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June 15, 1863: Rebels capture Winchester

Jun. 15, 2013 - 03:34PM   |  
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WINCHESTER, VA. — A division of Federal troops surrendered to overwhelming Confederate forces at this strategic crossroads in the Shenandoah Valley, some 75 miles from the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C.

Attempting to retreat under cover darkness last night, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert Milroy’s Union troops were caught just before dawn as they made their way past Stephenson's Depot on the outskirts of town.

In one of their most lopsided victories in recent months, the rebels exacted nearly 4,500 Union casualties in the two-day battle for Winchester, including capturing more than 2,400 prisoners, while only suffering about 250 losses.

“This battle of Winchester was one of the most perfect pieces of work the Army of Northern Virginia ever did,”' said Confederate artilleryman Maj. Robert Stiles.

With the Shenandoah Valley now clear of Federal Forces, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee now has an open corridor into the north.

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