In order for Lee to invade the North it was necessary for the Shenandoah Valley to be cleared of Union troops that would otherwise could pose a threat to Richmond in the absence of Lee’s army. Lee assigned the Second Corps, Jackson’s old veterans who were quite familiar with the Shenandoah to accomplish this.
The Shenandoah was defended by a Union division of approximately 7,000 men under General Robert H. Milroy who concentrated his troops in forts around Winchester, a town well know to the men of the Second Corps who had fought and won the First Battle of Winchester in September of the previous year. Not realizing that he face approximately 12,000 men of the Second Corps, Milroy ignored suggestions from General in Chief Halleck that Milroy abandon Winchester and retreat to Harper’s Ferry.
June 13 consisted of skirmishing as the troops of the Second Corps marched and deployed…
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