Published on February 9, 2017

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Third Winchester Battlefield Park – 541 Redbud Road Winchester, Virginia

Third Winchester Battlefield Park is located off of Interstate 81 Exit 317 just outside of Winchester, Virginia. The Third Battle of Winchester was the largest battle ever fought in the Shenandoah Valley and, at 606-acres, is also the largest battlefield park in the Valley. With 6 miles of trails, interpretive markers, historic fencing, and cannons, Third Winchester is a must see for anyone touring the area. The park grounds are the site of some of the fiercest fighting in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War. Famous participants in the battle include Philip Sheridan, Jubal Early, George Custer, Robert Rodes, and Rutherford B. Hayes. The site is owned and maintained by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. The park is opened all year from dusk to dawn.

 

 Other Sites

 

Star Fort – Fortress Drive Winchester, Virginia

Star Fort is an earthen fort that was part of the ring of defenses around the city during the war. Three times during the Civil War, Star Fort played a major role in the defense of Winchester. Union General Robert H. Milroy’s troops began construciting the fort in January 1863 on the site of artillery emplacements Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s men had built in 1861. Milroy, a fervent abolitionist, used stone from the nearby home of U.S. Senator James Mason, author of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. Star Fort commanded the Martinsburg Turnpike and Pughtown Road. The site is owned and maintained by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. The site is opened all year from dusk to dawn.

 

 

 

Fort Collier – 922 Martinsburg Pike Winchester, Virginia

Fort Collier is another earthen fort that was part of the defenses of the city of Winchester. On July 7, 1861, under the supervision of Lieutenant Collier, Virginia militiamen and a detachment of Federal prisoners began the work of constructing earthworks on the chosen site. The fort was an imposing obstacle on the Valley Pike. Yet despite the earthworks, Winchester was only slightly more defensible than Harpers Ferry. Both Federal and Confederate forces usually chose to retreat from Winchester rather than make a stand. As a result, Fort Collier remained an imposing yet unused position for most of the war. Fort Collier, however, was destined to play a major role in the Third Battle of Winchester, where it would be a key part of the Confederate defensive line. The site is owned and maintained by Fort Collier Civil War Center, Inc. The site is opened year round from dusk to dawn.