Buckland Mills

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Buckland Mills

The Buckland Races

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Three months after the Gettysburg Campaign, the Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George G. Meade and Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia maintained close contact with each other in Virginia as Meade moved north towards Centreville. After defeat at Bristoe Station five days earlier, Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart’s cavalry shielded the withdrawal of Lee’s army south from the vicinity of Manassas toward the Rappahannock River. Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick pursued Stuart’s troopers along the Warrenton Turnpike west of Gainesville but were lured into an ambush near Chestnut Hill on October 19th. A division of Rebel cavalry under Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee turned on the Yankee cavalrymen under Brig. Gen. George A. Custer as they rested near the turnpike. Lee's division suddenly attacked from the south, pushing Custer's troopers back across the Broad Run bridge and separating his brigade from the rest of Kilpatrick's command. The Federal troopers were scattered and chased five miles in an affair that came to be known as the “Buckland Races.” Most of the Federal casualties were captured during the retreat. Stuart termed the rout, his last victory over cavalry, “the most complete that any cavalry…suffered during this war.” Custer called the day “the most disastrous this division ever passed through.”

Battle Facts

Result

Confederate Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
12,000
Total Estimated Casualties
310

Union

260

Confederate

50