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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Upperville in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Attack at Goose Creek Bridge

“Take That Bridge At All Hazards”

 

—Prelude to Gettysburg —

 
Attack at Goose Creek Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 5, 2007
1. Attack at Goose Creek Bridge Marker
Click on image to zoom in to examine map.
Inscription. Leapfrogging westward in a delaying action against advancing Union cavalry June 21, 1863, the rear guard of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, commanded by Gen. Wade Hampton, took up a strong position on the steep ridge just behind you. From there two Confederate horse batteries opened volleys at blue-coated soldiers assembling on the high ground to the east across Goose Creek in front of you. Two batteries of Federal cannon unlimbered on the bluffs and returned direct fire at a ferocious pace. For an hour the opposing cannon dueled across the creek. A company of New York cavalry attempted to seize the bridge but failed when met with savage converging artillery fire. Determining that horsemen alone could not carry the narrow span, Union cavalry commander Gen. Alfred Pleasonton called up Col. Strong Vincent’s veteran infantry brigade. Quickly scrambling down the slopes in concentrated force, the foot soldiers poured across the creek while cavalry followed behind on the bridge. Moving rapidly up the incline behind you, Federal infantry, shoulder to shoulder, threw back the retreating Confederate forces and captured a Southern artillery piece. Once more, Goose Creek Bridge belonged to the Union.

History of Goose Creek Bridge. Built between 1801 and 1803 during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, this elegant four-arch bridge
View of Goose Creek Bridge from Lemmons Bottom Road. image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 5, 2007
2. View of Goose Creek Bridge from Lemmons Bottom Road.
In the center, looking down hill is the parking lot for the marker. Goose Creek is the far treeline at the top of the picture. The bridge is on the upper left side. Federal troops approached from the high ground behind the far treeline.
is a Virginia Historic Landmark. It is the longest remaining stone turnpike bridge in the state and one of the oldest in the Commonwealth. The Fauquier-Loudoun Garden Club maintains the bridge with funds raised from private donations.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 58.935′ N, 77° 49.259′ W. Marker is near Upperville, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is on Lemmons Bottom Road north of John S. Bosby Highway (U.S. 50), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is North of US 50, on Lemmons Bottom Road, between Middleburg and Upperville. State route 832 as depicted on the Google maps is inaccurate, being closed to traffic some 0.2 mile from the main road. US 50 more or less parallels the Loudoun-Fauquier County line along this point, but the marker is in Loudoun County. The turn onto Lemmons Bottom Road is on the north side of US 50 opposite the intersection of Crenshaw Road. Marker is in this post office area: Upperville VA 20184, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rector House (approx. 0.8 miles away); Rector’s Crossroads (approx.
Looking east across Goose Creek Bridge. image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 5, 2007
3. Looking east across Goose Creek Bridge.
Federal cavalry first attempted to storm the bridge from the far side.
0.8 miles away); Mosby’s Rangers (approx. 0.9 miles away); Welbourne (approx. 0.9 miles away); History of St. Louis (approx. 2.8 miles away); Battle of Unison (approx. 2.8 miles away); Upperville (approx. 2.8 miles away); Battle of Middleburg (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Upperville.
 
More about this marker. The marker also displays a map of the action, as well as pictures of Nehemiah H. Mann, leader of the 4th New York cavalry, and Captain Marcellus N. Moorman, commanding Moorman’s Confederate battery.
 
Regarding Attack at Goose Creek Bridge. The short battle at Goose Creek Bridge was part of a five day running cavalry fight in mid June 1863, all along Ashby’s Gap Road, modern US 50. These actions were a result of Confederate General R. E. Lee’s movements North, leading to the Gettysburg campaign. Confederate Cavalry under General Stuart screened the main parts of the Army of Northern Virginia from being observed by Federal forces. The Federal cavalry under General Pleasonton attempted repeatedly
The four arches of Goose Creek Bridge. image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 5, 2007
4. The four arches of Goose Creek Bridge.
The bridge itself is well over 200 years old. Federals positioned artillery on the grassy knoll in the background above the bridge.
to drive Stuart's cavalry away and locate Lee’s forces, but were thwarted. As result, Lee was able to move North, however Stuart’s cavalry was out of position. The great Southern cavalry commander would make his way North by heading first Southeast to Haymarket, VA then North, crossing the Potomac River just above Dranesville, VA. Thus Lee was deprived of Stuart’s services leading up to the great battle of Gettysburg.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsWar, US Civil
 
Confederate Artillery Position. image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 5, 2007
5. Confederate Artillery Position.
From here Hart's and Moorman's Batteries covered the bridge and countered Federal artillery.
Creek view of one arch of the bridge image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Mickert, October 4, 2008
6. Creek view of one arch of the bridge
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,260 times since then and 153 times this year. Last updated on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6. submitted on November 29, 2008, by Andrew Mickert of Round Hill, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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