Battles of Culpeper County, VA

Battle of Cedar Mountain

OTHER NAME: Belle Grove

CAMPAIGN: Northern Virginia Campaign

DATE(S): August 1862

PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS: Major General Nathaniel Banks [US] Major General Thomas Jackson [CS]

FORCES ENGAGED: 24898 total (US 8030; CS 16868;)

ESTIMATED CASUALTIES: 3900 total (US 2500; CS 1400;)


Maj. Gen. John Pope was placed in command of the newly constituted Army of Virginia on June 26. Gen. Robert E. Lee responded to Pope's dispositions by dispatching Maj. Gen. T.J. Jackson with 14,000 men to Gordonsville in July. Jackson was later reinforced by A.P. Hill's division. In early August, Pope marched his forces south into Culpeper County with the objective of capturing the rail junction at Gordonsville. On August 9, Jackson and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks's corps tangled at Cedar Mountain with the Federals gaining an early advantage. A Confederate counterattack led by A.P. Hill repulsed the Federals and won the day. Confederate general William Winder was killed. This battle shifted fighting in Virginia from the Peninsula to Northern Virginia, giving Lee the initiative.

RESULTS: Confederate Victory

Battle of Brandy Station

OTHER NAME: Fleetwood Hill

CAMPAIGN: Gettysburg Campaign

DATE(S): June-July 1863

PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS: Major General Alfred Pleasonton [US] James Stuart [CS]

FORCES ENGAGED: 0 total (US 0; CS 0;)

ESTIMATED CASUALTIES: 1383 total (US 868; CS 515;)


At dawn June 9, the Union cavalry corps under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton launched a surprise attack on Stuart's cavalry at Brandy Station. After an all-day fight in which fortunes changed repeatedly, the Federals retired without discovering Lee's infantry camped near Culpeper. This battle marked the apogee of the Confederate cavalry in the East. From this point in the war, the Federal cavalry gained strength and confidence. Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle of the war and the opening engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign.

RESULTS: Indecisive

Battle of Rappahannock Station II

CAMPAIGN: Bristoe Campaign

DATE(S): October-November 1863

PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS: Major General George Meade [US] Major General Robert Lee [CS]

FORCES ENGAGED: 0 total (US 0; CS 0;)

ESTIMATED CASUALTIES: 2502 total (US 461; CS 2041;)


On November 7, the Union army forced passage of the Rappahannock River at two places. A dusk attack overran the Confederate bridgehead at Rappahannock Station, capturing more than 1,600 men of Jubal Early's Division. Fighting at Kelly's Ford was less severe with about 430 casualties, but the Confederates retreated allowing the Federals across in force. On the verge of going into winter quarters around Culpeper, Lee's army retired instead into Orange County south of the Rapidan River. The Army of the Potomac occupied the vicinity of Brandy Station and Culpeper County.

RESULTS: Union Victory