Battle of Upperville

Battle of Upperville (HM1WS)

Location: Upperville, VA 20184 Fauquier County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 59.756', W 77° 53.471'

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"Thus Passes a Sunday in War"

— 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.

In the fields around this intersection, the Battle of Upperville came to a bloody end. The fighting occurred here on the afternoon of Sunday, June 21, 1863. It concluded five days of cavalry engagements along a twelve-mile corridor - from Aldie to Upperville - of the Ashby's Gap Turnpike (present-day U.S. Rte. 50).

Here, along Trappe Road behind you, North Carolina cavalrymen under Gen. Beverly Robertson took positions behind stone walls lining the road. They covered the hurried retreat of the Southern cavalry westward to the safety of Ashby's Gap at the top of the Blue Ridge. As Robertson's men watched and waited, the 1st Maine Cavalry suddenly galloped into view from the village to drive the Confederates out. A volley from the North Carolinians brought them up short. A confused, hand-to-hand fracas ensued where you stand, as the Maine men dismounted behind a stone wall north of the turnpike and fired into the Southern troops. At last, the 2nd New York and the 4th and 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry rode up and chased Robertson's men out of Upperville, and the battle was over.

In the last minutes of this fight, another of the many tragedies of war occurred. Col. Peter Evans, commanding the 5th North Carolina, ordered one final charge and spurred his horse toward Northerners swarming through this intersection, never having heard Robertson countermand his order. Only a handful of his men followed him before he went down mortally wounded.

Years later, a Union officer, reflecting on this bloody day, remarked, "Thus passes a Sunday in war."
HM NumberHM1WS
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2008
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 3:58am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 249610 N 4320302
Decimal Degrees38.99593333, -77.89118333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 59.756', W 77° 53.471'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 59' 45.36" N, 77° 53' 28.26" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9259 John S Mosby Hwy, Upperville VA 20184, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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