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Bristoe Station

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In early October 1863, the Union army withdrew from its central Virginia pursuit of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, 90 days after the Gettysburg campaign.  Lee and the Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George G. Meade maintained close contact with each other as Meade moved north towards Centreville. On October 14th, Lieut. Gen. A.P. Hill’s corps stumbled upon two corps of the retreating Union army at Bristoe Station and attacked without proper reconnaissance. Union soldiers of Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren's Second Corps, posted behind an embankment of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad four miles west of Manassas, ambushed two brigades of Brig. Gen. Henry Heth’s division and captured a battery of artillery. Confederate Brig. Gen. Carnot Posey was mortally wounded in a counterattack. Hill reinforced his line but could make little headway against the determined Yankee defenders. After their victory, the Federals continued the withdrawal eastward to Centreville unmolested. Lee’s offensive sputtered to a premature halt. After minor skirmishing near Manassas and Centreville, the Confederates retired slowly to Rappahannock River destroying the Orange & Alexandria Railroad as they went.  At Bristoe Station, Hill lost standing in the eyes of Lee, who angrily ordered him to bury his dead and "say no more about it."

Battle Facts

Result

Union Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
25,601

Union

8,383

Confederate

17,218
Total Estimated Casualties
1,920

Union

540

Confederate

1,380