Battle of Fisher’s Hill, 22 September 1864

The second battle of Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign (American Civil War). After suffering a heavy defeat at Winchester (19 September 1864), the Confederate commander Jubal Early pulled back to Fisher’s Hill, a strong position on a ridge just south of Strasburg. With more men, Early could have caused Sheridan some serious problems at Fisher’s Hill, but at Winchester he had lost 40% of his 12,000 men. At Fisher’s Hill, just over 8,000 Confederates attempted to hold a line four miles long against over 30,000 Federal soldiers.

Sheridan arrived in front of Fisher’s Hill on 20 September. The following day was spend investigating Early’s position. On 22 September, Early decided to retreat that night, aware that he was massively outnumbered. However, late in the day Sheridan’s Eighth Corps (Crook) attacked Early’s left. Confederate attempts to repel this attack caused some confusion along the rest of the line as units were shifted left. Sheridan saw this and launched an attack along the entire line.

Once again, Early was forced to retreat in disorder. His losses were heavier that Sheridan’s – 30 dead, 210 wounded and 995 missing (total 1235) compared to 52 dead, 457 wounded and 19 missing (total 528). The remains of Early’s army managed to escape south once more, but the Confederate force had been so badly mauled that Sheridan and Grant began to debate how to move the men of the Army of the Shenandoah east to Richmond and Petersburg. On 19 October Early was to prove them wrong in writing him off (Cedar Creek).

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 August 2006), Battle of Fisher’s Hill, 22 September 1864 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_fishers_hill.html

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