Orange County, VA | Nov 27 - Dec 2, 1863
After the inconclusive Bristoe Campaign in the fall of 1863, Maj. Gen. George G. Meade planned one more offensive against Gen. Robert E. Lee in northern Virginia before winter weather ended military operations. In late November, Meade attempted to steal a march southeast from Culpeper Courthouse, turn south through the Wilderness and strike the right flank of the Confederate army south of the Rapidan River. On November 27th, Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early, in command of Ewell's Corps, marched east on the Orange Turnpike to meet the advance of Maj. Gen. William French’s Third Corps near Payne’s Farm. French moved slowly, giving Lee and Early time to reposition their line. Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Carr’s division, supported by Brig. Gen. Henry Prince's division, attacked twice. Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson’s Confederates counterattacked but were scattered by heavy fire and broken terrain. After dark, Lee withdrew to field fortifications he had prepared along Mine Run. The next day, the Union army closed again on the Confederate position. Skirmishing was heavy, but a major attack did not materialize. Meade concluded that the Confederate line was too strong to attack and retired during the night of December 1-2nd, ending the winter campaign of 1863.