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

Rappahannock Station

A Rare Night Attack on the River

 

—Mosby’s Confederacy —

 
Rappahannock Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 1, 2007
1. Rappahannock Station Marker
Inscription. The hamlet of Mill View, present-day Remington, became known as Rappahannock Station to the Civil War armies which campaigned in this area. Here the vital Orange & Alexandria railroad (to your left) crossed the Rappahannock River just behind the low hills you are facing, near a grist mill. This stretch of the Rappahannock frequently was used as a strategic line of defense by the opposing armies.

The most significant action here occurred Nov. 7, 1863, when Gen. George Meade’s Union Army of the Potomac launched a rare night attack resulting in a stunning tactical victory and the capture of more than 1,600 troops of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Only 400 Confederates escaped the disaster, many by swimming the frigid waters of the Rappahannock. Lee’s staff officer, Walter H. Taylor, summarized the affair at Rappahannock Station as “the saddest chapter in the history of this army.” Little did he know at the time that this would be the Army of Northern Virginia’s last defense of the upper Rappahannock River for the remainder of the war. Federal forces established major camps near the river and the railroad.

On
Closeup of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
2. Closeup of Photo on Marker
The Rappahannock River Bridge at Mill View, August 1862. Photo courtesy of Fort Ward Museum
Nov. 23, 1863, repairs on the 572-foot-long bridge were completed and the O&A Railroad was again in service. Two days later, Col. John S. Mosby told Gen. J.E.B. Stuart that the railway guards now stood in sight of each other and attacks on that line were not advisable. In the same memo Mosby reported that since Nov. 5, his men had stolen more than 100 horses and mules, six wagons and captured 75 Yanks, all without losing a man.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 31.899′ N, 77° 48.567′ W. Marker is in Remington, Virginia, in Fauquier County. Marker is on Remington Road (Business U.S. 15/29) south of Summerduck Road (County Route 651). 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. Francis Hume (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fauquier County / Culpeper County (approx. 0.7 miles away); Battle of Kelly's Ford
Marker at Gas Station. image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 1, 2007
3. Marker at Gas Station.
Remington Road heading south out of town in the distance.
(approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Kelly's Ford (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 2.6 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 2.6 miles away); Where Pelham Fell (approx. 2.6 miles away); a different marker also named The Battle of Brandy Station (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Remington.
 
More about this marker. In the upper left is a photo of The winter encampment of the 50th New York Engineers at Rappahannock Station in March 1864. In the upper right is a photo of Refugees following the Union Army retreat in August 1862, ford the Rappahannock River at Mill View. The grist mill and railroad bridge are in the background. In the lower right is a photo of The Rappahannock River Bridge at Mill View, August 1862. (Photos courtesy of Fort Ward Museum)
 
Also see . . .
Present-Day Railroad Bridge Over the Rappahannock image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 1, 2007
4. Present-Day Railroad Bridge Over the Rappahannock
The Orange and Alexandria became the Southern and is now the Norfolk Southern Railroad. The railroad bridge was destroyed during the war, and at the time of the battle only the abutments and pilings stood.
 Battle of Rappahannock Station. This National Park Service summary also includes a self guided tour of the battlefield. (Submitted on September 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
Pontoon Bridge Site image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 16, 2009
5. Pontoon Bridge Site
Looking from the Remington Road (US Business 15) bridge over the Rappahannock, to the north, upstream. During the November 1863 battle a pontoon bridge spanned the river near the bend in the distance. Goodwin's and Hays' Confederate brigades were posted on the north side (right) to form a bridgehead.
Site of the Federal Attack image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 16, 2009
6. Site of the Federal Attack
From the intersection of River Road (CR 1202) and Remington Road (US Bus 15) looking back toward the river. Colonel Peter Ellmaker's brigade attacked across the ground here toward the Confederate positions close to the railroad line, crossing from right to left in this view. Small traces of the Confederate redoubt exist on private property at the end of River Road.
Remnant of Confederate redoubt on private property. image. Click for full size.
By Pete Payette, April 23, 2015
7. Remnant of Confederate redoubt on private property.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,595 times since then and 118 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 16, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on May 25, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   7. submitted on May 20, 2017, by Pete Payette of Orange, Virginia.
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