The Battle of Brandy Station
In the spring of 1863, General Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac, 115,000 strong, was encamped on the south side of the Rappahannock River. The river is located in the central eastern portion of Virginia, flowing west to east. It joins with the Rapidan, flowing past Brandy Station, Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg before emptying into the Chesapeake bay. The river could be easily forded at many places when not affected by heavy rains. Some of the more important fords going from a southerly to northerly direction are Banks, United States, Richards', Ellis', Kemper's, Kelly's and Beverly's.
Leaving a force of about 40,000 at Fredericksburg, General Hooker moved 9 miles west to the vicinity of Chancellorsville which was a crossroads in an area known locally as "The Wilderness". The terrain was that of thick forest and tangled underbrush.
On May 1st, General Robert E. Lee, with a troop strength of about 60,000, wishing to engage, moved his army toward Hooker. Contrary to ordinary tactical standards, Lee split his force. He left 10,000 under General Early to hold Fredericksburg and marched to Chancellorsville. Hooker, initially positioned in open ground, which was a good area for artillery, affording line of sight engagement and ease of redeployment unencumbered by trees, moved to a wooded area around Chancellorsville. He took the high ground and entrenched his troops.
Once again, the crafty Lee split his force, leaving 18,000 to stand their ground, while 28,000 troops under General Jackson took a roundabout to attack the Union flank. Confident at this point, Hooker thought Lee was retreating. In actuality the reverse was true which it became apparent when Jackson stormed into the Union flank about suppertime. Later that same evening, Jackson along with two or three of his staff, a number of couriers and signal sergeants rode forward on the turnpike to do his own reconnaissance to consider a possible night attack. Jackson and his men returning to their own lines, somewhat nervous Confederate soldiers, thinking the riders to be Union cavalry, fired upon them, "killing two of his party on the spot while General Jackson took three balls at the same instant, one penetrating his right hand, a second around the wrist of the left arm and out through the left hand and a third passed through the left arm half way between his shoulder and elbow". (commager - 264) The wounds would prove to be mortal. General Jackson died eight days later.
Following Jackson's death, General JEB Stuart took temporary command of his corps. Fifty guns were moved to a high ground called Hazel Grove from which had been previously occupied by Hooker and his men. Again as before, Lee divided his men, leaving 25,000 with Stuart, and the rest to reinforce General Early's men at Fredericksburg. On May 6th, Hooker retreated, going north across the Rappahannock River. This was a bitter defeat and one that should have not been lost. On the other hand, the exact opposite was true of General Lee. It had been called "Lee's greatest masterpiece". Another victory in a string of victories but one for which the Confederates paid dearly at Chancellorsville. Twenty two percent of the Confederate force (13,000 men) were killed or injured, while the Union sustained 17,000 casualties or 15 percent of their force. (Mc Pherson - 321)
Did this battle do more harm than good for the Confederates, General Lee or General Stuart? Did it give them an overconfidence in their own ability and a contempt for the Union soldier? Did this help General Lee to ask the impossible of his men two months later at Gettysburg when they made that fatal charge? The answers are conjecture, but for now, this was a time for uplifting spirits.
General Stuart's personality was one that did not shy away from pomp. He enjoyed the trimmings of generalship. He was a handsome man of 30, sharp eyes peering out from a cinnamon-colored beard, one who stood out distinctively from the many butternut-colored and gray toned clothed troops. Stuart was known to fashion a scarlet-lined cape that covered his tunic, a black ostrich plume, yellow waist sash and a gilt-star clasp honored his brimmed hat. At times, he wore ribbons or flowers in his lapel, gold spurs and elbow length riding gloves. One can picture a knight of old as he rode his horse, Highfly, to the company of his marching, military musicians.
JEB Stuart was no stranger to the military environment. Subsequent to attending Emory and Henry College, he graduated from the U.S. military Academy at West Point in 1854. In his early career, he served in the capacity of an aide to Colonel Robert E. Lee and the state troops that captured John Brown during the ill-fated attack on Harper's Ferry. Stuart's obvious outward expression did not go unnoticed by his men, as his aid, John Cooke, expressed him to be a man "ardent, impetuous, brimming over with the wine of life and youth, with the headlong courage of a high-spirited boy, fond of bright colors, of rippling flags, of martial music and the clash of sabers". (Longacre - 25)
After Chancellorsville, Lee was going to direct the fighting out of his native Virginia and make a massive invasion into the enemy soil of Maryland and Pennsylvania. General Longstreet's 1st Corps, along with Stuart's newly reinforced division would cover the right flank of the invasionary force. After May 20th, Stuart moved his headquarters to the town of Culpeper. Having several weeks for final plans to be formulated and giving his men and horses time to recover and regroup, he decided to relax and create a "Grand Review" on such a scale that had never before been seen. Stuart, along with 9,536 of his troops tented at Fleetwood Hill, a wide field overlooking Brandy Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad between Culpeper and the Rappahannock.
