5 years ago

Rappahannock Landing Archaeological Survey ... - Fauquier County

Rappahannock Landing Archaeological Survey ... - Fauquier County

The Confederate’s knew

The Confederate’s knew they were beat. Hundreds of soldiers threw down their arms and surrendered while others not wanting to become prisoners of war made a feeble attempt to escape by means of the arctic Rappahannock River or by running the gauntlet of Union rifle fire at the bridge. As the Union soldiers gathered up the prisoners of war, the Confederate soldiers south of the Rappahannock watched helplessly. From this brief struggle 1,670 Confederates were killed, wounded, or captured, more than 80 percent of those involved. Union casualties on the other hand totaled only 419 (NPS 2005). The loss of the Battle of Rappahannock Station was the most substantial loss R.E. Lee’s army had suffered to date leaving the army shocked and outraged. Two of their best brigades, well sheltered behind entrenchments and supported by artillery, had been defeated. For the North it had been “a complete and glorious victory” (NPS 2005). For the Union, the highest honor came from Harry Hays, who stated that the Confederates were attacked by no less than 20,000 to 25,000 Union soldiers, which was ten times the actual number (NPS 2005). The 44 th moved back to Rappahannock Station where they stayed on guard duty until January 25, 1864 (Figures 12–14, pp. 20–21). Other Union troops were stationed to guard crossroads, the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and towns from John Singleton Mosby’s Raiders (Scheel 1985:78). Fauquier County was part of what is known as “Mosby’s Confederacy” and as such Mosby’s men tied up large numbers of Union troops. By the end of the war Fauquier County was ultimately destroyed (Scheel 1985:78). Figure 10: Rappahannock Station, Va. Federal encampment near Railroad (Library of Congress 1863c). 20

Figure 11: The camp barber--taking a shave, Rappahannock Station, Virginia (Library of Congress 1863d). Figure 12: Rappahannock Station, Virginia, Officers of 50th New York Engineers, 1864 (Library of Congress 1863e). 21

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