Second Battle of Winchester
June 13-15 1863
In February of 1863 the Irish Dragoons were ordered to Winchester, Virginia. When they got to Winchester they scouted from Winchester to Woodstock. When they scouted they often ran into the enemies cavalry and lost they lost a significant amount of men. They ran into a big army of cavalry at Middleton, Virginia and afterwards they stayed at Winchester. While they were in Winchester they saw a small group of rebels coming towards them. They fought and captured some of them and drove the rest back down to Woodstock. Then when they were riding back to Winchester they were confronted by a larger group of rebels. They fought for half an hour and then were defeated. 108 of the Irish Dragoons were either killed, wounded, or captured. They were taken to Libby prison in Virginia. Among the men taken was Michael Dougherty. The rest of the cavalry that stayed in Winchester fought in the Second Battle of Winchester and retreated to Harper's Ferry with only half of their men usable.
Robert E. Lee the general in the south want to invade the north. He then needed the Shenandoah Valley to be cleared out. He sent Major General Richard Ewell to the Shenandoah Valley to take Winchester. Major General Robert Milroy was at Winchester and when he heard Ewell was coming he was confindent in his fortifications. To the west of town were heavily fortified trenches that linked the major forts together.
There was fighting all afternoon of June 13th when Ewell arrived at Winchester. The next day The confederate Louisiana Brigade took a major fort, West Fort. This left Milroy's position not defendable. Milroy got his men out of the trenches and went to retreat in the night. General Edward Johnson cut him off in the morning of June 15th.
Ewell and Johnson captured about 4,000 Union Soldiers, while Milroy and 2,700 soldiers escaped to safety but lost 4,443 men. Ewell lost just 270 men but captured 300 wagons, hundreds of horses, and 23 artillery pieces. Milroy was relieved of his command.