On May 22nd, Stuart held the first of three reviews. The first one consisted of three brigades comprised of about 4,000 troops. A small knoll served as a reviewing stand which made the view of the field ideal. The spectacle of this review pleased Stuart so much that he planned an even grander one for June 5th - all 9,536 troops would participate.
On the night prior to the review, a ball was held in the Town Hall. Being a somewhat formal occasion, invitations were sent to the adjoining counties. Guests came from as far away as Richmond and Charlottesville along with Stuart's friend and personal guest, George Randolph, Secretary of War. The only guest missing was General Lee himself. Newly ordered uniforms adorned the men and their mounts were crisp and clean. Gaily dressed ladies walked past the campfires outside the dimly lit Town Hall. The lively music continued for hours. The next morning, promptly at 8.00 a.m, preceded by buglers, JEB Stuart rode to the knoll to receive the passing troops. Reaching the knoll, twenty-four guns from the horse artillery of Major R. F. Beckham sounded their salute. A one and a half mile line of troops made two passes. On the first pass the artillery came first, peeled off and stationed their pieces while the cavalry passed at a fast walk. At the second pass the cavalry, nearing the review position, broke into a trot, then one hundred yards from Stuart, the horses were spurred into a gallop. The troops, with sabers raised, gave forth a rebel yell, while three bands played and the cannons fired in accompaniment to the review. Remarks recorded by observers were favorable, "One grand, magnificent pageant, inspiring to make even an old woman feel fightish", "He is the prettiest, most graceful rider I ever saw. I could not help but to notice with what natural ease and comely elegance he sat his steed as it bounded over the field .... he and his horse appeared to be one and the same machine". (Davis - 304) " An artillerist was heard to remark ....... useless expenditure of powder and horseflesh, but it was one of the grandest scenes I ever saw". (Thomas - 218) The day's events concluded with another ball; this one hold in the open air surrounded by the light of bonfires.
On June 8th, the final review was held at Inlet Station in Culpeper County. Most of the spectators had returned home, but Stuart's important guest was in attendance. General Robert E. Lee., mounted on Traveller, took his place on the knoll and reviewed the troops as they passed by. Enthusiasm displayed by the troops was not quite as high as on the previous days although their leaders enjoyed the spectacle as much on this day as before. The men realized that after the last review they tended their horses and equipment while the officers attended balls. The review passed only once this time, lacking the gallop, yelling and firing of the cannons, nothing like the previous day's pageantry. General Lee did not feel this was necessary as he felt that the horses "needed their flesh and the gunners needed their powder". (Freeman, Vol. III - 4) When the review was over, the troops tended to their mounts and packed to get ready for the march to the north in the morning. It was a full day's activity which took its toll, tiring the men towards the end of the day. Lee and Stuart discussed details of the morning march while Stuart's staff and slaves packed his headquarters' baggage and wagoned them to Culpeper. Stuart slept that night under a tent-fly on Fleetwood Hill. General Lee returned to his new headquarters near Culpeper.
The genesis of the American cavalry was fashioned with the same method that were employed when the Union cavalry became the effective fighting force of 1863. The first American commander of the cavalry was in the Revolution. He was the Polish Count Pulaski and was known as the Commander of the Horse. Originally, because of the thick woods in which the American Revolution was fought, it became necessary for units to fight dismounted and rely on their firearms rather than to engage in romantic mounted charges. Horses enhanced guerrilla raids as a method of transportation to the place to do battle. Early Indian fighting in the West and in Florida was done mostly with two feet planted on the ground. As America evolved, Europe influenced most things about her, notwithstanding the tactics of the cavalry. Western Europe had seen many fields thundering with mounted dragoon charges. The War of 1812 and the Mexican War saw some cavalry influenced by the European model. Later on in the nineteenth century, Indian fighting was done more with the saber. In the 1850's mounted tactics, European style, was taught at West Point.
