Gettysburg Campaign - Page 2
(June 9, 1863, Virginia) -
Sometimes called the Battle of Fleetwood Hill, this was the first of
the Gettysburg Campaign
battles. Occurring in Culpeper County, Virginia, the
Union cavalry corps under Major General Alfred Pleasonton launched a
surprise attack on
Major General James Ewell Brown "J.E.B." Stuart's cavalry
at Brandy Station at dawn on June 9, 1863. After an all-day fight in
which fortunes changed repeatedly, the Federals retired without
discovering Lee's infantry camped near Culpeper.
The Battle of Brandy
Station was the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North
American Continent. Of the 22,000 soldiers involved, about 17,000 were
of the mounted branch. Some 1,090 soldiers lost their lives in the
Winchester II (June 13-15, 1863,
Virginia) - The Second Battle of
Winchester, also referred to as the Frederick County or Winchester
Battle, occurred in Frederick County,
Virginia on June 13-15, 1863.
After the Battle of Brandy Station several days earlier on June 9th,
Robert E. Lee ordered the II Corps, Army of Northern Virginia,
under Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell, to clear the lower
Shenandoah Valley of Union opposition.
columns converged on Winchester’s garrison commanded by Brigadier
General Robert Milroy. After fighting on the afternoon of June 13 and
the capture of West Fort by the Louisiana Brigade on June 14, Milroy
abandoned his entrenchments after dark in an attempt to reach Charles
Town. General Edward "Allegheny” Johnson’s division conducted a
night flanking march and before daylight of the 15th cut off Milroy’s
retreat just north of Winchester at Stephenson’s Depot. More than
2,400 Federals surrendered. This
Confederate victory cleared the Valley of Union troops
and opened the door for Lee's
second invasion of the North. Of the 19,500 troops involved, the total
loss was 4,709, of which 4,443 were Union and just 266 Confederate.
Confederate Major General
Ewell Brown "JEB" Stuart.
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17, 1863, Virginia) -
Taking place in Loudoun County, Virginia,
Major General James Ewell Brown "J.E.B." Stuart's cavalry screened
infantry as it marched north behind the sheltering Blue Ridge. The
pursuing Federals of Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick’s brigade, in
the advance of Brigadier General David M. Gregg's division,
encountered Confederate Colonel Thomas Munford's troopers near the
village of Aldie, resulting in four hours of stubborn fighting. Both
sides made mounted assaults by regiments and squadrons. Kilpatrick was
reinforced in the afternoon, and Munford withdrew toward Middleburg.
Some 250 men lost their lives in the skirmish.
(June 17-19, 1863, Virginia) -
On the same date as the Battle of Aldie, another was also taking place
in Loudoun County in Middleburg.
Major General James Ewell Brown "J.E.B." Stuart,
Robert E. Lee's invasion route, sparred with Major General Alfred
Pleasonton's Union cavalry. On June 17, Col. Alfred Duffié’s isolated
1st Rhode Island Cavalry Regiment was attacked by the brigades of
Confederate Colonels Thomas Munford and Beverly Robertson. The 1st
Rhode Island Cavalry was routed, taking about 250 casualties. On June
19, Colonel J. Irvin Gregg’s brigade advanced, driving
Stuart's cavalry one mile beyond the town. Both sides were
reinforced, and both mounted and dismounted skirmishing continued.
Stuart was gradually levered out of his
position but fell back to a second ridge, still covering the
approaches to the Blue Ridge gap. Some 390 soldiers lost their lives
during the battle.
21, 1863, Virginia) - Two days
later, yet another battle would be fought in Loudoun County, Virginia
on June 21, 1863. In the Upperville Battle, the Union cavalry made a
determined effort to pierce
Major General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry screen.
Stuart had been fighting a series of delaying
actions in the Loudoun Valley, hoping to keep Union General Alfred
Pleasonton's cavalry from discovering the location of the main body of
Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, much of which was in the
Shenandoah Valley just west of the small village of Upperville.
Union General Alfred Pleasonton.
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Stuart was Brigadier General Wade Hampton's and
Colonel Bevery Robertson’s brigades, who made a stand at Goose Creek, west
of Middleburg, and beat back Colonel J. Irvin Gregg’s division.
Union Cavalry Officer John Buford's column detoured to attack the
Confederate left flank near Upperville but encountered Confederate
Brigadier Generals William E. "Grumble” Jones’s and John R.
Chambliss’s brigades while J. Irvin Gregg’s and Judson Kilpatrick’s
brigades advanced on the Upperville from the east along the Little River
Turnpike. After furious mounted fighting,
Stuart withdrew to take a strong defensive
position in Ashby Gap, even as Confederate infantry crossed the Potomac
into Maryland. As cavalry skirmishing diminished,
Stuart made the fateful decision to strike east
and make a circuit of the Union army as it marched toward Gettysburg.
In the battle, 400 soldiers lost their lives.
Having finally crossed over into York County, Pennsylvania, Major
General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry, which was riding north
to get around the Union army, attacked a Union cavalry regiment, driving
it through the streets of Hanover. Brigadier General Farnsworth’s brigade
arrived and counterattacked, routing the
Confederate vanguard and nearly
Stuart continued to battle, but when Farnsworth
was reinforced by Brigadier General George A. Custer’s brigade, a
Stuart was forced to continue
north and east to get around the Union cavalry, further delaying his
attempt to rejoin Lee's army which was then concentrating at Cashtown Gap west of
Gettysburg. The battle cost the lives of some 330 men.
Continued Next Page
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