Preservation Victory at Bristoe Station


Great news from our friends at the Civil War Trust! On this, the anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station, the Trust announces more hallowed ground saved at this northern Virginia battlefield. Prince William County’s Historic Preservation Division will be doing Facebook live videos of their in-time tours this weekend so you can follow the events of 154 years ago. Also, if you haven’t already, pick up a copy of “A Want of Vigilance” by ECW authors Rob Orrison and Bill Backus to learn more about this battle and campaign. Continue reading for more information on this exciting announcement at Bristoe Station.

“Earlier this year, we announced a campaign to preserve 34 acres at Virginia’s historic Bristoe Station battlefield. This valuable real estate had previously been approved for development, but the landowner —Bristow Manassas LLC—was willing to donate it to us. Thanks to this generous partner in preservation, and committed preservationists like you, we can now celebrate victory in protecting this historic land!

Looking from the Confederate artillery position towards the Federal line at Bristoe Station. (Image courtesy Dan Welch)

“On October 14, 1863, Confederate Gen. A.P. Hill’s corps collided with two corps of the retreating Union Army of the Potomac at Bristoe Station. Hill attacked without proper reconnaissance, falling into—as one observer termed it— “as fine a trap as could have been devised by a month’s engineering.” Outnumbered nearly 5-to-1, the Confederates were cut down in waves. It all lasted scarcely an hour, and the Army of Northern Virginia suffered its most one-sided defeat in more than two years. On surveying the field strewn with nearly 1,400 killed or wounded Confederate soldiers he could ill afford to lose, Confederate chieftain Robert E. Lee angrily said, “Well, General, bury these poor men and let us say no more about it.”

“You have helped us save a total of 168 acres at Bristoe Station, but this hallowed ground is thefirst to be preserved from the Union side of the battle. The property was the likely site of R. Bruce Ricketts’ Union six-gun battery, just a few hundred feet behind the main battle line along the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, opening incredible new interpretive opportunities for this battlefield—and a possible “domino effect” of future preservation.

I am honored to celebrate this important victory with you, and am continually humbled by your support for our mission and our great nation’s history.

‘Til the Battle is Won,
Jim Lighthizer

P.S. This weekend, commemorate the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station with luminaria, living history programs, an encampment, and more.”

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