Tag Archives: Rappahannock Station

The Wilderness, Part 1 — One last fine spring day dawned on the 20th Maine

  When Pvt. Theodore Gerrish of the 20th Maine Infantry awoke to a perfect morning on Sunday, May 1, 1864, he never imagined that he and his friends would not see such a day again. Ulysses Simpson Grant believed that shoving the Army of the Potomac through a godless central Virginia forest that spring would […]

Washington County will bleed at Rappahannock Station

Ordered to charge Confederate defenses at Rappahannock Station, Va. after dark on Saturday, Nov. 7, 1863, the men of the 6th Maine Infantry Regiment believe they are going in alone. “Probably so small a number of men never before made such an uproar,” Adjutant Charles Clark will comment long afterwards. But behind him (and probably […]

Battered Maine regiments asked permission to come home to recruit

  Their ranks thinned by battle and disease by mid-November 1863, the worn-out veterans of the 5th and 6th Maine infantry regiments wanted to come home, if only for a few months. So did their officers. Col. Clark Edwards of the 5th Maine pled his case in a Thursday, Nov. 12 letter written to Gov. […]

Washington County will bleed at Rappahannock Station

Washington County will bleed this Saturday, Nov. 7, 1863. Partially concealed in a thick forest just north of the Rappahannock River, the men of Co. D, 6th Maine Infantry Regiment, check their gear as Capt. Reuel Furlong awaits the signal to form his company into line and advance toward the enemy. Wherever Furlong stands, his […]

Hell comes to Rappahannock Station on a dark November night: Part II

  Cold steel is coming to Rappahannock Station on a dark November night. The bridgehead defended by the “Louisiana Tigers” and a North Carolina brigade faces assault along its entire defensive length — and the 5th Maine Infantry will “go in” on the Union right. Meanwhile, “about 500 yards” from “the enemy’s rifle pits, we […]

Hell comes to Rappahannock Station on a dark November night: Part I

Sensing the approaching threat in the deep November darkness, an alert Confederate soldier — probably a North Carolinian — fires his musket. Comrades swarm to their protective breastworks, level their muskets, and loosen a thunderous volley. Hideous screams suddenly erupt in the Virginia night; before the Confederates finish reloading, cold steel leaps through the swirling […]