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Battle of Brandy Station

The Battle of Brandy Station was the largest predominantly cavalry engagement of the US Civil War, as well as the largest to take place ever on American soil. It was fought at the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign by the Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton against Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's Confederate cavalry on June 9, 1863.

What do you know about the Battle of Brandy Station?
Try this U.S. Civil War History Made Easy Quiz.
"Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

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Trivia powered by Prof. ABE1) The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia streamed into Culpeper County, Virginia, after its victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863.  Under the leadership of Gen. Robert E. Lee, the troops massed around Culpeper preparing to carry the war north into Pennsylvania.  The constant enemies of hunger and poor equipment were showing their effects.  Lee was determined to strike north to capture horses, equipment, and food for his men.  His army could also threaten Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, and encourage the growing peace movement in the North.

  • True or False?

2) Six miles northeast of Culpeper, Stuart bivouacked his cavalry troopers, screening the Confederate Army against surprise by the enemy.
What
was the river?

  1. James River

  2. Charles River

  3. Rappahannock River

3) Most of the Southern cavalry was camped near Brandy Station.  Stuart, befitting his reputation as a "dashing cavalier" or beau sabreur, requested a full field review of his troops by Gen. Lee.  This grand review on June 5 included nearly 9,000 mounted troopers and 4 batteries of horse artillery, charging in simulated battle at Inlet Station, about two miles southwest of Brandy Station.  Lee was unable to attended.
When
did Stuart have another review for Lee?

  1. June 6

  2. June 7

  3. June 8

4) Around Brandy Station, Stuart's force of about men consisted of five cavalry brigades, commanded by Brig. Gens. Wade Hampton, W.H.F. "Rooney" Lee, Beverly H. Robertson, and William E. "Grumble" Jones, and Col. Thomas T. Munford (commanding Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee's brigade while Lee was stricken with a bout of rheumatism), plus the six-battery Stuart Horse Artillery, commanded by Major Robert F. Beckham. What was the size of Stuart's force?

  1. 7,500

  2. 9,500

  3. 11,500

5) Unknown to the Confederates, a Union force had massed on the other side of the river. Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, commanding the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac, had organized his combined-armed forces into two "wings," under Brig. Gens. John Buford and David McMurtrie Gregg, augmented by infantry brigades from the V Corps. Buford's wing, accompanied by Pleasonton, consisted of his own 1st Cavalry Division, a Reserve Brigade led by Major Charles J. Whiting, and an infantry brigade of 3,000 men under Brig. Gen. Adelbert Ames. Gregg's wing was the 2nd Cavalry Division, led by Col. Alfred N. Duffi�, the 3rd Cavalry Division, led by Gregg, and an infantry brigade under Brig. Gen. David A. Russell.
What
was the size of the Union force?

  1. 9,000

  2. 11,000

  3. 13,000

6) The commander of the Army of the Potomac, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, interpreted the enemy's cavalry presence around Culpeper to be indicative of preparations for a raid of his army's supply lines. In reaction to this, he ordered Pleasonton's force on a "spoiling raid," to "disperse and destroy" the Confederates. At the battle, who commanded the Army of the Potomac?

  1. Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant

  2. Maj. Gen. George Meade

  3. Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker

7) About 4:30 a.m. on June 9, Buford's column crossed the river in a dense fog, pushing aside the Confederate pickets at Beverly's Ford.
Who's
unit took the initial attack partially dressed and often riding bareback?

  1. W.H.F. "Rooney" Lee

  2. Beverly H. Robertson

  3. William E. "Grumble" Jones

8) A Union cavalry regiment unsuccessfully charged the guns at St. James Church, suffering the greatest casualties of any regiment in the battle. Several Confederates later described their charge as the most "brilliant and glorious" cavalry charge of the war.
What
was the regiment?

  1. 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry

  2. 16th Ohio Cavalry

  3. 26th New York Cavalry

9) In many Civil War battles, cavalrymen typically dismounted once they reached an engagement and fought essentially as infantry. But in this battle, the surprise and chaos led to a mostly mounted fight.

  • True or False?

10) The Confederates began pulling back. They were reacting to the arrival of Gregg's Union cavalry division of about 2,800 men, which was the second major surprise of the day. Gregg found a more circuitous route that was completely unguarded and, following these roads, his lead brigade arrived in Brandy Station about 11 a.m.
Who
commanded the lead brigade?

  1. Col. Percy Wyndham

  2. Col. Arlene Specter

  3. Col. Joseph Morgan

11) What was the prominent ridge, which had been Stuart's headquarters the previous night?

  1. Washington Hill

  2. Fleetwood Hill

  3. Randolph Hill

12) Reinforced by Fitzhugh Lee's brigade, Rooney Lee launched a counterattack against Buford at the same time as Pleasonton had called for a general withdrawal near sunset.
How
long did the battle last?

  1. Two-hour battle

  2. Five-hour battle

  3. Ten-hour battle

13) Union casualties were 907 (69 killed, 352 wounded, and 486 missing, primarily captured); Confederate losses totaled 523. Among the casualties was Robert E. Lee's son, Rooney, who was seriously wounded in the thigh. He was sent to Hickory Hill, an estate near Hanover Court House, where he was captured on June 26.

  • True or False?

14) What was the Southern newspaper that described Stuart's command as "puffed up cavalry," that suffered the "consequences of negligence and bad management."

  1. Richmond Examiner

  2. Clarksburg Exponent

  3. Charleston Telegram

15) For the first time in the Civil War, Union cavalry matched the Confederate horsemen in skill and determination. Stuart's humiliation as the victim of two surprise attacks, the very thing cavalry is supposed to ensure does not happen, foreshadowed other embarrassments ahead for him in the Gettysburg campaign.

  • True or False?

More Gettysburg Civil War Trivia


Battle of Brandy Station
[Answers]

1) True. 2) C. 3) C. 4) B. 5) B. 6) C. 7) C.  8) A.  9) True 10) A. 11) B.  12) C.  13) True  14) A.  15) True

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