Civil War Battles in Virginia 1863

All Civil War battles in Virginia 1863. They are in the order in which they took place during the Civil War.

Civil War Battles in Virginia in 1863

Civil War Battles in Virginia in 1863


Kelly’s Ford

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Kellysville

Location: Culpeper County

Campaign: Cavalry Operations along the Rappahannock (March 1863)

Date(s): March 17, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. William W. Averell [US]; Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions (3,000 total)

Estimated Casualties: 200 total

Description: Kelly’s Ford was one of the early larger scale cavalry fights in Virginia that set the stage for Brandy Station and cavalry actions of the Gettysburg campaign. Twenty-one hundred troopers of Averell’s cavalry division crossed the Rappahannock River to attack the Confederate cavalry. Fitzhugh Lee counterattacked with a brigade of about 800 men. The Gallant Pelham was killed. After achieving a localized success, Union forces withdrew in mid-afternoon.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Suffolk

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Norfleet House Battery

Location: Suffolk

Campaign: Longstreet’s Tidewater Operations (February-May 1863)

Date(s): April 13-15, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John Peck [US]; Lt. Gen. James Longstreet [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions (45,000 total)

Estimated Casualties: (1,160 entire siege)

Description: In cooperation with D.H. Hill’s advance on Washington, North Carolina, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet with Hood’s and Pickett’s divisions besieged the Union garrison at Suffolk commanded by Brig. Gen. John Peck. The Union works were formidable and manned by 25,000 men, opposed to Longstreet’s 20,000. On April 13, the Confederate troops pushed their left flank to the Nansemond River and constructed a battery on Hill’s Point, which closed off the garrison to Union shipping. On April 14, Union gunboats attempted to run the batteries at the Norfleet House slightly upstream, but Mount Washington was crippled. The Federals, at the same time, constructed batteries to command the Confederate works at Norfleet House. On April 15, these batteries were unmasked and opened fire, driving the Confederates out of this important position.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Suffolk

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Fort Huger, Hill’s Point

Location: Suffolk

Campaign: Longstreet’s Tidewater Operations (February-May 1863)

Date(s): April 11-May 4, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John Peck [US]; Lt. Gen. James Longstreet [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions (45,000 total)

Estimated Casualties: 152 total (1,160 for entire siege)

Description: On April 19, a Union infantry force landed on Hill’s Point at the confluence of the forks of the Nansemond River. This amphibious force assaulted Fort Huger from the rear, quickly capturing its garrison, thus reopening the river to Union shipping. On April 24, Brig. Gen. Michael Corcoran’s Union division mounted a reconnaissance-in-force from Fort Dix against Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett’s extreme right flank. The Federals approached cautiously and were easily repulsed. On April 29, Gen. Robert E. Lee directed Longstreet to disengage from Suffolk and rejoin the Army of Northern Virginia at Fredericksburg. By May 4, the last of Longstreet’s command had crossed the Blackwater River en route to Richmond.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Chancellorsville

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: None

Location: Spotsylvania County

Campaign: Chancellorsville Campaign (April-May 1863)

Date(s): April 30-May 6, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee and Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson [CS]

Forces Engaged: 154,734 total (US 97,382; CS 57,352)

Estimated Casualties: 24,000 total (US 14,000; CS 10,000)

Description: On April 27, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker led the V, XI, and XII Corps on a campaign to turn the Confederate left flank by crossing the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers above Fredericksburg. Passing the Rapidan via Germanna and Ely’s Fords, the Federals concentrated near Chancellorsville on April 30 and May 1. The III Corps was ordered to join the army via United States Ford. Sedgwick’s VI Corps and Gibbon’s division remained to demonstrate against the Confederates at Fredericksburg. In the meantime, Lee left a covering force under Maj. Gen. Jubal Early in Fredericksburg and marched with the rest of the army to confront the Federals. As Hooker’s army moved toward Fredericksburg on the Orange Turnpike, they encountered increasing Confederate resistance.

Hearing reports of overwhelming Confederate force, Hooker ordered his army to suspend the advance and to concentrate again at Chancellorsville. Pressed closely by Lee’s advance, Hooker adopted a defensive posture, thus giving Lee the initiative. On the morning of May 2, Lt. Gen. T.J. Jackson directed his corps on a march against the Federal left flank, which was reported to be hanging in the air. Fighting was sporadic on other portions of the field throughout the day, as Jackson’s column reached its jump-off point. At 5:20 pm, Jackson’s line surged forward in an overwhelming attack that crushed the Union XI Corps. Federal troops rallied, resisted the advance, and counterattacked. Disorganization on both sides and darkness ended the fighting.

