The capture and control of America’s railroads was a key strategic objective of both the Union and Confederate armies. And railroad stations often became battlefields. This was especially true in Virginia where every mile of track between Washington and Richmond was extremely valuable to both armies.
Both Union and Confederate soldiers paid a steep price in blood to protect their railroads and capture their enemy's facilities. They did so at places like Bristoe Station in 1863, and in 1864 at Trevilian Station and Reams Station. More than 7,500 Americans were killed, wounded or captured at these three battles for dominance over the Old Dominion’s railways.
The rail station names Bristoe, Trevilian, and Reams are familiar to members and supporters of the Civil War Trust, as are the names George Armstrong Custer, A.P. Hill, and Wade Hampton. These three men have been indelibly linked to these hallowed locations.
According to historian Eric J. Wittenberg, George Custer made his first—last stand at Trevilian Station. In the fall of 1863 A.P. Hill badly bungled a Confederate offensive at Bristoe Station, but later made up for it by defeating the Army of the Potomac's best corps commander, Winfield Scott Hancock, at Reams Station, in August of 1864. And the cavalier Wade Hampton was integral to the two Confederate victories, as he boldly led counterattacks at both Trevilian and Reams Station.
We have already preserved more than 2,100 acres at the heart of these three battlefields. Now, the Civil War Trust is challenged to save an additional 480 acres at these three sites, protecting this hallowed ground from the ever present threat of development.
Help Save Three Virginia Stations!