Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Shenandoah 1862 Campaign: Battle of Winchester

On the night of 24th May both sides stayed on the battlefield at New Town.  Ewells' CSA division had taken the town and formed a defensive position in & on each side of it.  Banks fell back out of cannon range on the Turnpike to Winchester.  Shields fell back into the woods to the east.

In the morning Banks' division (battered & fatigued after 2 battles in 3 days with no chance to rest) withdrew north in good order.  Ewell had no inclination to pursue while Shields' fresh division remained in the woods on his flank.  AS soon as Banks had got out of sight, Shields slipped away on the road east.   Later in the morning Jackson's division arrived from the south after having a days rest in Strasburg & continued north after Banks.  Ewell remained at New Town for the day to recuperate his men after the battle.

Later in the day Banks stopped his retreat at Winchester.  A little later Shields arrived on the Frnt Royal road.  Jackson came up late in the day but did not attack.  Winchester is Banks main supply base so he must fight to defend it or lose campaign Brownie Points.

Overnight both sides prepared for battle in the morning.
Both sides have only put down on the table the troops visible to the enemy.  Banks' fragile division is deployed behind the creek on the Union left. Shields' fresh division division is deployed in the town, in front of it & to the Union left.  Jackson's division is deployed both sides of the turnpike.
 Jackson sent his cavalry tot he far right to keep an eye on the Union left while setting up batteries & sending out a skirmish line on his left & centre.
Jackson has began an attack on the Union centre-right, but Banks had troops hidden in the woods & is counterattacking the end of Jackson's line.
A fierce fire fight is going on on the CSA left.
While the fire fight rages on the left, with both sides accumulating serious casualties, Ewell's division has been marching onto the field on the Turnpike.  His first 2 brigades have moved to the right, the 3rd is moving up in the centre.
Ewell's 1st two brigades are deploying to the right.
About 10pm we called time for the night after about 2 & 1/2 hours play time.  The battle remains in the balance & will be continued next week.  The Union right has been doing well so far, but the Rebs have reinforcements coming up & Banks' battered & exhausted division has not yet been tested.  

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