The Friends of Handley Regional Library are sponsoring a program this Wednesday, September 11th showcasing author Scott C. Patchan’s and his latest book, The Last Battle of Winchester: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, August 7 – September 19, 1864. This is the first serious study to chronicle the Third Battle of Winchester. The September 1864 combat was the largest, longest, and bloodiest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley. What began about daylight did not end until dusk, when the victorious Union army routed the Confederates. It was the first time Stonewall Jackson’s former corps had ever been driven from a battlefield, and their defeat set the stage for the final climax of the 1864 Valley Campaign. The Northern victory was a long time coming. After a spring and summer of Union defeat in the Valley, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant cobbled together a formidable force under Phil Sheridan, an equally redoubtable commander. Sheridan’s task was a tall one: sweep Jubal Early’s Confederate army out of the bountiful Shenandoah, and reduce the verdant region of its supplies. The aggressive Early had led the veterans of Jackson’s Army of the Valley District to one victory after another at Lynchburg, Monocacy, Snickers Gap, and Kernstown.
Scott Patchan’s vivid prose, which is based upon more than two decades of meticulous research and an unparalleled understanding of the battlefield, is complimented with numerous original maps and explanatory footnotes that enhance our understanding of this watershed battle.
About the Author: A life-long student of military history, Scott C. Patchan is a graduate of James Madison University. He is the author of many articles and books, including The Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont (1996), Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign (2007), and Second Manassas: Longstreet’s Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge (2011). Patchan serves as a Director on the board of the Kernstown Battlefield Association in Winchester, and is a member of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation’s Resource Protection Committee.
A book signing will follow this free program.