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Battle of Brandy Station and Winter Encampment Virtual Tour by Markers. Use the “First >>” button above to see these markers in sequence.
Virginia (Fauquier County), Remington — The Battle of Brandy Station — The Crossing at Kelly's Ford
Civil War cavalry battles could be huge, shifting, sprawling engagements, spread across miles of countryside. For instance, the Battle of Brandy Station, named for a railroad town eight miles away, began at historic Kelly’s Ford in front of you. On the morning of June 9, 1863, two Union cavalry divisions and an infantry brigade crossed the Rappahannock River here. This force of about 6,000 men and 18 cannon — half of an 11,000-man force hunting for Confederates in the Culpeper area . . . — Map (db m2222) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Kelly's Ford — Kelly's Ford
At this site in 1863 the federal forces charged across the river to begin the Battle of Kelly's Ford & Brandy Station. Traces of the ford & John P. Kelly's toll, 1837 to 1862, may still be seen at this point. — Map (db m21330) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — The Civil War in Culpeper County
On June 9, 1863, the Civil War visited the river fords, farmer's fields and rolling hills near Brandy Station. During the intense daylong fighting that swirled all around the little town, Confederate and Union horsemen clashed in the largest cavalry battle of the war. By nightfall, the Union cavalrymen had finally proved that they could match the legendary skills of the Southern horsemen. The Battle of Brandy Station failed to stop Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North that summer, though it . . . — Map (db m4398) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — Surprises at the Crossing
Rivers and river crossings played an important role in many Civil War battles, including the Battle of Brandy Station. A mile northwest of this spot is the site of Beverly Ford, where the cavalry of both the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac planned to cross the Rappahannock River on the foggy morning of June 9, 1863. Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's 9,700 Southern horsemen were the vanguard of Gen. Robert E. Lee's offensive, which climaxed at the Battle of . . . — Map (db m4405) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — Buying Time on the Beverly Ford Road
Both Union and Confederate armies used horse artillery to assist cavalry. When firing erupted at Beverly Ford on the morning of June 9, 1863, Major Robert F. Beckham's battalion of Confederate horse artillery (16 guns and some 500 men) was encamped in woods here. Confederate cannoneers frantically harnessed their teams and prepared their guns for attack as Union skirmishers came in sight. Beckham ordered a gun of the Washington Artillery of South Carolina out on the road and told the crew to . . . — Map (db m4415) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — The Stone Wall on the Cunningham Farm
Failing to break through Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's Confederates at St. James Church, Brig. Gen. John Buford swung his force north and west to turn the Confederate left flank. Confederate Brig. Gen. William Henry Fitzhugh "Rooney" Lee, son of Robert E. Lee,had no intention of allowing Buford's maneuver to succeed. Rooney Lee was a skilled fighter and used the terrain well. First he blocked Buford's progress by the stone wall five hundred yards in front of you. From his command post on the . . . — Map (db m4416) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — Rooney Lee's Fighting Retreat
The Federal forces of Brig. Gen. John Buford, Brig. Gen. David Gregg, and Col. Thomas Devin (whose command held the area around St. James Church) had almost encircled the Confederates, though none of the Union commanders had planned it so. Unknown to the Federals another prize was also available: Gen. Robert E. Lee was visiting the Barbour House (called Beauregard) to scan the fighting on Fleetwood Hill. His capture would have been a devastating blow to the Confederacy. By late morning, . . . — Map (db m4418) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — Battle of Brandy Station — The Largest Cavalry Battle of the Civil War
Confederate horsemen numbering 9500 under the command of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart were concentrated around Brandy Station in preparation of the upcoming raid into Pennsylvania - which would culminate at Gettysburg. The Federal army, being aware of the sizable number of Confederate cavalry in this vicinity, sent Gen. Alfred Pleasonton with a force of about 8,000 cavalry and 3,000 infantry with instructions to converge on Brandy Station in two wings and attack. About 4:30 a.m. on June 9, 1863, 5,500 . . . — Map (db m4364) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The 1863-64 Winter Encampment — The Federal Army of the Potomac Rebuilds
On the night of December 1, 1863, following its unsuccessful advance against Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Mine Run Campaign, a cold and tired Army of the Potomac withdrew across the Rapidan River and returned to Culpeper County. On these fields and throughout most of Cupleper and part of Fauquier Counties, 100,000 Union soldiers set up a massive winter encampment that disrupted the lives of local residents Union commander Maj. Gen. George G. Meade (right) . . . — Map (db m4370) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The 1863-64 Winter Encampment — The Calm Before the Storm
