~ War Comes to Rappahannock Station ~

The Crossroads of Conflict — Remington became the site of some of the fiercest fighting during the Civil War. The fighting often drew close to this town because of its strategic location on the Rappahannock River, and for the railroad which passed through town. Kelly's Ford was the site of numerous engagements contesting its river crossing. The Battle of Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle of the war, and it swelled around this small town in June of 1863.

Today, many vestiges of war remain visible. Both Union and Confederate earthworks are still clearly visible in many areas, as are the ruins of bridges, mills, and other structures which suffered the ravages of war.

Listed below are some synopses of the fighting around Rappahannock Station during the war. ( Courtesy of Wikipedia and the National Park Service. )

general popeThe First Battle — The First Battle of Rappahannock Station, also variously known as Waterloo Bridge, White Sulphur Springs, Lee Springs, or Freeman's Ford, took place from August 22 – 25, 1862, in Culpeper County and Fauquier County, Virginia, as part of the Northern Virginia Campaign of the Civil War.

In early August, Lee determined that George B. McClellan's army was being withdrawn from the Virginia Peninsula to reinforce John Pope. He sent James Longstreet from Richmond to join Thomas J. "Stonewall” Jackson's wing of the army near Gordonsville and arrived to take command himself on August 15. On August 20 and 21, Pope withdrew to the line of the Rappahannock River. On August 23, J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry made a daring raid on Pope's headquarters at Catlett Station, showing that the Union right flank was vulnerable to a turning movement. Over the next several days, August 22 – 25, the two armies fought a series of minor actions along the Rappahannock River, including Waterloo Bridge, Lee Springs, Freeman's Ford, and Sulphur Springs, resulting in a few hundred casualties. Together, these skirmishes primed Pope's army along the river, while Jackson's wing marched via Thoroughfare Gap to capture Bristoe Station and destroy Federal supplies at Manassas Junction, far in the rear of Pope's army.

photo of boq

Quarters of Field and Staff Officers, 50th New York Engineers at Rappahannock Station, VA, March 1864. The lumber was stolen from a nearby church, St. Luke's Episcopal.

Read excerpts from the Official Records of the Civil War about one engagement near Remington.

Learn more about Civil War battlefield preservation by visiting the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) web site.

(then known as Rappahannock Station) was the site of much Civil War activity."

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jpelhamBattle of Kelly's Ford, also known as the Battle of Kellysville, took place on March 17, 1863 in Culpeper County, Virginia as part of the cavalry operations along the Rappahannock River during the American Civil War. Kelly's Ford was one of the early larger scale cavalry fights in Virginia that set the stage for Brandy Station and cavalry actions of the Gettysburg Campaign. Twenty-one hundred troopers of Brig. Gen. William W. Averell's cavalry division crossed the Rappahannock River to attack the Confederate cavalry. Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee counterattacked with a brigade of about 800 men. The “Gallant” Pelham was killed. After achieving a localized success, Union forces withdrew in mid-afternoon.

battle of brandy stationBattle of Brandy Station — On June 9, 1863.Union Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton attacked Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry near Brandy Station mistakenly believing it to be a smaller force. Pleasonton's force numbered 10,000 while Stuart had approximately 9,000 under his command. At dawn on June 9th, the Union cavalry corps launched a surprise attack on Stuart's cavalry at Brandy Station. After an all-day fight in which fortunes changed repeatedly, the Federals retired without discovering Lee's infantry camped near Culpeper. This battle marked the apogee of the Confederate cavalry in the East. From this point in the war, the Federal cavalry gained strength and confidence. Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle of the war and the opening engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign.

photo of general earlyBattle of Rappahannock Station — November 7, 1863. During the Bristoe Campaign, the Union army affected a crossing of the Rappahannock River in two places. An early morning attack overran the Confederate bridgehead at Rappahannock Station, capturing more than 1,600 men of Jubal Early's Division. Fighting at Kelly's Ford was less severe with about 430 casualties, but the Confederates retreated allowing the Federals across in force. On the verge of going into winter quarters around Culpeper, Lee's army retired instead into Orange County south of the Rapidan River. The Army of the Potomac occupied the vicinity of Brandy Station and Culpeper County.

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