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The Bristoe Station Campaign: October 1863. Late Summer 1863 Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George G. Meade Union Army of the Potomac,

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Presentation on theme: "The Bristoe Station Campaign: October 1863. Late Summer 1863 Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George G. Meade Union Army of the Potomac,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Bristoe Station Campaign: October 1863

2 Late Summer 1863 Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George G. Meade Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George G. Meade Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee Both armies still recovering from Gettysburg Both armies still recovering from Gettysburg AoP occupies Culpeper and areas north of Rapidan River; ANV south of river AoP occupies Culpeper and areas north of Rapidan River; ANV south of river

3 Changes Longstreet’s I Corps sent to Tennessee on September 8, leaving Lee with only 45,000 men Longstreet’s I Corps sent to Tennessee on September 8, leaving Lee with only 45,000 men Union defeat at Chickamauga (Sept ) Union defeat at Chickamauga (Sept ) Lincoln sends 11 th and 12 th Corps to Tennessee, leaving Meade with 76,000 men Lincoln sends 11 th and 12 th Corps to Tennessee, leaving Meade with 76,000 men Lee decides to capitalize on weakened Union army Lee decides to capitalize on weakened Union army

4 Key Players: Maj. Gen. George G. Meade West Point Class of 1835 West Point Class of 1835 Mexican War, Surveyor and Engineer Mexican War, Surveyor and Engineer Brigade, division and 5 th Corps commander Brigade, division and 5 th Corps commander Commanded AoP since June 1863 Commanded AoP since June 1863

5 West Point Class of 1829 West Point Class of 1829 Illustrious record Illustrious record Commanded ANV since June 1862 Commanded ANV since June 1862 Offered his resignation to President Davis in August 1863 Offered his resignation to President Davis in August 1863 Gen. Robert E. Lee

6 Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren West Point Class of 1850 West Point Class of 1850 Mapped Dakotas, Yellowstone, Montana, Black Hills Mapped Dakotas, Yellowstone, Montana, Black Hills 5 th NY and brigade commander 5 th NY and brigade commander Named Chief Topographical Officer and later Chief Engineer of AoP under Hooker. Named Chief Topographical Officer and later Chief Engineer of AoP under Hooker. Promoted to MG in August Promoted to MG in August

7 Lt. Gen. Ambrose Powell (A.P.) Hill Grew up in Culpeper, Va Grew up in Culpeper, Va Commanded famed “Light Division” at Seven Days, Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville Commanded famed “Light Division” at Seven Days, Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville Given command of new 3 rd Corps after Chancellorsville Given command of new 3 rd Corps after Chancellorsville

8 Lee’s Plan October 4, Lee decides to attack October 4, Lee decides to attack October 9-10, the offensive begins October 9-10, the offensive begins Lee sends Hill’s 3 rd Corps north to Sperryville, Amissville and flanks Meade near Waterloo; continues to Warrenton Lee sends Hill’s 3 rd Corps north to Sperryville, Amissville and flanks Meade near Waterloo; continues to Warrenton Richard S. Ewell’s 2 nd Corps takes more direct route to Warrenton Richard S. Ewell’s 2 nd Corps takes more direct route to Warrenton

9 Meade Reacts Meade Reacts Union scouts notify Meade of an offensive Union scouts notify Meade of an offensive On Oct. 6-7, US Signal stations on Pony and Thorofare Mtns intercept CS messages coming from Clark’s Mtn On Oct. 6-7, US Signal stations on Pony and Thorofare Mtns intercept CS messages coming from Clark’s Mtn On Oct. 8, Meade readied his men for Lee’s mysterious movement On Oct. 8, Meade readied his men for Lee’s mysterious movement

10 Meade: October Meade evacuates military stores in Culpeper. Meade evacuates military stores in Culpeper. Oct 11: Meade orders AoP to fall back behind Rappahannock River Oct 11: Meade orders AoP to fall back behind Rappahannock River Pleasonton’s faulty intelligence Pleasonton’s faulty intelligence October 12: Meade vows to attack Lee; AoP at Three Mile Station (Cassanova, Va) October 12: Meade vows to attack Lee; AoP at Three Mile Station (Cassanova, Va) October 13: While at Catlett’s Station, Meade finally orders AoP to fall back to Centreville. October 13: While at Catlett’s Station, Meade finally orders AoP to fall back to Centreville.

