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Brandy Station

Fleetwood Hill

June 9, 1863

Culpeper County, Virginia

At the outset of the Gettysburg Campaign, Robert E. Lee sought to keep his advance hidden from the Union army. With his forces stationed at Culpeper, Virginia on the verge of turning north into the Shenandoah Valley, Lee ordered his Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart to launch a diversionary cavalry raid on June 9, 1863. However, Union cavalry commander Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton anticipated the raid and struck Stuart’s men in camp at Brandy Station on the day the Confederate incursion was set to begin. Despite the advantage of surprise, the ensuing battle ended in a narrow defeat for Pleasonton’s forces and Lee’s intentions remained unknown. Nevertheless, the Battle of Brandy Station, the largest predominantly mounted engagement to ever take place on the American continent, greatly improved the morale of the Union cavalry. J.E.B. Stuart was harshly criticized for his unpreparedness spurred by vanity, foreshadowing graver failures in the future.
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Fighting for Fleetwood Hill

Historian Eric Wittenberg discusses the intense combat on Fleetwood Hill, the climactic action of the Battle of Brandy Station

Wittenburg Interview

Author Interview: The Battle of Brandy Station

Noted cavalry historian and Civil War Trust member Eric J. Wittenberg discusses his book, "The Battle of Brandy Station: North America's Largest Cavalry Battle."

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Photos

Explore our collection of photos and images of Brandy Station, site of the largest cavalry battle in North America.

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Videos

Confederate horsemen prepare to take Fleetwood Hill

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Recommended Reading

Battle of Brandy Station

"The Battle of Brandy Station"
by Eric Wittenberg

Author Interview »  |  Buy »

Brandy Station 1863

"Brandy Station 1863"
by Daniel Beattie

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