19, Sheridan advanced toward Winchester along the Berryville Pike with the VI and XIX Corps, crossing Opequon Creek.

  • The Union advance was delayed long enough for Early to concentrate his forces to meet the main assault, which continued for several hours. Casualties were very heavy.

  • The Confederate line was gradually driven back toward the town. Mid-afternoon, Crook’s (VIII) Corps and the cavalry turned the Confederate left flank. Early ordered a general retreat. 

  • Confederate generals Rodes and Goodwin were killed, Fitzhugh Lee, Terry, Johnson, and Wharton wounded. Union general Russell was killed, McIntosh, Upton, and Chapman wounded. Because of its size, intensity, and result, many historians consider this the most important conflict of the Shenandoah Valley.

Slide Presentation:

Classification1: A

Casualties2:

  • Union: 5,020

  • Confederate: 3,610

Results: Union Victory

Battlefield Website:

Lodging and Restaurants: Virginia Tourism

Recommended Resources:


1 National Park Service summary.

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 03/08/2013