Battle of Kelly's Ford

Battle of Kelly's Ford (HM17ET)

Location: Remington, VA 22734 Culpeper County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 30.63', W 77° 49.28'

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Union Cavalry Comes of Age

On March 17, 1863, Union Gen. William W. Averell led 2,100 horsemen to the northern bank of the Rappahannock River at Kelly's Ford, four miles in front of you, under orders to "rout or destroy" Confederate Gen. Fitzhugh Lee and his cavalry command in their camps at Culpeper Court House.

Pounding through the hail of flying lead, Averell's men advanced about a mile toward his objective before Lee counterattacked near Wheatley's Ford. Dismounted Union troopers hurled back the gray cavalry from behind a stone wall and mortally wounded artillerist John Pelham, one of the Confederacy's most beloved heroes, before re-mounting and chasing the Virginians into the fields in front of you. Here the two lines crashed together several times in a savage melee.

In a swirling brawl punctuated by pistol shots, saber clashes, and cries of "To the death!" the Federals forced their opponents back across Carter's Run, the small stream about 1,200 yards in front of you. With artillery fire arching overhead, Lee desperately rallied his shaken men where you now stand. At this point, after eight hours of hard fighting, Averell chose to withdraw. Although the New Yorker had failed to "rout or destroy" his foe, the Battle of Kelly's Ford proved that the reorganized and refitted Union cavalry was now a combat force to be reckoned with.

"I wish you would put up your sword, leave my state, and go home. You ride a good horse, I ride a better. If you won't go home, returned my visit, and bring me a sack of coffee." - Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, letter to Gen. William W. Averell after the action at Hartwood Church

"Here's your coffee. Here's your visit. How did you like it? How's that horse?" - Gen. William W. Averell, letter to Gen. Fitzhugh Lee after the Battle of Kelly's Ford
HM NumberHM17ET
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2013
Placed ByVirginia Civil Wa Trails and Civil War Trust
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 8:20am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 253998 N 4266231
Decimal Degrees38.51050000, -77.82133333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 30.63', W 77° 49.28'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 30' 37.80" N, 77° 49' 16.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 13657-13689 State Rte 673, Remington VA 22734, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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