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Bristow in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Deadly Day for Excelsior Brigade

Bristoe Station

 
 
Deadly Day for Excelsior Brigade Marker image. Click for full size.
September 9, 2012
1. Deadly Day for Excelsior Brigade Marker
Inscription.  Prior to the action along the railroad, Brig. Gen. Nelson Taylor’s New York brigade, better known as the “Excelsior Brigade” came into the field here. Knowing little of the situation before arriving on the field, Taylor observed the unequal fight before him and acted immediately. He dispatched three of his regiments on the run to Carr’s left to stabilize the Federal line and prevent any Confederate flanking movement. He also posted his two reserve regiments to the right of the line to deal with the 60th Georgia along the railroad. The New Yorkers came under a blistering fire from the Louisiana regiments and replied with equal ferocity.

The 71st New York Infantry, known as the Jackson Light Infantry, was comprised of men from New York City, Newark, and even a company from Philadelphia. The regiment suffered heavily, losing more than 100 of the 250 men engaged, including their commander, Lt. Col. Henry Potter.

The neighboring 73rd New York Infantry, almost entirely volunteer firemen from New York City, lost 53 of the 107 men it took into the fight. On Taylor’s left, the 74th New York Infantry, again primarily from New
Deadly Day for Excelsior Brigade Marker image. Click for full size.
September 2, 2012
2. Deadly Day for Excelsior Brigade Marker
York City, lost 8 officers and more than 60 men in this field.

(Sidebar): We came on an open field in front of a belt of woods to the left of the railroad near Bristoe Station, where we discovered the enemy. They opened fire on us, to which our men smartly and ably responded. The conduct of the officers and men on this occasion was truly excellent…they stood up to the fire like men. — Capt. Owen Murphy, 71st New York Infantry

 
Erected 2012 by Prince William County Department of Public Works, Historic Preservation Division.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
 
Location. 38° 43.283′ N, 77° 32.562′ W. Marker is in Bristow, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker can be reached from Iron Brigade Unit Ave.. Marker is located on the 1861-1862 Trail at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bristow VA 20136, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The “Tigers” of Louisiana (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battle Along the Railroad (about 400 feet away); Preparing for Battle (about 500 feet away); Fight for a Pine Thicket (about 500 feet away); “We Shall Bag the Whole Crowd”
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(about 500 feet away); Davis Family Farmstead (approx. 0.2 miles away); Confederates in Bristoe (approx. 0.2 miles away); "We are in hell and fire on all sides" (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bristow.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays (Above) Pvt. William Keane, 74th New York Infantry Courtesy of the New York Military Museum, (Far right) Gen Nelson Taylor's hand-drawn map Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society and (Right) Excelsior Brigade Review Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
Also see . . .  Report of Capt. Owen Murphy, Seventy-first New York Infantry. From the Official Records, pg 448-450. (Submitted on September 11, 2012, by Keith Yoder of Centreville, Virginia.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 11, 2012. This page has been viewed 487 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 11, 2012. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 6, 2020