Mine Run Campaign, Virginia

6th Corps returning from Mine Run

The Mine Run Campaign in Virginia was an unsuccessful attempt of the Union Army of the Potomac to defeat the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. Lasting from November 27 to December 2, 1863, the campaign was marked by false starts and low casualties and ended hostilities in the Eastern Theater for the year.

After the affair at Bristoe Station on October 14, 1863, the Union Second Corps under Gouverneur K. Warren retreated to Centreville, where it rendezvoused with the rest of the Army of the Potomac. President Abraham Lincoln and General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck insisted that Major General George Meade bring Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army to battle, their frustration having grown in the months since Gettysburg.

Mine Run (November 27-December 2, 1863) – Also known as the Battles of Payne’s Farm and New Hope Church, these battles took place in Orange County, Virginia. Payne’s Farm and New Hope Church were the first and heaviest clashes of the Mine Run Campaign. In late November 1863, Major General George Meade attempted to steal a march through the Wilderness and strike the Confederate army’s right flank south of the Rapidan River. Confederate Major General Jubal A. Early, in command of Ewell’s Corps, marched east on the Orange Turnpike to meet the advance of Union General William French’s III Corps near Payne’s Farm. Union General Joseph Carr’s division attacked twice. Confederate Major General Edward Johnson’s division counterattacked but was scattered by heavy fire and broken terrain. After dark, General Robert E. Lee withdrew to prepared field fortifications along Mine Run. The next day the Union army closed on the Confederate position. Skirmishing was heavy, but a major attack did not materialize. General Meade concluded that the Confederate line was too strong to attack and retired during the night of December 1-2, ending the winter campaign. The inconclusive battle resulted in an estimated 1,272 Union casualties and 680 Confederate.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser-Alexander/Legends of America, updated May 2021.

Also See:

Campaigns of the Civil War

Civil War Main Page

Virginia Civil War Battles

Virginia Civil War Gallery


National Park Service Battle Descriptions (no longer available online)
National Park Service Civil War