Battle of Kettle Run Anniversary Approaching

Our county will commemorate the Battle of Kettle Run this Saturday.  The announcement will be posted in our local newspaper on Friday.

Since I live a stone’s throw (okay, a hefty throw…three miles or so) from Bristoe Station where the battle took place, and since some of my poetic inspiration came from roaming that battlefield, and since I have donated some earnings from book sales to the PWC Historic Division which cares for our local treasures, I thought it would be appropriate to steal some background history of the place and encourage people to take the tour being offered Saturday.

If you are local, or if you will be traveling to Northern VA, I highly recommend you make the trip to Bristoe Station Battlefield.  After, drive down the street and check out Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre which was investigated by Ghost Hunters. Enjoy a bit of history and ask yourself if there really are ghosts in Prince William County.  I believe there are.

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“On August 27, 1862, two of Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s divisions plundered the Federal supply depot at Manassas Junction. Gen. Richard S. Ewell’s division formed Jackson’s rear guard at Bristoe Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Ewell knew the ground well, having been raised nearby at Stony Lonesome farm.

Learning of Jackson’s raid, Union Gen. John Pope sent Gen. Joseph Hooker’s division north from Warrenton Junction along the railroad. Marching on an extremely hot afternoon, Hooker’s troops encountered Ewell’s skirmish line south of the Kettle Run bridge at 2 p.m. As fighting intensified, Col. Henry Forno’s brigade (60th Georgia and 6th and 8th Louisiana Infantry) withdrew across the bridge and burned it. They regrouped on the other side with formidable artillery support. Col. Joseph Carr’s Union brigade stormed across the stream into a hail of lead and shot which, as one Federal soldier noted, “caused a very unpleasant sensation.”

Ewell’s division held firm, inflicting heavy casualties along the railroad until Col. Nelson Taylor’s famed Excelsior Brigade advanced and gave the Federals superior numbers. About 4 p.m., Ewell commenced an orderly retreat across Broad Run. Fighting as it withdrew, Gen. Jubal A. Early’s brigade disengaged last and crossed Broad Run about 6:00, burning the railroad

Battle of Kettle Run Map Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2008
2. Battle of Kettle Run Map
Nearby Bristoe Station Battlefield park is the site of an 1863 battle in this highly contested portion of Virginia.

bridge behind it. Federal casualties were about 300 killed and wounded. The Confederates lost about 150. Ewell withdrew to Manassas Junction, where that night Jackson torched the remaining Union supplies and then marched his men to favorable ground on the old Manassas battlefield to await Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. James Longstreet’s wing. This set the stage for the Second Battle of Manassas on August 28-30, 1862.

Erected 2008 by Virginia Civil War Trails.”

The previous information was unabashedly stolen from here.

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