Newtown, Va., (2d battle), Nov. 12, 1864

Newtown, Va., (2d battle), Nov. 12, 1864

The second battle of Cedar Creek, which took place on November 19, 1864, was the final major engagement in the Shenandoah Valley campaign of the American Civil War. The battle pitted the Union Army of the Shenandoah, led by Major General Philip Sheridan, against the Confederate Army of the Valley, commanded by Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early. The battle resulted in a decisive Union victory and effectively ended Confederate resistance in the Shenandoah Valley.

The battle began in the early morning hours of November 19, when Union cavalry under Brigadier General Alfred Torbert surprised and routed Confederate cavalry under Brigadier General Lunsford L. Lomax. This initial success allowed Union infantry to advance towards the Confederate lines, which were situated along Cedar Creek. As the Union soldiers began their attack, they were met with heavy resistance, particularly from Confederate artillery on a nearby hill.

Despite the Confederate defenses, the Union Army was able to make progress, with troops led by Major General George Crook pushing back Confederate forces on the Union left flank. Meanwhile, Union troops under Major General Horatio Wright advanced on the Confederate right flank, capturing several artillery pieces and pushing the Confederate line back.

By mid-afternoon, the Union Army had broken through the Confederate lines, and Confederate resistance collapsed. Many Confederate soldiers fled in disarray, while others surrendered to Union forces. The Confederate Army of the Valley was effectively destroyed as a fighting force, and the Union Army of the Shenandoah had accomplished its objective of clearing the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate troops.

The battle of Cedar Creek was significant not only for its military impact but also for its political consequences. The victory was a major boost for President Abraham Lincoln’s reelection campaign, as it demonstrated the effectiveness of Union military strategy and weakened the Confederate cause. It also marked a turning point in the Shenandoah Valley campaign, which had seen several swings of momentum and had been a key theater of the war.

In conclusion, the second battle of Cedar Creek was a significant engagement in the American Civil War, as it marked a decisive Union victory and effectively ended Confederate resistance in the Shenandoah Valley. The battle demonstrated the effectiveness of Union military strategy and had significant political consequences, making it an important event in the history of the Civil War.

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