Kelly's Ford

Kelly's Ford (HMRX1)

Location: Remington, VA 22734 Culpeper County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 28.64', W 77° 46.955'

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Cavalry and Coffee

Pickets of the opposing armies frequently exchanged gunfire over the Rappahannock River and occasionally swapped Yankee coffee for Rebel tobacco. On St. Patrick's Day, 1863, they did both here at Kelly's Ford, about 100 yards downstream from the bridge.

On this day the cavalry commands of two friends and former West Point classmates, Union Gen. William Averell and Confederate Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, clashed for nearly twelve hours in this vicinity. Averell crossed the ford into Culpeper County with orders to destroy Lee's brigade of Virginia cavalry encamped near here. His division succeeded in driving the Virginians back two miles along present-day Route 674 toward Elkwood. The day-long battle was notable for its numerous mounted saber charges, dismounted skirmishing and the mortal wounding of the "gallant" John Pelham, J.E.B. Stuart's fearless young artillery commander.

Although Averell retreated back over the Rappahannock as nightfall approached, he was delighted by the pluck and skill demonstrated by his Federal troopers, so much maligned in the past.

"He is in such high spirits that he leaves a package for Fitzhugh Lee at the river ford. Lee had left a note for his old classmate following the Rebel raid near Hartwood Church. It read, ?If you won't go home, return my visit and bring me a sack of coffee.' Averell has replied, "Dear Fitz: Here's your coffee. Here's your visit. How do you like it?'" —from Seasons of War by Daniel Sutherland [1995]. By Permission of The Free Press, a Division of Simon & Shuster.

(caption under large picture) The Kelly's Ford cavalry clash was marked by fierce hand to hand combat. Drawing from Frank Leslie's Illustrated History of the Civil War.

(caption under the map) The battle progressed in stages from the river to Elkwood. At nightfall, Gen. Averell withdrew across the river. Although technically a Confederate victory, the battle resulted in 146 Southerners killed, wounded and missing compared to a Federal loss of 85.
HM NumberHMRX1
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 11:56pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 257266 N 4262447
Decimal Degrees38.47733333, -77.78258333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 28.64', W 77° 46.955'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 28' 38.40" N, 77° 46' 57.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 16503-16599 State Rte 674, Remington VA 22734, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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