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Crossed Sabers in Virginia: The Battles of Brandy Station and Trevilian Station

A Weekend Warrior Program

August 18-20, 2017

With Rick Britton from Fredericksburg, VA

Brandy Station


Friday, August 18th

Join us at 6 PM at our hotel in Fredericksburg, Virginia where we will meet our tour leader Rick Britton. Cavalry has always been flashy but rarely decisive–it has been asked “Who Ever Saw a Dead Cavalryman?” Yet the Confederacy used its mounted arm to generate excellence intelligence for Robert E. Lee and to disrupt Federal offensives in every theater. Conversely, the Federal army’s cavalry arm matured and came of age as the war progressed. We have picked the two most significant engagements in the east to highlight the utility of that arm to the armies. Rick will use his introductory lectures to present “From Sabers to Spencers: The Evolution of Civil War Cavalry” and “Trevilian Station: Wade Hampton vs. Philip Sheridan.” This is going to be a great weekend!

Saturday, August 19th

This morning start at 8:30 with the Battle at Brandy Station. This was the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North American continent. It is also a pristine battlefield in which you can walk the significant sites–a true preservation success. Here in early June 1863 as Robert E. Lee was moving his reorganized army northward to Pennsylvania, his much valued cavalry under the solid but youthful JEB Stuart was surprised in camp and had to fight desperately against converging Federal forces to preserve the security of Lee’s movement. The success produced much criticism of Stuart and is blamed by some to have influenced his decisions in the critical Gettysburg Campaign. We report and you decide! Lunch is included

Sunday, August 20th

Start at 8:30 AM. Nearly a year later, Stuart has been killed and an aggressive Union cavalry chief Philip Sheridan is dispatched to cooperate with Federal forces moving up the Shenandoah Valley towards Lexington and Lynchburg–a key Confederate depot. General Grant wanted to cut Lee’s supply and communications base along the James River and Southside Railroads. Here at the Battle of the Trevilians Sheridan is stopped cold and pushed away from the Virginia Central Railroad opening a path for General Jubal Early’s Corps to proceed on to Lynchburg. Hunter is repulsed and Early moves into the Valley for a campaign that will last until his defeat at Waynesboro in March 1865. This is a widely overlooked battle whose key sites are astride US Route 33 west of Louisa and which provide a panoramic view of the fields of strife–unlike Brandy you will move primarily to points of observation. Still here George Armstrong Custer again recklessly exposed his forces to total destruction–perhaps someone should have paid attention. Regardless, you will learn about the pivotal battle in countering Hunter’s march up the Valley–a great story! Lunch is included. We will return to the hotel by 4 PM for dismissal. Don’t overlook this program–few really understand their significance; but, you will.


Rick Britton is an award-winning historian who specializes in 18th and 19th century Virginia history. A much sought after speaker, he also conducts tours, illustrates books and teaches courses on central Virginia history. With over 200 published articles and essays and two books under his belt he is a master of his portfolio and an entertaining presenter.

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The hotel is:

Best Western
2205 Plank Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Phone: 540-371-5050

Rate is $89.00 plus tax per night. Free hot breakfast included. Reservations are under Blue and Gray Education Society. Reservations must be made by July 18 to receive the group rate.

The hotel is located one mile off Rt. 95 and centrally located.


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