The Campaigns in the Virginia Theater 186365

PENNSYLVANIA

Gettysburg

Hagerstown ¿3

Harpers Ferry

Hagerstown ¿3

Nti?

Harpers Ferry t

■ WESTVIRGINIA

Winchester /

C Kernstown Fisher's Hill ^ ' Strasburg

Winchester /

f Frederick

WASH!

Brtsioe Station /

Baltimore

WASHINGTON

Harrisonburg

Port Republic ^^

Piedmont

^ Brandy Station Rappahannock , . * Station

Culpeper *

Charlottesville

Orange^ Gordonsvílle ,

Trevylian

Lexington

%„ Hanover \ Hanover % Ju0™n ' V Court House ä

Boiling Green Mil te ri

Hanover Town

Boiling Green Mil te ri

ArkU.J

Hanover Town

ArkU.J

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH CAROLINA

25 miles

The Confederates counterattack at Brandy Station. (Painting by Don Troiani, www.historicalartprints.com)

to lift the heel of war from Virginia, not only for humanitarian reasons, but also to allow that home country to recover from hostile occupation so that it could sustain Lee's army in future months. The country north of the Potomac also offered a much wider field for

The Confederate high tide at Chancellorsville propelled Lee's army into a new campaign that swept north past Winchester into Maryland and then Pennsylvania, where the Federal Army of the Potomac repulsed it in the war's largest battle. During the fall of 1863, the two armies clashed again in Virginia at Bristoe Station, Rappahannock Station, and Mine Run, but none of those engagements developed into a major battle. The next spring, with Commander-in-Chief U. S. Grant accompanying it. the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan river and fought at Wilderness and Spotsylvania. Although they could not defeat Lee. the Federals determinedly pushed on to the North Anna Riven Cold Harbor; and the outskirts of Richmond and Petersburg. After 10 months attempting to break into the Confederate capital, Grant finally succeeded in April 1865 and Lee was forced to surrender at Appomattox Court House on the 9th.

The Confederates counterattack at Brandy Station. (Painting by Don Troiani, www.historicalartprints.com)

maneuver, a military element in which Lee excelled. An ostensible threat to the Federal political capital in Washington also held out potential advantages: knowing that his enemy must keep the city covered foreshadowed in mirror image the 1864 campaign in which Richmond served as a similar focus and pivot for Lee on the defensive.

Lee moved away from Fredericksburg and the Rappahannock river line early in June 1863, and headed northwestward through piedmont Virginia toward the Shenandoah valley. On 9 June his cavalry force fought one of the largest all-mounted engagements of the war around Brandy Station. Hooker had sent his own cavalry out with orders to 'disperse and destroy' the Confederates they found, and the Northern troopers came close to doing that. They completely surprised the

General Joseph Hooker. (Public domain)

usually vigilant Southern mounted men early in the morning and drove them some distance. A rally on the low, rounded eminence of Fleetwood Hill saved the day for General Stuart's men. They inflicted about 1,000 casualties on the Northern attackers and suffered half that many themselves.

General Joseph Hooker. (Public domain)

Brandy Station ended as a tactical draw, but Union troopers who had been battered relentlessly for two years had finally stood up to their adversaries and now had a positive experience upon which to build.

How Draw Civil War Weapons

General J. E. B. ('Jeb') Stuart led most of the Confederate cavalry on a long ride around the Federal army en route to Pennsylvania, thus depriving Lee of his 'eyes and ears' as he maneuvered toward Gettysburg. (Public domain)

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment