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

Mosby’s Rangers

Battle of Miskel Farm


—March 31, 1863 —

Mosby's Rangers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 19, 2007
1. Mosby's Rangers Marker
Inscription. Captain John Singleton Mosby and 69 of his Confederate ranger troop were surprised at dawn while sleeping here in the Miskel farmhouse and hay barn by 150 Union cavalry. Though greatly outnumbered, Captain Mosby led his rangers on foot with revolvers and sabers to complete victory over the entire Union force. Not only did Mosby and his troop escape the trap, but they accounted for 23 Union casualties and 82 prisoners, losing only 6 men themselves. For this remarkable feat Mosby was promoted to Major by General Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy.
Erected by Potomac Historical Society.
Location. 39° 3.607′ N, 77° 25.911′ W. Marker is in Sterling, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is at the intersection of Dairy Lane and Bobwhite Lane, on the left on Dairy Lane. Touch for map. It is at the entrance to Miskel Farm. Marker is in this post office area: Sterling VA 20165, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Vestal's Gap Road IV (approx. 2.2 miles away); Vestal's Gap Road III (approx. 2.2 miles away); Vestal's Gap Road II (approx. 2.3 miles away); Vestal's Gap Road I
Marker is at the Entrance to the Miskel Farm image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 19, 2007
2. Marker is at the Entrance to the Miskel Farm
(approx. 2.3 miles away); Norman's Station (approx. 2.7 miles away); Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park (approx. 3 miles away); Belmont (approx. 3 miles away); Vestal's Gap Road (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sterling.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Ranger Dick Moran and the Battle of Miskel's Farm.
Additional comments.
1. Battle of Miskel Farm
The fight that took place at the farm is noteworthy for several reasons, foremost is Mosby’s decisive victory in the face of rather imposing Union forces. Mosby had arrived in the area on March 30, 1863, basically looking for a fight. He had not located Federal forces where he expected them at Dranesville. So he opted to overnight at the Miskel Farm. What he didn't know was his movements were tracked by Union signal stations (most likely the one on Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland).

The next morning 150 men led by Captain Henry C. Flint, 1st Vermont Cavalry, rode into the outer farm enclosure and closed the gate behind. Normally, this would have sealed
Miskel Farm House image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 19, 2007
3. Miskel Farm House
Mosby and his men were welcomed here and allowed to overnight, given food and forage. Mosby slept in the house next to the fireplace on the night of March 30, 1863. The farm house has been updated several times since the time of the battle. The barn where most of the Rangers stayed has been torn down.
Mosby’s fate, trapping him and his command. But Flint split his forces, granting Mosby's men some time to organize.

Moving quickly Mosby determined he could defeat his foes by working against the divided forces and counterattack. The move was further encouraged by ineffective fire from the Union cavalry. The Federal superior numbers negated, they were soon forced to fall back, to the very gate they had closed earlier. Shortly many of the Federal cavalrymen were captured, killed, or wounded before they could break out through the gate.
    — Submitted July 20, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 20, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,920 times since then and 116 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 20, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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