Last week, I had an opportunity to stop at the Aldie battlefield in Loudoun County, Virginia. Fought on June 17, 1863, it was the first of three clashes in the Loudoun Valley as Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton attempted to locate Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia early in the Gettysburg Campaign. Confederate cavalry under Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown “JEB” Stuart engaged the Federals there, at Middleburg on June 19 and again at Upperville on June 21. Stuart’s gray troopers managed to keep Pleasonton at bay and shield the Confederate infantry west of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the eyes of the Union horsemen. While there, I snapped a close up of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry monument. One of my first blog posts for Emerging Civil War was on the regiment’s experience during the battle and can be read here.
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