In the first days of the Civil War, the Confederate cavalry was obviously more adept to the saddle. Their Union cousins became somewhat impeded by the industrial north in that they seemed to carry everything that they made. Their mounts were weighted down and needed replacement often. Some troopers purchased invulnerable vests. This added ten pounds of steel plates that when worn was supposed to protect against saber blows and bullets. The 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry first carried nine foot lances with eleven inch blades. In the early days, the cavalry was not a respected branch of the military. An often heard remark from the infantry was "Whoever saw a dead cavalryman" or "There's going to be a fight boys! The cavalry is back". (Longacre - 45) It was generally thought that the cavalry was too costly for their worth and their tactics were too complex for citizen soldiers. At times these mounted troops did not have respect for themselves, as they thought infantrymen sneered at them. Even though Mc Clellan wrote the Army's cavalry regulations and developed the Mc Clellan saddle, he used horse soldiers with little imagination. He and other Generals of the Army of the Potomac, Pope and Burnside thought in European terms. The cavalry was not used as a cohesive fighting unit, and the officers did not have a full appreciation for them. Cavalry soldiers were used as couriers, bodyguards, picket duty and escorts for wagon trains. The cavalry was saddled with incapable leaders.
In the "Spring of 63", "Fighting Joe" Hooker, who relieved General Ambrose Burnside, removed the cavalry from the command of infantry corps commanders and after one bad selection, General George Stoneman, placed General Alfred Pleasonton in charge of the cavalry on May 22nd. This signaled a renaissance of the way the cavalry would develop. Silly nine foot lances that would catch every tree limb as they went cross country were abandoned. Saber scabbards were removed from the waist of the trooper and placed at the side of the saddle so as not to hamper the free movement when on the ground. Troopers would dismount to fight with one in four troopers holding the reins of the others. All extra baggage was discarded. The saddle and blanket by day became a pillow and sleeping blanket by night. The trooper was armed with a carbine, a somewhat lighter, shorter rifle, fastened to a shoulder sling. He had one or two revolvers, some with removable, preloaded cylinders. Outside of ammunition and rations, most other creature comforts were divorced from his life. A metamorphosis in this fighting soldier was rapidly taking place.
General Alfred Pleasonton was a small, thin man. While not quite a dapper as General Stuart, he was still one who could standout amongst the masses. Although diminutive, he sported a straw skimmer in lieu of customary headdress with a waxed mustache, white gloves and a riding-whip, one could consider him a ladies man and a dandy of the day. He was a lover of fine food and drink. A news account of the day labeled him as "polished and affable, and thoroughly a man of the world". Disliked by his fellow officers, he was demanding, ambitious and a disciplinarian. He worked hard to demand the respect of his men and to accept him as someone who could lead them. Unfortunately for those who served under him, he was seen as a general lacking in courage and not a very good leader. Following the war, because of his desire to embrace second hand stories and speculation, he was labeled as "the Knight of Romance".
One of Pleasonton's good fortunes was to have two subordinates, Brigadier General John Buford and General David Gregg. Buford was a walrus mustached West Point graduate from Kentucky, a member of the Regular Army and a fearless soldier. Gregg was an amazingly calm person under fire and a veteran Indian fighter. A third, not so distinguished, was Colonel Alfred Duffie', a French veteran with cavalry service in Algeria, Senegal and the Crimea.
Hooker had been getting reports for more than a week that Lee was about to move. Observation balloons could see clear fields where before they were spotted with tents. Reconnaissance and news paper accounts in the New York Times seemed to bear this out. Thinking Stuart's cavalry was in Culpeper and about to raid, Hooker ordered Pleasonton to engage the enemy. The formulated plan was that Buford's and Gregg's forces would meet and assemble at Brandy Station before attacking toward Culpeper Courthouse each being half of a pincer movement. Duffie' was to march to Stevensburg, protecting the Union left flank before joining forces at the Courthouse. Buford, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, was to cross the Rappahannock at Beverly's Ford, four miles from Brandy Station. Pleasonton and his staff, attached themselves with Buford. Duffie', under the command of Gregg, and commanders of the 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Divisions respectively, crossed six miles downstream at Kelly's Ford, eight miles from Brandy Station. Buford and Gregg each would have half of the 3,000 infantry. The total northern cavalry of the three commanders was about 8,000 and Stuart had his original 9,536 troops including horse artillery. (Clark - 10)
Stuart's cavalry was moving for the north, the morning of the 9th. The sound of muffled hoof beats were heard the evening of the 8th. Battle was to be started before first light. 20,000 troops would soon engage, 17,000 of them cavalrymen. It was the eve of the largest cavalry battle ever in the western hemisphere. The confederates, excellent horsemen since the beginning of the war, would engage their newly reborn equals.