The 1863-1864 winter encampment proved a busy time for the Army of the Potomac. "There was something fascinating about our winter city of 100,000 men," a staff officer recalled. "Many pleasant recollections cluster around the old camp at Brandy Station... history should know that our military service did not consist entirely of being shot at or trying to shoot at the other man." Thousands of new recruits joined the army and learned how to be soldiers. For members of the "old" regiments, the . . . — Map (db m4372) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — Charging the Confederate Guns
By 7 a.m. on June 9, Brig. Gen. John Buford had his Union troops in position. Brig. Gen. Adelbert Ames Federal brigade of infantry straddled the Beverly Ford Road. To Ames' left (where the airport is now) was the 1st Cavalry Division, commanded by Col. Thomas Devin. The Reserve Cavalry Brigade was on Ames' right. Several batteries of artillery supported the Federals. Buford decided to test the strength of the Confederate position near St. James Church. He ordered forward several regiments of . . . — Map (db m4373) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — Confederate Line of Defense at St. James Church
Several hundred yards behind you, in the copse of trees, is the site of the St. James Church. Union soldiers tore down the small brick structure for materials to make their quarters during the winter of 1863-1864, when the Army of the Potomac wintered in Culpeper County. Six months earlier, on June 9, 1863, the woods, meadows, and country roads here saw major fighting during the Battle of Brandy Station. By 8 a.m. on that date, Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart had formed a solid defensive line along . . . — Map (db m4374) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — F-11 — Battle of Brandy Station
Here on 9 June 1863, the largest cavalry battle in North America occurred when 9,500 troopers fought 8,000 cavalrymen under Union Brig. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton. This daylong battle, the opening engagement of the Gettysburg campaign, erupted when the Federal attack surprised Stuart and his men. The Confederates prevented the Union cavalry from learning the intentions of Gen. Robert E. Lee, who had begun marching his infantry to the Shenandoah Valley to invade the North. For the first time in the . . . — Map (db m2574) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — Battle of Brandy Station
Greatest cavalry battle of the Civil War • Fought June 9, 1863 • Gen. J.E.B. Stuart defeated Gen. A. Pleasonton Confederates engaged 10,200. Federals 10,900 Casualties, Confederates, 485, Federals 866 This is Fleetwood Hill The crucial position Finally occupied by the Confederates — Map (db m4425) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — The Race for Fleetwood Hill
Here the old Carolina Road crosses the southern part of Fleetwood Hill, some of the highest ground in the area. On the slope ahead of you Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown (J.E.B.) Stuart, commander of Robert E. Lee's cavalry, pitched his headquarters tents on the evening of June 8, 1863. Nearby stood the Henry Miller House, known as Fleetwood. The Confederates used the name "the Battle of Fleetwood Hill" for the conflict now known as the Battle of Brandy Station. Stuart was surprised when word came . . . — Map (db m4424) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Battle of Brandy Station — The Struggle for Fleetwood Hill
After Col. Wyndham's assaults, Col. Judson Kilpatrick's Federal brigade crossed the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and stormed Fleetwood Hill from the southeast. The fight for Fleetwood Hill - a classic cavalry battle fought on horseback - became a lethal game of King of the Hill. Sabers clanged against sabers, cannon boomed, pistols rang out, and the choking dust made it difficult to tell "t'other from which," one Confederate recalled. The hill changed hands several times as the battle . . . — Map (db m4421) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — F 13 — Opening of the Gettysburg Campaign
On this plain Lee reviewed his cavalry, June 8, 1863. The next day the cavalry battle of Brandy Station was fought. On June 10, Ewell's Corps, from its camp near here, began the march to Pennsylvania. — Map (db m4428) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The 1863-64 Winter Encampment — The Army of the Potomac at Brandy Station
War has many faces and the residents of Culpeper County saw them all. Brandy Station played an important role in the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863, though the Union and Confederate armies never clashed in the streets of the little town. A few months later, however, as winter descended, roads turned to muddy soup, and the frantic place of conflict slowed, the Union army established winter camps throughout the area. Located on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, Brandy Station served . . . — Map (db m4427) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — Hansborough Ridge
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 . . . — Map (db m4866) HM
Virginia (Culpeper County), Brandy Station — The Hold at Mountain Run — Death of Farley and Wounding of Butler
June 9, 1863 - 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm This map prepared from the first hand account of Col. Butler, other historians, and the personal account of the family, who in the early 1950s cleared, leveled and ditched this bottom for cultivation, disturbing the soil for the first time since the Civil War. The shallow trench, part of an existing ditch, and the earthwork in front of the ford was leveled at this time. The bottomland flooded a few days after the clearing operation and when the water . . . — Map (db m4869) HM
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