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Brandy Station and Mosby's Guerillas November 1863

Beasley Family in Virginia 1863

During the Civil War, The Battle of Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North American Continent. Of the 20,000 soldiers involved, about 17,000 were mounted calvary. Brandy Station was also the first battle of the war's most famous campaign—Gettysburg.

At dawn June 9, the Union cavalry corps under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton launched a surprise attack on Stuart's cavalry at Brandy Station. After an all-day fight in which fortunes changed repeatedly, the Federals retired without discovering Lee's infantry camped near Culpeper.

This battle marked the apogee of the Confederate cavalry in the East. From this point in the war, the Federal cavalry gained strength and confidence. Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle of the war and the opening engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign.

The men of the 7th Virginia Cavalry took part in the famous Jones-Imboden Raid into Western Virginia. On Thursday, November 26, 1863, Mosby attacked General Sheridan’s heavily guarded wagon train near Brandy Station; Mosby escaped unharmed; his horse was not so lucky, receiving a ball in the breast.

My grandfather Johnson Tucker Beasley wrote that Thomas Wesley Beasley "served with the famous regiment of Col. Mosby in the Civil War." Mosby's "guerilla band", the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry Partisan Rangers, operated in the vicinity of Brandy Station, where the family home was located. While no records have been found to substantiate this claim, it is entirely possible that Thomas Beasley volunteered.

The men of the Mosby's 7th Virginia Cavalry took part in the famous Jones-Imboden Raid into Western Virginia. On Thursday, November 26, 1863, Mosby attacked a heavily guarded wagon train near Brandy Station; Mosby escaped unharmed; his horse was not so lucky, receiving a ball in the breast. Mosby captured a number of prisoners, and one of them drew a map of the circuitous route Mosby took to evade Union troops, shown below.

Mosby route November 1863
Detail of route followed by Mosby's Guerillas during the Mine Run Campaign from near Brand Station, Va. (location of the Beasley family home), to Woodville, down the Blue Ridge Valley, through Madison Court House and on to Gordonsville. Enlarged map

Brandy Station is currently located about six miles northeast of the county seat of Culpeper, Virginia on State Route 29.

Other Civil War Regiments from Fauquier County:

  • Black Horse Brigade (Troop) Company H,
  • Fourth Brigade, Fourth Virginia Cavalry Warrenton Rifles,
  • Company K, 17th Va. Infantry Regiment
  • Mosby Regiment (Rangers),
  • Partisan Rangers Hunton's Horse Troop (Brigade),
  • Piedmont Rifles Company B, Eighth Regiment,
  • Kemper's Brigade,
  • Beauregard Rifles Company I,
  • Eleventh Regiment, Brooke's Battery Battery A,
  • 12th Battalion, Mountain Rangers (General Asbhy)
  • Company A, Seventh Regiment,
  • Virginia Cavalry Fauquier Artillery, Wise's Dragons,
  • 6th Regiment, Cavalry Brigade

Brandy Station is located about six miles northeast of Culpepper, Virginia on State Route 29.

Brandy Station Union Camp, June 8, 1863