The Union cavalry arrived at the river at 11:00 pm, unsaddled their mounts and slept or napped under stars. Horses remained bridled with reins tethered around the trooper's arms. The night was dark without campfires as they awaited for the hours before dawn. Men were awake and would be in saddle before 3:00 am.
At first there was some confusion and the river crossing was delayed because Duffie' got lost in the dark and was on the wrong road. He righted himself and met up with Gregg's division Duffie' crossed at 6:30 am, forcing Gregg's crossing at 9:00 am. Buford's 8th New York Cavalry first splashed across the ford through the morning fog at 4:30 am and was met by a detachment from the 6th Virginia Cavalry commanded by Brigadier General William E. "Grumble" Jones who was headquartered two miles to the rear at the little Saint James brick church. Jones was a West Point graduate and an able cavalryman. His appearance was the direct opposite of Stuart being often garbed in bluejeans, a hickory shirt and an old homespun coat.
As the New Yorkers mounted the steep bank, on the far side, the battle had begun. The small detachment, being obviously outnumbered, retreated down the road while couriers gave spur to "Grumble" Jones. The New Yorkers, along with the 8th Illinois cavalry and their leader, Colonel B. F. "Grimes" Davis, a West Pointer from Alabama, with saber in hand, followed chase down the road where they were met by the retaliatory 6th Virginians. He would take on a single rebel in a one on one duel, swinging his saber and the opposing horseman ducking beside his horse's head, "Grimes" Davis missed. The rebel fired a single pistol shot. "Grimes" Davis hit the road, dead with a bullet hole in the head. Having narrowly rescued Major R.F. Beckman's four batteries of horse artillery and protecting the Beverly's Ford Road, the Virginians wheeled one cannon in the road and fired canister shot at the advancing Yankees. One of Beckman's men stated later, "just as we rounding up the last sweet snooze for the night, bullets from Yankee sharpshooters came from the depth of the woods and zipped across our blanket beds ...... such a getting up of horse artillerlymen I had never saw before". (Longacre - 65) The others formed in front of and both sides of the church, aimed at the road and an open plateau to the north.
The 7th Virginia Cavalry had already had reveille shortly before the first shots were fired. When called to action, some mounted their horses, bootless, shirtless or hatless. They came to the defense of the diminished 6th very early, charging past them, forcing the 8th Illinois and the 3rd Indiana Cavalry to make their advance parallel to the road. Rebel Brigadier General Wade Hampton, rushed from Brandy Station with his brigade and stationed himself east of the positioned guns. "Grumble" Jones took the west flank. "Rooney" Lee, second son of his famous commander, attached himself to the right of Jones' brigade at Yew Ridge between Fleetwood Hill and the Hazel River. He positioned his dismounted troopers behind the stone wall in front of Doctor Green's farm. On the high ground behind the farm, two guns were placed. From his headquarters at Fleetwood Hill, Stuart sent Beverly Robertson's brigade to Kelly Ford to guard against that approach. Later, he would receive courier from Robertson that Yankee cavalry was making penetration in that sector also with infantry on the far side of the river. "Fitz" Lee, "Rooney" Lee's first cousin, was sent toward the battle. After sending the remaining supply wagons to Culpeper, Stuart advanced toward the main battle, leaving the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry at Brandy Station and enforcing Robertson's defense at Kelly Ford with the 1st South Carolina Cavalry.
