Do You Know about
The Fight at Aldie (March 2, 1863)
Fight at Aldie was a small American Civil War cavalry skirmish between
Confederate forces under John Mosby and Union forces under Major Gilmer
and Captain F.T. Huntoon in Aldie, Virginia on March 2, 1863 as part of
Mosby's Operations in Northern Virginia. The fight resulted in a
Play this Fight at Aldie quiz.
True or False?
1. Mosby makes his first raid against the Union in Chantilly, Virginia.
2. Colonel Sir Percy Wyndham dispatched 200 troopers of the 18th
Pennsylvania under Major Gilmer from Fairfax towards Middleburg.
3. Residents of the village, pleaded with Gilmer to spare the it,
claiming to have no knowledge of the whereabouts of Mosby's men. Not
believing them, he burned the town to the ground.
4. The 18th Pennsylvania informed the 1st Vermont of their failure to
locate Mosby. They joined the 1st Vermont and returned to Aldie to water
5. Mosby ordered a charge and the with a yell the Confederates bore
down on the Federals, taking them by surprise and sending most of them
into a wild retreat.
6. During the charge, Mosby lost control of his horse and was forced to
7. He planned a raid to capture the President Abraham Lincoln on a
visit to Fairfax Court House.
8. Because of the raid, he lost the support of the residents around
1. True. On January 24, 1863, General JEB Stuart dispatched his scout
John Mosby and 15 of his cavaliers to the lower Loudoun Valley in Fauquier
County to conduct operations against Union forces occupying Northern Virginia.
On the 28th, the small band met at Mount Zion Church, a half mile east of Aldie
and set on their first raid against Federals in Chantilly.
2. True. On March 2, in response to the raids, Colonel Sir Percy
Wyndham dispatched 200 troopers of the 18th Pennsylvania under Major Gilmer from
Fairfax towards Middleburg to find and capture the Mosby and his men.
3. False. In the town, the Union force, many of whom were reportedly
drunk, began searching local residences and arresting citizens in an attempt to
smoke out Mosby's men. When this proved to be unsuccessful, Gilmer threatened to
burn the town. Residents of the village, pleaded with Gilmer to spare the it,
claiming to have no knowledge of the whereabouts of Mosby's men. Gilmer
apparently believed them and withdrew with his command east, toward Aldie.
4. False. At Aldie, the 18th Pennsylvania encountered a 50-man
detachment of the 1st Vermont on similar patrol in Loudoun. The drunken Major
Gilmer mistook the 1st Vermont for Confederates and ordered a retreat. The 1st
Vermont, overtook the 18th Pennsylvania and the mistake was recognized. The 18th
Pennsylvania informed the 1st Vermont of their failure to locate Mosby and then
withdrew for Fairfax, while the 1st Vermont returned to Aldie to water their
5. True. The Federal raid on Middleburg did not go unnoticed by Mosby.
As soon as the Federals left the town, he quickly assembled as many men as
possible, totaling between 17 and 28, and then set out towards Aldie in pursuit.
As Mosby's men entered the village from the west, they spied the dismounted 1st
Vermont. Mosby immediately ordered a charge and the with a yell the Confederates
bore down on the Federals, taking them by surprise and sending most of them into
a wild retreat.
6. True. During the charge, Mosby lost control of his horse and was
forced to jump off, losing it to the Federals. During the fight Captain Woodword
of the 1st Vermont had his horse shot out from underneath him, pinning him to
the ground. One of Mosby's men ran towards him to shot him, but Woodward was
able to draw a concealed pistol and shoot his assailant. Believing that Woodward
had already surrendered when he fired the shot a few of Mosby's men rushed in to
execute him. Mosby, who witnessed the affair, quickly interceded, taking the
captain prisoner. Despite losing his horse, Mosby and his men handled themselves
well, capturing 19 Federals, including two captains and 23 horses, while
suffering only one wounded.
7. False. In response to the raid into his territory, Mosby planned
another raid on federals in Fairfax to capture the cavalry commander Sir Percy
Wyndham on March 9.
8. False. In addition, for defending the town of Middleburg and
severely embarrassing the Federals sent to raid it, Mosby and his men won the
admiration of the town's citizens, who had to this point been weary of the
partisans. The support of the people of the Loudoun Valley would become one of
Mosby's greatest assets for the duration of the war.