June 9, 1863 Stevensburg Area
After crossing at Kelley's Ford, Col. Duffie's division on their way to Stevensburg, were met by a small Confederate force just east of Stevensburg, on Hansboro Ridge. Duffie's huge force easily pushed through the Confederates who were badly scattered and made a wild dash for the Norman's Mills Ford, which was the Mt. Run crossing for the Carolina Road. Duffie's division in close pursuit. However, when Duffie reached Mt. Run, he found that this small stream was just as effective a natural barrier as was the Rappahannock River. Horses could not cross it except at prepared crossings.
At 12:30 Col. Butler and Farley (JEB Stuart's chief aide) came back across Mt. Run, being the last to do so. Butler made the comment "We were experiencing the first break in action since early morning, as the enemy is making no move against us."
When Duffie discovered horses could not cross Mt. Run as the crossing was protected by a cannon (12-pounder) plus a trench (canal) protected riflemen, he decided not to attempt the crossing, but instead sent a flanking force (on foot) down stream to find a suitable crossing and force the group guarding the ford to withdraw.
The small stream, across Mt. Run from here, entering Mt. Run from the slopes of Hansboro Ridge, makes an easy entry into Mt. Run (as you can observe) and the resulting
gravel bar (also observable) makes a shallow water crossing.
This is the site where the Union flanking force came to cross Mt. Run and initiate their move against the force at the ford. A canal (1815, to power a saw-mill) ran the entire length of the bottomland and was now used as a trench by the Confederates. The flag north of here (notice) is the location of the canal. There riflemen, protected by the trench, created a serious problem for the Union flanking force. More than 200 bullets have been recovered from along the route of the canal. Bullets recovered from the area where you are standing verified the Union crossing site.
About mid-afternoon Duffie received orders from Brandy Station (Pleasanton) to withdraw, retrace his steps back to the Peola Mill Road and come into Brandy Station by the route Gregg had taken. Duffie immediately withdrew his force and started for Brandy Station. He arrived there around 4PM, only to find that Pleasanton had stopped the fighting and was now in the process of moving his troops back across the Rappahannock River to Remington. Pleasanton had given up on Duffie.
This small force, (mostly 4th Virginia Cavalry with a few 2nd So. Carolina Cavalry) which earlier in the morning had been so badly routed on Hansboro Ridge, now with the help of Mt. Run, was responsible for keeping one quarter of Pleasanton's whole
Union cavalry from firing a single shot in the Brandy Station area.
Virginia Senat Document No. 3
"Had Duffie arrived in Brandy Station in time, the outcome of the battle might not have been effectively a draw." The holding action at Mt. Run probably determined the outcome of the day long battle at Brandy Station.