Battle of Kelly's Ford

Battle of Kelly's Ford (HM17ES)

Location: Remington, VA 22734 Culpeper County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 30.63', W 77° 49.28'

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The Chancellorsville Campaign

On January 25, 1863, Union general Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker replaced Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside as the fifth commander of the demoralized eastern armies in less than two years. On taking charge of the Army of the Potomac, Hooker implemented organizational reforms to ensure that his soldiers stayed healthy, warm, and busy. Morale improved quickly, as did the army's offensive spirit.

The dramatic reorganization of the cavalry was one of Hooker's initial priorities and signal accomplishments. Before Hooker assumed command, small squadrons of horsemen were scattered among the infantry, carelessly armed and consistently outmatched by their Confederate counterparts.

Hooker reassembled his mounted forces into the single cavalry corps under one commander, Gen. George Stoneman, and equipped the majority of the troopers with carbines - short rifles that were easy to load and fire on horseback. With the Army of the Potomac recovering its fighting spirit, Hooker planned a new campaign against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia.

The Rappahannock River, situated to your left, separated the two forces. Although the Federals outnumbered the Confederates by more than two to one, the river was a formidable equalizer. The Union army had lost 12,000 men on its southern banks following a disastrous crossing at Fredericksburg in December. Angered by a Southern cavalry raid at Hartwood Church in February, Hooker ordered his mounted command to test the defenses at the river fords above Fredericksburg. This probe resulted first in the Battle of Kelly's ford, a step toward the decisive showdown at Chancellorsville.

"My plans are perfect... May God have mercy on General Lee, for I will have none." - Gen. Joe Hooker, USA

"We must make this campaign an exceedingly active one... A defensive campaign can only be made successful by taking the aggressive at the proper time." - Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, CSA
Details
HM NumberHM17ES
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Tags
Year Placed2013
Placed ByVirginia Civil Wa Trails and Civil War Trust
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 14th, 2014 at 10:47pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 253998 N 4266231
Decimal Degrees38.51050000, -77.82133333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 30.63', W 77° 49.28'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 30' 37.80" N, 77° 49' 16.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 13657-13689 State Rte 673, Remington VA 22734, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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