“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Warrenton in Fauquier County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Buckland Races

An Inglorious Skedaddle

Bucklland Races Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 24, 2006
1. Bucklland Races Marker
Inscription.  For Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and his Confederate cavalry, the 1863 campaigns brought fewer victories against the improving cavalry corps of the Union Army of the Potomac—that is, until October 19, 1863.

Here on Chestnut Hill the wily Confederate had set a trap for Gen. Judson Kilpatrick’s Union cavalry division. Using Gen. Wade Hampton’s cavalry division as bait, Stuart had lured one of Kilpatrick’s brigades here by retreating from Buckland Mill (5 miles east of here) along the Warrenton Turnpike (present-day Route 15/29). The jaw of the trap was Confederate Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry division moving north toward Buckland Mill from east of here to cut off Kilpatrick’s line of retreat.

By 3:30 that afternoon, Stuart’s gray clad troopers were coiled to strike on Chestnut Hill as Kilpatrick’s unwitting Federals approached, when suddenly cannon fire erupted from the east. Lee’s Confederates had struck the Union rear guard at Buckland. At that moment Stuart’s three brigades swooped down on the Federals with a rebel yell, turning an organized retreat into an inglorious skedaddle. Hootin’ and hollerin’ all
Close-Up of Map on Marker image. Click for full size.
2. Close-Up of Map on Marker
the way, Stuart’s Rebel horsemen chased the fleeing Yankees back to Buckland in an action that resembled a spirited steeplechase rather than a military operation.

Fortunately for Kilpatrick, his other supporting brigade was commanded by Gen. George Custer. Sensing the Rebel trap before it had been set, Custer delayed his advance to Chestnut Hill. By lingering in the vicinity of Buckland, he thwarted Fitz Lee’s attempt to cut off Kilpatrick long enough for most of the Federals to escape.

Although Stuart had to content himself with 250 Yankee prisoners instead of two entire brigades, the “Buckland Races” did yield a treasure of amusing yarns for future campfires.

This was the last action of the Bristoe Station Campaign.
Erected by 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. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 44.259′ N, 77° 46.138′ W. Marker was near Warrenton, Virginia, in Fauquier County. Marker was at the intersection of Colonial Road and U.S. 29 on Colonial Road. It is on the far corner of the Park & Ride lot.
Buckland Races Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 24, 2006
3. Buckland Races Marker
Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Warrenton VA 20187, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Colonial Road (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fredericksburg Campaign (approx. 0.2 miles away); McClellan’s Farewell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rosenwald Schools in Fauquier (approx. 2 miles away); Brentmoor (approx. 2.1 miles away); Brentmoor: The Spilman-Mosby House (approx. 2.2 miles away); John Marshall (approx. 2.2 miles away); World War II Memorial (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Warrenton.
Also see . . .  Buckland, Virginia. History. (Submitted on December 22, 2006.) 
Warrenton Turnpike image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 5, 2008
4. Warrenton Turnpike
Looking from the intersection of VA 215 and US 15/29 to the east. In the initial stages of the battle, Federals under General Custer pursued Confederate cavalry down the Warrenton Turnpike (modern US 15/29). Later, once the trap was sprung, General Davies brigade fled back down this road seeking safety.
Custer and Fitzhugh Lee Skirmishing Site image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, January 5, 2008
5. Custer and Fitzhugh Lee Skirmishing Site
General Custer's Federals contested Confederates under General Fitzhugh Lee along the farm lanes bordering modern VA Highway 214. The rolling country in this area was thankfully preserved somewhat by circumstances. The presence of the old military base at Vint Hill Farms ensured much of the surrounding terrain was protected from large scale development.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 31, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 22, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 3,297 times since then and 112 times this year. Last updated on May 3, 2018, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1. submitted on December 22, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   2. submitted on December 22, 2006.   3. submitted on December 22, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   4, 5. submitted on January 6, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 5, 2020