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Near Brandy Station in Culpeper County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Hansborough Ridge
 
Hansborough Ridge Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, January 12, 2008
1. Hansborough Ridge Marker
The simple printed narrative will most likely be replaced by one of the standard markers used to interpret the Brandy Station battlefield in the future.
 
Inscription. The Battle of Brandy Station actually occurred in several locations, miles apart. A mile in front of you is Hansborough Ridge. Late in the morning of June 9, 1863, a division of the Union Cavalry under Col. Alfred Duffie approached the ridge from the south along what is now Route 3. Duffie's 2nd Division of the Army of the Potomac's Cavalry Corps, about 3000 men and 6 cannon, was part of a larger force that had crossed the Rappahannock River earlier that morning at Kelly's ford. Other Union troops led by Brig. Gen. John Buford had crossed at Beverly ford, further upstream.

Duffie was ordered to reconnoiter Stevensburg and Germanna Plank Road (now Route 3) for evidence of Confederate Infantry. He was then to join the other Union columns at Brandy Station, five miles away, before a joint advance of the Confederate Cavalry reported to be at Culpeper Court House.

In attempting to cross Hansborough Ridge, the Federals were confronted by 200 troops of the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry under Col. Mathew C. Butler. Duffie hesitated. Finally, the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry charged, whether they simply lost patience or were ordered forward is unclear. They hurled themselves down the road and smashed into Butler's thin line of men, most of whom fought dismounted. The Federals plowed through the gap and hit the 4th Virginia Cavalry while
 
County Park Pull Off Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, January 5, 2008
2. County Park Pull Off
In addition to the interpretive displays, a picnic area down by Mountain Run offers the traveler a rather tranquil spot to take a break while touring the Brandy Station battlefield.
 
these Confederates were still deploying. The greatly outnumbered Confederates then made a dash for the Norman's Mill ford, crossing over to the north side of Mt. Run where the lone cannon of the 4th Virginia Cavalry was placed guarding the 2 horse wide ford. This ford was the only place where horses could cross Mt. Run.

Since Duffie could not follow across the stream, the Confederates enjoyed their first "breathing spell" of the morning and immediately started organizing their defense, using Mt. Run as a natural barrier.

Hansborough Ridge was the site of the 2nd Corps and 2nd Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac, winter camps during the winter of 1863-1864.

The hill at the far left is Signal Hill, used as a signal station throughout the war.
 
Location. 38° 27.352′ N, 77° 54.027′ W. Marker is near Brandy Station, Virginia, in Culpeper County. Marker is on Stevensburg Road (County Route 663), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located at a kiosk at a Culpeper County park on Stevensburg Road. Marker is in this post office area: Brandy Station VA 22714, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Hold at Mountain Run (here, next to this marker); Opening of the Wilderness Campaign (approx. one mile away); Salubria (approx. 1.2 miles away); Signal Stations (approx. 2.4 miles away); Opening of the Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 2.9 miles away); Betty Washington (approx. 3.1 miles away); The 1863-64 Winter Encampment (approx. 3.3 miles away); The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 3.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Brandy Station.
 
Norman's Mill Ford Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, January 5, 2008
3. Norman's Mill Ford
In the woods, near the picnic area, is the site of Norman's Mill Ford. Stevensburg Road crosses Mountain Run just upstream from the site. In the background is Hansborough Ridge. Butler's troopers fell back down the ridge and crossed the ford in the foreground.
 

 
Regarding Hansborough Ridge. This is one of several markers interpreting the Battle of Brandy Station and the winter encampments of 1863-64 in Culpeper County. See the Battle of Brandy Station Virtual Tour by Markers linked below for additional related markers.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Brandy Station. National Park Service guide to the battle, including a driving tour. (Submitted on January 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Battle of Brandy Station Virtual Tour by Markers. A set markers that document the Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863, and the Winter Encampment of 1863-64. Note the order of appearance is geographic and not chronologically aligned to the battle. (Submitted on January 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Panoramic View from the Kiosk Site Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain
4. Panoramic View from the Kiosk Site
Across Mountain Run is Hansborough Ridge. To the left is the site of several earthworks hastily constructed during the battle. On the right is the ford.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on January 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,806 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 21, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
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