November 9, 2008

Fort Collier in Winchester

This is the west entrance to Fort Collier, facing US 11. The sign on the right reads "Fort Collier Civil War Center. Hours by Appointment. 540-667-5572."

Across the driveway we see a Civil War Trails marker which tells us:
Confederate troops constructed Fort Collier in 1861 after the evacuation of Harpers Ferry. The earthworks, which surrounded the Benjamin Stine house here, commanded the approach to Winchester on the Martinsburg and Winchester Turnpike. The fort saw little action until late in the afternoon on September 19, 1864, when, during the Third Battle of Winchester, it became a focal point of the engagement. Here a great Union cavalry charge led by Gen. Wesley Merritt turned the battle against Gen. Jubal A. Early’s outnumbered Confederates. The charge was earthshaking and memorable. A Confederate infantryman who survived the attack later wrote, “I never saw such a sight in my life as that of the tremendous force, the flying banners, sparkling bayonets and flashing sabers moving from the north and east upon the left flank and rear of our army.”

The Stine house was destroyed in the battle. The present day dwelling, still largely surrounded by the Confederate earthworks, was built in 1867.
The Fort Collier site can be reached from Brooke Rd. across from the intersection of Brick Kiln Rd. Not surprisingly, it's not far from the industrial park on Fort Collier Road.

HMDB list of Winchester Markers
| Fort Collier

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