11 Meanwhile… Hill’s Corps reaches Warrenton on Oct 13 Hill’s Corps reaches Warrenton on Oct 13 Union 2 nd Corps acts as rear guard for the army Union 2 nd Corps acts as rear guard for the army The AoP retreats along the Orange and Alexandria RR The AoP retreats along the Orange and Alexandria RR US and CS units clog roads; slow going US and CS units clog roads; slow going

12 Stuart Trapped Lee directs Stuart w/three brigades to recon Catlett’s Station/capture fodder for cavalry Lee directs Stuart w/three brigades to recon Catlett’s Station/capture fodder for cavalry US 3 rd Corps marching through Auburn on afternoon of October 13; 2 nd Corps at Three Mile Station US 3 rd Corps marching through Auburn on afternoon of October 13; 2 nd Corps at Three Mile Station Stuart skirmishes with French’s 3 rd Corps Stuart skirmishes with French’s 3 rd Corps Warren moves up to Auburn – Stuart Trapped Warren moves up to Auburn – Stuart Trapped

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14 Battle of Coffee Hill J.E.B Stuart’s cavalry cut off from CS army – Warren in between Stuart and ANV J.E.B Stuart’s cavalry cut off from CS army – Warren in between Stuart and ANV Stuart hides men and opts to fight his way out the next morning Stuart hides men and opts to fight his way out the next morning Morning of Oct 14, Stuart spots John Caldwell’s 1 st Division on hill north of Auburn Morning of Oct 14, Stuart spots John Caldwell’s 1 st Division on hill north of Auburn

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16 Battle of Coffee Hill Stuart orders up 7 guns and opens fire on lounging Union soldiers Stuart orders up 7 guns and opens fire on lounging Union soldiers Union guns atop the hill fire back Union guns atop the hill fire back BG Alexander Hays’s 3 rd Division advances on CS guns BG Alexander Hays’s 3 rd Division advances on CS guns

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18 Cavalry Melee Stuart orders a quick withdrawal of his artillery and sends 1 st NC Cavalry to attack Yankees to buy time Stuart orders a quick withdrawal of his artillery and sends 1 st NC Cavalry to attack Yankees to buy time Col Thomas Ruffin of the 1 st NC Cav is KIA Col Thomas Ruffin of the 1 st NC Cav is KIA Stuart’s breakthrough successful Stuart’s breakthrough successful 2 nd Corps continues march through Catlett’s Station and onto Bristoe 2 nd Corps continues march through Catlett’s Station and onto Bristoe

19 Hill Marches To Bristoe Hill’s men have longer march due to route Hill’s men have longer march due to route Hill moves through Greenwich and debouches in the fields north of Bristoe Station at 1:30pm Hill moves through Greenwich and debouches in the fields north of Bristoe Station at 1:30pm Hill sees Union soldiers crossing Broad Run and assumes he has found the rear of the Union army Hill sees Union soldiers crossing Broad Run and assumes he has found the rear of the Union army Decides to attack “fleeing” troops Decides to attack “fleeing” troops Has no idea Union 2 nd Corps still had not crossed Broad Run Has no idea Union 2 nd Corps still had not crossed Broad Run

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21 “Tardy” George Fouls Up MG George Sykes fails to wait for Warren at Bristoe MG George Sykes fails to wait for Warren at Bristoe 2 nd Corps all alone to fight Hill’s and Ewell’s Corps 2 nd Corps all alone to fight Hill’s and Ewell’s Corps

22 Brig. Gen. William Whedbee Kirkland Born in North Carolina in 1833 Born in North Carolina in 1833 Marine Corps officer Marine Corps officer Elected colonel of the 21 st NC; served from First Manassas through Gettysburg Elected colonel of the 21 st NC; served from First Manassas through Gettysburg Took command of J.J. Pettigrew’s NC brigade Took command of J.J. Pettigrew’s NC brigade

