Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Brandy Station in Culpeper County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of Kelly's Ford

The Chancellorsville Campaign

 
 
Battle of Kelly's Ford Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2013
1. Battle of Kelly's Ford Marker
Inscription. On January 25, 1863, Union general Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker replaced Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside as the fifth commander of the demoralized eastern armies in less than two years. On taking charge of the Army of the Potomac, Hooker implemented organizational reforms to ensure that his soldiers stayed healthy, warm, and busy. Morale improved quickly, as did the army's offensive spirit.

The dramatic reorganization of the cavalry was one of Hooker's initial priorities and signal accomplishments. Before Hooker assumed command, small squadrons of horsemen were scattered among the infantry, carelessly armed and consistently outmatched by their Confederate counterparts.

Hooker reassembled his mounted forces into the single cavalry corps under one commander, Gen. George Stoneman, and equipped the majority of the troopers with carbines - short rifles that were easy to load and fire on horseback. With the Army of the Potomac recovering its fighting spirit, Hooker planned a new campaign against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia.

The Rappahannock River, situated to your left, separated the two forces. Although the Federals outnumbered the Confederates by more than two to one, the river was a formidable equalizer. The Union army had lost 12,000 men on its southern banks following a disastrous crossing
Lower Left Illustration image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2013
2. Lower Left Illustration
The Army of the Potomac swelled with pride following a review by President Abraham Lincoln on April 8, 1863. With more than 70,000 men on display, it was then the largest military demonstration in American history. (Courtesy Library of Congress.)
at Fredericksburg in December. Angered by a Southern cavalry raid at Hartwood Church in February, Hooker ordered his mounted command to test the defenses at the river fords above Fredericksburg. This probe resulted first in the Battle of Kelly's ford, a step toward the decisive showdown at Chancellorsville.

"My plans are perfect... May God have mercy on General Lee, for I will have none." - Gen. Joe Hooker, USA

"We must make this campaign an exceedingly active one... A defensive campaign can only be made successful by taking the aggressive at the proper time." - Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, CSA
 
Erected 2013 by Virginia Civil Wa Trails and Civil War Trust.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 30.625′ N, 77° 49.278′ W. Marker is in Brandy Station, Virginia, in Culpeper County. Marker is on Newbys Shop Road (Virginia Route 673), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Remington VA 22734, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Battle of Kelly's Ford (here, next to this marker); Fauquier County / Culpeper County
Lower Center Illustration image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2013
3. Lower Center Illustration
Despite the grave threat posed by Gen. Joseph Hooker, left, and his army, Gen. Robert E. Lee's personal correspondence indicates that Lee was confident of success and contemptuous of his foe. He focused his energies on the lack of food and blankets in the Confederate army. (Courtesy Library of Congress)
(approx. 1.2 miles away); Francis Hume (approx. 1.3 miles away); Rappahannock Station (approx. 1.6 miles away); Where Pelham Fell (approx. 1.7 miles away); Major John Pelham, C.S.A. (approx. 2.3 miles away); The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 2.5 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 2.5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brandy Station.
 
More about this marker. Although the marker is in Culpeper County, the area where the marker is within the Remington, Virginia zip code area.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Map on Upper Right image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2013
4. Map on Upper Right
Fauquier, Spotsylvania, Orange, and Culpeper counties were centered between the opposing capitals at Washington and Richmond. This strategic location rendered the landscape around you into one of the most contested regions of the Civil War.
Battle of Kelly's Ford Interpretive Center image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 17, 2013
5. Battle of Kelly's Ford Interpretive Center
Entrance to Battle of Kelly's Ford Marker image. Click for full size.
By Samuel Paik, September 10, 2017
6. Entrance to Battle of Kelly's Ford Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 20, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 24, 2013, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 705 times since then and 148 times this year. Last updated on September 18, 2017, by Samuel Paik of Gainesville, Virginia. Photos:   1. submitted on March 24, 2013, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 6, 2013, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6. submitted on September 18, 2017, by Samuel Paik of Gainesville, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement