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excepting Warren's corps, which was not then in sight of the Confederates. The Third Corps, in the rear of the troops that had passed, was just crossing Broad Run, and Hill pushed forward to attack it. At about noon, when he was preparing to charge, he was startled by the apparition of Warren's corps coming upon his rear. This had outstripped Ewell's, whose advance it had encountered in the morning near Auburn, and was now pushing forward expecting to meet Sykes's at Bristow Station. Warren was again in a critical situation. Hill quickly turned upon him, and almost instantly brought his batteries in full play upon this unexpected foe. Warren was surprised for a moment, but in the space of ten minutes the batteries of Brown and Arnold were playing upon Hill in response, and these, assisted by the infantry divisions of Hayes and Webb,' soon drove the Confederates, and captured six of their guns, which were instantly turned upon the fugitives. A fank attack by Heth's (formerly Pettigrew's") was repulsed, with a Confederate loss of four hundred and fifty men made prisoners, with two battle-flags.

This was an effectual check upon Hill's advance, yet Warren was in great danger, for he found it unsafe to attempt to resume his march, and he stood at bay, skirmishing and maneuvering all the remainder of the afternoon. Just at sunset Ewell came up, and the Second Corps was actually confronted by nearly the whole of Lee's army; but before the latter was ready for an attack, Warren skillfully withdrew under cover of darkness, and joined the main army in the morning on the heights of Centre October 15, ville. Warren's loss in the BATTLE OF BRISTOW STATION was about two hundred in killed and wounded. Among the former was Colonel James F. Mallon, of the Forty-second New York. General Posey, of Hill's corps, was mortally wounded.

At Bristow Station the great race ended. Lee was beaten. Meade was strongly posted on the Heights of Centreville, and was too near the defenses of Washington' to allow his competitor to gain his rear; so Lee, after pushing a thin line to Bull's Run to mask his designs, effectually destroyed the Orange and Alexandria railway, from Bristow to the Rappahannock, and then began a retreat with his whole army. Meade followed him the next day, but could not touch him, excepting with his cavalry. These were almost continually engaged in spirited but not serious skirmishing, excepting in an encounter on Broad Run, near Buckland's Mills, between the divisions of Kilpatrick and Hampton, the latter under the personal directions of Stuart. Kilpatrick was defeated by a stratagem. Stuart allowed him to flank Hampton, when the latter fell back, making way for Fitzhugh Lee to come down from Auburn, and fall on Kilpatrick's flank. This was done. At the same moment Stuart pressed his front, and Kilpatrick was driven back in some confusion, and a loss of over one hundred men made prisoners. The brunt of this heavy skirmish was borne by General Custer's brigade. On the following day, Leg crossed the Rappahannock, while Meade, in consequence of the destruction of the Orange and Alexandria railway, over which his supplies must pass, was unable to follow him further than Warrenton, for about three weeks.


1 The brunt of the encounter fell chiefly on Webb's First and Third Brigades, and Hayes's Third. ? See page 72.

3 See map on page 24, volume II.

3 Oct. 18.

cOct. 19.




In the audacious movement of Lee from the Rapid Anna to Bull's Run, and his retreat behind the Rappahannock, and the foiling maneuvers of Meade, each army lost, in killed and wounded, about five hundred men. The Confederates claimed to have captured two thousand prisoners, besides over four hundred taken by General J. D. Imboden, who, while in the Shenandoah, watching the gaps of the Blue Ridge, suddenly swept down upon

Charlestown, not far from Harper's Ferry, on the day when Lee October 18, began his retreat,“ seized the post, and bore away prisoners and

stores. He had scarcely secured these, when he was compelled to fall back, fighting a superior Union force which had come up from Harper's Ferry, all the way to Berryville. There, under cover of darkness, Imboden escaped with his prisoners and spoils.'

When the railway from Warrenton to the Rappahannock was repaired, Meade asked permission of the General-in-Chief to move rapidly upon Fredericksburg and seize the heights there, so as to make that point a base of operations against Richmond. Halleck opposed the project, and Meade was compelled to go forward from Warrenton in the beaten track, if at all. He did so early on the morning of the 7th of November, General Sedgwick, with the Fifth and Sixth Corps, composing the right wing, leading, followed by General French, with the First, Second, and Third Corps, composing the left wing. Sedgwick's column marched for the Rappahannock, at Rappahannock Station, and French's moved toward the same stream at Kelley's Ford. Lee, then in position near Culpepper Court-House, had outposts at these crossings.

