Aldie in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Battle of Aldie
Cavalry Clash amid the Haystacks
— Gettysburg Campaign —
After Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's stunning victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, he led the Army of Northern Virginia west to the Shenandoah Valley, then north through central Maryland and across the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania. Union Gen. George G. Meade, who replaced Gen. Joseph Hooker on June 28, led the Army of the Potomac in pursuit. Confederate cavalry commander Gen. J.E.B. Stuart cut Federal communications and rail lines and captured supplies. The armies collided at Gettysburg on July 1, starting a battle that neither general planned to fight there. Three days later, the defeated Confederates retreated, crossing the Potomac River into Virginia on July 14.
In June 1863, Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry screened Gen. Robert E. Lee's infantry from prying Federal eyes as the Army of Northern Virginia marched into the Shenandoah Valley. On the afternoon of June 17, opposing cavalry clashed here for control of the intersection to your right. From that junction, the Snickersville Turnpike led northwest to Snickers' Gap and this road -- the Ashby's Gap Turnpike
Confederate Col. Thomas T. Munford's brigade deployed here to block a Union advance along either turnpike. Capt. Reuben Boston, Co. I, 5th Virginia Cavalry, dismounted 50 sharpshooters on the ridge in front of you. Sheltering their horses in the low ground in back of the ridge, they took cover behind haystacks. The Adam farmhouse to your left was behind them. On your left front, the 1st Virginia Cavalry and three guns of Breathed's horse artillery battery supported Boston.
Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick arrayed his cavalry regiments in a north-south line to attack Munford's positions astride both turnpikes. He ordered the 2nd New York and 6th Ohio to drive Boston's men from the knoll and to secure the Ashby's Gap Turnpike. Several attacks forced the Virginians to retreat on foot toward the farmhouse for cover behind a low wooden fence. Outnumbered and endangered by defective rounds from their own artillery, the Virginians here surrendered. Munford held the Ashby's Gap Turnpike nonetheless, as bloody fighting erupted in fields to the north and along the Snickersville Gap Turnpike. The Confederates continued to block the routes to the Blue Ridge gaps.
(lower left photo 1): Col. Thomas T. Munford
(lower left photo 2): Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick
(lower middle illustration): Union cavalry charging past haystacks near Aldie Courtesy Library of Congress
(upper right illustration): "Surrender!" Near Aldie, June 17, 1863 - Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected 2013 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 38° 58.699′ N, 77° 39.257′ W. Marker is in Aldie, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is on John Mosby Highway (Virginia Route 50) 0.1 miles west of Snickersville Turnpike (Route 734), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Middleburg VA 20117, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Snickersville Turnpike (approx. ¼ mile away); Mercer’s Home (approx. 0.6 miles away); Aldie Mill (approx. 0.7 miles away); A Revolutionary War Hero (approx. 0.7 miles away); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 0.7 miles away); Stuart and Bayard (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cavalry Battles (approx. 0.7 miles away); Waterpower System (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aldie.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 15, 2017. It was originally submitted on February 4, 2017, by Pete Skillman of Port Deposit, Maryland. This page has been viewed 531 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 4, 2017, by Pete Skillman of Port Deposit, Maryland. 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 9, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 6. submitted on November 14, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.