16 November 2007 by Published in: General musings 6 comments

From June 19-22, 2008, I will be leading a tour for the Civil War Education Association titled The Clash of Cavalry in Virginia. I will be the sole tour leader for this event.

Here’s the description that I’ve written for the weekend event, which I’m really looking forward to:

Join the CWEA for a tour of some of the most hard-fought cavalry actions of the American Civil War. We will tour three cavalry battlefields in Culpeper County, and one in Louisa County. Join Civil War cavalry historian Eric J. Wittenberg for this intensive tour of the cavalry actions of 1863 and 1864.

The March 17, 1863 Battle of Kelly’s Ford marked one of the earliest large scale clashes of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac and Jeb Stuart’s vaunted cavaliers. With a division of veteran cavalry, Brig. Gen. William W. Averell’s horsemen splashed across the Rappahannock River early on St. Patrick’s Day. They spent the day tangling with the Virginia troopers of Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s brigade in a hard-fought clash that led to the death of Maj. John Pelham, Jeb Stuart’s chief of horse artillery, who unwisely joined a saber charge by some of Fitz Lee’s troopers and paid for his poor decision with his life. At the end of a long day of fighting, Averell withdrew, leaving the battlefield in Stuart’s hands. The Battle of Kelly’s Ford is notable as one of the first times that the Federal cavalry went boot-to-boot with Stuart’s vaunted cavaliers. We will tour the Kelly’s Ford battlefield on Friday.

Kelly’s Ford also factors into the June 9, 1863 Battle of Brandy Station, the largest cavalry battle fought on the North American continent. On June 9, 1863, 12,000 Yankee troopers crossed the Rappahannock at Beverly’s and Kelly’s Fords and caught Stuart’s cavalry by surprise. In a fourteen hour engagement that featured mounted saber charges and countercharges as well as heavily contested dismounted fighting. In addition to seeing the Kelly’s Ford crossings, we will see the main battlefield, including a visit to Buford’s Knoll, the ruins of St. James Church, site of hand-to-hand fighting, Fleetwood Hill, Yew Ridge, and Stevensburg. We will also see the site of the Grand Review of Stuart’s cavalry that occurred the day before the great battle at Brandy Station as we continue our tours on Friday.

On Saturday, we will travel to Louisa County for a tour of the Trevilian Station battlefield. Fought on June 11-12, 1864, Trevilian Station was the largest all-cavalry battle of the Civil War. Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton, commanding 6,000 Confederate cavalry, soundly defeated Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s 9300 Federal troopers in two long, brutal days of fighting. Although most of the fighting at Trevilian Station occurred dismounted, there were significant mounted charges. We will tour the first and second day’s battlefields, and we will end with a visit to Oakwood Cemetery in nearby Louisa. We will also hear about the battlefield preservation efforts of the Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation.

On Sunday, we will visit the famed “Graffiti House”, where we will hear about the preservation work that has accomplished so much at Brandy Station, and then we will visit the town of Culpeper. Culpeper sites include Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill’s childhood home, the train station, which was the site of a small but nasty cavalry engagement that occurred on September 13, 1863, when Judson Kilpatrick’s Federal cavalry division made a dash on Confederate supply trains in the town of Culpeper. We will conclude our tours with a visit to the Culpeper National Cemetery, where Union battle dead from both Brandy Station and Trevilian Station rest.

I hope that some of you will be able to make it. At only $395 (including 2 lunches and a cookout on Saturday night), it really is a bargain. I know I’m really looking forward to it.

Scridb filter


  1. Sat 17th Nov 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Then I guess we better get to work so yours, JDs, and Mike Nugent’s 6-volume set of the pursuit of Lee after Gettysburg is done by that time. LOL


  2. Jeff Mancini
    Wed 28th Nov 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Eric: My son and I are going to make every attempt to attend the event. $395 is nothing compared to the priceless insight you are offering to fellow historians. Hope to be there in June. JM

  3. Fri 30th Nov 2007 at 10:46 am

    As a lawyer, you are working cheap!!

  4. Fri 30th Nov 2007 at 10:47 am

    Low wages for an attorney!

  5. Fri 30th Nov 2007 at 6:07 pm


    I’m making a bit more than that. 🙂

    The $395 is the cost for participants.


Comments are closed.

Copyright © Eric Wittenberg 2011, All Rights Reserved
Powered by WordPress