While making a night reconnaissance, Jackson was mortally wounded by his own men and carried from the field. J.E.B. Stuart took temporary command of Jackson’s Corps. On May 3, the Confederates attacked with both wings of the army and massed their artillery at Hazel Grove. This finally broke the Federal line at Chancellorsville. Hooker withdrew a mile and entrenched in a defensive U with his back to the river at United States Ford. Union generals Berry and Whipple and Confederate general Paxton were killed; Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded. On the night of May 5-6, after Union reverses at Salem Church, Hooker recrossed to the north bank of the Rappahannock. This battle was considered by many historians to be Lee’s greatest victory.

Result(s): Confederate victory


Salem Church

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Banks Ford

Location: Spotsylvania County

Campaign: Chancellorsville Campaign (April-May 1863)

Date(s): May 3-4, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Corps

Estimated Casualties: 5,000 total

Description: After occupying Marye’s Heights on May 3, Sedgwick’s VI Corps marched out on the Plank Road with the objective of reaching Hooker’s force at Chancellorsville. He was delayed by Wilcox’s brigade of Early’s force at Salem Church. During the afternoon and night, Lee detached two of his divisions from the Chancellorsville lines and marched them to Salem Church.

Several Union assaults were repulsed the next morning with heavy casualties, and the Confederates counterattacked, gaining some ground. After dark, Sedgwick withdrew across two pontoon bridges at Scott’s Dam under a harassing artillery fire. Hearing that Sedgwick had been repulsed, Hooker abandoned the campaign, recrossing on the night of May 5-6 to the north bank of the Rappahannock.

Result(s): Confederate victory


Fredericksburg II

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Marye’s Heights

Location: Fredericksburg

Campaign: Chancellorsville Campaign (April-May 1863)

Date(s): May 3, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick [US]; Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early [CS]

Forces Engaged: Corps

Estimated Casualties: 2,000 total

Description: On May 1, Gen. Robert E. Lee left Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early’s division to hold Fredericksburg, while marching with the rest of the army to meet Hooker’s main offensive thrust at Chancellorsville. On May 3, the Union VI Corps under Sedgwick, reinforced by John Gibbon’s II Corps division, having crossed the Rappahannock River, assaulted and carried the Confederate entrenchments on Marye’s Heights. The outnumbered Confederates withdrew and regrouped west and southeast of town.

Result(s): Union victory


Brandy Station

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Fleetwood Hill

Location: Culpeper County

Campaign: Gettysburg Campaign (June-August 1863)

Date(s): June 9, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Pleasonton [US]; Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart [CS]

Forces Engaged: Corps (22,000 total)

Estimated Casualties: 1,090 total

Description: At dawn June 9, the Union cavalry corps under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton launched a surprise attack on Stuart’s cavalry at Brandy Station. After an all-day fight in which fortunes changed repeatedly, the Federals retired without discovering Lee’s infantry camped near Culpeper. This battle marked the apogee of the Confederate cavalry in the East. From this point in the war, the Federal cavalry gained strength and confidence. Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle of the war and the opening engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Winchester, Second

Other Names: None

Location: Frederick County and Winchester

Campaign: Gettysburg Campaign (June-August 1863)

Date(s): June 13-15, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Robert Milroy [US]; Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell [CS]

Forces Engaged: 19,500 total (US 7,000; CS 12,500)

Estimated Casualties: 4,709 total (US 4,443; CS 266)

Description: After the Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863, Lee ordered the II Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, under Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, to clear the lower Shenandoah Valley of Union opposition. Ewell’s columns converged on Winchester’s garrison commanded by Brig. Gen. Robert Milroy. After fighting on the afternoon of June 13 and the capture of West Fort by the Louisiana Brigade on June 14, Milroy abandoned his entrenchments after dark in an attempt to reach Charles Town. Allegheny Johnson’s division conducted a night flanking march and before daylight of the 15th cut off Milroy’s retreat just north of Winchester at Stephenson’s Depot. More than 2,400 Federals surrendered. This Confederate victory cleared the Valley of Union troops and opened the door for Lee’s second invasion of the North.