23 Brig. Gen. John Rogers Cooke Born at Jefferson Barracks, MO in 1833 to BG Philip St. George Cooke Born at Jefferson Barracks, MO in 1833 to BG Philip St. George Cooke Harvard grad Harvard grad Served in the 8 th US Infantry Served in the 8 th US Infantry Most experienced brigade commander Most experienced brigade commander

24 The Opening Shots The Opening Shots Warren’s men marching along south side of RR tracks. Warren’s men marching along south side of RR tracks. BG Alexander S. Webb sees Cooke and Kirkland; orders 1 st MN north of the RR to screen their movement at 2:15pm BG Alexander S. Webb sees Cooke and Kirkland; orders 1 st MN north of the RR to screen their movement at 2:15pm 1 st MN engages the 46 th NC, right flank regiment of Cooke’s Brigade 1 st MN engages the 46 th NC, right flank regiment of Cooke’s Brigade

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26 Brig. Gen. Alexander S. Webb West Point Class of 1855 West Point Class of 1855 Given command of Philadelphia Brigade by Meade before Gettysburg Given command of Philadelphia Brigade by Meade before Gettysburg Commands 2 nd Division, 2 nd Corps Commands 2 nd Division, 2 nd Corps

27 Col. James E. Mallon Born in Brooklyn, NY Born in Brooklyn, NY 27 years old 27 years old Commanded 42 nd NY Commanded 42 nd NY during most of war – “Tammany Hall” regiment Now commanding Now commanding brigade; many conscripts

28 Col. James E. Mallon’s brigade opposed Cooke Col. James E. Mallon’s brigade opposed Cooke BG Joshua T. Owen’s brigade of New Yorkers were on Mallon’s left flank and opposed Cooke and Perry BG Joshua T. Owen’s brigade of New Yorkers were on Mallon’s left flank and opposed Cooke and Perry

29 The Artillery Factor Maj. David G. McIntosh moved his battalion to knoll 400 yards from RR – only able to field 5 guns Maj. David G. McIntosh moved his battalion to knoll 400 yards from RR – only able to field 5 guns Warren places two batteries (12 3-inch Ordnance Rifles) on slight rise behind infantry and one battery of 4 12-pounder Napoleons on east side of Broad Run Warren places two batteries (12 3-inch Ordnance Rifles) on slight rise behind infantry and one battery of 4 12-pounder Napoleons on east side of Broad Run

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31 The Battle Begins 3,000 Federals vs. 4,000 Rebs 3,000 Federals vs. 4,000 Rebs Cooke and Kirkland march blindly toward hiding Union troops Cooke and Kirkland march blindly toward hiding Union troops At 2:45pm, Mallon’s and Heath’s men stand up and deliver first crushing volley; Union artillery decimates CS lines At 2:45pm, Mallon’s and Heath’s men stand up and deliver first crushing volley; Union artillery decimates CS lines Cooke wounded in the leg; Kirkland hit in left arm Cooke wounded in the leg; Kirkland hit in left arm

32 The Advance…

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34 Brief yet Brutal Melee Elements from 48 th and 27 th NC advance toward center of Mallon’s line near the road junction Elements from 48 th and 27 th NC advance toward center of Mallon’s line near the road junction Three color bearers of 27 th NC cut down Three color bearers of 27 th NC cut down Hand-to-hand fight at RR Hand-to-hand fight at RR Mallon personally rallies the 42 nd NY and 20 th MA and is mortally wounded Mallon personally rallies the 42 nd NY and 20 th MA and is mortally wounded

35 The Mystery Flags 11 th and 52 nd NC gain RR and fire into 82 nd NY 11 th and 52 nd NC gain RR and fire into 82 nd NY Cpl. Thomas Cullen of 82 nd NY captures the flag from either 47 th or 52 nd NC Cpl. Thomas Cullen of 82 nd NY captures the flag from either 47 th or 52 nd NC Cpl. Moses C. Hanscom of 19 th ME captures the flag from the 26 th NC – second time since Gettysburg Cpl. Moses C. Hanscom of 19 th ME captures the flag from the 26 th NC – second time since Gettysburg Both men win Medal of Honor Both men win Medal of Honor