At Rappahannock Station Sedgwick found the strong works thrown up previously by the Nationals on the north side of the river, and now covering a pontoon bridge, occupied by about two thousand men, of Early's division of Ewell's corps, under Colonel Godwin, composed of Hayes's Louisiana brigade, and Hoke's brigade of North Carolinians, just sent over. These works, consisting of a fort, two redoubts, and lines of rifle-pits, were on a ridge, with an open lowland traversed by a muddy ditch, and a dry moat, deep and broad, between them and the approaching Nationals. Sedgwick reached the vicinity at noon, and behind a hill, a mile away, he formed a battle-line, and then gradually advanced toward the river on each flank of

1 Lee's failure now, as well as in his invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania, to gain any positive advantages for the Confederate cause, military or political, produced much dissatisfaction, especially among those who hoped for a counter-revolution in the Free-labor States. “Alas !" they exclaimed, in substance, "the golden opportunity is passed. The elections in Ohio and Pennsylvania have gone for the war candidates. We must now rely on ourselves, under God, for independence, for Northern support is a delusion."-See A Rebel War. Clerk's Diary, ii. 80. Early in September, when Lee, driven from Maryland, was lying behind the Rappahannock, a Richmond paper said: “The success of the Democratic party would be no longer doubtful, should General Lee once more advance on Meade. General Lee must turn politician as well as warrior, and we believe he will prove the most successful politician the Confederacy ever produced. Ile may 80 move and direct his ariny as to produce political results, which, in their bearing upon this war, will prove more effectual than the bloodiest victories. Let him drive Meade into Washington, and he will again raise the spirits of the Democrats, confirm their timid, and give confidence to their wavering. He will embolien the Peace Party should he again cross the Putomac, for he will show the people of Pennsylvania how little security they have from Lincoln for the protection of their homes. It matters not whether the advance be made for purposes of permanent occupation, or simply for a grand raid, it will demonstrate that, in the third year of the war, they are so far from the subjugation of the Confederate States, that the defense of Maryland and Pennsyivania bas not been secured. A fall campaign into Pennsylvania, with the hands of our soldiers untied, not for indiscriminate plunder-lemoralizing and undisciplining the army—but a campaign for a systematic and organized retaliation and punishment, would arouse the popular mind to the uncertainty and insecurity of Pennsylvania. This would react upon the representatives in Congress, strengthening the Democrats, and mollifying even to the hard shell of fanaticism itself."- Richmond Enquirer, September 7, 1563.




the works, with General David A. Russell's division of the Sixth Corps (the latter now commanded by General Wright) moving upon the center. The First Brigade, under Colonel P. C. Ellmaker, of the One Hundred and Nineteenth Pennsylvania,' was in the van of this division, and when, just before sunset, directions were given to storm the works, these troops gallantly performed the task. They moved forward in two columns, with one half of the Sixth Maine deployed as skirmishers. The Fifth Wisconsin, in solid column, pressed up close behind them, while the Twentieth Maine, of Upton's (Second) brigade, closed in on the left of the Wisconsin troops, and advanced in line with the Sixth Maine. The gallant Russell now ordered a charge on the strongest redoubt. There was an instant and grand response. With fixed bayonets the van of stormers rushed through a tempest of canister-shot and bullets, followed by the remainder of the First Brigade, and, after a struggle of a few minutes, the redoubt was carried. In that charge the slaughter of the Unionists was fearful, but their effort was entirely successful. At the same time two regiments of Upton's brigade,' after firing a single volley, charged the rifle-trenches, drove the foe, and sweeping down to the pontoon bridge, cut off the retreat of the garrison. Over sixteen hundred prisoners, with four guns, eight battle-flags, two thousand small-arms, and the pontoon bridge, were the fruits of the National victory in the BATTLE OF RAPPAHANNOCK STATION, The Union loss was about three hundred in killed and wounded.

While the right column was thus achieving victory, the left was no less successful, but without much struggle. The Third Corps, commanded by General Birney, reached Kelly's Ford while the right column was engaged above. Without waiting for the laying of a pontoon bridge, Birney's own division of that corps, under General Ward, waded across the river, and an attacking party under General De Trobriand, under cover of batteries, carried rifle-pits and captured five hundred Confederates on the south side of the stream, with slight loss on the part of the victors. The pontoon bridge was then laid, and at dusk the Third Corps was all on the southern side of the Rappahannock, confronting the foe in force. Birney advanced early the next morning to the railway within two miles of Brandy Station, the Confederates falling back before him, when he was ordered to halt.

Lee, who was preparing to go into winter quarters near Culpepper CourtHouse, was alarmed by this unexpected and successful advance of his antagonist, and he prudently resolved to withdraw to a stronger position, for his force did not then exceed fifty thousand men, while Meade's was about seventy thousand. Fortunately for Lee, Meade, whose army was all on the

, south side of the Rappahannock on the morning of the 8th,“ did not immediately advance, and, under cover of the darkness that night, the Confederates withdrew beyond the Rapid Anna, leaving the Nationals to take quiet possession of the region the latter were occupying when the retreat toward Washington began. The railway was soon com108

Nov., 1863.

1 Composed of the Fifth Wisconsin, Sixth Maine, and Forty-ninth and One Hundred and Nineteenth Pennsylvania

2 One Hundred and Twenty-first New York and Fifth Maine.

& Ward's Third Brigade, composed of Burdan's sharp-shooters, the Fortieth New York, First and Twentieth Ladiana, Third and Fifth Michigan, and One Hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania.

