Monday, October 14, 2013
Battle of Bristoe Station 150th Anniversary
Historical Marker at the site of the Battlefield in Bristow, Prince William County, Virginia (cf., http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=782)
Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station. This battle, fought on 14 October 1863, wherein the Confederate Corps of CS General A.P. Hill attempted to shatter the II Corps of US General Warren as it marched along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. This attack came as a part of the larger movement of Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia which was attempting to get around the right flank of US General George Meade's Army of the Potomac. Both armies were depleted of men who had been sent to participate in the campaigns of the West.
The Union Army of the Potomac fell back along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad with the advance of Lee -- and on this day, its II Corps was attacked by Hill's men striking from the west just south of Broad Run.
Map of the Bristoe Campaign, October-November 1863. [Drawn in Adobe Illustrator CS6 by Hal Jespersen. Graphic source file is available at http://www.cwmaps.com/]
A.P. Hill's attack, however, would be a dismal failure, and Warren's II Corps repulsed him with relative ease. The casualties: Union 540 to Confederate 1,380. In addition, the Union line held, and the Southerners were unable to block a Union withdrawal back towards Washington, DC and the high ground of Centreville, Virginia. With the Army of the Potomac perched up at Centreville, Lee had little choice but to fall back. The Bristoe Campaign was not the success he had hoped. It is also little known owing to the inconclusive outcome.
Also on this day, Stuart's cavalry fought at Auburn/Coffee Hill in the early hours -- a skirmish featured in my post of last Saturday:
You might also note regarding Bristoe Station:
The official website of the Bristoe Station Battlefield, which is a park of Prince William County, Virginia: http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/publicworks/hp/Pages/Bristoe-Station-Battlefield.aspx
Well worth the while of anyone living in the area is this new audio tour of the campaign:
NPS Battle Description: Bristoe Station
Finally, Civil War Daily Gazette Account of 14 October 1863