Buford now started to realize that the opposing forces were larger than he expected. He placed the 8th and the 9th New York, the 3rd Indiana and the 3rd West Virginia Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Thomas Devin, east of the road in a mile long front. Then positioned the 8th Illinois, the 6th New York, the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry and the reserve brigades of the 1st, 2nd,, 5th and the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry on the west of the road. The infantry was placed along both sides of the road. After positioning the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Rush's Lancers, commanded by a Philadelphia blue blood, Major Robert Morris, broke into an eight hundred yard wide meadow, sabers drawn, advancing across the field while the charge was bulged. A row of 16 cannons at Saint James church and a battery from the Gee house opened fire at one time, sending shot into the advance. A Lieutenant Louis Carpenter recorded, "Shells burst over us, under us and alongside and the bullets were singing through the air like a hornet's nest". (Nickols - 23) Some Federal troopers made it to the Rebel guns and were completely surrounded. Others were able to wrestle back firing pistols as they rode. They regrouped and retreated in an orderly fashion. During the charge, six officers and one hundred men were lost, this represented about one third of their original strength.
Buford left Devin with his command in place in addition to the 86th and the 124th New York to defend the position to counter the Virginians in front of the church. At 8:30 am, wishing to advance, did a roundabout at the church to advance to the Cunningham farm near the positioned "Rooney" Lee at Doctor Green's farm.
The two forces engaged for several hours, resulting in particularly high casualties being suffered by the 8th Illinois Cavalry. Meanwhile, back at the church, after several hours of taking cannon shot, Devin and the infantry were shocked to see that the enemy had simply disappeared. At Doctor Green's farm, the 2nd Massachusetts and the 3rd Wisconsin began pouring over the wall. "Rooney" Lee realized that when the defenders at the church were no longer there, his right flank was left unprotected. With the Union cavalry in pursuit, he retreated to Fleetwood Hill.
Gregg, located south of Brandy Station, on the Fredericksburg Plank Road left a large force at the river to prevent the Rebel Robertson from attacking his rear. He could hear the battle and realized that the real fight was not at Culpeper Court House but dead in front. Gregg rightfully changed battle plans and raced to join forces with Buford, leaving his infantry behind. Stuart was trying to get to Fleetwood Hill first with the 12th and the 35th Virginia Cavalry and the 6th Virginia Cavalry was retreating from the church with the same destination.
On the Union side, Greggs 1st New Jersey and the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry were at the base of Fleetwood Hill receiving shot from one cannon. No troopers were spotted but it was thought that they may have been hidden in the woods. The 6th New York Light Battery racked the woods. Getting no response, the Federals charged up the hill leaving the 1st Maryland Cavalry at the base. At that very time, the 12th Virginia Cavalry was cresting the other side, followed by the 35th also known as the "Commanches". The two opposing forces charged toward each other. Seven thousand cavalrymen then started to attack. Sunburst reflected in the slashing sabers. Mounts mingled in the fight after their riders had been cut down. Horses and men both lie on the ground. The 12th's commander, Colonel Harman fell in the fight, badly wounded. Recorded by the New Jersey officer, Thomas Kitchen "...... My saber took him just in the neck and the blood gushed out in a black-looking stream....one rebel on a splendid horse sabered three gunners while I was chasing him. He wheeled in and out, would dart away and come sweeping back and cut down another in a matter that seemed almost supernatural". (Nickols - 17) The 12th and the 35th were swept from the hill. This action was countered by an attack by Brigadier General Wade Hampton's Brigade who cut into the New Jersey unit, mortally wounding its leader Lieutenant Colonel Virgil Brodrick and the executive officer Major John Shelmire and forcing retreat.
The 6th Virginia Cavalry came off the crest of the hill, mounted an attack on the 1st Maryland Cavalry. The lst Brigade, under the West Pointer Colonel Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, nicknamed "Kill-cavalry" because of his pension for long marches and head long charges, entered the fight. He discharged the 10th New York Cavalry to the hill and the 2nd New York to Fleetwood House, also called the Miller House. The units took hard hits on their flank by the 1st South Carolina Cavalry. The Puritans of the 1st Maine then charged up the hill and continued to the Bardour House, also called the Beauregard House, a distance of about one mile. They charged so far that they found themselves without support of their fellow cavalrymen. They then turned around and battled back to Yankee lines with the good fortune of not having lost any of their riders. The sabering raged for two hours. The hill finally succumbed to the rebels.
