Meade Looks South as Lee Rounds Up Deserters

November 1, 1863 (Sunday) When last we visited General George Meade and his Army of the Potomac, President Lincoln was urging him to attack General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, just across the Rappahannock. Since that time, Meade had given up on his idea of shifting the army to Fredericksburg, and was slowly moving southRead More

The President Desires That You Will Prepare to Attack Lee’s Army

October 24, 1863 (Friday) For a time, President Lincoln was fine with General Meade’s assessment. He agreed that moving to attack General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia wasn’t such a great idea. The Rebel Army, while retreating back to the Rappahannock, had destroyed the Orange & Alexander Railroad, Meade’s would-be supply line. He could noRead More

General Meade Goes to Washington

October 22, 1863 (Thursday) General George Meade, commanding the Union Army of the Potomac, had been the previous day called to Washington. This came about after claiming he could do little more against General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The trip from Centreville to the capital was a short one, and he arrived around 2pm.Read More

‘The Campaign is Virtually Over’ – Meade to Call it Off?

October 21, 1863 (Wednesday) General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was safely entrenched on the south bank of the Rappahannock River. They held the fords and crossings from Brandy Station to well downstream of the destroyed railroad crossing. A small vanguard was left on the norther bank to welcome Jeb Stuart’s Cavalry upon their returnRead More

Pell-Mell, In Great Disorder and Confusion – The Buckland Races

October 19, 1863 (Monday) As the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia retreated south from Bristoe Station, Jeb Stuart’s Cavalry acted as rear guard, waiting until the morning of this date to fall back. As they did, they were pressured by Judson Kilpatrick’s troopers, acting as the vanguard to the Federal Army of the Potomac, finallyRead More

‘Lee is Unquestionably Bullying You’ – Halleck and Meade Fight While Lee Slips Away

October 18, 1863 (Sunday) General Lee spent the three days following the strange misstep at Bristoe Station, destroying the Orange & Alexander Railroad and preparing to return south to a line along the Rappahannock River. He had forced General George Meade’s Union Army of the Potomac all the way back to Centreville, but now believedRead More

Both Sides to Rest and Warily Search

October 15, 1863 (Thursday) Come the morning, the Confederates at Bristoe Station could see that the enemy had escaped. Through the dark of night, they had slipped away from a disaster so narrowly averted, and fled north toward Washington. A great blow might have been struck had any number of things transpired with even theRead More

To Halt Was to Await Annihilation – Lee Lets Meade Slip Away

October 14, 1863 (Wednesday) The morning came, and with it a dense fog. General Stuart, along with two small brigades of cavalry, had hidden themselves near Auburn, Virginia, as they were surrounded by two columns of the enemy’s troops marching north. Stuart was cut off from General Lee’s main body. Through the thick gray hazeRead More

Lee Blunders and Stuart is Trapped!

October 13, 1863 (Tuesday) “I am still moving with the view of throwing him further back toward Washington,” wrote General Lee to President Davis the previous night. His army had successfully slipped around the right flank of George Meade’s Army of the Potomac, and appeared, as the dawn brightened the morning, that it would streamRead More

Lee Gives Meade the Slip for Yet Another Day

October 12, 1863 (Monday) By dawn, General George Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac, may have believed himself a fool. His decision to retreat while the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia swerved around his right flank was hastily made. Now, with a day to think about it and a bit of intelligence gathered, heRead More