September meeting – Scott C. Patchan

September LCCWRT Meeting Notice. We welcome all guests with the hopes that they will join, so please consider bringing someone to the meeting this month.

Meeting time: Tuesday, September 9, 2014; 7:30 p.m.

Location: Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia

Topic: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Last Battle of Winchester


Much was at stake in the critical year of 1864 as the two armies of the North and the South maneuvered and vied for control of the strategic Shenandoah Valley. The Third Battle of Winchester was one of the most pivotal battles in this important struggle that would help determine the outcome of the Civil War. The September 19, 1864, showdown between the two contending antagonists, Union General Phil Sheridan and Confederate General Jubal Early, was by all measures the largest and most intense battle ever fought in the valley. This struggle resulted in more than 9,000 casualties, including key commanders on both sides.

Patchans talk will focus on the background and combat experience of the two commanding generals before their encounter at Winchester. Major General Sheridan’s assignment to command all Union forces in the valley and the strategy that he developed while working closely with Lieutenant General U. S. Grant will be thoroughly reviewed. Likewise, the expectations that General Robert E. Lee had for Confederate General Early and how Early was able to meet them during the 1864 Valley Campaign will also be carefully examined. During the presentation, the leadership abilities and combat performance of the two opposing army commanders at Third Winchester will be thoughtfully evaluated.

Scott C. Patchan, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, has lived most of his life in Virginia. A graduate of James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and a lifelong student of military history, Patchan became enthralled with the 1864 Valley Campaign while attending JMU in the 1980s. Since then, he has written five books on the Civil War and dozens of articles for various publications, including six feature articles for the Blue and Gray Magazine’s “General’s Tours.” He has also served as a historical consultant and writer for the critically acclaimed Time-Life Voices of the Civil War Series and was instrumental in helping produce the volume titled Shenandoah 1864 from that series. He is a member of the board of the Kernstown Battlefield Association and has twice served as president of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table. His most recent book, The Last Battle of Winchester, focuses on the Third Battle of Winchester. He is currently actively involved in researching and preparing for his next volume on the important 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

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