This day tour will visit three different Winchester area battlefields from two different campaigns in 1862 and 1864. Explore the City of Winchester, the town that changed hands over 70 times during the war.
Shenandoah translates to Daughter of the stars in the Native American language. The Shenandoah Valley is rich in beauty and history and was the site of dramatic conflicts during the Civil War.
You’ll stand on hallowed ground where the north and south battled for the breadbasket of Lee’s army and the valley invasion route that led north and threatened Washington D.C. These battlefields are unspoiled, containing few monuments giving it a more authentic appearance.
Begin with the Battle of First Kernstown; March 23, 1862. A stone fence, a strategic hill, and faulty scouting all play important roles in the first battle of Stonewall Jackson’s famous Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. Your battlefield guide will explain the far-reaching effects of the battle. Both President Lincoln and General George McClellan felt thee, and it changed the course of the war.
Later explore the historic town of Winchester. Strategically located at the north end of the Shenandoah Valley, near the Potomac River and B&O Railroad, Winchester was targeted by both Civil War armies. It changed hands constantly because its topography made it very difficult to defend. Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters and an impressive National Cemetery and a Confederate Cemetery can all be found amongst beautiful historic structures from various periods.
Have a lunch break in historic Winchester where your battlefield guide can make several recommendations.
After lunch tour the battle of Third Winchester; September 19, 1864. Two future presidents, the famous George Custer, and the grandfather of General George S. Patton fought in this battle. President Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant put Phillip Sheridan in command of the new Army of the Shenandoah in 1864.
This would be Sheridan’s first battle in that role and at several times, the battle could have swung either way. The Middle Field, the Shenandoah’s bloodiest site during the war, is an important part of the story. In addition, the furious battle took place along Red Bud Run, at two Civil War forts, and in a cemetery where a desperate stand was made.
The finale is a tour of the Cedar Creek battlefield; October 19, 1864. The most important battle fought in the Shenandoah late in the war. We’ll start with the explosive surprise attack by Jubal Early’s Confederates, take you to spots where desperate fighting took place, and go to where Sheridan’s Ride culminated with a furious counterattack.
The Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mts. form a beautiful backdrop during much of the tour. Civil War earthworks can still be seen, and there is a view of Historic Belle Grove Plantation.
This private battlefield tour pairs nicely with our Southern Shenandoah Campaigns tour.
Let us show you the way as you relax and skip the self-guided tour hassle. Your own battlefield guide will meet you in front of the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center.
After an introduction, your battlefield guide will join your vehicle as you depart to your first stop. It is recommended that the battlefield guide drive your vehicle so you can relax and enjoy the tour, but it’s up to you who drives.
Joining your vehicle keeps the cost down so you can see more battlefields with us.
Step-on battlefield guides are available for larger passenger vehicles (van or bus). For more information and prices, please contact us.
Note: The Northern Shenandoah Valley Campaigns can be tailored into one of our Custom Battlefield Tours.