Lee Moves North Again

Lee Moves North Again (HM1WO)

Location: Aldie, VA 20105 Loudoun County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 58.521', W 77° 38.465'

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Screening Lee's Infantry

— Gettysburg Campaign —

(Preface): After Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's stunning victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, he led the Army of Northern Virginia west to the Shenandoah Valley, then north through central Maryland and across the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania. Union Gen. George G. Meade, who replaced Gen. Joseph Hooker on June 28, led the Army of the Potomac in pursuit. The armies collided at Gettysburg on July 1, starting a battle that neither general planned to fight there. Three days later, the defeated Confederates retreated, crossing the Potomac River into Virginia on July 14.

In May 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee proposed a second invasion of the North and Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved the plan. The Federal generals suspected Lee was up to something when Confederate cavalry massed in Culpeper County.

On June 9, Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, Union Gen. Joseph Hooker's cavalry chief, crossed the Rappahannock River and struck the cavalry corps of his counterpart, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart at Brandy Station. Stuart fought to a draw, but the Federal cavalry gained confidence.

Lee, who begun marching his soldiers to the Shenandoah Valley, ordered Stuart to interpose his cavalrymen between the two armies to screen the movement as Pleasonton probed westward. This resulted in the battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, mounted and unmounted cavalry clashes fought along this road from June 17 through 21. Although the Union horsemen pushed west across the Loudoun Valley with the same newly aggressive spirit they displayed at Brandy Station, Stuart's screening tactics succeeded. As Stuart blocked the Federals' way to Ashby's Gap, Lee's infantry passed down the Shenandoah Valley and then into central Maryland, stealing a march on the Union army. Despite Stuart's success, he was stung by critical articles in Southern newspapers alleging surprises and "defeats." While here in Loudoun Valley, he decided on a daring raid around the Union army into Maryland. He lost touch with Lee for a week, however, and his decision proved fateful. Soon, the Army of Northern Virginia marched across the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania, where the Army of the Potomac found it at last, at a town called Gettysburg.
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Details
HM NumberHM1WO
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Tags
Year Placed2007
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 6:21pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 271207 N 4317359
Decimal Degrees38.97535000, -77.64108333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 58.521', W 77° 38.465'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 58' 31.26" N, 77° 38' 27.90" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 39401 John Mosby Hwy, Aldie VA 20105, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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