Bristoe Station

Bristoe Station (HM14A0)

Location: Bristow, VA 20136 Prince William County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 43.417', W 77° 32.721'

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Confederates in Bristoe

On the afternoon of August 26, 1862, about 350 yards ahead, you would have witnessed a long line of freight trains containing dusty Federal infantrymen passing from the marshalling yards of Alexandria (to your left) on their way to the Federal camps at Warrenton Junction, (14 miles to your right). These were men of Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's division, III Corps, Army of the Potomac. These veteran regiments were part of the reinforcements to the Army of Virginia under Maj. Gen. Pope, who faced Gen. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia across the Rappahannock River. Only a few hours later, at dusk, the lead elements of Maj. Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's Left Wing of the Army of Northern Virginia arrived here via the road from Gainesville, (behind you) completing a two-day march of more than 50 miles designed to cut the Federal supply line and force Pope from his river line of defense.

After overwhelming the Federal guards, Col. Thomas Munford's 2nd Virginia Cavalry and Col. Henry Forno's famed Louisiana "Tiger" Brigade captured Bristoe Station. Minutes later, the empty Federal freight trains began to return from Warrenton Junction. The lead train escaped with only a few bullet holes, but the Confederates were ready for the next train.

The locomotive, aptly named the "President," plunged over the embankment and lodged in the soft ground below. A third train plowed into the rear of the stalled second train and sent three cars off the track. A fourth train was able to reverse course and escape to Catlett Station with the news of the Confederate presence on the railroad. Pope did not know that Jackson's entire force of 23,000 Confederate soldiers had gained the rear of his army.

(Sidebar): Up to this time Pope was in absolute ignorance of the dangerous position he was in. Just after we captured the place Bristoe, from some blunder about turning the switch, a train from Pope's army got by, much to our vexation, as this might put the forces at Manassas Junction and Alexandria on their guard; but in the darkness it seems they did not realize what force we had. Capt. W.W. Blackford, CSA
HM NumberHM14A0
Year Placed2012
Placed ByPrince William County Department of Public Works, Historic Preservation Division
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 8:54pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 278722 N 4289182
Decimal Degrees38.72361667, -77.54535000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 43.417', W 77° 32.721'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 43' 25.02" N, 77° 32' 43.26" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10707 General Kirkland Dr, Bristow VA 20136, US
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