Result(s):Confederate victory


Aldie

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: None

Location: Loudoun County

Campaign: Gettysburg Campaign (June-August 1863)

Date(s): June 17, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick [US]; Col. Thomas Munford [CS]

Forces Engaged: Brigades

Estimated Casualties: 250 total

Description:Stuart’s cavalry screened the Confederate infantry as it marched north behind the sheltering Blue Ridge. The pursuing Federals of Kilpatrick’s brigade, in the advance of Gregg’s division, encountered Munford’s troopers near the village of Aldie, resulting in four hours of stubborn fighting. Both sides made mounted assaults by regiments and squadrons. Kilpatrick was reinforced in the afternoon, and Munford withdrew toward Middleburg.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Middleburg

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: None

Location: Loudoun County

Campaign: Gettysburg Campaign (June-August 1863)

Date(s): June 17-19, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. David M. Gregg [US]; Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties: 390 total

Description: Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, screening Lee’s invasion route, sparred with Pleasonton’s cavalry. On the June 17, Col. Alfred DuffiĆ©’s isolated 1st Rhode Island Cavalry Regiment was attacked by the brigades of Munford and Robertson. The 1st Rhode Island Cavalry was routed, taking about 250 casualties. On June 19, J. Irvin Gregg’s brigade advanced, driving Stuart’s cavalry one mile beyond the town. Both sides were reinforced and mounted and dismounted skirmishing continued. Stuart was gradually levered out of his position but fell back to a second ridge, still covering the approaches to the Blue Ridge gap.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Upperville

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: None

Location: Loudoun County

Campaign: Gettysburg Campaign (June-August 1863)

Date(s): June 21, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton [US]; Brig. Gen. Wade Hampton and Brig. Gen. Beverly Robertson [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties: 400 total

Description: On June 21, Union cavalry made a determined effort to pierce Stuart’s cavalry screen. Hampton’s and Robertson’s brigades made a stand at Goose Creek, west of Middleburg, and beat back Gregg’s division. Buford’s column detoured to attack the Confederate left flank near Upperville but encountered William E. Grumble Jones’s and John R. Chambliss’s brigades while J.I. Gregg’s and Kilpatrick’s brigades advanced on the Upperville from the east along the Little River Turnpike.

After furious mounted fighting, Stuart withdrew to take a strong defensive position in Ashby Gap, even as Confederate infantry crossed the Potomac into Maryland. As cavalry skirmishing diminished, Stuart made the fateful decision to strike east and make a circuit of the Union army as it marched toward Gettysburg.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Manassas Gap

Other Names: Wapping Heights

Location: Warren County

Campaign: Gettysburg Campaign (June-August 1863)

Date(s): July 23, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William H. French [US]; Maj. Gen. Richard Anderson [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties: 440 total

Description: After recrossing the Potomac River at Williamsport, Lee’s army withdrew up the Shenandoah Valley. Meade crossed the Potomac River east of the Blue Ridge and followed Lee into Virginia. On July 23, Meade ordered the III Corps, under Maj. Gen. William. H. French to cut off the retreating Confederate columns at Front Royal by forcing passage through Manassas Gap. At first light, French began slowly pushing Walker’s Confederate brigade (Anderson’s division) back into the gap. About 4:30 pm, a strong Union attack drove Walker’s men until they were reinforced by Rodes’s division and artillery. By dusk, the poorly coordinated Union attacks were abandoned. During the night, Confederate forces withdrew into the Luray Valley. On July 24, the Union army occupied Front Royal, but Lee’s army was safely beyond pursuit.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Auburn

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Catlett’s Station, St. Stephen’s Church

Location: Fauquier County

Campaign: Bristoe Campaign (October-November 1863)

Date(s): October 13, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William. H. French [US]; Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart [CS]

Forces Engaged:Brigades

Estimated Casualties: 50 total

Description: After the retreat from Gettysburg, the Confederate army concentrated behind Rapidan River in Orange County. The Federals advanced to Rappahannock River in August, and in mid- September they pushed strong columns forward to confront Lee along the Rapidan. Early September, Lee dispatched two divisions of Longstreet’s Corps to reinforce the Confederate army in Georgia; the Federals followed suite, sending the XI and XII Corps to Tennessee by railroad in late September after the Battle of Chickamauga (September 18-20).

