No NPS? No Problem!—The Trevilian Station Battlefield

The Ogg Farm west of Trevilian Station. The second day's fighting revolved around this area.
The Ogg Farm west of Trevilian Station. The second day’s fighting revolved around this area.

Day Two in a series coinciding with the federal government shutdown

The Trevilian Station Battlefield is located in Lousia County, Virginia. Although only a two-day battle, the engagement was part of a larger operation that entailed three major objectvies. After being stalemated by Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia northeast of Richmond in the first week of June, 1864, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant dispatched Major General Philip Sheridan into central Virginia. Sheridan’s expedition was to distract Lee from Grant’s movement to the James River, destroy one of Lee’s major supply lines, the Virginia Central Railroad, and have Sheridan link up with and operate with Major General David Hunter’s Union forces operating in the Shenandoah Valley.

After moving through the Virginia countryside, Sheridan engaged Wade Hampton’s Confederate cavalry just west of Louisa Court House. The highlight of the first day’s fighting, on June 11, 1864 saw Brigadier General George Custer’s brigade surrounded by enemy cavalry near the train station. Custer’s men were able to hold on until being relieved and Hampton’s troopers withdrew west beyond Trevilian Station to a strong defensive position near the Ogg Farm. The following day, Sheridan’s troopers moved to attack Hampton. The Yankees withdrew when Confederate cavalry under Fitzhugh Lee launched a suprise flank attack just before sundown that ended the fighting. Sheridan began his return march to the Army of the Potomac the next day, the expedition ending in failure.

For more information on the battle see Glory Enough for All: Sheridan’s Second Raid and the Battle of Trevilian Station by Eric J. Wittenberg. Brassey’s Inc. 2001. Paperback copyright 2002.

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