On September 19, 1864, Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan advanced toward Winchester along the Berryville Pike with the VI and XIX Corps, crossing Opequon Creek east of town. The Union advance was delayed long enough for Maj. Gen. Jubal Early to concentrate his forces to meet the main assault. Veteran Union and Confederate divisions fought hard for several hours, but Early’s men were gradually driven back toward Winchester, anchored around the defensive works on the north end of town. By late-afternoon, the VIII Corps and Union cavalry turned the Confederate left flank and Early ordered a general retreat. The Union victory began a series of losses for Early’s army in the Valley from which it would not recover. The battle was the largest and most costliest fought in the Shenandoah Valley.