Battle of Upperville

Battle of Upperville (HMRX3)

Location: Upperville, VA 20184 Loudoun County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 0.524', W 77° 52.944'

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A Swirling Cavalry Fight

— Gettysburg Campaign —

(Preface): After Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's stunning victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, he led the Army of Northern Virginia went into the Shenandoah Valley, then north through 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.

Two Northern and Southern cavalry brigades totaling about 6,000 men, with horse artillery supporting both sides, clashed all around you here across the Ayrshire and Kirkby farms on the afternoon of June 21, 1863. This was part of the Battle of Upperville, which took place as Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry division blocked the Federal horsemen as they attempted to locate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army, then marching into the Shenandoah Valley.

Three miles to the southeast, Stuart struggled to hold Vineyard Hill just east of Upperville long enough for Gen. William E. Jones's and Col. John R. Chambliss's brigades to pass by here and through the critical road junction of Trappe Road and Ashby's Gap Turnpike. As the two Confederate brigades fought for their lives in these fields and raced south, Union Gen. John Buford, with Col. William Gamble's and Col. Thomas C. Devin's brigades, charged over the fields from the east. The staunch Confederate defense thwarted the Federal attack and gave Jones and Chambliss and their men an opening to withdraw past this point to the lofty slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Ashby's Gap near Paris. Stuart had succeeded in blocking the Federals, and Lee's army was safe in the Valley.

Called "Honest John" by his men, 37-year-old Gen. John Buford was deeply admired by them and respected by his adversaries. Ten days after the Trappe Road Fight, Buford attained the pinnacle of his career by holding the ridges west of Gettysburg until Union infantry arrived. Less than six months later, he was stricken with typhus and died in Washington, D.C.
HM NumberHMRX3
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginina Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 9:29am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 250416 N 4321699
Decimal Degrees39.00873333, -77.88240000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 0.524', W 77° 52.944'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 0' 31.44" N, 77° 52' 56.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540, 703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 22100-22198 Trappe Rd, Upperville VA 20184, US
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