One day. Fourteen hours. Twelve thousand Union cavalrymen against 9,000 of their Confederate counterpartswith three thousand Union infantry thrown in for good measure. Amidst the thunder of hooves and the clashing of sabers, they slugged it out across the hills and dales of Culpepper County, Virginia.
And it escalated into the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North American continent.
Fleetwood Hill at Brandy Station was the site of four major cavalry battles during the course of the Civil War, but none was more important than the one fought on June 9, 1863. That clash turned out to be the opening engagement of the Gettysburg Campaignand the one-day delay it engendered may very well have impacted the outcome of the entire campaign.
The tale includes a veritable who’s-who of cavalry all-stars in the East: Jeb Stuart, Wade Hampton, John Buford, and George Armstrong Custer. Robert E. Lee, the great Confederate commander, saw his son, William H. F. Lee, being carried off the battlefield, severely wounded. Both sides suffered heavy losses.
But for the Federal cavalry, the battle was also a watershed event. After Brandy Station, never again would they hear the mocking cry, “Whoever saw a dead cavalryman?”
In Out Flew the Sabers: The Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863The Opening Engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign, Civil War historians Eric J. Wittenberg and Daniel T. Davis have written the latest entry in Savas Beatie’s critically acclaimed Emerging Civil War Series.
About the Author
A former historian at Appomattox Court House National Historic Site and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Daniel T. Davis is a co-managing editor of Emerging Civil War (www.emergingcivilwar.com). He has co-authored six books in the Emerging Civil War Series and has also authored and co-authored articles in Blue & Gray, Civil War Times, and Hallowed Ground.
Eric J. Wittenberg is an accomplished American Civil War cavalry historian and author. An attorney in Ohio, Wittenberg has authored over 21 books on various Civil War subjects, with particular focus on cavalry operations, as well as three dozen articles in popular magazines such as North & South, Blue&Gray, America’s Civil War, and Gettysburg Magazine. His first book, Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions (Thomas Publications, Gettysburg PA, 1998) won the prestigious 1998 Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award. The second edition won the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award, for Reprint, 2011. His 2014 book, “The Devil’s to Pay”: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour, was awarded the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable’s 2015 Book Award.
Wittenberg is a favored speaker at Civil War Roundtables, and conducts tours of various Civil War battlefields and related sites. He was instrumental in saving important battlefield land at Trevilian Station and Brandy Station, Virginia, and wrote the text for the historical waysides located at Trevilian Station. He lives in Columbus with his wife Susan and their beloved dogs. Visit Eric J. Wittenberg's website: http://www.ericwittenberg.com
Table of Contents
Touring The Battlefield X
Foreword Kristopher D. White XIII
Chapter 1 The Confederate Cavalry Concentrates 1
Chapter 2 Stuart's Grand Reviews 9
Chapter 3 The Union Plan of Attack 15
Chapter 4 The Battle Begins 19
Chapter 5 A Charge of Conspicuous Gallantry 29
Chapter 6 To the Stone Wall 39
Chapter 7 Gregg's Arrival 45
Chapter 8 The Desperate Struggle for Fleetwood Kill 51
Chapter 9 Out Flew the Sabres 65
Chapter 10 The Fight at Stevensburg 75
Chapter 11 A Reluctant Withdrawal 87
Chapter 12 "This Battle Made tire Federal Cavalry" 93
Poscript Daniel T. Davis 101
Appendix A The Four Battles of Brandy Station Eric J. Wittenberg 111
Appendix B The Winter Encampment Mike Block 117
Appendix C The Battle of Kelly's Ford Daniel T. Davis 125
Afterword O. James Lighthizer 131
Order Of Battle 138
Suggested Reading 140
About The Authors 142