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38 Posey and Perry Gain the RR At 3:30pm, BG Carnot Posey’s MS brigade and BG Edward A. Perry’s FL brigade of MG Richard Anderson’s Division advance toward Union left flank At 3:30pm, BG Carnot Posey’s MS brigade and BG Edward A. Perry’s FL brigade of MG Richard Anderson’s Division advance toward Union left flank Briefly hold RR embankment Briefly hold RR embankment

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40 Smyth to the Rescue Timely arrival of Col Thomas A. Smyth’s brigade and Battery G, 1 st NY Light Artillery (2 guns) Timely arrival of Col Thomas A. Smyth’s brigade and Battery G, 1 st NY Light Artillery (2 guns) Fires double canister from atop the RR; seals the breach Fires double canister from atop the RR; seals the breach

41 The Fighting Continues Nearly 300 men captured from Kirkland’s Brigade Nearly 300 men captured from Kirkland’s Brigade By 3:30pm, Cooke and Kirkland retreat By 3:30pm, Cooke and Kirkland retreat Smyth ordered to advance to support Wass Smyth ordered to advance to support Wass Wass’s men drag 5 guns by prolonge back to Union line Wass’s men drag 5 guns by prolonge back to Union line

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43 October 14: Evening Smyth advances vs. Anderson; US line reinforced with 3 more batteries; artillery barrage 4-6pm - Posey wounded Smyth advances vs. Anderson; US line reinforced with 3 more batteries; artillery barrage 4-6pm - Posey wounded 4-5pm: Caldwell’s division arrives; so does Ewell’s Corps – ANV never launches all-out attack 4-5pm: Caldwell’s division arrives; so does Ewell’s Corps – ANV never launches all-out attack Lee’s men make camp on battlefield Lee’s men make camp on battlefield 2 nd Corps reaches Centreville by Oct 15 2 nd Corps reaches Centreville by Oct 15

44 The Aftermath: CS losses Cooke : - ~650/2,500 – 25% casualties - 27 th NC lost 290/416 men - 48 th NC, 160 casualties Kirkland : - 550/1,500 or 36% casualties (300 captured) - 26th NC lost 179 men and flag Total CS casualties: ~1,400 /3 genls **Additional losses in other commands**

45 US Losses 256 men killed, wounded and captured at Bristoe Station 256 men killed, wounded and captured at Bristoe Station ~100 casualties at Coffee Hill ~100 casualties at Coffee Hill Total US Casualties for Bristoe Campaign: 540

46 Concluding Thoughts Meade inexplicably retreats to Centreville Meade inexplicably retreats to Centreville Warren performs well as corps commander and fights a smart defensive battle; uses reinforcements and artillery to blunt attack Warren performs well as corps commander and fights a smart defensive battle; uses reinforcements and artillery to blunt attack US staff work commendable US staff work commendable Hill horribly mismanages the attack Hill horribly mismanages the attack Lee fails to follow up with all-out assault Lee fails to follow up with all-out assault

47 Thoughts… Lee’s gains strategic victory/tactical loss at Bristoe Lee’s gains strategic victory/tactical loss at Bristoe Destroys supplies and RR and forces Meade back to Defenses of Washington Destroys supplies and RR and forces Meade back to Defenses of Washington Lincoln and Halleck disappointed with Meade Lincoln and Halleck disappointed with Meade Lee’s strategic success temporary; Meade back again for Mine Run Campaign in November 1863 Lee’s strategic success temporary; Meade back again for Mine Run Campaign in November 1863

48 Bristoe Today Over 500 Confederate soldiers still buried on the battlefield (including 143 from the October 1863 battle) Over 500 Confederate soldiers still buried on the battlefield (including 143 from the October 1863 battle)


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