June 17, 1863
---Siege of Vicksburg, Day 26
---Siege of Port Hudson, Day 21
The Gettysburg Campaign:
---Battle of Aldie -- Gen. Pleasonton, commanding the Cavalry Corps in Hooker’s Army of the Potomac, is directed to send out scouts to find out where Lee’s army is, and where it is headed. Pleasonton sends out only one regiment, which, in probing Thoroughfare Gap, is prevented by a rebel cavalry brigade. In fact, everywhere the Yankees probe, they are blocked by the Rebel troopers. Lee’s march is still largely a mystery. Pleasonton asks Gen. Gregg to send a brigade to probe with more authority, and Gregg sends the reckless firebrand Judson Kilpatrick and his brigade. Kilpatrick rides into Aldie, a small crossroads town in the Bull Run mountains area of “Mosby’s Confederacy,” and surprises a fairly large number of Confederate cavalry---in fact, it is Fitzhugh Lee’s entire brigade, and a running battle developments piecemeal as more Rebels troopers come up and as Kilpatrick feeds in his regiments one by one. What “Little Kill” does not know is that he barely missed Jeb Stuart, who was making the town his headquarters. The fighting lasts several hours, and elements of two more Rebel brigades, under Chambliss and Robertson, are nearby but do not engage, since Stuart recalls his men to withdraw behind the mountains and the passes. Kilpatrick manages to drive off the gray troopers, but only just. Meanwhile, the lone regiment sent at first, under Col. Duffie, finds that the way behind them is blocked by Rebels, and so they are surrounded. Duffie asks Kilpatrick for help and is refused. He sends a message to Pleasonton. Duffie can get no answers, and so he has his regiment disperse, and most of them are captured by the Confederates. Only he and fewer than 90 troopers escape.
|The cavalry battle at Aldie|