Perched along the Ashby’s Gap Turnpike, Mt. Defiance was a key defensive position for the Confederates under Major General J.E.B. Stuart during the 1863 Battle of Middleburg. It was in part due to the First Maine Cavalry’s bold charge through the Confederate center on Mt. Defiance that led to the retreat of Stuart’s men from the field. The Mainers’ contribution to Union victory that day that led NOVA Parks to place the new monument on Mt. Defiance.
Made of solid gray granite, the monument “to the men of the 1st Maine Cavalry” has the names of 17 men who were killed during the battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. Part of the larger efforts to screen Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and acquire valuable intelligence on enemy movements, these battles were some of the first of the bloody Gettysburg Campaign.
For more information on Middleburg and Mt. Defiance Historic Park, please visit NOVA Parks’ website.