Pressured by Washington to make an attack on General Robert E. Lee’s army, General George G. Meade ordered an assault against Lee’s Confederate infantry along the Rappahannock River on November 7th 1863. As Lee anticipated, Meade divided his forces, ordering General John Sedgwick to attack Rappahannock Station and positioning General William H. French five miles downstream to engage a Confederate line near Kelly’s Ford. To counter this move, Lee shifted a force under General Robert Rodes to Kelly’s Ford, where they were overwhelmed by French. At Rappahannock Station, Sedgwick’s men skirmished with General Jubal Early’s Confederates before launching a brutal nighttime bayonet attack. The Federals overran Early’s bridgehead taking more than 1,600 prisoners. Thus defeated, Lee retreated into Orange County south of the Rapidan River for the winter where the Army of the Potomac occupied the vicinity of Brandy Station and Culpeper County.