Newtown, Va., (2d battle), Nov. 12, 1864
The second Battle of Newtown, also known as the Battle of Cedar Creek, was a significant engagement that took place on November 12, 1864, during the American Civil War. This battle was fought between Union forces under the command of Major General Philip Sheridan and Confederate forces led by Lieutenant General Jubal Early. The battle resulted in a decisive Union victory, which helped to solidify Union control over the Shenandoah Valley.
After his victory at Cedar Creek in late October, Sheridan ordered his troops to pursue Early’s retreating Confederate army. The Union forces caught up with the Confederates near Newtown, Virginia, on November 12. The Confederates had taken up a defensive position on the hills surrounding the town, with their left flank anchored on the Valley Pike and their right flank protected by the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.
Sheridan’s plan was to attack the Confederate left flank with his cavalry, while his infantry advanced on their right flank. However, the cavalry was delayed by difficult terrain, and the infantry was forced to attack without their support. The Union troops pushed forward and gained ground, but they were unable to break through the Confederate lines.
As the battle raged on, Sheridan ordered his cavalry to attack the Confederate right flank, which was now exposed. The cavalry charged down the Valley Pike and attacked the Confederate flank, causing chaos and confusion among the Confederate troops. The Union infantry then renewed their attack on the Confederate right, and the Confederates were forced to retreat.
The battle lasted for several hours, and both sides suffered heavy casualties. The Union army lost around 550 men, while the Confederate army lost around 450 men. The battle of Newtown was a significant victory for the Union, as it forced the Confederates to abandon the Shenandoah Valley and retreat to Richmond.
The battle of Newtown was also significant because it marked the end of the Confederate Army of the Valley as a significant fighting force. Early’s army was severely weakened by the defeat, and it was unable to mount any further significant offensives in the Shenandoah Valley. The Union army was now firmly in control of the region, which allowed them to focus their efforts on other fronts.
In conclusion, the second Battle of Newtown was a crucial engagement during the American Civil War. The Union victory helped to secure Union control over the Shenandoah Valley, and it marked the end of the Confederate Army of the Valley as a significant fighting force. The battle was a testament to the skill and determination of both sides, and it will be remembered as a key moment in the history of the Civil War.