Near Gainesville in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Buckland Mills Battle
On the morning of October 19, 1863, two cavalry commands occupied this ground in succession. Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and his men held it from about 10 A.M. until noon before withdrawing west along the Warrenton Turnpike as Union Gen. George A. Custer’s cavalry brigade approached from your left. Custer occupied this position while Gen. Henry E. Davies’s brigade passed, lured west by Stuart.
Early in the afternoon, as Custer’s men rested in the then-open fields before you, Confederate Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s division struck from the woods to your right front, pushing Custer back here and separating his brigade from Davies’s at New Baltimore. Lee drove Custer east from here across
The Confederates lost about 50 men, the Federals about 260, mostly prisoners. Stuart termed the rout, his last victory over cavalry, “the most complete that any cavalry … suffered during this war.” Custer called the day “the most disastrous this division ever passed through.”
(Sidebar): Founded in 1797, Buckland became a thriving community with two mills, a large distillery, and several taverns. The Warrenton-Alexandria Turnpike and a pest-resistant strain of wheat developed here added to the town’s prosperity. During the war, the turnpike bridge became a military objective. On August 27, 1862, during the Second Manassas campaign, Union Gen. Robert Milroy’s brigade, marching toward Gainesville, found the Broad Run bridge on fire and Confederate cavalry with one piece of artillery on the opposite side. Milroy’s cavalry detachment drove them off. The men quickly repaired the bridge so that parts of Union Gen. John Pope’s army could march across it to Manassas. The war forced many of the businesses in town to close.
Erected 2009 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 46.796′ N, 77° 40.481′ W. Marker is near Gainesville, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is on Lee Highway (U.S. 29), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16211 Lee Highway, Gainesville VA 20155, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Buckland (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battle of Buckland Mills (approx. 0.6 miles away); Second Battle of Manassas (approx. 2 miles away); Campaign of Second Manassas (approx. 2 miles away); Bull Run Battlefields (approx. 2 miles away); Rock Fight (approx. 2 miles away); Second Manassas Campaign (approx. 2.5 miles away); “Greenwich” (approx. 2.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gainesville.
More about this marker. The upper middle of the marker features a drawing captioned, Custer (on left with arms folded) watches his guns fire on Buckland from Cerro Gordo. Alfred R. Waud drawing, “Buckland from Mr. Hunton's House” – Courtesy Library of Congress
The sidebar contains a drawing captioned, Buckland Mills. Edwin Forbes drawing, “Crossing at Broad
The lower left of the marker displays a map of the Battle of Buckland Mills between portraits of Gen. Fitzhugh Lee and Gen. George A. Custer.
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Buckland Mills. National Park Service Summary (Submitted on June 8, 2009.)
2. Buckland: A Virginia Time Capsule. Prince William Reliquary, January 2004, Volume 3, No. 1 (Submitted on June 8, 2009.)
3. Buckland Preservation Society. (Submitted on June 8, 2009.)
4. A Documentary and Landscape Analysis of the Buckland Mills Battlefield. (Submitted on June 8, 2009.)
5. Buckland Historic District. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (Submitted on June 8, 2009.)
6. Buckland Historic District (Boundary Increase). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (Submitted on June 8, 2009.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 2,640 times since then and 223 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on . • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.