Gettysburg and Joshua L. Chamberlain are synonymous. From well-studied to first-time visitors, practically everyone knows of Little Round Top and the 20th Maine Infantry. The regiment, part of Col. Strong Vincent’s brigade, was not only a veteran unit, but it had already seen combat during the Gettysburg campaign before ever reaching the slopes of Little Round Top.
Imagine two legendary Civil War units, JEB Stuart’s cavalry and Vincent’s brigade squaring off across a creek and bridge. Now you have an opportunity to help save this hallowed ground. Read the announcement from the Civil War Trust below, and, if you’re looking for more information on this engagement and its role in the Gettysburg campaign, pick up a copy of The Last Road: A Guide to the Gettysburg Campaign, 1863 by Rob Orrison and Dan Welch.
“For many, the name Gettysburg conjures up images of the Civil War’s greatest battle — a titanic contest in which long lines of infantry marched over farm fields, across roads, and up hills that have since taken on legendary status. What many forget, however, is that the long road to Gettysburg began in the rolling pastures of Virginia, in a series of cavalry battles and skirmishes at places like Brandy Station, Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. On these battlefields, Union horsemen showed unusual pluck and at last proved themselves equal to their Confederate counterparts.
Over the years, the Civil War Trust has saved more than 3,560 acres of hallowed ground at these early Gettysburg Campaign battlefields. We now have the chance to add to that number.
As his army marched toward Pennsylvania, Confederate General Robert E. Lee hoped General Jeb Stuart’s cavalry would conceal his movements from the prying eyes of Union scouts. Yankee cavalry desperately needed to pierce Stuart’s screen to discover Lee’s whereabouts and, if possible, divine his intentions. On June 21, 1863, Union General David McM. Gregg took a stab at two of Stuart’s Confederate brigades along the banks of Goose Creek, near Upperville, Virginia.
At first, Stuart’s men were successful, making a determined stand near an old stone bridge over Goose Creek. Gregg, however, called for support and was soon reinforced by Colonel Strong Vincent’s infantry brigade — which, just two weeks later, would earn fame on Little Round Top. Gregg’s troopers and a portion of Vincent’s men stormed the bridge, keeping the Rebels’ attention, while more of Vincent’s men forded the creek — and captured an artillery piece while setting the remainder of the Rebels to flight. The Yankees, however, were no closer to discovering Lee’s intentions or the movement toward Gettysburg.
You and I now have the chance to acquire 19.8 acres at the heart of the Upperville battlefield, including the stone bridge over Goose Creek. We will create a newly publicly-accessible park at Upperville, building on the success that created a park at the Middleburg battlefield in 2012. With your help — and that of our wonderful partners at the Fauquier and Loudoun Garden Club, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and NOVA Parks — we have the unique chance to protect a key part of a small, but important struggle of the momentous Gettysburg campaign.
‘Til the Battle is Won,