Battle of Aldie

Battle of Aldie (HM1WG)

Location: Aldie, VA 20105 Loudoun County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 58.521', W 77° 38.465'

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The Fight Begins

— Gettysburg Campaign —

(Preface): After Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's stunning victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, he led the Army of Northern Virginia west to the Shenandoah Valley, then north through central Maryland and across the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania. Union Gen. George G. Meade, who replaced Gen. Joseph Hooker on June 28, led the Army of the Potomac in pursuit. The armies collided at Gettysburg on July 1, starting a battle that neither general planned to fight there. Three days later, the defeated Confederates retreated, crossing the Potomac River into Virginia on July 14.

On June 17-21, 1863, several cavalry battles erupted along the narrow roads, steep-banked streams, and stone-walled fields of the Loudoun Valley from Aldie west to the Blue Ridge. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's infantry was on a stealthy march west to the Shenandoah Valley. Lee ordered Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and his cavalry corps to screen the infantry from Union forces. Stuart established his headquarters in Middleburg and dispatched Col. Thomas T. Munford's 2,000-man cavalry brigade east to Aldie. There, two macadamized turnpikes led west to Ashby's Gap and northwest to Snickers Gap, while the Carolina Road, a strategic north-south transportation route, was located just to the east.

Union Gen. Joseph Hooker meanwhile, instructed Gen. Alfred Pleasonton and his cavalry corps to find Lee's infantry. On June 17, Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick's 1,200-man cavalry brigade approached Aldie from your right as part of Munford's command entered from the west. That afternoon, the 2nd New York Cavalry at the head of Kilpatricks's column collided with a 2nd Virginia Cavalry company scouting east of here. The New Yorkers drew sabers and charged, driving the outnumbered Confederates back past the mill. The noise attracted the 5th Virginia Cavalry from Dover a short distance west, and the Southern horsemen, brandishing pistols and sabers chased the Federals back down the road in front of the mill. As additional Union cavalry units arrived to support the New Yorkers, the Confederates withdrew west to higher ground. There the fighting soon resumed in earnest.
HM NumberHM1WG
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2007
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 3:42pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 271207 N 4317359
Decimal Degrees38.97535000, -77.64108333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 58.521', W 77° 38.465'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 58' 31.26" N, 77° 38' 27.90" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 39401 John Mosby Hwy, Aldie VA 20105, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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