Fisher’s Hill was the second battle of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. After their defeat at Winchester on 19 September, the remains of the Confederate army moved to Fisher’s Hill, a natural fortification which blocked access to the lower valley region. Under the overall command of Jubal A. Early, the 9,000-strong Confederate army consisted of cavalry under Major General Lomax and four infantry divisions. The Union VIII Corps, under the command of Union Major General George Crook, and supported to the right by VI and XIX Corps, attacked the Confederate line at about 4pm, taking both the cavalry and infantry by surprise and meeting little resistance. The Confederate line collapsed from west to east as the remaining Union corps joined battle. In total, 81 lives were lost at Fisher’s Hill, most of them from the Union army. However, the Union victory precipitated a Confederates’ retreat, opening up the country to Sheridan’s scorched earth policy.
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