Battle History


                                  RAPPAHANNOCK STATION, VA.
                                      NOV. 7TH, 1863

                    Rappahannock Station, Va, Nov. 7, 1863.  Right Column of
                the Army of the Potomac.  While the Army of the Potomac was
                attempting to force a passage of the Rappahannock river the
                position assigned to the right of the column, then under
                command of Maj.-Gen. John Sedgwick, was at Rappahannock
                Station.  Sedgwick was ordered to push the Confederates across
                the river before dark if possible, while another portion of
                the army was attempting a passage at Kelly's ford.  The 5th
                corps (Sykes) and Sedgwick's own (the 6th), then commanded by
                Brig.Gen. Wright, took positions on the right and left of the
                railroad and by 3 p.m. had pushed forward their skirmishers
                and driven the Confederates to their rifle-pits.  The enemy's
                works were two redoubts, both on the left of the railroad,
                connected by a double line of rifle-pits extending 1,000 yards
                along the river.  All afternoon the Federal artillery kept up
                a vigorous fire upon the works, but apparently without effect,
                as the Confederates replied just as vigorously.  Just at dusk
                Sedgwick ordered an assault.  Brig.-Gen. David A. Russell with
                two brigades of his division executed the movement under a
                galling fire, the works were captured and the whole garrison
                cut off and taken prisoners.  The assault was acknowledged to
                be one of the most gallant in history.  The Federal loss in
                the affair was 83 killed, 330 wounded and 6 missing, the
                Confederates lost 6 killed, 39 wounded and 1,629 captured,
                besides 8 colors, a battery, 2,000 stands of small arms and a
                pontoon train.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 6 -----------------------------------------------------------------

Return to Home Page