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Bristoe Station

Prince William County, VA  |  Oct 14, 1863

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."

All battles of the Bristoe Campaign

Civil War  |  Battle
Bristoe Station
Prince William County, VA  |  Oct 14, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 1,920
Union: 540
Confederate: 1,380
Civil War  |  Battle
Buckland Mills
Fauquier County, VA  |  Oct 19, 1863
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 310
Union: 260
Confederate: 50
Civil War  |  Battle
Rappahannock Station
Fauquier County, VA  |  Nov 7, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 2,093
Union: 419
Confederate: 1,674

Related Battles

Bristow, VA | October 14, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Commanders
Forces Engaged
25,601
Union
8,383
Confed.
17,218
Estimated Casualties
1,920
Union
540
Confed.
1,380