The Battle of Brandy Station

The Battle of Brandy Station (HM2CZ)

Location: Brandy Station, VA 22714 Culpeper County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 30.449', W 77° 52.997'

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The Struggle for Fleetwood Hill

After Col. Wyndham's assaults, Col. Judson Kilpatrick's Federal brigade crossed the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and stormed Fleetwood Hill from the southeast. The fight for Fleetwood Hill - a classic cavalry battle fought on horseback - became a lethal game of King of the Hill. Sabers clanged against sabers, cannon boomed, pistols rang out, and the choking dust made it difficult to tell "t'other from which," one Confederate recalled.

The hill changed hands several times as the battle devolved into a giant swirling melee: men from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Maine struggled against Virginians, Georgians, Carolinians, and Mississippians.

By late afternoon, the Federals had used all their reserves. Though Brig. Gen. John Buford continued to press back the Confederates on northern Fleetwood Hill, the southern slopes were held by exhausted but triumphant Southerners. After Col. Thomas Munford's fresh Confederate brigade arrived on Buford's flank and rear, the Union commander, Brig Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, saw that further effort was fruitless and ordered his subordinates to pull back across the Rappahannock River.

In nearly 14 hours of fighting, Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart lost about 500 men killed, wounded, or captured from his total force of 9,700 soldiers; Union Gen. Pleasonton lost some 900 of the 11,000 men under his command. These may seem like small numbers compared to the terrible toll paid at Gettysburg three weeks later, yet veterans remembered Brandy Station with pride as the largest and most hotly contested clash of sabers in a long and bloody war. Union cavalrymen and historians remember June 9 as the day Federal horsemen snatched the mantle of unquestioned superiority from their Confederate opponents. Most important, Robert E. Lee's infantry, poised to set out on their march north toward Gettysburg, remained undiscovered by the Federals.

Help Preserve Battlefields · call CWPT at 1-888-606-1400 · · The Hallowell Foundation generously contributed toward the interpretation of this site in memory of Carrington Williams.
This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.
HM NumberHM2CZ
Placed ByCivil War Preservation Trust
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 10:45am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 248585 N 4266064
Decimal Degrees38.50748333, -77.88328333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 30.449', W 77° 52.997'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 30' 26.94" N, 77° 52' 59.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 20298 State Rte 685, Brandy Station VA 22714, US
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