Early October, Lee began an offensive sweep around Meade’s right flank with his remaining two corps, forcing the Federals to withdraw along the line of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. On October 13, Stuart, with Fitzhugh Lee and Lomax’s brigades, skirmished with the rearguard of the Union III Corps near Auburn. Finding himself cut off by retreating Federal columns, Stuart secreted his troopers in a wooded ravine until the unsuspecting Federals moved on.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Bristoe Station

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: None

Location: Prince William County

Campaign: Bristoe Campaign (October-November 1863)

Date(s): October 14, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. G.K. Warren [US]; Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill [CS]

Forces Engaged: Corps

Estimated Casualties: 1,980 total

Description: On October 14, 1863, 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 the II Corps, posted behind the Orange & Alexandria Railroad embankment, mauled two brigades of Henry Heth’s division and captured a battery of artillery. Hill reinforced his line but could make little headway against the determined defenders.

After this victory, the Federals continued their withdrawal to Centreville unmolested. Lee’s Bristoe 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.

Result(s): Union victory


Auburn

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Coffee Hill

Location: Fauquier County

Campaign: Bristoe Campaign (October-November 1863)

Date(s): October 14, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. G.K. Warren [US]; Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart [CS]

Forces Engaged: Brigades

Estimated Casualties: 113 total

Description: As the Federal army withdrew towards Manassas Junction, Owens and Smyth’s Union brigades (Warren’s II Corps) fought a rearguard action against Stuart’s cavalry and infantry of Harry Hays’s division near Auburn. Stuart’s cavalry boldly bluffed Warren’s infantry and escaped disaster. The II Corps pushed on to Catlett Station on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Buckland Mills

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Buckland Races, Chestnut Hill

Location: Fauquier County

Campaign: Bristoe Campaign (October-November 1863)

Date(s): October 19, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. J. Kilpatrick [US]; Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions

Estimated Casualties: 230 total

Description: After defeat at Bristoe Station and an aborted advance on Centreville, Stuart’s cavalry shielded the withdrawal of Lee’s army from the vicinity of Manassas Junction. Union cavalry under Kilpatrick pursued Stuart’s cavalry along the Warrenton Turnpike but were lured into an ambush near Chestnut Hill and routed. The Federal troopers were scattered and chased five miles in an affair that came to be known as the Buckland Races.

Result(s): Confederate victory


Rappahannock Station

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: None

Location: Fauquier County and Culpeper County

Campaign: Bristoe Campaign (October-November 1863)

Date(s): November 7, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George G. Meade [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Corps

Estimated Casualties: 2,537 total (1,600 Confederate prisoners)

Description: On November 7, the Union army forced passage of the Rappahannock River at two places. A dusk attack overran the Confederate bridgehead at Rappahannock Station, capturing more than 1,600 men of Jubal Early’s Division. Fighting at Kelly’s Ford was less severe with about 430 casualties, but the Confederates retreated allowing the Federals across in force. On the verge of going into winter quarters around Culpeper, Lee’s army retired instead into Orange County south of the Rapidan River. The Army of the Potomac occupied the vicinity of Brandy Station and Culpeper County.

Result(s): Union victory


Mine Run

Civil War battles in Virginia 1863

Other Names: Payne’s Farm, New Hope Church

Location: Orange County

Campaign: Mine Run Campaign (November-December 1863)

Date(s): November 27-December 2, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George G. Meade [US]; Gen. Robert E. Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Armies: 114,069 total (US 69,643; CS 44,426)

Estimated Casualties: 1,952 total (US 1,272; CS 680)

Description: Payne’s Farm and New Hope Church were the first and heaviest clashes of the Mine Run Campaign. In late November 1863, Meade attempted to steal a march through the Wilderness and strike the right flank of the Confederate army south of the Rapidan River. Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early in command of Ewell’s Corps marched east on the Orange Turnpike to meet the advance of William French’s III Corps near Payne’s Farm. Carr’s division (US) attacked twice. Johnson’s division (CS) counterattacked but was scattered by heavy fire and broken terrain. After dark, Lee withdrew to prepared field fortifications along Mine Run.

The next day the Union army closed 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 1-2, ending the winter campaign.

Result(s): Inconclusive

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