Monday, November 18, 2013

October 14, 1863

October 14, 1863

Battle of Bristoe Station
(map courtesy of Civil War Trust - used by permission)

---Battle of Bristoe Station:  Stuart, still trapped between two Federal columns, opens fire with his artillery and smashes through to freedom, but is essentially out of the game for the day.  Meanwhile, Ewell and his Second Corps, searching for the fight that Stuart started, turns to the east and makes contact with Warren’s II Corps of the Union army.  Hill turns also, marching toward Bristoe Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad line southwest of Centreville—both he and Ewell groping for the Union position, which is constantly shifting.  Hill sees Union troops moving to the north, and he deploys his divisions and attacks the rearguard of the Union V Corps, under Sykes, who bruises the Rebel attack and moves on.  Hill changes face, just as Warren comes up from the south, along the railroad line.  

Maj. Gen. Gouveneur K. Warren, U.S.A.

The Confederates advance, and Warren’s II Corps, already in line and hidden, rises up and pours massed volleys into Hill’s troops--principally Heth's division.  The Rebels push forward anyway, breaking the Federal line.  

Lt. Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill, C.S.A.

But Hill has no fresh troops to follow up his break-through.  Warren’s troops re-form, and counterattack, smashing the new Rebel position, inflicting heavy casualties and capturing a complete battery.  Hill has not waited for Ewell to come up to support his attack, and it is too late.  Union Victory.

Losses:     Union, 540                  Confederate, 1,381

Warren pulls back from his position, but it is clear to Robert E. Lee that his surprise will not work, since Meade has gotten in front of him.

---Gen. Sherman sends a dispatch to Gen. Grant, alluding to the rumors that Halleck is going to offer Grant command of all the Union armies between the Mississippi and the Appalachians:

Accept the command of the great army of the center; don’t hesitate. By your presence at Nashville you will unite all discordant elements an impress the enemy in proportion. All success and honor to you.



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