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Historic America Photography

Worthington Farmhouse

The Worthington Farmhouse on Monocacy National Battlefield, 4632 Araby Church Road (Visitor Center) outside Frederick, Maryland. On July 9, 1864, Confederate forces under Brig. Gen. John McCausland crossed the Monocacy River and clashed with Union Brig. Gen. James B. Ricketts’ brigade on the farm of John T. Worthington while Worthington and his frightened family huddled inside their home.

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Historic America

Second Winchester Battlefield in Frederick County, Virginia

In the first major infantry battle of the Gettysburg Campaign, Confederate forces dealt a crushing blow to Union designs in the Shenandoah. Today you can visit the remains of a fort where they fought.

The battles of Second Winchester and Stephenson’s Depot were fought from June 13 to 15, 1863 between Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy and Confederate forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell in Frederick County, Virginia during the American Civil War. These dramatic Confederate victories in the Gettysburg Campaign’s opening phase cleared a path through the Shenandoah Valley for Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army, allowing it to invade Maryland and Pennsylvania. Taken together, the battles were among the most lopsided of the war, with 4,747 total casualties, mostly Union prisoners.

On June 1, 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia slipped away from the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and headed north to invade Pennsylvania. Gen. Robert E. Lee intended to use the Shenandoah Valley as a corridor to invade the north, with the Blue Ridge Mountains hiding his movements from the enemy. To do so, he first needed to clear the 8,324-man Federal garrison commanded by Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy at Winchester, Virginia. He entrusted his Second Corps commander Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell with the task.

Milroy had occupied the area around Winchester since late December 1862, digging fortifications to protect his supply depot as well as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad farther north. On June 12, Ewell took his three divisions and one cavalry brigade, for a total of 19,000 men, through Chester’s Gap into the Shenandoah Valley. He sent one division under Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes northeast to cut off the Federal retreat and his other two divisions under Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early and Maj. Gen. Edward “Allegheny” Johnson to directly attack Milroy at Winchester.

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Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: John A. Green

Mausoleum for the Green family in Oakwood Cemetery, 940 Comstock Avenue, next to Syracuse University, in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York. At least three generations of Greens are interred here, most prominently John A. Green, Jr. (1828-1872) and his wife Jane (1800-1889). John Green was a wholesale grocer and a brigadier general in the New York National Guard during the Civil War, tasked with defending the northern portion of the state (though he butted heads with Maj. Gen. John A. Dix, commander of the Department of the East). General Benjamin Butler mentioned him in his memoirs as a “confidential friend of the governor.” He was a founding member of the Onondaga Historical Association.

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Historic America Photography

Turner Rifles at Antietam

Relief sculpture on the 12th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry monument at Antietam National Battlefield. The 12th NY ‘Turner Rifles’ was part of the Union Army of the Potomac, Third Brigade, Second Division, Sixth Army Corps. The regiment was involved in repelling the final Confederate counterattack near Dunker Church during the Battle of Antietam.

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Historic America

Trevilian Station Battlefield in Louisa County, Virginia

Drive the battlefield where Union and Confederate forces clashed in one of the largest all-cavalry engagements of the war, and what some have called Gen. Custer’s “first last stand.”

The Battle of Trevilian Station was fought from June 11 to June 12, 1864 between Union cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gens. Wade Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee in Louisa County, Virginia during the American Civil War. This Confederate victory, part of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign, was one of the largest cavalry fights of the war. Union forces failed to sever Robert E. Lee’s critical supply line, prolonging the war by months. It resulted in approximately 2,315 total casualties.

By the opening days of June 1864, the Union and Confederate armies had been locked in near-continuous deadly combat for a month. The two armies clashed in bloody battle after bloody battle, inching closer and closer to the Confederate capital of Richmond. After the Battle of Cold Harbor, Grant planned to slip away from Lee and cross the James River. He sent Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan’s cavalry corps to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad, one of Lee’s main supply lines, as a diversion.

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Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: Daniel D. Bidwell

Brig. Gen. Daniel Davidson Bidwell (1819-1864) was born in Buffalo, New York and served in the state militia prior to the Civil War. He became colonel of the 49th New York Volunteer Infantry in August 1861. He fought at the head of his regiment in the Battle of Chancellorsville and was present at Gettysburg, although his unit wasn’t involved in the fighting. He took command of a brigade for U.S. Grant’s Overland Campaign, but he was not promoted to brigadier general until August 1864.

On October 19, 1864, a Confederate surprise attack initially routed Union forces at the Battle of Cedar Creek. Bidwell’s brigade was instrumental in slowing their attack and buying time for reinforcements. Bidwell himself was mortally wounded by an artillery shell and died on the field, asking the surgeon to “Tell them I died at my post doing my duty.” He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, at 1411 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, New York.

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Historic America

Buckland Mills Battlefield in Fauquier County, Virginia

Visit the scene of J.E.B. Stuart’s last decisive victory in Virginia before it is erased forever by suburban sprawl.

The Battle of Buckland Mills was fought on October 19, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in Fauquier County, Virginia during the American Civil War. The skirmish, though small, was the last decisive Confederate victory in Virginia, resulting in 230 total casualties and the route of Kilpatrick’s cavalry.

Following the Gettysburg Campaign, both the Union Army of the Potomac and Confederate Army of Northern Virginia were exhausted and needed time to recover, and both Maj. Gen. George G. Meade and Gen. Robert E. Lee sent units to reinforce Tennessee. This resulted in the often overlooked Bristoe Campaign, when Lee decided to go on the offensive against a depleted Union army. After being bruised at the Battle of Bristoe Station on October 14th, Lee tasked his cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart to cover their retreat.