The 2nd South Carolina was held in reserve at Brandy Station, under Colonel Matthew Butler. He know that some cavalry was sweeping towards Stevensburg on the way to Culpeper Court House. About l0:00 am, he raced to Stevensburg, dismounted and formed a mile long line. Duffie's lst Massachusetts, 1st Rhode Island and the 6th Ohio Cavalry effected a mounted charge into the line of the 4th Virginia, causing retreat. He was ordered several times to withdraw from Stevensonburg and come to the aid of Gregg. Duffie' could see the battle on Fleetwood Hill. Only a force of 500 stood between him and the fight but he chose to return to Brandy Station by the way that he came. He met with Gregg as the battle was ending at 4.00 pm.
Stuart had always had his way with the Union forces since the start of the war and now stood victorious on Fleetwood Hill forming a line two miles long. He and his men could see the opposing cavalrymen grouped a mile away but something was different. Their Yankee foe was not going away. Disturbed by this, Stuart sent "Rooney" Lee, supported by Jones into Buford's regulars. Although by as early as a little past noon, Hooker authorized Pleasonton to recross the river if the situation would merit it. Pleasonton ordered Buford to disengage at about 5:00 pm. Buford was being hit on his right flank at this time. Thirteen hours after the first bullet was fired, Buford recrossed the Rappahannock where he crossed that morning. Gregg's command crossed at Rappahannock Ford. All were across the river by 9.00 pm. Pleasonton was very happy as he felt that his men did very well. One of his accomplishments was that a set of official papers fell into his hands stating Lee's intention of his forthcoming invasion into Maryland and Pennsylvania. Some doubt does remain if he did indeed capture the documents.
Both sides claimed victory. The South claimed that they held the hill when the battle was over. Stuart needed time to rest and regroup so his departure for the north was delayed. General Lee left without him but not before a visit. At his arrival, he saw his son "Rooney" who had taken a bullet in the thigh being taken off the field. The North claimed that they stood stirrup to stirrup to their Rebel counterparts and that they walked off the field by their own volition. A fact does however remain, Buford and Gregg never did complete that pincer movement. The list of casualties does not reflect the overall importance of the battle. The Confederates lost 485 men while Buford lost over 500, Gregg and Duffie' losses with the overwhelming amount being in Gregg's command, was 365 men. The total Union loss was 866. The highest amount for one unit was the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry. (Boatner - 81)
Some doubts were creeping into Southern minds about the invincible Stuart. One Confederate War Department clerk was recorded as saying, "The suprise of Stuart on the Rappahannock has chilled every ear ... the question is on every tongue - have our generals relaxed in vigilance? If so, sad is the prospect". (Lonqacre -88) An account of the day in the Richmond Examiner said, "The suprise of this occasion was the most complete that had occurred. The Confederate cavalry was carelessly strewn over the country, with the Rappahannock only between it and the enemy who has already proven his enterprise to our cost. It said that their camp was supposed to be secure because the Rappahannock was not supposed to be fordable athe point where it actually was forded. What! Do the Yankee then know more about this river than our own soldiers, who have done nothing but ride up and down its banks for the past six months"? (Thomas - 228) The Richmond Dispatch, The Charlestown Mercury and the Richmond Whig all blamed him for overconfidence and for his troops letting the enemy surprise them. They changed the facts around the balls during the "Grand Review", claming that they were drunken merrymaking.
General Stuart's ego had been damaged because his men may have fought to a draw, although he told his men, "Comrades!, Two divisions of the enemy's cavalry and artillery on that glorious day, have tough them again the weight of Southern vengeance........". (Davis - 313)
On the Union side, the New York Tribune stated, "The Confederates begin to find that their boasted cavalry is being overmatched by Union horseman. Our troops........ will make as fine a cavalry as can be found in the world". (Longacre - 89) Pleasonton got accolades from the press but he did not receive them from his troops. Quoted one Captain Adams two days after the fight, "I am sure a good cavalry officer would have whipped Stuart out of his boots; but Pleasonton is not and will never be that". (Longacre - 89) The men took great satisfaction in their job well done. They were not afraid to meet the enemy again and would prove it a month later on Cavalry Field at Gettysburg.
The Union cavalry came to age on this day, the 9th of June, 1863. A turning point had happened. The sun on the Union cavalry was rising while the Confederate cavalry's sunset was nearing its view.
Gen. Alfred Pleasanton
|Gen. J.E.B. Stuart|
Edward G. McLaughlin resides in Erdenheim, Pa. His great grandfather, Sergeant John
McLaughlin of Company A, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry fought at the Battle of