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Maps of Rappahannock Station, Virginia (1863)
Rappahannock Station


Battles of Rappahannock Station
Second Battle of Rappahannock Station
November 7, 1863

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.

First Battle of Rappahannock Station
August 23, 1862

Convinced that Gen. George B McClellan’s Union army was being withdrawn from the Peninsula to reinforce the newly organized Federal army under Gen. John Pope, Gen. Robert E. Lee sent Gen. James Longstreet's wing of the Army of Northern Virginia from Richmond to join Gen. Thomas J. Jackson’s in the vicinity of Gordonsville.   Following his defeat Cedar Mountain, Pope's Yankees withdrew to a new defensive line on the Rappahannock River. A Confederate cavalry raid by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart demonstrated the vulnerability of the Union right flank. Over the course of several days Longstreet's men engaged Pope's men in a few minor actions along the Rappahannock.  Though they only produced a few hundred casualties, these skirmishes held the Federals in place, allowing Jackson to capture Bristoe Station and destroy Union supplies at Manassas Junction.

For more about this key 1863 battle visit our Battle of Rappahannock Station page »

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