4 See page 103.


pleted to and across the Rappahannock to Brandy Station, and the last named place was made a general depot of supplies for the Army of the Potomac. Meade lay quietly between the Rappahannock and the Rapid Anna until

late in the month, « Nov., 1863

watching for a favorable opportunity to advance on his foe. It might have been more prudent for him to have gone into winter quarters, but the impatience and clamor of the public, because of the seeming unfruitfulness of the whole summer and autumn campaigns since the Battle of Gettysburg, and Meade's own eagerness to act, made him resolve to strike a blow so soon as a wise prudence would allow. So, when the bridge over the Rappahannock, which he destroyed on his retreat,' had been rebuilt, and his communication with

his supplies and the capital CULPEPPER COURT-HOUSE.?

were full and perfect, he planned a forward movement of great boldness, and proceeded to put it into execution.

The strength of Lee's army was now weakened by expansion over a large surface. His right, composed of Ewell's corps (was resting on the Rapid Anna at Morton's Ford (leaving all the lower fords of that stream uncovered), and extending to Liberty Mills, west of Orange Court-House; and Hill's corps was distributed in cantonments for winter, along the railway, from a little south of the latter point to Charlottesville, leaving wide gaps between the two corps. Lee had also constructed, for the defense of his right flank, a line of intrenchments along Mine Run, whose course is perpen dicular to the Rapid Anna from Bartley's Run to its mouth, at Morton's Ford. Meade quickly perceived Lee's weak points, and determined to attempt to turn his right, and, sweeping around toward Orange Court-House, overwhelm Ewell, turn the works on Mine Run, and, thrusting his army between the two corps of his antagonist, destroy them in detail, and secure an effectual lodgment at Orange and Gordonsville. This movement would involve the perilous measure of cutting loose from supplies. Meade took the risk. Providing his troops with ten days' rations, he moved forward at six o'clock

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i See page 103.

2 This is a view of the building which gave name to one of the pleasantest villages in Virginia before the war broke out, and which was made famous by the stirring scenes of that war which occurred in its neighborhood. The old courthouse walls and its whole external structure survived the war, but its interior was destroyed; and when, in October, 1866, the writer visited and sketched it, it was yet a mere shell, and presented the appearance given in the picture



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Nov. 27.

on the morning of the 26th, leaving his trains parked at Richardsville, on the north side of the Rapid Anna. The plan of advance was

Nov., 1863. for the corps of French, followed by Sedgwick, to cross the river at Jacobs's Mill Ford, and march toward Robertson's tavern, on the Orange turnpike; while Warren's, destined for the same point, for the purpose of a junction with the others, should cross at Germania Ford. Sykes's, followed by two divisions of Newton's, was to cross at Culpepper Mine Ford, and march for Parker's store and IIope Church, on the Orange plank road. The right and left columns of the army would thus be placed in close communication, on parallel roads. Gregg, with his cavalry, was to cross at Elly's Ford and take position on the extreme left; and to the cavalry divisions of Custer and Merritt was assigned the duty of watching the upper fords of the Rapid Anna and the trains at Richardsville.

Meade had calculated the time of his march to the vicinity of Orange Court-House at not more than thirty-six hours, if all the prescribed movements should be made promptly. But the necessary conditions were not fulfilled. Instead of crossing the Rapid Anna that morning, and reaching Robertson's tavern and Parker's store that evening, so as to surprise the foe, nearly the whole day was consumed in the passage of the river, owing to the tardiness of French's troops, mistakes of engineers in the construction of the pontoon bridges, and the difficulties in getting the artillery up

the steep banks of the stream at the fords. It was ten o'clock the next day before any of the troops destined for Robertson's tavern reached that point, when the movement had become known to the foe, and Warren, who, with ten thousand men, followed by the reserve artillery, was in the advance, was confronted by the divisions of Early, Rodes, and Johnson, of Ewell's corps. Brisk skirmishing at once began, but Warren was ordered not to seriously engage the Confederates until French should come up. That officer had taken the wrong road in the morning, and had fallen in and skirmished with Johnson's division, of Ewell's corps, near the Widow Morris's. This, and other causes of delay, kept him back until night, when Warren was so hard pressed that Meade had been compelled to send troops from the left to his assistance. This failure of French to come up in time almost exhausted Meade's patience, for it frustrated all his plans. Lee had penetrated his designs, and had ample time to make dispositions accordingly. He withdrew Ewell's corps, called up Hill, and concentrated his whole army on the west bank of Mine Run, when he strengthened and so extended his fortifications along the line of that stream, that they crossed the two highways upon which Meade's army lay.

Lee's position was made a very strong one. His army was in a series of hills forming an irregular ridge, extending north and south about eight miles. On these hills the fortifications lay, the natural shape of the former making proper angles of defense. In the rear and on the flanks of this position was a tangled forest, similar to that of the Wilderness; and a little

a more than a thousand yards in front was Mine Run, with marshy, abrupt, or timbered banks. In front of all was a strong abatis, made of a thick growth of pines.

? See page 25.

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